All across our nation there is an uneasy feeling, a legitimate fear that our country is hurtling along on a collision course with disaster. Almost everyone, except a large number of public officials, seems to understand the gravity of the situation. It is an indisputable fact that you cannot spend more than you receive without a day of reckoning. Income needs to exceed outgo. When outgo surpasses income by a large margin, crisis is not far behind. Our government at all levels is in a huge financial bind. They dabble in too many things. Reductions in personnel and programs need immediate action.
Our churches also need to be sensitive to conducting business with solid and seasoned financial policies. I am not opposed to some debt, a reasonable amount of debt. But I plead with all of our brethren to measure carefully the real strength of our church before we commit to a debt so large that it has the potential to stymie our entire ministry.
On a personal level, each of us also needs to exercise restraint in his or her spending habits. I'm not opposed to the use of credit cards, just like I'm not opposed to the use of paper money. If I can't trust you with plastic, I wouldn't want to trust you with paper either. Understand that credit cards should only be used as a convenience within your budget and should be paid off at the end of the month. But either way, good judgment and sound fiscal policy are essential.
Allow me to offer some practical counsel for your earnest consideration. Think about the following:
1. Restrict your debt load. In these tough economic times, keeping your debt payments below thirty percent of your monthly income is wise.
2. Restrain your urge to spend. Find a way to be happy without buying something for a few days.
3. Resist the "just today”' deals. They are a gimmick; don't fall prey to them.
4. Forget about what everybody else is getting. You don't have to have all of the latest gadgets.
5. Reduce your outgo. Cell phones, Internet access, house phones and cable or Dish TV all cost money. If you can't afford to pay for them, shut them off. You will be amazed at how peaceful your life becomes.
6. Stop driving so much. If you carefully organize your day, you can go to the bank, post-office, mall or other such places and get lunch all in the same trip. Home is a good place! You might even try eating and vacationing there once in awhile.
7. Always be obedient to God. Tithes and offerings are "first fruit" issues. You can't get where
you should be by giving the Lord your leftovers. Put Him first. You'll be surprised at the difference.
In these recessionary times, all of us are feeling the pressure. We all need to be very careful and use the best of wisdom in our financial matters. When we honestly think about it, we probably cannot say, "We thank God for the recession." But we certainly can say, "We thank God in the recession." Even in the midst of this recession, I thank God that He is bigger than my recession.
I thank God that He is still able to take care of His children in a recession. I thank God that He has promised in Hebrews 13:5, "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."
I thank God that He has recorded for us the words of King David, who said in Psalms 37:25, "I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread."
I thank God He has promised in Philippians 4:19 that "my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus."
I believe our current recession holds an opportunity to refocus on God. In Colossians 3:1-3, “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. (2) Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. (3) For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.”
May the Lord bless you this week as you prayerfully read and meditate on the attached Weekly SERMON, “The Importance of Church in the Life of Your Children.”
PS: We do not, nor will we charge for the Weekly SERMON, however if these have been a blessing to you and you can help with the COST of this endeavor for the Lord, we appreciate and thank you for your prayers and FINANCIAL SUPPORT. Yes, at times I need to extend my hand in order to give you an opportunity to extend your hand financially to enable this ministry to continue to extend the Word of God to others. For financial accountability we are handling all ministry funds under the Green Street Baptist Chapel of Edwardsville, PA. (Mailing address: Bible Baptist Ministry, 48 Alexie Rd, Hanover Township, PA 18706) Checks made out to them and memo to Bible Baptist Ministry will be tax deductible for you and placed in the account for this ministry.
PPS: In order to access the Weekly SERMON, please click the link to Weekly Sermon Library, where you will be able to choose: Plain Text (TXT), Microsoft Word document (DOC), Rich Text (RTF), Web Page (HTML) or PDF (Portable Document Format), any of the format(s) you desire. After you decide on the appropriate format(s) you may then print a copy of the Weekly SERMON, save it to a file on your computer, or download it and save it to a disk for future use. Your use of this material is meant to be flexible.