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Summary: THE FIRST STEP IN EXCHANGING OUR ECONOMY IS DISCOVERING TRUE OWNERSHIP.

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God's Economy: Discovering Ownership

1 Corinthians 10:26

Americans Under 70 May Find 2008 Was Their Least Favorite Year

by Matthew Benjamin

Dec. 31 (Bloomberg) -- This wasn't just a bad year for the economy. By some measures, it was the worst year any American under age 70 has ever seen.

Home Ownership - The American Dream or National Nightmare?

Housing led the downturn. Sales of single-family homes dropped in November by 7.6 percent, the biggest decline in two decades, to an annual rate of 4.43 million, a 12-year low. A 13 percent decline in the median resale price from a year earlier was likely the largest since the 1930s, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Ever since the beginning, the great American dream of prosperity and happiness has always revolved around owning a piece of land (preferably with a house on top of it). Home ownership has always been associated with security and stability. The mere act of possessing a parcel to call your own has always symbolized the triumph of moving from the unexplainable stigma of renting to a greater plane, found only on higher rungs up the economic and social ladder.

Real estate has been promoted as the road to riches, and everybody assumes that their home will be more than just a place to live, but also a wonderful investment! For years it was considered the lynch pin of American economy.

Every three months, 250,000 new families enter into foreclosure.

Huron County

Job Losses

The loss of jobs in the U.S. may be the biggest since the end of World War II.

Wall Street

This year's declines in stock and home prices haven't been exceeded since the Great Depression. The slump in holiday spending may set a record; foreclosures already have. Credit markets seized, halting the longest expansion in consumer purchases.

New York Times

In a mere 12 months, the Dow Jones industrial average plunged 4,488.43 points, or 33.8 percent, its most punishing loss since 1931.

All told, about $7 trillion of shareholders' wealth -- the gains of the last six years -- was wiped out in a year of violent market swings.

One website said that some other issues of 2008 carry over, but this year it's all about the benjamins.

As we start 2009 how do we, the followers of the Forgiver who are seeking to live the call in Norwalk, Ohio respond to the economics of the New Year.

For the next three weeks we will take a crash course in God's economics and be challenged with the principles of Exchanging Our Economy for God's Economy.

* Discovering Ownership

* Unveiling Contentment

* Passing the Test

P.S. THE FIRST STEP IN EXCHANGING OUR ECONOMY IS DISCOVERING TRUE OWNERSHIP.

God's economy focuses on His Ownership.

Everything is God's.

In the middle of a theological discussion on issues relating to food and sacrifices, Paul drops a on liner that is profound in his understanding of how the universe truly functions.

* The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it. (1 Corinthians 10:26)

Ill: We live under the mistaken illusion that we are the owners of the things we possess.

"Bishop Edwin Hughes was a great leader in the Methodist Church. He once preached in one of the large churches in Manhattan on the theme of stewardship. He emphasized that God is the ultimate owner of all things and that whatever we possess, we possess only as a trust from God.

Bishop Hughes was scheduled to be a dinner guest following the service in the home of a long-time friend, a self-made man who was recognized as being one of the most influential leaders on Wall Street. They drove out of the city and through the beautiful countryside along the Hudson River to the man's country estate. As they entered the gates and headed up the winding drive to the picturesque Georgian mansion set high on a wooded hill, the businessman said to the bishop: 'Edwin, your sermon this morning bothered me. Look around you--this estate, this house, my property and possessions. Are you really telling me that these things don't belong to me?'

Bishop Hughes smiled thoughtfully and replied: 'George, ask me that question a hundred years from now.'"

Preaching Today

Since everything is God's we can trust that he will care for what is his.

He takes care of all his creation.

When people came to Jesus concerned with all their everyday matters and issues and concerns. Jesus what will we eat. Jesus what will we wear? Jesus what will we do? Listen how he responded.

* Matt 6:25-34

25 "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

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