22nd October 2013

Opportunities Unlimited?

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Matthew 6:21 (NIV) 

Sometimes I despair. Just where is that milk of human kindness? “What do you mean by crushing my people and grinding the faces of the poor?” asked God in Isaiah 3:15. The poor always seem to lose out—whether we are in times of boom or of bust.

In a moment of reflection the writer of Ecclesiastes said, “Money is the answer for everything” (10:19). How true that is, especially in our world today! We worry about the state of the economy and the level of economic growth. We worry about the value of stocks and shares—and when the stock market crashes, we all get concerned about the security of our jobs or of our pensions.

I heard someone the other day extol the virtues of what they called the “Green Economy”. Could it be the answer to boom or bust? I personally am not knowledgeable enough to answer that. My guess would be that if it is of human design then there will be a flaw in it somewhere. No one has yet designed the perfect basis of an economy. Nor do I think that we ever will. The problem is not one of economics. It is more complex than that. It is a problem of how greed can quietly grow in the human heart.

Jesus offers a different way. “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal” (Matthew 6:19-20). True wealth is not found in gold, money or company profits.  It is found in the things that delight the heart of God. Let’s consider just two:

1. Care of the creation. “For God saw all that he had made and it was very good” (Genesis 1:31);
2. Care of those facing difficult times. “You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in his distress” (Isaiah 25:4).

These treasures are in sharp contrast with “money is the answer to everything”. Opportunities to “earn” these riches will never run out. What’s more, these treasures will survive the restitution of all things that Acts 3:21 speaks of. Surely something worth investing in?

Prayer
P
lease Lord, in these stressful and trying times, please help us to see and respond to those in need. Prosper us so that we can prosper and bless all those around us, enhancing both our lives. In Jesus Christ’s name we ask this.
Amen

Study by John Merchant

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johnmerchantAbout the Author:
John Merchant attends the Nottingham Grace Communion, a congregation of the Worldwide Church of God UK.

Local Congregation:
Nottingham Grace Communion
Lucy Brown Hall
Attenborough Lane
Beeston
NOTTINGHAM
NG9 5HZ

Meeting time:
Saturday 2pm

Local Congregational Contact:
Ian Woodley
Email:  ian_woodley@wcg.org.uk

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