Posts Tagged ‘economic’

Enjoy Life More… on Less:

February 1st, 2010

I’ve been encouraging us recently to recognise that the decisions we make on a day to day basis determine where we end up in life. In the current economic climate this is of particular relevance to the decisions we make with our money. A recent study revealed that the typical person in the UK buys £1,300 on credit for every £1,000 they earn. Obviously, this causes massive stress. To quote Rick Warren (author of “The Purpose Driven Life”), “When your output exceeds your income, your upkeep will be your downfall!”

What motivates us to live beyond our means? Why do we spend ourselves into debt? Why are we rarely satisfied with what we have? There are three main myths that drive us into debt:

Myth 1: Having more things will make me more happy (see Ecclesiastes 5:11).

Myth 2: Having more things will make me more important (see Luke 12:15).

Myth 3: Having more things will make me more secure (see Proverbs 18:11).

When we buy into these myths we always overspend. Here’s how to enjoy life more… on less:

1) Find my happiness in helping others. Jesus said, “It’s more blessed to give than receive” (Acts 20:35).

2) Find my self-worth by getting to know God. We matter to God. He made us for a purpose (Ephesians 1:11). Genuine self-esteem comes from establishing a relationship with God and becoming all he meant for us to be.

3) Find my security in trusting God, not my bank balance. Real security must be found in something that can never be taken from us (Hebrews 13:5). While there are many ways to lose possessions, God promises he will take care of us if we trust him.

Categories: Central Point Tags: ,

An Alternative Culture

October 1st, 2009

Fuelled by my time in New York with church leaders from 84 major world cities, I’m more convinced than ever that God’s called us to transform our city. It’s not enough for Christians to simply live as individuals in the city. In Jeremiah 29:7, for example, Israel’s exiles were called not just to live in the city, but also to love it and work for its economic, social, and spiritual flourishing. And Jesus told his disciples that they were “a city on a hill” that showed God’s glory to the world (Matt. 5:14-16).

Christians are called to be an alternate culture within every culture; to show how things like money, power and sex can be used in non-destructive ways. The Christian counterculture should encourage a radically generous commitment of time, money and relationships to social justice and the needs of the poor, the immigrant, and the economically and physically weak. Christian community must also be visibly committed to relationship-building between races and classes that are alienated outside of the church. And we’re to avoid secular society’s idolization of sex and traditional society’s fear of it. We’re to be a community that so loves and cares for its members that sexual abstinence outside of marriage and fidelity within it makes sense.

But it’s not enough for Christians to form a culture that runs counter to the values of the broader culture. Christians should be a community radically committed to the good of the city as a whole. We must neither just denounce the culture nor adopt it. We must sacrificially serve the common good, expecting to be constantly misunderstood and sometimes attacked. Basically, we’re to walk in the steps of the one who laid down his life for his opponents so as to transform the world

Categories: Central Point Tags: ,

Freely You’ve Received

May 1st, 2009

At a significant point in their time together Jesus taught his disciples a very important lesson. He’s just told them that he’s going to send them out on their first mission. In his pep talk, he tells them that their lifestyle should be characterised by generosity : “Freely you’ve received, freely give” (Matt. 10:8). When we consider the subject of giving, our minds probably immediately turn to thoughts of money. However, Jesus wasn’t primarily talking about money here. Giving involves much more than cash. It means living our life for the benefit of others. We’ll give love, time, forgiveness, prayer, effort and, yes, we’ll also give money.

Now when it comes to financial giving, very few of us are in the happy position where we can spend or give without any thought about whether we can afford it! So, if we confine our giving to what we can afford, the chances are that we won’t give very much at all. But the Bible offers a very different prospect. Our giving isn’t to be governed by what we can afford; rather, it’s to be shaped by what God wants us to do (Luke 6:38; 2 Cor. 9:6-11).

I’ve been blown away by the generosity of the church here over the last 12 months. Thank you so much for your faith-filled giving! As many of us are tightening our belts in the light of the current economic climate I want to encourage you to keep obeying God, trusting him to continue to supply all we need so we can continue to be generous!

Categories: Central Point Tags: ,