Sunday, November 21, 2010

Kingdom Economics

The Great Depression
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression that started in the U.S. with the fall in stock prices and became worldwide news with the stock market crash of October 29, 1929, known as Black Tuesday. From there, it quickly spread to almost every country in the world. The Great Depression had devastating effects in virtually every country, rich and poor. Cities all around the world were hit hard, especially those dependent on heavy industry. Construction was virtually halted in many countries. Crop prices fell by 60%.  Facing plummeting demand with few alternate sources of jobs, areas dependent on primary sector industries such as cash cropping, mining and logging suffered the most. When U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt took the oath of office in 1933, the state governors had closed every bank in the nation; no one could cash a check or get at their savings if they had any! 
Wall Street on Black Tuesday
Roosevelt’s New Deal
The common view is that U.S. President Roosevelt's New Deal policies caused or accelerated the recovery. It was a series of programs passed by the U.S. Congress that focused on relief for the unemployed and poor. The Work Projects Administration; (WPAemployed millions to carry out public works projects, including the construction of public buildings and roads, and operated large arts, drama, media, and literacy projects. It fed children and redistributed food, clothing, and housing. Almost every community in the United States had a park, bridge or school constructed by the agency. The WPA became the largest employer in the country. Most people who needed a job were eligible for at least some of its jobs. Hourly wages were the prevailing wages in each area; the rules said workers could not work more than 30 hours a week, but many projects included months in the field, with workers eating and sleeping on worksites. America's entry into the war in 1941 finally eliminated the last effects from the Great Depression.
Migrant mother in the Great Depression
God’s New Deal
The world is again facing an enormous decline in trade and an increase in unemployment. Many good Christians too are unemployed. The future for countless millions looks bleak. It would be a mistake to again look to government programs for the answer. This time they may not succeed in working an economic recovery. Here is God’s answer to the problem. He wants to employ you!
 “But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all, His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides.” Matthew 6:33 (Amplified Bible)
Jesus invites us to leave the world’s system with all its uncertainties and seek after and join His system and ways of doing. Then, He says, all other things will be added to us. We will have, love, companionship, housing, food, health, money and of course, eternal life. What a deal! Let’s take Him at His word and take up His selfless offer.

God’s payment plan
In Matthew 20, Jesus explains His payment plan to workers in His kingdom. He likens God's kingdom to an estate manager who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. They agreed on a wage of an amount per day, and went to work. At various times through the day the manager hired more unemployed people to work. The last workers only worked for an hour before receiving the same wages as the others who had labored all day. Responding to accusations of being unfair the manager replied, “Can't I do what I want with my own money? Are you going to get stingy because I am generous?” The moral of this story is that it is never too late, whatever your occupation, to start working for God on a full time basis and to expect a generous reward. See below.

The true source of all income
“See, the Sovereign LORD comes with power, and he rules with a mighty arm. See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him.” Isa.40:10
Recompense by definition means to repay, remunerate, and reward, as for service, aid, to pay or give compensation for; make restitution or requital for.
As clearly stated previously God owns everything, is all powerful and is therefore more than capable to see to it that you get recompensed for your labor in His vineyard. If you work a full time job, God remains the source of your salary even if your boss disagrees and falsely believes that he is.
Allowing this reality to sink into your spirit will eventually bring about a freedom from fear that following your hearts desires will somehow lead to poverty. 

God’s secret job openings
An important point is that God’s jobs do not have to be formal in the sense of being recognized by the world or even by other Christians. You don’t have to have a formal paying job such as the pastor of a church to be recompensed by the Lord. In fact it may just be the opposite.“Take care not to do your good deeds publicly or before men, in order to be seen by them; otherwise you will have no reward [reserved for and awaiting you] with and from your Father Who is in heaven.” Mat.10:1

Vineyard jobs
Just as a good manager will divide all the tasks according to the abilities of his workers, Jesus calls us to various tasks within His kingdom. No one is excluded. Not the evangelist, not the businessman, not the artist, writer or musician! “Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body.” 1 Cor.12:15

1.   1.   Jesus still tells His disciples to go!
“Go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, and cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give. Mat.10:7.
2.   2.  You are called to pray.
“And He said to them, The harvest indeed is abundant [there is much ripe grain], but the farmhands are few. Pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”  Lk.10:2
3.   3.  You are called to minister to God and man through spiritual gifts. 
“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.”
4.   4. You are called to minister to God and man through your natural gifts.
In Mat.25 Jesus tells the parable of the talents. “For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability.”

Whatever you do, make yours a kingdom job!
The bottom line is you can switch your present job from a worldly job to a kingdom job by not doing it for the money but simply changing your way of thinking and doing for the Lord! 
“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” 1Cor.10:31  Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters” Col.3:23      
You can do it regardless of whether you have a boss or you are your own boss. Step one is to grasp fully the revelation that God will be paying you and not your boss or the worldly system that is so dependent on market fluctuations. even if He decides to pay you through them.
“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” Mat.6:24
No earthly job is safe but all kingdom jobs are secure! If you start working a job you hate or just tolerate but do it for God, and stop being afraid of losing it, He is able to move you to one in line with your hearts desires!
Are you really doing what you do as unto the Lord? If you don’t make the switch, more than just your livelihood is at stake.
“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me." Mat.25:45. When we who believe pass on to the next life we will be judged as believers for the works we did while in the flesh. Did we do it for the Lord or for the money?
Working for God is called "giving"
Vineyard work means giving your time, energy, money and resources to and for God. "Give and you shall receive" is how His economy works. He keeps tabs on the motivation for all you do. Do what you do as unto the Lord and He will repay you handsomely if you take Him at His word and expect it. Kingdom economics works by faith.

God pays better!
Here are our wages. And God is able to make all grace (every favor and earthly blessing) come to you in abundance, so that you may always and under all circumstances and whatever the need be self-sufficient [possessing enough to require no aid or support and furnished in abundance for every good work and charitable donation].” 2 Cor.9:8 (Amplified Bible)
What more would we want?
(Reference Great Depression and New Deal, Wikipedia)

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