Christian Devotionals


God's Economics for Tough Times (1)
"'...Do not worry about tomorrow...'" Matthew 6:34 NKJV

A television news announcer recently quipped, 'Speaking of the economy, if it weren't for bad news there'd be no news at all!' Each time we face a downturn we tend to forget we've 'been there, done that' and got through it by God's grace. Like ancient Israel we anticipate doom, spread discouragement, join those who gripe about the government, and long for 'the good old days'. How does the God who brought water from the rock, manna from the sky and ravens to feed a hungry prophet expect His people to respond to tough financial times?

The answer is: choose the right economy! As a believer you must choose between two economies. The first is the Kingdom of God where He rules and reigns, owns all resources and dispenses them generously to meet His people's needs, independent of global economic conditions. The second is the kingdom of this world where men compete selfishly to be number one. In God's upside-down Kingdom the rules are reversed. He says, '...My ways [are] higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.' (Isaiah 55:9 NIV) In this world's kingdom where the rule is, 'Get what you can and can what you get,' you're always vulnerable to greed and manipulation. So God told His people through Joshua, '...choose for yourselves...whom you will serve...' (Joshua 24:15 NIV) Which economy will you choose? If you are wise, you will put your faith in God's economy, trust Him, and not worry about tomorrow!

God's Economics for Tough Times (2)
"'...Do not worry about tomorrow...'" Matthew 6:34 NKJV

Unless you lived through the Great Depression you've never experienced times like the present: bank failures, bailouts, housing repossessions, unemployment etc. You can see fear on people's faces and sense it in their words. So where do we turn? To politicians, economists or our own resources? No human agency is capable of providing answers. So: know your source! The Bible predicted the shaking of human kingdoms and material entities: '...so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.' (Hebrews 12:27 NAS) But while bureaucracies, businesses and banks have been shaken to their very core, our King and His Kingdom remain rock solid. The Bible says that '...God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.' (2 Corinthians 9:8 NIV) Notice the 'alls' in this promise. What more could you ask for? Your family, health, spiritual, material, present and future security is guaranteed under the 'policies and resources' clause of God's unshakeable Kingdom! Man's economy is not your source. It's merely one conduit the King may, or may not, use in providing what you need as a citizen of His Kingdom. Relax, knowing God, your unfailing source, '...will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.' (Philippians 4:19 NIV)

God's Economics for Tough Times (3)
"'...Do not worry about tomorrow...'" Matthew 6:34 NKJV

Fear makes us react emotionally, doing all the wrong things. We abandon the principles of Scripture and grab for all we can get, withholding and hoarding in case things get worse. Don't surrender to the fears rampant in our increasingly godless culture. Instead, faithfully follow God's economics for tough times. When Israel did this they enjoyed mega harvests. But when they withheld and hoarded what God provided, He said, 'You are under a curse - the whole nation of you...' (Malachi 3:9 NIV) Whether they experienced abundance or lack, depended on their attitude and actions towards God's economics. His principles required they 'Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse...' not a partial tithe. (Malachi 3:10 NIV) If they'd 'Honour the Lord with...the firstfruits of all [their] crops,' their barns would 'overflow' and their vats 'brim over'. (Proverbs 3:9-10 NIV) Jesus taught that if you 'give... it will be given to you...' in an abundance determined by the '...measure you use...' when giving. (See Luke 6:38 NIV.) You, not the economy, determine the measure of your harvest by the measure of the seed you sow. The Bible says, '...He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.' (2 Corinthians 9:6 NKJV) The way it works in God's economy is, anyone who '...withholds unduly...comes to poverty,' while those who '...give freely...gain even more...' God promises, 'A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.' (Proverbs 11:24-25 NIV) Try it. God's principles work in any economy!

God's Economics for Tough Times (4)
"'...Do not worry about tomorrow...'" Matthew 6:34 NKJV

To prosper in tough times: (1) Resist greed. 'You shall not covet...' (Exodus 20:17 NIV) The drive to keep up with the Joneses enslaves us and stresses us out. Jesus identified the law of diminishing returns in coveting. '...Be on your guard against...greed ...a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.' (Luke 12:15 NIV) The bottom line is: your self-worth cannot be built on your net worth, especially in this economy. John says: 'These...desires...to buy everything that appeals to you...are not from God.' (1 John 2:16 TLB) Sharing, not owning things, brings lasting satisfaction and joy! (2) Don't co-sign. 'Don't...guarantee another person's debt or put up security for someone else. If you can't pay it, even your bed will be snatched from under you.' (Proverbs 22:26-27 NLT) This isn't just good advice; it's a divine directive. Your friends who got 'burned' by countersigning debts will all say, 'Amen!' God isn't saying don't help others. He blesses those who help the needy. But His way of helping is by prayer, giving, lending without expecting a return, offering wise counsel, but not taking on their debt. (3) Work hard. 'Lazy people are soon poor; hard workers get rich.' (Proverbs 10:4 NLT) 'Wealth obtained by fraud dwindles, but the one who gathers by labor increases it.' (Proverbs 13:11 NAS) 'A man skilled in his work...will stand before kings...not...before obscure men.' (Proverbs 22:29 NAS) Even in a tough economy God will promote the honest, skilled, hard worker to higher places and greater prosperity!

God's Economics for Tough Times (5)
"'...Do not worry about tomorrow...'" Matthew 6:34 NKJV

Dr Jay Adams tells the story of a man who decided to give up worry. When a friend noticed how relaxed he looked and asked how he'd conquered worry, he said, 'It's simple; I just hired a guy to do my worrying for me.' Asked how much that cost, he replied, '$500 a day.' 'Where will you get the money?' his anxious friend queried. He replied calmly, 'That's his worry, not mine!' Jesus tells us to hand our worries over to Him! He understands that we're anxious about our finances and worried we won't be able to afford the things we need. So He instructs us, 'Do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'' (Matthew 6:31 NIV) Notice, it's the combination of 'worrying' and 'saying' that brings on anxiety. Your self-talk, plus your words to others about your fears, are negative reinforcers, distorting your perceptions, magnifying your fear and making you feel helpless and hopeless about your circumstances and your future. Don't do that! Claim the 'much more' passages Jesus gave us in Matthew 6 NIV: 'Look at the birds...your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?' (v. 26) '...God clothes the grass of the field...will He not much more clothe you?...' (v. 30) Worry belongs to unbelievers, not to Kingdom citizens. 'For the pagans [unbelievers] run after [exert great effort, pursue apprehensively, are anxiously preoccupied with] all these things...' - food, drink and clothing. (v. 32) Make '...His Kingdom and His righteousness...' your focus, not the unpredictable economy, and '...all these things will be given to you as well...' (v. 33)



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