Monday, April 14, 2008

the exchange

In (Mark 8:34-37) Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me…What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?

Notice the word “exchange”. Jesus said that there is a kind of “exchange” that is made for our souls. If you’re the typical American, you’re going to live an average life-span of about 25,550 days. And…every one of those days you’re exchanging your life for something.

You may exchange it for a day of watching television.
You may exchange it for a day on the golf course.
You may exchange it for a day at the lake.
You may exchange it for a day of working.
You may exchange it for a day of helping and changing someone's life.

The Bible says you are exchanging your life every day for something.

Now, think about that for a minute. Are you getting a good deal out of the exchange? Are you investing in stuff that’s just fun for today (but nobody is going to care about what you did 20 years from now)? ... OR are you making investments each day that will last for eternity?

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

generation of debt

Why is our economy struggling so greatly? Why do we deal with so much fear when it comes to the issue of money? I wonder if some of the problem might have to do with these recent statistics:

People in the 18-24 year old age bracket spend nearly 30% of their income on debt repayment.
Generation Broke: The Growth of Debt Among Young Americans

Of households that carry consumer debt, the average carries over $10,000 in revolving debt and has 9 credit cards.
Jump$tart Coalition, 2007

Americans gave credit card companies over $24 Billion (in fees) for the year 2004. That was an increase of 18% over the previous year., 2005

A survey of teenagers today. Teenager believe that in the coming years they will earn $145,000 a year. When in reality, a person with a bachelor’s degree earns (on average) about 1/3 of that amount.
The Denver Post, citing Charles Schwab Teens and Money, 2007

The number of 18 to 24 year olds declaring bankruptcy has increased 96% in the last 10 years.
Richmond Credit Abuse Resistant Education (CARE) Program

What’s the problem? We live in a culture that is all about buying, and having, and wanting more and more stuff. Are we teaching biblical principles and modeling them for our kids?

(1 Timothy 6:6-8) says, “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.”

The Bible says, “Look, all this stuff that we get so worried about… it’s just stuff. It has no real value. It’s just a temporary distraction in your 80 or so years on this planet.”

Never forget....the most important things in life… aren’t things.