Thank you to our “informants”–Ron, Rhonda and Dad– for passing along these great insights from Chuck Colson & Joel Rosenberg!
We bring you good news!!– that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them. Acts 14:15
From January 1, 2008 to December 31, 2008, Americans lost $6.9 trillion in wealth in the stock markets.
Since the market’s highs in October 2007, the DJIA is down some 50%. That means over the last 18 months, we have seen half the nation’s wealth vanish into thin air.
In Matthew 6:19-21, Jesus said: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in and steal; for where your treasure is, there is your heart also.”
More tough times may be ahead. If some of you have lost 30% to 50% of your assets, what are your plans going forward? What if another 30% to 50% of your wealth vanishes, or is confiscated in a massive new tax increase? Would it not be better to invest some or all of that wealth in the kingdom of God now, where it is safe and secure, while you still have it?
The Lord is shaking our country and purifying His Church. He is requiring all of us to reconsider what we value, where our treasure is, where our hearts are. He is preparing us to see Him face to face. And when we see Him, there will be a day of accounting. 2 Cor 5:10 He will ask us what we did with the resources He entrusted to us. What, then, shall we say?
Investing in God’s Kingdom
He is not weak in dealing with you, but is powerful among you. 2 Cor 13:3
For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God. Luke 16:15
Many of our personal…behaviors most associated with the crisis are, in fact, spiritual failures for which the Christian faith has an alternative.
One obvious failure is our levels of indebtedness. As historian Niall Ferguson recently wrote, “Western . . . households are groaning under unprecedented debt burdens.”…
While the Scriptures have something to say about the perils of indebtedness, they have much more to say about the human failings that prompted the “unprecedented debt burdens”—like greed and covetousness.
We are now living with the wreckage caused by all this covetousness.
Ultimately, as Paul told the Colossians, covetousness is idolatry—it is worshiping and placing our trust in something man-made rather than the One who made man. It is seeking fulfillment and even meaning in something other than God. (Ephesians 5:5, Colossians 3:5)
Of course, whatever you trust and believe gives you meaning and purpose, and that is going to take precedence in your life. That’s why scarcely a chapter in the gospels goes by without our Lord warning against the dangers of wealth.
These warnings are so common and our love of possessions so great that many of us have tuned them out or interpreted the Scriptures in a way that turn Jesus’ obvious meaning on its head…
Like all idols, what Jesus called “mammon” will fail its worshipers. The good times will stop rolling, leaving us with moths and rust—and that’s after thieves in three-piece suits have cleared the place out.
Sound familiar? Thankfully, Jesus also had a lot to say about lost sheep and prodigal sons. Which, if we truly examine our lives…, pretty much includes all of us.
Joel Rosenburg– conclusion
What does the future hold? It’s almost as if we can hear the ice cracking underneath our feet…
Humanly speaking, you and I have very little influence to stop the current course of events. So we must pray… What’s more, we must seek the Lord in prayer — even with fasting — for wisdom to know how to invest the resources He has entrusted to us to kingdom work.
If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 2 Chron 7:14
Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?
“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
nor be weary when reproved by him.
For the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and chastises every son whom he receives.”
It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.