We all took notice this month as the economy of our nation worsened. The stock market continued to tumble, banks began to gobble each other up, financial credit became almost non-existent and politicians ran around in a panic blaming each other for the state of the economy. It reminds me how fragile human society is and how things can change quickly from stability to chaos. Yet for Christians and the Lord’s church these difficult times can also be an opportunity.
In the coming months our life may change dramatically. The job we depend upon, the way of life we have grown accustomed to and even the dwelling we live in may change. We may find fear growing in our minds. The Bible reminds us, “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away” (James 4:14).
The child of God should use these times as an opportunity to grow spiritually. We can begin to draw closer to God by depending upon Him more and more. “Give us each day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11) should truly become our prayer and anticipation. We can also seek the bread of life which comes from God – the word of God. It will give us the hope and courage we need face any situation. “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leaven thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5).
Likewise the church can look to God’s word once again and purge herself of sin and false doctrine. She can repent and become what God intended for her to be: “a spiritual house, and an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 2:5).
For too long our nation has turned its attention to the material rather than the truly spiritual. Plenty and opportunity have spoiled our nation into thinking that God and the Bible do not matter. Instead, hedonism and apathy have ruled the day. But a change in one’s financial situation can replace all that with insecurity and emptiness. Men and women may realize that their former lives were shallow and purposeless. “And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him. And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger” (Luke 15:16-17, emphasis RLR). Perhaps our countrymen will come to their senses and realize their need for their heavenly Father.
This is why every Christian should be prepared to feed hungry souls with the gospel of Christ. Let each of us be a soul winner! The church should not hide behind its doors but intensify its evangelistic efforts. This is the “work” of the church (Ephesians 3:10). Brethren, let us revive that one- to three-week Gospel Meeting of yesteryear! Preachers, let us preach the pure, unadulterated Bible to these folks. They don’t need philosophy or psychological pep talks but a “thus saith the Lord” for their starving souls. Let us seek to have the gospel transform them from children of the devil to children of God (Romans 1:16; 6:17).
In the future we may see a sharp increase in the truly needy and the homeless. What an opportunity to open up our hearts and wallets and show Christian love to our neighbor; especially if they are brethren! (Galatians 6:10). I heard the financial counselor Dave Ramsey once say that he believed that the sole purpose of money was to help others. I believe that the Bible teaches this as well: “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom” (Luke 6:38).
Brethren, let us use the opportunities the Lord gives us in this life to serve Him. Life is too short and eternity is too long to do otherwise.
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