Sermons

Summary: Addresses the world-wide financial crises and how to deal with it.

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Your mind is a powerful thing isn’t it? A single thought can cause a smile to come sliding across your face; a single thought can wipe that same smile away. A Single thought, mulled over in the mind can disturb your days and ruin your nights. Our thoughts have a powerful influence over how we feel.

So the question of the moment is, What sort of thoughts have been flooding into your mind as you hear the news about a worldwide financial crisis? Let me guess: you see a grainy black and white picture of old men lined up around the block outside a soup kitchen and perhaps yourself standing there with them.

Or maybe you think of your grandmother who would never throw anything away; who collected bits of string and tin foil and rubber bands a 1000’s of cool whip bowls in her attic “in case she ever needed them”. The same grandmother would pull a leftover out of the refrigerator and say “This food’s going bad, we should eat it.” You used to laugh at her for such miserly behavior in this land of plenty, but somewhere in the back of your mind you wondered what hard times she must have endured to continue to live like she was in poverty. The great depression was so profound that it changed her whole approach to life for the rest of her life. And your thinking that perhaps it’s your turn now.

There are any number of other fears that could be racing through our minds because of the recent events. We were doing everything we were supposed to do: building equity, establishing and contributing to our IRAs, Investing our money rather than putting it in a mattress and then in just two weeks: Poof, it dissipates like a dream upon waking.

That’s the one thing that I think caught us all by surprise. The value of money seems to be a figment of the imagination. We imagined that our homes were almost doubling in value. But it was an illusion. Nowadays, of course, those who participate in the stock market have been imagining that the value of stocks are worth half of what they are. Many have lost their life’s savings.

Are you starting to get the sense that money might not really have any value of its own? It only is as valuable as the collective consciousness of mankind imagines it to be. In this way money is almost illusory and a figment of our imagination!

Not exactly something that you’d want to tack your life to is it? Not exactly something you’d want to base your personal happiness on is it? That’s why so many people are so down and so frightened. They hitched their future to a bubble and the bubble did what bubbles do. It popped.

Might I suggest that instead of an bubble, we fasten our hopes and dreams on something that is real; that we fix our minds on that which has true value that will never spoil or fade or disappear like the morning mist? That’s what Paul is trying to get us to do when he says in the text “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Here he encourages us to do two things: 1. Stop being anxious, to stop being all gloomy and frightened and full of fear about what might happen And 2. Present your requests to God...that is: pray.

A little secret that you might not be aware of is that everything you have, everything that you have used to support yourselves and your family as well as everything that you might hope to have in the future has been and will be given to you by God; not your money. Hasn’t the illusory quality of money been demonstrated of late? Use this time of wakefulness as an opportunity to look above and beyond and behind and see the hand that has been blessing you for these many years. See the hand of God in your life. Give thanks and continue to depend on him. You will feel so much better.

Even our coins and bills have themselves been designed to wake us from our delusional trust in money. Inscribed on every denomination are the words “In God we trust”. I’m amazed and pleased that this is still there. For even as we go into our dream like state and begin to trust our money, our money says snap out of it “This is really not where its at....trust in God.”

Why can we trust him? Because he’s real and he has demonstrated that he really does care for us deeply. He came down, became truly human, lived among us for 33 years, died for us on the cross and rose victoriously on the third day. God is real. His love is real. We see that in Jesus. No person in the history of the world has had more positive and lasting effects than Christ Jesus. No Person has been more well known; no person has had more impact; no person has inspired more undying faithfulness.... why? because he’s real. God is real. His love is real. You can trust him.

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