It is hard not to bad mouth the United States these days. The facts show we have lost our way. In fact we lost it a long time ago. In a recent article from Michael Synder the numbers show that America has missed the mark.
We seem to be worried about the stock market but the fact is that 83% of all U.S. Stocks are in the hands of 1% of the people. Over 1.4 million Americans filed for personal bankruptcy in 2009 which is 32% more than in 2008. Why are we worrying about the Real Estate market? The facts now show for the first time in our history that banks now own a greater share of residential housing net worth than all individual Americans put together. In 1950 the ratio of average executive's paycheck to the average worker's paycheck was about 30 to 1. Since the year 2000 that ratio has increased to 300 to 500 to one. Here in the U.S. the average federal worker now earns 60% more than the average worker in the private sector. The average time needed to find a job in a America has risen to a record 35.2 weeks. More than 40% of Americans who are employed are now working in service jobs which are often very low paying. Nearly 21% of all children in the United States are living below the poverty line in 2010. The highest figure in 20 years. The top 10% of Americans now earn around 50% of our national income.
These are striking statistics. As Christians should we be concerned? Very much so. Why? You can easily see that we are losing hope. We have lost our direction. The people we should be ministering too is growing. We need them. They need us. We all need Christ more now than ever.
Does that mean we preach and teach a message of prosperity? Telling them just trust in Jesus and He will fix your marriage, your job, make your kids perfect, cure your addictions, get you a bigger house, a new car and so on? That is the message that is being preached on T.V. Promoted in the best selling books. Dare I say in the pulpits of today's churches? We got to get them in the doors someway. Telling them they are going to die and go to hell just isn't working anymore. What?
Riches profit not in the day of wrath: but righteousness delivereth from death.
Prov 11:4 (KJV)
Salvation through Christ is about the wrath that is to come. The truth is we will die and without Christ, Yes you are going to Hell. That is a fact not a statistic. Not a suggestion. Not an alternative way of doing things.
We need not worry about bringing people into church. We need to bring Christ's church to them. Tell someone about Jesus today.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Sunday, July 18, 2010
God's timing is perfect. When I received a copy of Chris Tiegreen's book from the Tyndale Blog Network I had been going through one of the worst and darkest times of my life. This is not a “how-to” book to relieve stress and magically make your worries disappear. The author focuses on the root of our problems as a Christian. How many times have we gone up to the alter to place our burdens upon Christ then moments later just pick them back up again? Chris makes if very clear from the start that our problem is truly trusting God.
If we are to truly let go and trust God we need to go all the way. Even when we feel and it looks like God is not listening to us we still need to trust Him. It is easy to trust in Christ when things are going well. It is when life throws a curve ball at us that we seem to want to put the load on our own shoulders and wait till the weight is crushing us until we turn to Christ for help.
Mr. Tiegreen points out that when we hand our burdens over to God they just do not disappear nor should we go around with a care-free attitude. It is Christ that makes the load lighter working with us. We still have responsibilities and obligations. If we are to be truly living an unburdened life then we really need to let go of self and live for His will.
This book has only 9 chapters. Walking you through a look in the mirror in my opinion of what we are facing and how God's Word explains how we are to live with less weight upon ourselves. As Christians we have resources others do not. Yet we still want to do things our way and the end result is just opposite of what God has planned for us.
The author really showed me how our own perspective and expectations of others are so unrealistic which in turn adds to the burdens we carry. This simple truth unlocks the way we need to look at things. Being humble is OK. Working to live up to others expectations is misguided if we are not living by God's standards first.
You will find this book deeply fulfilling. Sure at times here in the South we might say that Chris takes the long way around the barn to get to the point but you quickly will see the reasoning. If you find yourself wondering why all this junk in your life keeps building up and weighing you down over and over again then you need to read this book. Life may not be trouble free but worth living in Christ when we truly trust Him fully.