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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

What's in Your Wallet?

Most wallets hold the owner’s identification, a few dollars, a couple of credit cards, and several miscellaneous items. In view of the current economic crisis, it might be wise to remove the credit cards and spend the dollar bills wisely. Plastic money can lead to big trouble and unwise spending can purchase deep frustration. Proverbs 22:7 warns: “The borrower is servant to the lender.” And Jesus counseled: “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses” (Luke 12:15).

The United States is the richest nation on earth, but how quickly our banks and other financial institutions can fail! Only spiritual resources remain stable and secure. It’s okay to look at Wall Street’s performance, but let’s keep our eyes fixed on our heavenly Father. He owns the cattle on a thousand hills (Psalm 50:10), and all the silver and gold are His (Haggai 2:8). And He has promised to meet all our needs (Philippians 4:19).

Aren’t you glad the Bank of Heaven never fails?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Debt We Will Never Be Able to Repay

Congress has been consumed with what it perceives to be the need to bail out big financial institutions. The bailout cost hovers around $700 billion. Can you fathom that amount? I can’t.

I heard on the news this morning that the lawmakers have reached a tentative agreement and should be able to ink the final agreement in a day or so. Simon says take one giant step toward socialism!

Taxpayers will have to pay for the bailout, but will we live long enough to reach the “Paid in Full” celebration? I doubt it.

Although a $700 billion bailout staggers our thinking and assaults our pocketbooks, the Bible refers to an even bigger bailout; and no one can question its legitimacy. “Redemption” is the Biblical term for this enormous bailout. Sin had bankrupted and enslaved us, but by shedding His blood on the cross Jesus redeemed us (1 Peter 1:18, 19). He bailed us out. He purchased us in the slave market of sin and set us free. He did for us what we were totally incapable of doing for ourselves. Now we are secure and heirs to eternal riches.

This immense spiritual bailout costs us nothing. We cannot contribute to what Jesus did for us on the cross. Just before He died, He cried out, “It is finished” (John 19:30), an appropriate translation of which is “Paid in Full!” However, we do owe Jesus never-ending gratitude. Like the assembled throng in Heaven, our song of praise should be: “You are worthy . . . for you were slain and have redeemed us to God by Your blood” (Revelation 5:9).

We don’t sing many hymns these days, but I think we should get back to the theology of some grand old hymns. Here’s one I recommend:

“Jesus paid it all. All to Him I owe.
Sin had left a crimson stain.
He washed it white as snow.”

Here’s another:

“Redeemed how I love to proclaim it.
Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb.
Redeemed by His infinite mercy,
His child and forever I am.”