Summary: Message encouraging people during economic difficulties that The Fundamentals of God’s Economy Are Strong.
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The fundamentals of God’s economy are sound! Isn’t it wonderful to hear a statement like that in times of great economic and financial upheaval in the United States and around the World?
I wanted to take a few moments to share with you today concerning some of the events that have taken place over the past few weeks and months, as well as provide you with some encouragement from the Word of God.
When I hear someone make a statement that the "fundamentals" are sound, maybe you’re like me, and have to ask yourself what exactly those fundamentals are!
My desire is not to convince you that the world economy is sound, because God is the only one that knows the direction we are going, yet I do believe that when we take a look at God’s fundamentals, we will see that in fact, He’s not worried while He sits on His awesome throne in Heaven.
I’m going to just briefly state a few things that I believe are equated with God’s economy, and I trust you are encouraged.
I went to dictionary.com and typed in the word “economy” just to see if there was anything within the definition of the word that would assist me in sharing these thoughts with you today, and I found the following under the area that covers God’s Economy:
a. the divine plan for humanity, from creation through redemption to final beatitude.
I especially like the next one as it states:
b. the method of divine administration, as at a particular time or for a particular race.
I believe today that God has a plan, and this plan was implemented from the very beginning of creation, and continues to this day, and WILL continue even as eternity comes upon the horizon of this world.
So, with the idea that there are many, many aspects of God’s Economy, I want to look at just 3 of them today.
I. THE FUNDAMENTAL OF GRACE REMAINS AMAZINGLY FREE!
The Bible tells us in: Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
His grace is still amazing! Grace in it’s essence means "unmerited favor". In other words, we receive the grace of God in our lives as a totally FREE gift that we cannot earn regardless of how hard we try.
Why is grace so amazing? One of the main reasons that come to mind is that in our own human reasoning, we determine that people who have done wrong are not in need of mercy, but often, in our legalistic and judgmental spirits, we feel they deserve justice and ultimate punishment instead of something that “gets them off the hook” so to speak.
I like this following illustration by Robert Capon:
You’re worried about permissiveness—about the way the preaching of grace seems to say it’s okay to do all kinds of terrible things as long as you just walk in afterward and take the free gift of God’s forgiveness ….
While you and I may be worried about seeming to give permission, Jesus apparently wasn’t. He wasn’t afraid of giving the prodigal son a kiss instead of a lecture, a party instead of probation; and he proved that by bringing in the elder brother at the end of the story and having him raise pretty much the same objections you do. He’s angry about the party. He complains that his father is lowering standards and ignoring virtue—that music, dancing, and a fattened calf are, in effect, just so many permissions to break the law. And to that, Jesus has the father say only one thing: “Cut that out! We’re not playing good boys and bad boys any more. Your brother was dead and he’s alive again. The name of the game from now on is resurrection, not bookkeeping.”
—Robert Farrar Capon, Between Noon and Three. Christianity Today, Vol. 30, no. 7.
The Lord allowed a story such as this to be in the Word of God not just so that we would see who HE is, and how HE would react to the prodigal coming home, but also as a challenge to us to have the same type of reaction of Grace and Mercy when we find ourselves in this challenging position.
As I have read this story, I realize that when we are confronted with the Prodigal coming home, or in other words, someone who in the mind of the world doesn’t deserve mercy, we have the option of reacting either as the Forgiving Father, or the Prideful Brother.
If ever there is a fundamental of God’s Economy or Plan, it is Forgiveness! Forgiveness is offered when it hurts a little bit, and I believe Forgiveness should be offered even when it hurts a lot.