BibleGateway Verse of the Day (KJV)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Duties Are Ours: Part 4

In the spiritual and economic prosperity of a family, not only are gender roles important, but also other economic lessons from Scripture. Not only is it important to work hard whether you are paid or not and to never accept money for work not done (for example, State redistributed wealth in the form of unemployment checks or other welfare, if it can at all possibly be avoided), but also to practice frugality.

Living as far below your means as you can, will mean that you will have money or other wealth for tithing, savings, charity, and investment (in real estate, etc.). The money a family actually lives on should be far below what the family earns.

So many people are not FUTURE-oriented--even many professing Christians--as those with a Christian worldview (built on the Bible, the very word of God) are. Humanists think in terms of hedonism, living for the "now," grabbing all the gusto they can get,” and living for pleasure and to consume. Humanists crave instant gratification, praise losing one's inhibitions, and don't want children. (They think of children as a burden, and they fear the future.)

Christians, by God's grace, think the opposite: in terms of self-sacrifice, living for future reward, living for duty and obedience to God (which bring much joy), want to work and produce and be fruitful, learn to wait for gratification, esteem self-restraint and self-control, and desire children, plan for inheritance, and rejoice in the future. (Children tend to figure in many Christian parents' "retirement" plans.)

(In Austrian economics, these two perspectives are opposite ends of the spectrum called "time-preference.")

Christians should ask themselves: "Am I trusting in God, or am I trusting in the humanist gods of Money and/or State?"

"Am I trusting in God and His viewpoint revealed in Scripture, or am I trusting in my own views about money and family economics, including gender roles, etc., even though they are contrary to what God says?"

Now, we live in a fallen world, and we sin, and we get ourselves into financial trouble and many other troubles. But to pretend the State will bail us out, or to decide in our hearts that going against God’s plan will work, or to tell ourselves that we're victims is not going to help us.

God has given us directions, (including division of labor, gender roles, family roles, economic instruction, etc.), and we are to obey. Duties are ours. As one dear Christian man said tenderly with a smile, “Duty, sweet duty!” For we are blessed by obeying God--He knows what's going on!! His paths are the safe, good paths.

God is merciful, gives instruction, blesses obedience, but He will not "magically" bless us when we balk at his ways and refuse to obey Him. The longer we take to obey, the more pain we put ourselves through. Once we realize that we are the wrong ones, and admit that God is "the Way, the Truth, and the Life," we have to dig ourselves out of our messes (yet all by the grace of God).

But the WAY to dig ourselves out is by learning what God says to do, and then doing it, swiftly!! This He will bless. He will take care of the rest. God's sovereignty and blessings and mercy do not erase human responsibility and action. It's not one or the other; it's "both-and." We love Him because He first loved us; and now we (as Christians) live for Him.

No matter how big of a mess we’ve gotten ourselves into by rebelling against God and His ways, it is not too late. If we are still alive, then it is not too late. We may turn back to our Maker in repentance, and God will never, never turn us away. God never turns away anyone who truly repents of their sin and throws themselves on His mercy. And when we do, He will not only be our Maker, but our Savior and Lord, as well.

The LORD God is abundantly merciful; Jesus Christ says in His word, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light (Matt. 11:28-30).”

And in John 3:16-17, we learn that “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”

There is no sin (or putrid mountain of sins) so terrible that God cannot forgive the one who returns to Him (Luke 15:11-32). That is the gospel of Jesus Christ. We have all gone astray, but Jesus paid the price at the cross for all who would believe on Him:

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. (Is. 53:6)

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. (John 10:10-15)

Right now, in this mess of a world, our lives may be turned around by trusting in Him. Christ Jesus says in John 12:46, “I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.

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