The Christian Man in A Failing Economy - Part 1 - 3 c2-head***


THE CHRISTIAN MAN IN A FAILING ECONOMY (PART 2)

by Olusegun Mokuolu
(Nigeria)

1PETER 5:7

In part one of our study, we began to look at how God meets the needs of His children during times of economic hardship. We saw how God has placed mechanism within the Church to provide for the needs of His people.

We shall proceed to look at the response of a Christian man in a failing economy. As a man who has bills to pay and family to take care, what can you do when the resources are not forth coming? What should you do when job is difficult to come by? In subsequent parts we shall be trusting God to deal with some very practical issues.

As a Christian man, you must know first that nothing happens without the knowledge of God. Before the foundation of this world, God knew their was going to be economic meltdown. He knew you would be around when it happens. That means the situation is not an emergency in the eye of God. God cannot be caught by surprise. He has already worked out ways to meet your needs.

When there was famine in the land of Israel, God made sure his servants never lacked. The Lord provided for Elijah. Other prophets in the land also had their needs met. This should therefore be a comfort to our heart. God has known ahead of time all that we will go through in life and has already made provisions for the journey.

The Bible says, “But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. (Matthew 10:30)” We are very important to God. If God could be detailed enough to number the hairs of our head, would he not much more make provisions for our life? He will surely do. As Christians, we must realize that the ways of God are different from the ways of the world. Our God is a loving God who knows ahead of time how to handle all our situations.

Having the assurance that God has foreknowledge of the global economic meltdown, we must proceed to cast our care on him. “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. (1 Peter 5:7)” This instruction is the cure to every stress related problem that man might have. The volume of the care to be casted upon the Lord should be ALL. We must not hold anything back. All our cares must be laid at His feet. The care to pay bills, the care of yourself, the care of your family, even the care of the Church must all come before the Lord.

This is not an arbitrary casting. The Bible makes it clear that the Lord cares for you. It’s not a positive thinking kind of a thing. We are casting our cares on the Lord because he really does care. Testimonies abound of the faithfulness of God to those who put their trust in Him.

God will not put his children to shame. “Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame:... (Isaiah 54:4a)” His word makes it clear that we will not be put to shame. So, brothers in Christ fear not. Don’t be consumed with the fear of tomorrow or the shame of failure. God is true and ever faithful. ‘for thou shalt not be put to shame’

Trust in God and lean not on your own understanding. Our Lord knows even the seemingly small needs of our life. “Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. (Matthew 6:31-32)”

What a wonderful God we serve. Look at what he says, ‘for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things’ Praise God! Our God knows! The government may not know. The rich may not know. The banks may not know. But our Father in Heaven knows. He knows all our needs. Therefore, we must not allow our hearts to be weighted down by the turn of events in our societies.

We have seen that the Lord has a foreknowledge of any type of economic situation we may find ourselves. We have also seen that the Lord really cares about us. Let’s take God by his word and put our trust and faith in Him.

What are the challenges do you think a Christian man putting his trust in the Lord would face?

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THE CHRISTIAN MAN IN A FAILING ECONOMY (PART 1)

by Olusegun Mokuolu
(Nigeria)

THE CHRISTIAN MAN IN A FAILING ECONOMY (PART 1)
(Acts 11:27-30)

Traditionally the man provides for the family. However, a quick look at the life of the virtuous woman described in Proverbs 31 reveals that a woman has great role to play in providing for the family.

In this discuss, we will focus on the Christian man. The only reason for this is that the column focuses on issues relating to the Christian man.
The challenge of providing for one’s personal needs and family needs is becoming increasingly more difficult. Jobs are being lost at an astronomical rate everyday and in every country of the world. Things seem to be falling apart in this era of global economy. Necessities are increasingly becoming difficult to cope with.

Homeowners are now turned to home seekers. Banks are liquidating and depositors are loosing there money. Health care system is a story on it’s own. The insurance and tax system are failing. Words cannot really capture or describes the pain people all over the world are facing because of this global economic crisis.

Governments in various countries have responded to this crisis through what they call bailouts and economic stimulus. This is the world’s way of addressing the problem. They are trying to solve the problem without God.

As a Christian man, what is God’s plan for our lives at a time like this? Should we also be filled with restlessness and despair? I don’t think this should be our attitude towards the whole situation. We are in the world but not of this world. Even in the midst of difficulty, (as is in the world today) we can experience the grace of God. Let your heart be encouraged by the words of our Lord Jesus Christ. “and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (Matthew 28:20b)”

Let’s start by looking at the first global economic melt down recorded in the new testament. It provides us with timely instruction.

“About that time some prophets went from Jerusalem to Antioch. One of them, named Agabus, stood up and by the power of the Spirit predicted that a severe famine was about to come over all the earth. (It came when Claudius was emperor.) The disciples decided that they each would send as much as they could to help their fellow believers who lived in Judea. They did this, then, and sent the money to the church elders by Barnabas and Saul. (Acts 11:27-30 GNB)”

The Apostles were still around when this happened. The presence of the great Apostles did not prevent the coming of a severe famine. Therefore, we should not see today’s economic melt down as a sign that there are no longer true men of God. We saw that even Apostle Paul had to rely on an old time prophet to know about the famine.

We should know also that God is not just interested in our spiritual but our physical well being as well. God had to send a prophet to warn His people ahead of time about a pending famine. This clearly shows that God is very much interested in our physical being. How beautiful is the love of God toward us His Children!

I want you to note something very important. The Apostle did not organize night prayer to pray away the famine. It was not time to speak in tongue and rebuke. They knew the famine was part of God’s divine plan. They may not fully understood why a famine was part of God’s plan, but they clearly knew it to be a divine act that could not be prayed away.

Today’s economic melt down did not come to some of the Children of God as a surprise. Moreover, it’s a divine act to show us how fragile human wisdom is. Therefore as Children of God, we need not panic. Our Heavenly father is in charge and total control of the situation.

What was the disciples’ response to the prophecy? ‘The disciples decided that they each would send as much as they could to help their fellow believers who lived in Judea. They did this, then, and sent the money to the church elders by Barnabas and Saul. One of them, named Agabus, stood up and by the power of the Spirit predicted that a severe famine was about to come over all the earth. (It came when Claudius was emperor.) The disciples decided that they each would send as much as they could to help their fellow believers who lived in Judea. They did this, then, and sent the money to the church elders by Barnabas and Saul.’

They did not respond by sowing into the ‘man of God’ as it’s being done today. They were not to bring seed offering. They were not to sign up to support the ministry of Paul and Barnabas. They responded by helping their brothers and sisters in the faith. They practiced the true love of God and the problem was solved.

A time of economic melt down is a time for Christians to demonstrate the love of God. It is a time to give to one another. From one country to another. From one community to another. From one Church to another. From one family to another. Those Christians who have been materially blessed of the Lord should know that they are under obligation to help and provide for their brothers all over the world.

God has ordained it that the body of Christ should take care of its own need. We will continue in part two to examine further instruction on this matter. Have you been helping your brothers and sisters at a time like this?

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THE CHRISTIAN MAN IN A FAILING ECONOMY (PART 3)

by olusegun mokuolu
(Nigeria)

Revelation 28-13
We will continue our study by looking at the life of a Church in the book of Revelation. The Church has an important message to teach every Christian man facing the challenge of economic meltdown.
“And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive; I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan. Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death. (Revelation 2:8-11)”
In our first study, we said that we are called to be each others keeper. God expects Christians who have to give to those who have not. It’s not optional, its God’s way of ensuring that we love one another. If we are truly children of God, we will care for one another.
In the second study, we realized that economic melt down did not come to God as a surprise. He knew about it ahead of time. More importantly, God also knew about us ahead of time. He has made provision for our living and all that is expected of us is to trust him.
Looking at our text for this study, we find another important instruction for a time like this. “I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty”. Jesus is aware of our financial situation. This is very comforting because we usually wonder where God is when we go through tough times. Brothers, the Lord is aware of that situation you are going through. He knows how you’ve been struggling to pay those bills.
You may be wondering then in your heart, ‘if He knows what I’m going why then is He not sending help to me’. The answer to your question is in Jesus’ next statement. ‘but thou art rich’. This sounds like an irony. How can you say you know my poverty and then say I’m in fact not poor? The Lord does not look at situation the may man looks at them. “But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart. (1 Samuel 16:7 KJV)”
His ways are not our ways. His perspective is different from ours. What we call poverty is not what God calls poverty. Many times when we think we are poor, we are of a fact rich. You may not have a cent in your account, don’t because of that think you are poor. Can we say we have God and still be poor? True riches are not in our currency but in our relationship with the Lord.
Many preachers today are deceiving people telling them to sow into their ministry. They lie that this will make the people rich. But we see Jesus Himself not preaching prosperity but telling His Church to see things from heavenly perspective. “While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:18 KJV)”
I thought Jesus would have asked the Church to start sowing. But that is not the way of the Lord. It is men who are greedy for money that are practicing such acts on our pulpits. May the Lord raise for us men who are after God’s own heart. So we see that it’s important to have heavenly perspective.
Don’t be weighed down by your current situation. You may be out of job or underemployed. You may not be able to feed yourself or pay your mortgage. You may seem to be financially stranded. But for as long as you are standing in the Lord, the word of the Lord to you is, ‘but thou art rich’.
A further look at the scripture provides us with another important instruction. “Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” Nothing happens to a faithful Christian by accident. For the steps of the good man are ordered by the Lord.
The reason why we go through some tough times in life as a Christian is that, ‘ye may be tried’. There are times when the Lord allows us to go through fire because He wants to reward our faithfulness. All that God expects from us at such times is to ‘be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.’ Therefore, don’t allow this time of economic meltdown, to meltdown your faith. Be faithful unto the end.

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