Summary: This is the last area of 7 areas to give up to God’s control (7UP to God) to be a holistic follower of Jesus: fianacial or economic area.
This is Not This
November 2, 2008
This is not this. Right? The bottom line (that’s financial jargon, right?) is the question. When it comes to money, when it comes to finances, when it comes to financial security, when it comes to the stock market, your mortgage, your car loan, your 401K, your checking account, your savings account… Who do you trust? Printed right on our money are the words to remind us… “In God We Trust.”
Who do we trust? This or This. This is not This. This is the last of the seven areas that we need to give up to God’s control (7UP to God) in order to follow Jesus holistically or wholly or completely. To be completely, wholly, totally set apart for God’s use—every area of our lives needs to be set apart for God’s use. And when one or more of these areas are not addressed, it stunts our growth and effects the other areas.
Many people have been limited in their spiritual growth in the issue of finances and money. Jesus did say that we cannot serve both. The bible talks more about money and the use of his blessings than just about anything else. How money and treasures are used is directly tied to issues of social justice.
Of course, this area goes beyond our money and we really must consider the larger issue of how we use all of what we have… money and our skills and our treasures and our time and our abilities and our stuff. All of it needs to be under God’s control.
An elderly visited a church. As she entered the sanctuary, this was a church where ushers actually seated people. So the usher took her about halfway down and asked if this was okay.
“Well, actually, I see that the front is empty and I would like to sit down front.”
“Ohh, you really don’t want to do that.”
“Well, we love our pastor but he is kind of boring and this week he is going to talk about finances, which is worst of all.”
“Do you know who I am?” asked the woman.
“No,” replied the man.
“I am your beloved pastor’s mother,” she stated emphatically.
“I see,” said the usher. “Do you know who I am?”
“No, I don’t.”
Right now finances and economy is huge. Things are so out of whack. To top it off… we have the election on Tuesday. In terms of finances, I want to address what I think is critical issue in the state of things. I think this is a major part of our problems and I don’t see any politician or party addressing what I see to be a major part of our economic problems. That issue is debt.
Our companies, our governments, and our families have been functioning and living on credit and now the debt is weighing us down. The news says that companies can’t function without banks giving lines of credit. The government gives the banks money so that they can make more loans. State governments are asking the federal government for money because they can’t pay their bills and can’t pay employees and can’t pay for the government assistance. The federal government, meanwhile, is approaching a national debt of 10 trillion dollars—a staggering amount. Meanwhile statistically, the average hourly wage of working Americans has actually dropped over the last decade while the average wage of CEO’s has increase from over $300 an hour to almost $1300 an hour.
Who do we trust? Our politicians? Our governments? Our bosses? Who do we really place our trust in? This is not this.
In Deut. 15 we read about God’s plan for his people—the canceling of debts. In our small group, we saw that while God doesn’t ban his people going into debt, God desires that we do not. Sometimes it can’t be helped, which is probably why God created a time of reconciliation of debts.
He prefers that we do NOT go into debt. Think about it… Most of us right now have firsthand experience that when financial woes hit us, every other area of our lives (those other six areas that we’ve talked about) are effected. Verse 6 actually said something that I felt was very convicting and scary at least for the future of our children… “For the Lord God will bless you as he has promised, and you will lend [not borrow from] to many nations but will borrow from none. You will rule over many nations but none will rule over you.”
Yet, our country is in such turmoil. We borrow and borrow. 400,000 people have lost or are in the process of losing their homes. And the solution is to give the banks more money so they can make more loans. This is not this.