Financial Crisis

I know some of my blog readers are Suncrest folks who already got this.  For those of you who aren’t, I thought it was worth posting the email I sent to our church family yesterday…

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Hi Suncrest,

 

I’m going to start with one piece of great news and then totally go another direction with the note this week.

 

First the good news…we are 2 weeks into East Campus launch and things there are really great.  The “experts” would tell you to expect a huge drop in week two, but our attendance went from about 300 to about 270…and Doug tells me a number of the launch team were out of town.  God has been very good to us

Usually, I banter here about the things happening at our church or cool things God is doing through people, but I can’t pull my eyes away this afternoon from the stock market ticker.  Down over 600 points right now.  Dropping below 9000 overall.  This, after being told we needed a huge government intervention to bailout or rescue the economy from collapse.  I’m frustrated with a number of leaders, but more than that I want to offer a little perspective on this pastorally.  I hope you’ll consider each part of this reflectively. 

 

1.       Money is important, but thinking it is the most important is always a losing option.  No fair-minded person would be dismissive of what is happening right now as “no big deal.”  Still, your 401K leaving you is a far cry from your wife leaving you.  Your retirement savings crumbling is nothing compared to your faith crumbling.  The instability of your financial future has nothing to do with the promise of your eternal future.   

 

2.       Financial Stress often plays itself out in other areas of our lives and we miss the connection.  Are you being short-tempered with your kids?  Do you find yourself resorting to an unhealthy habit?  Are you a bear to work with?  Are your spiritual habits becoming erratic?  Don’t miss this connection.  Stress has the power to preoccupy us and turn our thinking dark. 

 

3.       What we have isn’t ours anyway.  Don’t turn me off here.  It’s not just a spiritual cliché.  I know I’m guilty.  I think about my house.  My car.  My kids’ education fund.  My retirement savings.  My stuff.  Even my generosity.  But when I re-focus on the truth, I swallow my pride about all of that. Whatever I have is truly and completely God’s.  What God promises is that he will provide what I need.  He has never failed to do that. 

 

4.        I need to build my life on a rock, not shifting sand (See Jesus story in Matthew 7:24-27).  How unwise would it be to decide I’m going to build my life on something as slippery as the stock market?  That I would place my hope in how our government or corporate CEO’s would handle a crisis?  Paul’s words to Timothy are still good advice to us:  Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. (1 Timothy 6:17)

5.       This is actually a great opportunity to be light in a darkened world.  Do you want to let God use you?  I had a lady I respect write me last week about the financial crisis.  I’ll leave you with this:  As I was looking to God for reassurance I thought about what an absolutely perfect time for all of us as Christians to let our light shine so the world could see that we as followers of Christ are remaining peaceful and confident believing that our God is in control and that we trust Him with all of this.  So many unbelievers are searching for something to give them a sense of stability right now.  What better way to Glorify God to all those who are searching. 

 

 

 

One last thing, at East campus this week, the topic is Finding Purpose.  At West Campus, it is Finding Peace.  I can’t think of any better messages to invite people to hear who are struggling with life right now.

 

 

Love Ya,

Greg

~ by Greg Lee on October 10, 2008.

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