On our recent trip to New Mexico, I was encouraged by public displays of Christianity throughout the state. It was clear, that for some, Christianity was alive and well in New Mexico and they were proud to display it in grand form. There were billboards that said, ” You Are God's Child. Make Him Proud.” One ranch we passed had erected a tri-cross sculpture as their ranch identification. Those that approached the entrance couldn't help but wonder why the ranch chose a tribute to the Trinity as their ranch identity.
Perhaps this ranch owner is just letting everyone know who is really in control. No matter what happens in the world: war, depression, economic recession, etc., God is still in control and those who trust and hope in Him will never be in want for God provides all our needs.
“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19 (NIV)
On this trip, my family and I have done a little window shopping and it's been a good time to teach lessons on supply, demand and our failing economy. My oldest asked me why the clothes prices at the mall were so high. I simply replied, “because they know people will pay that much.” However, that high price that she was seeing was almost 40 percent less than I had seen in years past. Sweaters that once cost $80 at major department stores are now about $48. Many stores offered severe discounts and clearance rack specials that were really good prices for mall clothes. The sad fact of that is many people just won't pay the high prices anymore. They can't. Many of us have learned to shop thrift stores, Goodwill, Salvation Army and secondhand shops instead of the mall or the local super store. However, God is still meeting our needs. We are learning to be content with what God provides and we want for nothing.
“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.” (1 Timothy 6:6-8) (NIV)
It saddens me to think of the term Black Friday. Do you know why they call the day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday? It's called Black Friday because retail businesses are usually in the red or in debt until those big sales the day after Thanksgiving. At that point, they make a profit. However, with the weakened economy, many people are not shopping as they once did and I'm not even sure the retail stores are in the “black” after Black Friday. The world has grown so accustomed to being in debt, I wonder if they'll ever be in the black or if this hole is going to get deeper and deeper.
I continue to encourage you not to take on debt this Christmas or any time of the year. Stay within your budget. Learn to buy used and save the difference. Don't pay high department store prices and don't charge anything. If you don't have it, you probably don't need it, and if you do need it, know God will provide it somehow. That's what I think the signs and sculptures in New Mexico were reminding us. Put your hope and trust in God. May your walk with the Lord continue to strengthen as your faith in the economy weakens. ” You Are God's Child. Make Him Proud.”
“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 (NIV)