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Saturday, October 3, 2015

"Change” Is Coming

To one degree or another, we are all creatures of habit. Some of those habits may be defined as “good” and others may be defined as “not so good” but either way, nothing alters the fact that we all have them. However, habits can get to be a major problem if we are not “real careful” if those same actions are merely repetitious and habitual acts that cause us to become “set in our ways.”
“God forbid” if anything (or anyone) ever shows up and interrupts our regular routines and habits. For, if there is one thing that most people in this world have a strong distaste and dislike for…it is “Change!” So whoever you are, (viewer be warned) don’t you dare mess with anything that we have already grown accustomed to, because we don’t like anybody or anything that might cause us to personally have to “Change!”
Regrettably, there is one major problem with this kind of a mindset. Sometimes, it is Almighty God who orchestrates that “much disliked” change that we see as a disruption in our lives. For there are times when God “LIKES” to take “all of us” out of our own comfort zones! As much as we may dislike the “change” thrust upon us, it just may well be that it was the Lord Himself who instigated the very “change” that has now “wreaked havoc on our habits” and “ruffled our routines.”
You see, God never wants any of us to ever to get in a “stuck in the rut” mentality. So in order to keep us from growing uncompassionate for the lost; and unconcerned to the needs of this world in which we live; God (every once in the while) allows something to so affect each one of us until it literally “turns our world upside down.”
After all, if we’ve ever read “The Book” there is one thing for certain that all of us are well aware of; and it is this: “For each and every one of us, ‘”Change is Definitely On The Way!’”
Paul puts it like this. “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (I Thessalonians 4:16-17)
And then again, in (I Corinthians 15:51-52) he says: “Behold, I show you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall (ALL) be changed!”
Soon, for All the Saints of God who are looking forward to Christ’s Soon Appearing, there shall be a “New Day Dawning” and “A Fresh New Beginning.” For very, very soon, God is going to send His angels to reap His “Harvest of Believers!” Yes, —“Change Is Coming!” And I truly believe that Jesus Christ is about to “shock” this entire world with His surprise and unanticipated appearance!
For Believers in Christ (who have lived their lives faithful and committed to Him) it is going to be the “Greatest Event” that any of us will have ever experienced in our lifetimes. But for the rest of the world…it’s going to be the time of the greatest nightmare to ever befall planet Earth!”
So one way or the other…for everyone: regardless of your ethnic background, your gender, or your political or religious affiliation… we all had best be making certain that we are seeking Jesus and serving Him… for “Change is Most Assuredly Coming"… and I believe that it is already on the way!
Just a Thought,
Pastor Ken Jones

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Surviving the Coming Economic Tsunami

Just look at America today; at the end of World War II America was the greatest lender nation in the world. Today, America is the greatest borrower nation in the world. We are up to our eyeballs in debt, with most families so deeply in debt until many today are now not more than just 1 or 2 paychecks away from losing everything.
As a society-at-large, we are consumed with a credit addiction mentality. We purchase cars that we know that we can’t really afford to drive, buy homes that (on average), will take us more than 30 years to pay off, and encourage our children to get college educations “On Credit” that will take many of them their entire lifetimes to repay. (And then we wonder why our nation has become so fiscally irresponsible?)
In contrast to this, God (in Deuteronomy 28) informs us that we are supposed to be the “Lender and not the Borrower,” we are to be “Blessed going out and blessed coming in,” “Blessed in the city and blessed in the country,” and “Blessed in every other area of our lives” as well. And yet, how many Christians do you know who live their lives blessed like that?
But then again, that same passage also states that those blessings are contingent only to those who are willing to: “Observe and Do ‘ALL’ that the Lord Has Commanded Us to Do.”
Furthermore, (in Exodus 23 & Deuteronomy 15) every 7th year God set aside to be a Sabbath year, a year when the land was to be given rest, and all debts were to be canceled. In this way, God made certain that no individual could ever be more than 7 years in debt for anything.
Do these principles also apply to America? Well, America was founded upon Judaeo-Christian principles, so I believe that they do. All one has to do is to look at how America’s economy has been affected on the Sabbath years in our past (or the time shortly thereafter) to realize that the outcome each time is just far too repetitious for the results to be merely coincidence.
Each of these dates below represents a Sabbath Year over the course of the past 50 years:
1966- 23% of the value of the Stock Market was wiped out
1973- for the first time since World War II, gas is rationed in America caused by the Arab Oil Embargo.
1980- U.S. and Global recession
1987- 33% of U.S. Stock Market Value wiped out.
1994- Bond Market Crash
2001- Twin Tower Trade Center attacked and destroyed, Wall Street experiences its largest single one day point collapse up until that time.
2008—Exactly 7 years later, Wall Street experiences its single greatest one day decline ever—triggering national recession which has been ongoing for over 6 years.
Now I know that God cannot be put in a box, He’s not locked into doing the same thing every time. But if we are 7 for 7 in major national economic downturns on or just after every Sabbath year (during the last 50 years and this is a Sabbath Year) don’t you think that the odds are pretty good that, as America has continued to become “even more wicked than she has ever been before” that it could well be that, the “Economic Tsunami” (that I believe will soon arrive)is going to be “Far Worse” that all others before it?
I truly believe that this nation is on the verge of experiencing an economic downturn that will (quite possibly) make all other economic downturns pale in comparison.
So how do Christians prepare themselves to live in “God’s Abundant Blessings” even while it seems like the rest of the world is drowning under the economic upheavals that seem to be threatening almost every country on the planet? Let me share with you some Biblical insights on how to do just that:
1. Always make it your first priority to practice God’s principles on giving—(First-fruits, Alms [giving to the poor], Tithes, and Offerings [seed sowing]).
2. Secondly, “Get Out of Debt!” Try not to buy anything that you can’t pay for with cash or in no more than 30 days if you absolutely must.
3. God sends finances in our direction for 3 reasons—some to give, some to spend, and some to save. Learn to do all 3.
4. Be extra-careful of whom you take financial advice from. (Always look and see what kind of financial condition your adviser is in. If they are head over heels in debt, they’re hardly eligible to be giving you sound fiscal advice.)
5. Work ethics are a must. I’ve never known a lazy person whom God ever abundantly blessed. As parents we have a moral obligation to God to instill good work ethics in our children while they are young—their futures may well depend on it!
6. And especially to young people: “Do not buy into the lie that getting a good education is worth strapping yourself to decades of debt.” Use some biblical wisdom about finances and education. You can get your core subjects at almost any local community college—apply for grants, work a job, and pay for your courses as you go. To attain your degree, be a smart shopper, work while you learn, and even if it takes 6 years to get that 4 year degree, if that’s what it takes to leave college debt free—DO IT!
7. Never allow envy or greed to be the reasoning behind your buying motives.
8. Learn to live on less, to want less, and to “be satisfied more” with that which you already have.
9. Don’t be a wasteful with what you have, because God is not in the blessing business to those who continue to “waste” His blessings.
Debt is just a legalized form of slavery. Many a missionary never made it to the mission field, many a dreamer never attained their dreams, all because he or she allowed themselves to be buried in so much debt until it literally stole their dreams.
To all the rest of the saints of God: Yes, we are living in a perilous time where for us to be able to survive the Economic Tsunami that’s coming may well depend on how serious we are about getting out of debt as quickly as we possibly can.
And may all of us realize what a great ministry opportunity that God is about to make available to us as we put practice living with “God’s Abundant Blessings” on our lives...even in the bad times!
Just a Thought,
Pastor Ken Jones