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Great Depression II ? - Part 2|
This is Part 2 of an article we wrote in 2005 prior to the real estate bust and rise of foreclosures and job losses. The principles of biblical living remain the same - in all circumstances.
Change Priorities Now
Scripture says to,
Quit Loving the World
"Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world - the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions - is not from the Father but is from the world" (1 John 2:15-16 ESV).
We need to study 1 John 2:15-17 because this is something we all need to do: shift our priorities NOW. We have been blessed to live in a country that allows us to buy fancy homes, cute little convertible cars, lots of beautiful clothes, and to perpetually furnish our living quarters with gadgets and luxurious new things.
It won't last, folks. This is not the kind of stuff that matters for eternity. Each one of us is getting older and will be dying soon. Count on it. Face reality. Decide what you want to do now before you die.
This world isn't your home. Your home is described in Revelation 21 and 22. Look around you. Your world is in a paradigm shift that will change just about everything you know within a decade or less.
Jobs are moving to China and India. Wealth is being destroyed by a deliberate devaluation of the dollar which will make our reserve currency something other than our own "dollar" in less than a decade.
We are losing cherished freedoms. Judaism and Christianity are being marginalized. Soon we, too, will be marginalized and criminalized until religion is a dirty word.
We face terrorism and hatred from most of the world. We face new diseases or a violent flu pandemic with less affordable healthcare. We face violent storms and earthquakes just like Jesus predicted.
Times of Matthew 24
If a Christian is not ready for these changes, then who is? Please. Slow down. Become more reflective. Now is the time to read Matthew chapter 24 and Luke chapter 21. …"when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near" (Luke 21:28).
In preparing yourselves for hard times ahead, try to streamline your lives now while you can. Get rid of activities and things you can't take with you. Lose those things which clutter up hours and precious days.
We need to get rid of things which don't matter because Scripture says,
"We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body according to what he has done, whether good or bad" (2 Cor. 5:10 NKJV).
Things that Matter
Therefore, we need to do the things that really matter. Make time to worship God. Go to church. Get to really know Him. Take your family with you. If they will not go, then go by yourself, leaving your hurt feelings and anger behind. Going to Church is not about helping you. That is a side benefit. It is about obedience and submitting to His commands. Get involved in home fellowships. Be accountable to God and to others.
Something You Can take with You
Make time to study and memorize His Word.
"The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever" (1 Pet. 1:24-25 ESV).
You won't read this or hear it much. So please note carefully: You will have the Word with you in your afterlife. Don't waste time. Begin to learn it now. The Word is Eternal.
So you may as well begin to study and memorize it now. It is the "sword of the Spirit" (Eph. 6:17). It is powerful and alive, "sharper than any two-edged sword" (Heb. 4:12). It is never too late to learn the Bible. It doesn't matter if you are twenty or ninety. This is one thing you CAN take with you.
"Forever, O Lord, your word is firmly fixed in the heavens" (Ps. 119:89, ESV).
(Read that last quote again. Memorize it!)
Have you noticed how much God loves books, lists, and records? Consider these:
1. God records our thoughts of Him (Mal 3:16) KJV)
2. He collects your tears in a bottle (Psalm 56:8)
3. He engraves you on His palms (like you keep pictures of kids on your refrigerator) (Isaiah 49:16).
4. God never forgets us (Isa. 49:15).
5. God details the earth's and heavens' future in books (Rev. 7-10).
6. He even numbers our hairs! (Matthew 10:30). (Could this be our DNA records)?
If God keeps such detailed lists in scrolls, books and records, then we need to meticulously learn about what He values the most. He even puts His Word above His name!
"For You have magnified Your word above your name" (Psalm 138:2, NKJV).
Learn it. Study it. Memorize it.
Make Time for your Forever-Family
No family? Seek relationships within God's family (which we should all do anyway). Start home fellowships. Attend Bible Study groups. Invite lonely Christians to holiday dinners.
"Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?" Jesus asked. … "Whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother" (Matt. 12:48-50).
That lonely Christian in your Sunday School class is closer to you than your unsaved relatives. Christians comprise our forever-family. We need to act like it. We need to remember that the relationships we form with other Christians are eternal. They will last forever. This is an awesome fact.
Special Note to Gen Xers:
1. For those of you in your twenties and thirties who are held captive by money and who think you've got life figured out, we suggest you read: "We Had Everything But Money" by Deb Mulvey (Greendale, WI: Reiman Publications, 1992). Try Amazon.com to locate this book.
Gen-X Get Ahead Program
This book will help you to learn how people coped with hardship in the Great Depression of the 1930s where few were wealthy or had enough money to be entertained as we are in America today. Be one-step-up on superficial or ignorant friends and neighbors. "Get real" and wake-up to what's going on around you.
Karaoke Bars like Flappers&Speakeasies
Learn about the "speakeasies" and "flappers" who got hit with a strong dose of reality in the Great Depression (Can you say, "Karaoke" bars?). You may as well learn about these things. We are about to experience something similar. It may be akin to the effects of the New Orleans hurricane: thousands displaced with no money or belongings. Or, you may have to "ration" gasoline and fuel products like Great Depression folk rationed electricity.
2. Also read "The Coming Economic Earthquake" by the late Larry Burkett (Chicago: Moody Press 1991 1994). This, too, should be available through Amazon.com or used bookstores. Burkett was brilliant but too early in his predictions about the American economy. Not now. His book is timely now. You would be wise and prudent to read this book and heed its suggestions!
Summary of Priorities for Christians
Worship God and His Son. Go to church. Attend home fellowships.
Develop and strengthen church and family relationships.
Learn as much as you can about your only Survival Manual, the Word.
Find out what is going on in the world. Try internet news sources. Learn.
Quit thinking about only sports and money. There is more to life than this.
Shift your priorities to meaningful things: God, His Word, Family.
Downsize and streamline living expenses&credit cards.
Get out of debt if possible, as soon as possible
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