fishes and loaves - grey backgroundGod’s economy is a free-market of giving and receiving. It is evergreen – always creating something new and valuable through people.

By contrast, economy left to man’s selfish desires and ambitions (in the absence of God), ends up fatally flawed – whether socialism (centralized control attempting equality at the expense of freedom), unbridled capitalism (maximizing profits even at the expense of people), or totalitarian (consolidated power and enslavement).

Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom
– 2 Corinthians 3:17

community networkGod’s economy is truly one of miraculous multiplication and helping one another (creating new pies). It celebrates individualism and the community simultaneously. It is based on the inalienable rights of man’s “free will” (life, liberty, property) – freely submitted back to God’s authority, morality and love, especially lived out in helping others.

Man’s economy often divides, conquers, meters, and/or suppresses others while feigning to help them (fixed pie). In the end, the only flawless economy is God’s will and way. The ancient Israelites and early Americans prototyped it. It is only possible through faith in God, not trust in self.

Give, and it will be given to you – Luke 6:38

This contrast of economies was first known through Adam’s sons: Cain and Abel. Abel was a shepherd. Cain was a farmer. When Abel gave a better sacrifice than Cain, he did so out of his love for God.

We should love one another, not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous. – 1 John 3:11-12

Cain offered the minimum required to keep his crops coming. Abel cared about people first. Cain cared about himself first. Abel gave the best. Cain gave the scraps. Able loved his brother and left things in God’s hands; Cain took things into his own hands and killed Abel in envy. Thus we see the beginning of a split – business God’s way versus man’s.

Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you
– Matthew 6:33

1. Discovering God’s Way of Business

We discuss how God cares about business and has some important things to say about it. Business is really about helping people rather than simply “making money”.

2. New Breed of Business Explained

God is calling the next generation of business leaders who have His heart toward people. This “new breed” of business person no longer operates in the fear of man (concerned what others think) nor purely in the desire to make money (whether greed or in fear of their financial future), but rather in the fear of God (concerned what God thinks and set apart for His purposes).

3. God’s Economy: Giving & Receiving

The foundation of God’s economy is giving and receiving, as opposed to taking what you can. When we are confident to leave our success in God’s hands, rather than attempting to hard-wire profits, we enter into God’s economy. So, how can we have an economy that is truly based on God’s principles? God has a plan. So the question is: will we depart from self-preservation and respond to Him? We can either come willingly or our hand will be forced through economic difficulty. Such difficulty is inevitably a “reaping what we have sown”.

4. Freedom from Economic Slavery

Economic slavery is when you do what you don’t want to do (work wise), because you need to make the money you need. Freedom from slavery is when we are free to pursue the call of God on our life, believing that God will provide, period. “God helps those who help themselves” is a famous quote from Ben Franklin, but is not in the bible. Following such philosophies can lead to a “performance trap” if we are deceived into thinking we have to “do something” or “earn it” in order for God to grant His salvation, protection and provision. Lest we forget, our next heartbeat and breath is up to God. Jesus is the Father’s provision for everything we need. We enter into God’s promises, including provision, through Christ’s blood atonement.

5. Faith vs. Fear – The God Factor

Can we really trust God at his word?

Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you” – Matthew 6:31-33

6. Can God Provide Without Money?

God has and will provide for his people with or without money. Manna from heaven in the Sinai desert is a classic example from antiquity. But do we believe this today? We share testimony and examples from the present day, including George Müller.

7. True Wealth

Another important aspect of God’ economy is to understand that true riches are not accumulated on earth with physical value. Instead, they are stored “in heaven” because true riches measured on the eternal plain are measured in lives changed and advancing the Kingdom.

8. The Matrix

The movie “The Matrix” provides a compelling metaphor for the economic slavery ensnaring Western civilization in the 21st century. The problem is, it is almost impossible to perceive when were are embedded in it!

9. Are We Plugged In? Symptoms…

So, how do we know whether or not we are enslaved? We discuss symptoms of the problem, such dependency on money to solve problems. “Nothing that a few million dollars wouldn’t fix” for example. Also, the deception that God is not real or personal. The deception that God only helps those who help themselves. The deception that there is no eternal life beyond our daily struggle to survive.

10. You Give Them Something to Eat!

Jesus said to his disciples:

You give them something to eat. – Mark 6:37

They responded with a question of ‘is money the answer?’:

Shall we go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread and give them something to eat? – Mark 6:37

Jesus showed them that the Father was saying: have faith, step out and trust God for the miraculous:

And when He had taken the five loaves and the two fish, He looked up to heaven, blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to His disciples to set before them; and the two fish He divided among them all. So they all ate and were filled. And they took up twelve baskets full of fragments and of the fish. Now those who had eaten the loaves were about five thousand men. – Mark 6:41-40

Take away: don’t trust in money, trust in God. He wants us to pursue ‘The Way’, not man’s way.

View full playlist: God’s Economy Videos

We’re Back: Theory to Practice

Since the original set of videos (above), there have been many requests along the lines of: “I understand what you are saying in theory, but practically, how do I turn over my finances to God and step into God’s Economy?” The God’s Economy Practical videos (below) attempt to answer this – but the answers may not be what you’re expecting!

Practical 1: Conventional Wisdom

Jonathan and Gregg discuss feedback from their last set of videos: “How do I apply what you are talking about in theory, practically in my own life?” First up, they discuss the conventional wisdom of reducing debt, giving, saving and investing. What’s good and what’s bad about conventional financial wisdom. When facing financial difficulty, faith in God is more valuable than conventional financial wisdom and trusting in ourselves.

Practical 2: Does it take a Crisis?

Does it take a crisis to enter into God’s Economy? While it is understandable that most people would prefer incremental steps, sometimes responding to the Lord’s invitation: ‘Will you follow me?’ requires a radical response. We examine what it means to follow Jesus as it relates to the issue of dependency on money / love of money. The way to enter into God’s Economy is saying ‘Yes’ to an invitation from the Lord.

Practical 3: Money Pressures

What do you do if you can’t pay a bill? Scrambling around trying to find money to fix the problem doesn’t seem God’s best and highest. Have you ever had to trust God for food, water, gas or electricity? How does God come through in such a situation? Dependency on money has to be broken within us, but it may not happen in the way we expect. It may be scary. It may be scandalous in the eyes of others.

Practical 4: God We Trust?

Do we trust our money more than we’re willing to admit? God can provide outside of our expectations and outside of the current financial system’s constraints. However, will we reject it and be angry with God because of our difficult circumstances? Trusting God can sometimes be painful! God’s the surgeon and surgery is a process. Transformation is a process. We discuss what it means to go through wilderness testing before entering the promised land. Let’s reinvent our faith!

Practical 5: Financial Miracles

If there is a financial crisis coming, what do I do with my money? We discuss some practical financial steps you can take to prepare. But the real answer to that question lies in answering another question: If God can fashion a crisis, what is His purpose in such a crisis? Is there is a greater purpose beyond wealth preservation? We talk about real world financial miracles that only could have happened by trusting God through financial troubles. And in the process, it transformed us. Stories of faith and the miraculous!

View full playlist: God’s Economy Practical Videos