Saturday, February 14, 2009

America's Capitalism is failing.................

Consumers, the backbone of the economy, are taking a beating from the worst economic crisis in seven decades. America's economy is being destroyed by human greed by executives.

Capitalism is failing and our government is gaining control in the new Stimulus package. With the avalanche of corporate corruption scandals that have rocked the markets over the years, people are getting fed up by the corporate greed in this country. This is the very integral part of free-market capitalism. Lack of internal control and lack of government over-sight to ensure that executives do not take advantage of the stockholders and customers. They do not accept the moral laws in their hearts: you will not steal; you will not bear false witness (lie, deceive, defraud); and you will not covet. Morality basically means a code of conduct held to be authoritative in matters of right and wrong. Money has given us more freedom, but we are unable to tell the difference between right and wrong. America's attitudes towards money should be in their conviction that money is a social good, not a private possession and that the economic main purpose is the welfare of everyone in society, not the personal pleasure of the person who happens to have control over it. Greed is one of the major flaws of Capitalism.

Business is based on the idea that self-interest and the desire for profit are moral and good. However there are those who make inappropriate ways to profit. Today, what we are seeing a major assault on morality in America. America is becoming morally bankrupt! Covetousness is yet another corruption of love that stems from a narcissistic desire for self-gratification. The pure in heart can see; but when covetousness gets into the heart, it makes the eye dim or blind.

All of us are going through this trial. Going through any trial of life for a Christian can be a joyous experience if perspective is right. Remembering the story of Job. A Christian can go through the severest imaginable trial of life if he or she really trusts God. And if he/she believes that God is on the throne, that God will keep His promise, that God never makes mistakes, that God always fulfills His word and that God will accomplish His purposes, it is that kind of faith that passes the test. Trials come to test the strength of our faith.

What's the main purpose of the trials? God doesn't have to test any of us to find out what's in our heart because He already KNOWS. God tests us so we can find out because sometimes, we are too blind to see them. He assists us in doing that spiritual inventory. He assists us in self-examination. I need to know and you need to know the strength of our faith. James says trials have a perfecting work. Peter says after you've suffered a while the Lord will make you perfect. God uses suffering to reveal our spiritual condition. Trials come to us to reveal what we really love.

We must realize that God allows trials in our lives, especially when we are blessed in places of spiritual service, to keep us humble, lest we think more confidently of our spiritual strength than we should and start to feel that we're invincible. Many Christians take sufferings with despair and despondency, others despise them, some feel God is far off.

Instead of trust, doubt comes.

Instead of quietness, turmoil comes.

Instead of contentment, resentment comes.

Instead of hope—knowing God is perfecting us, that the testing of our patience has a perfect work—instead of hope and giving of thanks, thoughts of bitterness arise toward God.

Sufferings attempts to tempt us and trials to bring out the WORST in us (see: James 1:13-14).

Trials give us a greater affection for that which is eternal because they help us long for the eternal city in Heaven. We set our affections on things above through trials and that's a very important spiritual thing. Paul said in 2 Corinthians 4, "For which cause we faint not, for though our outward man perish, the inward man is renewed day by day and our light affliction which is but for a moment works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal." Faith sees the invisible, believes the unbelievable, and receives the impossible only according to God's will, not our imagination. Real faith knows only one way and willing to allow God lead us as He did with great faiths in the Scriptures. True saving faith is not dependent on positive circumstances but negative circumstances as well. In the book of James, the entire letter is about living faith during trials and list the tests intended to reveal the legitimacy of someone's faith.

Trials cannot destroy true faith; they only put it to the test and strengthen it as in spiritual training. We know it takes true faith to perseverance because true faith is to believe what you do not yet see; the blessings for faith are to see what you believe. As this one well known verse says "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." (Hebrews 11:1).

We all have to remember God's GRACE. What we may not be aware is grace is working in our lives.

2 Corinthians 9:8 "And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work."

2 Corinthians 12:9
God said: "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."

Romans 5:15 " much more did God's grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!"

According to His grace, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit that being justified by His grace we might be made heir according to the hope of eternal life. In God's Grace that we have great spiritual and eternal freedom to grow.

Spiritual training which is forming spiritual fruits. In 2 Peter 1:5-9: make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.

As we Christians are training for our spiritual growth, we look NOT AT our faith but in Christ of WHO we have faith in, who is THE author and finisher. "Let us run with patience the race that is set before us." (Hebrews 12:1). The Holy Spirit tells us to keep our eyes on Jesus not on others who are also running the race! There are important things each of us should know and understand about our struggles as the faithful people of God.

Sufferings produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. (Romans 5:3-4) Suffering experiences may be viewed as coming from God to bring out the BEST in us (See: Gen. 22:1-2, 15-18; Hebrews 11:17).

“The very fact that faith looks to a power beyond itself means that it is continually subject to loss of control. So if you’re looking to get control of all your problems, forget Christianity. If you’re looking for success, happiness, or freedom from pain, forget Christ. The way of Christ is the cross, and the cross spells weakness, poverty, failure, death.” (Mason, Gospel According to Job, 418)

“Take away material prosperity; take away emotional highs; take away miracles and healing; take away fellowship with other believers; take away church; take away all opportunity for service; take away assurance of salvation; take away the peace and joy of the Holy Spirit... Yes! Take it all, all, far, far away. And what is left? Tragically, for many believers there would be nothing left. For does our faith really go that deep? Or do we, in the final analysis, have a cross-less Christianity? Unless the simple gospel has center-place in our faith, it has no place at all. Unless the cross is everything, it is nothing.” (Mason, Gospel According to Job, 210)

"The point of the Book of Job is not suffering: where is God When It hurts? The prologue (chapters 1-2) dealt with that issue. The point of the Book of Job is faith: Where is Job when it hurts?" - Phillip Yancey

"If a bird is flying for pleasure it flies with the wind, but if it meets danger, it turns and faces the wind, in order that it may rise higher." Corrie ten Boom

"We human beings instinctively regard the seen world as the "real" world and the unseen world as the "unreal" world, but the Bible calls for almost the opposite." Phillip Yancey

When disaster comes into a person's life, it reveals what's truly in their hearts." Kimber Kauffmann - pastor College Park church

"If you love, you will suffer, and if you do not love, you do not know the meaning of a Christian life." Agatha Christie

"The deep meaning of the cross of Christ is that there is no suffering on earth that is not borne by God." Dietrich Bonhoeffer

"Why should the righteous suffer?" "Why not?" replied Lewis......"They're the only ones who can handle it." CS Lewis

"The most devastating effect of sin is that by it, we are blinded to it." Billy Graham

"Faith in God offers no insurance against tragedy." Philip Yancey

"Pure suffering has a consciousness, a tongue, a heart all its own and even the memory of it is but a pale unreality when compared with the actual experience." Mike Mason, The Gospel According to Job

"Suffering is not an elective, it is a core course in the University of Life." Steven J. Lawson, When All Hell Breaks Loose You May be Doing Something Right

"Adversity often produces an unexpected opportunity. Look for it ! Appreciate and utilize it! This is difficult to do if you're feeling sorry for yourself because you're faced with adversity." John Wooden

"Comfort and prosperity have never enriched the world as much as adversity has." Billy Graham

"Pain narrows vision. The most private of sensations, it forces us to think of ourselves and little else." Phillip Yancey

"What is the greatest deficiency among human Chrsitians? They have an inadequate view of human suffering." Helmut Thielicke, German pastor and theologian

"It is easy for us to tarnish God's character because He never argues back; He never tries to defend or vindicate himself." Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

"Our response to suffering is an accurate barometer of our soul, Steven J. Lawson, "When All Hell Breaks Loose - You May be Doing Something Right".

"I had to be healed of my desire to be healed." Joni Eareckson Tada

"If God is not in some sense responsible for bad things, then he is not responsible for good things either. If we do not "blame" God for death, we should not praise God for life. We cannot have it both ways." Joseph Hill

"How can you get to know God without suffering - - you can't ! - - Charles Stanley

"Just because we don't see a reason for evil and suffering doesn't mean there's not a reason for it.Consider the story of Joseph and the amazing conclusion in Genesis 50:20 - " You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives." There are countless other stories, where suffering was not good, but with time and perspective, some see the good that resulted from the pain and tragedy in their lives." Tim Keller

"Real faith is refined in the fires and storms of pain". Eugene Peterson

"Every truth about suffering can be twisted into a weapon for or against God. Most often suffering speeds us in the direction we are already heading - whether toward or away from God." David McKenna, The Whisper of His Grace

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