Daily Devotional for Wednesday November 13, 2019
The stock market!!!
***DAILY PERSONAL PRAYER FOR YOU: Dear Lord, YOU are my provider. You know my daily needs. You promised to care what I need each day for life....food, shelter, clothing. I put my trust in you. You own the cattle on a thousand hills, and I come to You today to Thank You for providing for my needs in the past, and knowing my needs today. Today, I come to You, asking You to meet those needs as I glorify You for Your provision. In the name of Jesus I pray...AMEN!
***THE DAILY LIVEPRAYER TV NUGGET: I have received lots of emails in the recent weeks over the conversion of high profile rapper/businessman Kanye West. People are curious if I think he is really saved. At the end of the day, only God knows for certain if he truly made a confession of faith to Jesus. Time will tell if he is serious about his faith. I think back to a passage in Mark 9:38-41, “Teacher,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.” “Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “For no one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us. Truly I tell you, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward.” Over nearly 3 decades of ministry, I have seen many high profile people proclaim faith in Christ. Like ANY new Believer, it is critical for that person to be discipled, to grow in their faith. New converts are great. They are so on fire. You don’t want to tamp down on their enthusiasm, but they need to understand there is a responsibility that comes with being a Christian. I get emails from people all the time who feel God has called them to the ministry, and they want to know where to start. I explain to them the ministry is like any other work a person does. They need to be properly trained. I might feel called to be a heart surgeon, but I have to pay a huge price to become properly educated before I could ever perform heart surgery. Paul was converted on the Damascus Road. After that conversion experience, he spent the next 4 years in the “desert” with the Lord, preparing for the work God had for him to do. Someone serious about serving the Lord needs to take the time and effort, pay the price to become properly trained to “rightly divide the Word.” So we will see about Kanye. I can say that at the moment it is exciting to see the splash due to his stature in the world. Sadly, I have seen high profile Believers who fell back into the world. The media hit them hard and used it as a battering ram to reinforce their lies that Christianity is just an emotional experience rooted in blind faith. This is the danger when a new Believer like Kanye who has such a visible presence, since for all the people he is inspiring now, he could hurt just as many if at some point he should he fall away. For all of the press he is getting now, he will get 10x the press if he decides to go back into the world. So my counsel is pray for him. Pray God sends mature Believers to help disciple him. God can use him in a major way for many years to come if he becomes properly rooted and grounded in the Word. Our journey is not a sprint but a marathon. It is measured over our life with Christ, not in a few snapshots. So pray that he truly keeps his heart open to the Lord and for God’s protection, since he already has become a HUGE target for the enemy. If he submits to proper discipleship, takes the time and effort to become rooted and grounded in God’s Word, he can have a great impact for the Kingdom for many years to come. I look at him somewhat like I do in how the Lord is currently using President Trump in the area of life, Christian liberties, and Israel, “But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise.”
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Today, more people than ever own stock. Whether it is through online or more traditional brokerage accounts, through various mutual funds, or in a 401k or other retirement plan, never before have so many people owned stocks. For those who prudently and strategically invest long term, the stock market has been one of the most consistent ways to invest and get a respectable (7-12% a year) return on your money. Let me give you some advice to pray about.
If you have sat down with a competent broker or financial planner, you have created a long term investment strategy involving companies with solid track records of financial performance and stability, then don't allow the day-to-day, even month-to-month ups and downs of the markets scare you. The stock market is still one of the greatest places to invest your money long term.
Only a complete meltdown of the entire US economy could change that from being true. So regardless what your portfolio, or mutual fund, or 401k has done in the last few years, hang in there. After all, Jesus shared MANY parables of being a wise steward and investing a portion of what God has entrusted to us during this life.
Sadly, over the past several years I have spent some time with many people who have had their worlds devastated by the stock market. One couple was part of the Silicon Valley world when things were going so well out there. The failure and downsizing of so many high tech companies in the last several years has reduced their portfolio to pennies on the dollar from the highs just 36 months ago. I also get at least a thousand emails daily from people just like these who have had their finances destroyed by the stock market.
Today I want to share with you a word of hope and encouragement. Especially if you have had financial problems lately, especially if you have lost money in the markets recently, I want you to know today that God will not fail you! God will not forsake you! My bible says, "But seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." What things is Jesus talking about??
Before that great verse in Mathew 6:33, He is talking about worrying about what we will eat, what we will drink, what we will wear. Jesus is talking about the day to day necessities of life. His message is simple. SEEK GOD FIRST. GOD KNOWS THE DAY TO DAY NECESSITIES OF LIFE THAT YOU HAVE, AND HE WILL MAKE SURE THAT YOU ARE TAKEN CARE OF!
Let me also take this time to encourage those of you who are faithful in giving to your local church, to those works of God that He has laid on your heart to support like Liveprayer. I have said it before, the GREATEST INVESTMENT that there is in this world is investing in the eternal souls of people! There is no investment you will ever find that pays higher dividends than when you give to the work of God that is bringing the hope and love of Jesus, the gift of everlasting life, to the lost and broken hearted of our world.
It is wise to set aside a portion of our resources to invest, to make grow for the future. Jesus told us that we should do this. But we must also be sure that we are faithful to give back to God a portion of what He has entrusted to us to further HIS work. It will ALWAYS be the greatest investment you will ever make throughout your life.
I love you and care about you so much. My heart breaks when I hear of people that have had such devastation as the loss of their financial security. I am so sad when I read the prayer requests from those who are struggling because money that they were counting on is no longer there. But let me encourage you today that Jesus loves you, and that God will always provide for your needs each step of the way.
The verses in Matthew chapter 6 tell us NOT to worry about the day to day necessities of life, God knows we have those needs. It tells us to focus instead on Him, His Kingdom, on serving Him.
My prayer for you today is that God's peace will be with you this day. That the fear, the concern of finances will wash away and be replaced by His perfect peace. Never forget that He loves you, cares about you, and is with you always. Stock markets will rise and fall. Money will be made and lost. However JESUS, is the one constant that we can ALWAYS count on.
HE WILL NEVER FAIL, AND HIS WORD IS THE ONE THING IN THIS WORLD THAT WILL NEVER CHANGE!!!
In His love and service,
Your friend and brother in Christ,