Summary: Stock market jitters of RRSP/s, investments and savings don’t help the significant issues of holding on to jobs, providing for our children and health care. Where does the ripple effect end?

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- Perspectives on 2008 – a good year; couldn’t wait for it to end…

- Stock market realities – Ben Steverman of Business week: “the panic of 2008”. He reported the stock index lost 22% points in seven days from October 2-9. Last catastrophic crash was 1929. There were at least 9 tag lines to describe the crash. Economists and historians disagree on the position that it created the Great Depression of the ‘30/s. Impact is the same – the failing stock market.

- Stock market jitters of RRSP/s, investments and savings don’t reflect more significant issues of holding on to jobs, providing for our children and health care. Where does the ripple effect end?

- Life is like a Stock market – abstract ‘stock market’ realities – death, illness, family problems/strained relationships

- When a year has been rough we clutch a new year with hope that things are going to be different, better...

What can we do when Stock market’s crash and life’s chart shows a slippery slope of peaks and crashes? Today’s text provides answers! To build a hopeful year,

1. Invest in long-term stock

- Investor is one who is furnished with power and authority (

- Text, Jesus is speaking to his disciples – back to 5:1-2… Chapters 5 and 6 – Jesus teaches the beatitudes (values that return on investment), taught about their relationship to the world, personal relationships, giving to the poor, prayer, fasting, storing treasures in heaven by putting earth’s treasures in perspective.

- All leads to the cure for anxiety – in relationship with God that leads to trust. Jesus gives us power and authority over anxiety! How exercise it? 6:33…

- Rick Warren – Purpose Driven Life book earned $9 million in first quarter of its release. Rick told God he didn’t need the money, it wasn’t about the money. What did he do? He searched the Bible. Here’s his answer to his interview with David Kuo of Beliefnet. “I still live in the same house I’ve lived in for 15 years and I still drive the same Ford truck, have the same two suits, I don’t have a guest home, I don’t have a yacht, I don’t own a beach house, we just said that we aren’t going to use the money on ourselves. Second, I stopped taking a salary from the church. Third, I added up all the church had paid me over the past 25 years and gave it all back. I gave it all back because I didn’t want anyone thinking that I did it for money.”

- Warren demonstrates the principle of Colossians 3:2

- Investing in long-term stock requires another step:

2. Re-establish your priorities

- Jesus’ instruction – 6:25…

- At first glance, we would answer Jesus’ questions with an emphatic NO!..

- Illustration – a trapper built a monkey trap. He filled a container with nuts. The container had a round opening big enough for the monkey to put its hand into the container. Fist-size grab left the monkey trapped. Trapper reasoned, “What a sight – the thing the monkey wanted most was the very thing that trapped it and led to its end.”

- Jesus warns us about holding to material things so that they cause us worry. One source instructs, “Jesus’ words strike at the core of human selfishness, challenging both the well-to-do who have possessions to guard and the poor who wish they could acquire them.” Citing theologian Minear, “Jesus assaulted the whole human race at the point where that race is most sensitive: its desire for security and superiority" (Minear 1954:133).

- Clutching to our securities, wealth, self-sufficient behaviour is the very thing that can lead to our destruction.

a) Explore Matthew 19:21

b) Jesus teaches us to store our treasures properly to ensure our hearts are in the right place – see 6:19-21…

3. Never forget THE INVESTOR (God) holds you as His prized Investment

- Illustration – Trouble-making son. Disrespected his parents and caused them much heartache. Finally his criminal behaviour caught up with him and landed him in jail a long way from home. Served his time and finally released. In the journey ahead he confessed his sins and accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior. He decided to go home. Would his parents welcome him? He sent a letter ahead and told his parents the time his train would arrive. He asked them to put a white sheet on the line if he was welcome. If there wasn’t a sheet he would continue to the next stop, but understood if he had to do so. When the train approached that last bend, after which he would seen home. He was quite anxious. His anxiety gave way to joy and eyes flooded with tears, as he not only saw a white blanket on his parent’s clothesline. He saw white blankets all over town, on every clothesline he could see!

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