“Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, ‘If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free’…‘He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God.’”
John 8:31-32, 47 (NKJV)
I receive all sorts of leaflets and flyers through my door from most of the major retailers in my district. All of them have huge savings for me to make, if I spend my money with them. That’s daft! You only make true savings when you refrain from spending money. I for one have no intention of joining the feeding frenzy in my local town.
And let’s face it, money is tight and going to get tighter. Many of us in this land of ours spend quite sizeable sums of money on ‘entertainment’. Perhaps people feeling the pinch will now refuse to spend more on cable or satellite TV. Then there’s the annual holiday to exotic places.
But many feel it is their right to have these things. I vividly remember a very wise old gentleman who some 40 years ago told us to prepare for a lower standard of living. We have been living way beyond our means, he told us, and the reality of life was going to come back and bite us. We have watched it happen. Somehow ,America has managed so far to side-step their real position as the most indebted nation in the world. The US is actually bankrupt and has been for many years now—but just doesn’t know it, or faced up to it. At some stage, and it may be nearer than way off, someone is going to call America’s bluff and demand payment. Doomsday scenario? I don’t think we need to consult Biblical prophecy to make that call. And many senior financial analysts are saying the same thing about Europe. The trouble is, if the American president did make the cuts to expenditure necessary to cut their deficient, Europe and the world would be plunged immediately into a global recession of mega proportions.
But the most frightening thing about all of this is that people don’t know the real situation or they refuse to acknowledge that it is so. Too many refuse to see similar situations in their own lives which would point them to the whole solution to their problems—God and true religion. Some churches are anticipating a swing back to God as times get harder. Is that, truly, the answer to outreach and evangelism? To be looking for people in trouble? Our gospel message is one of God’s love; we don’t worship a God of punishment out of anger. Any punishment is out of love, a course correction. And there’s no price to pay up front, with any savings to be made later. No, God even gives us a measure of eternity right now, though we will have to wait until later to see it in the full.
Most merciful Father, we ask for your help in facing the reality in our lives. So often we can shut our eyes to the truth, refuse to face reality. But with your help we can and will, and so go on to live in reality rather than in denial. In Jesus’ name we pray.
Study by John Stettaford
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