1 April 2015 by Adeline Lum CM-
GST is here today, changing not only the size of our pockets but the mood of good-natured citizens. Many stocked up a-year-supply of goods in their shelves to make a 6-percent savings. Some responded to GST in good humour, while some responded to it with the fear of coping with the increased life expenditure.
What would Jesus say to us in a time like this?
First and foremost, the principles that Jesus taught in the Bible perpetuates in time, regardless of an economy boon or recession – one that hits close to home now is GST (though it has nothing to do with the economy).
So, firstly, there is really no need to panic. God is the source of everything. (Phil 4:19, Prov 8:20-21, 2 Cor 9:8) Look to the Lord, pray, and act.
And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. (Phil 4:19)
I walk in the way of righteousness,
along the paths of justice,
bestowing a rich inheritance on those who love me
and making their treasuries full. (Prov 8:20-21)
And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. (2 Cor 9:8)
Secondly, in God’s kingdom, giving is key during hard times because if we give unto the Lord, God will give back to us with compounding interest. (Luke 6:38, Prov 3:9) And no, I am not only talking about financial blessings only for that would be far too limiting. I am also talking about having the whole broad spectrum of a fulfilling and meaningful life, marked by our faith, family, friends, fitness, fun, and fruit.
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. (Luke 6:38)
Honor the Lord with your wealth,
with the firstfruits of all your crops (Prov 3:9)
Giving also helps us to put God first in our lives. (Deut 14:23)
Eat the tithe of your grain, new wine and olive oil, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks in the presence of the Lord your God at the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name, so that you may learn to revere the Lord your God always. (Deut 14:23)
Thirdly, do not waste and take care of the things you already have. When Jesus fed the 5000 people with His multiplied bread and fish, he collected back all 12 baskets full of leftovers. Jesus did not waste but saves. (Luke 9:16) The wise saves. (Prov 13:11, Prov 21:20)
Dishonest money dwindles away, but whoever gathers money little by little makes it grow. (Prov 13:11)
The wise store up choice food and olive oil,
but fools gulp theirs down.
Fourth, don’t spend the money that you don’t have. Especially now with GST, keep your desires in check. (Psalm 37:21, Prov 22:7). Security lies not in how much you have but how much you can do without.
The wicked borrow and do not repay, but the righteous give generously; (Psalm 37:21)
The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender. (Prov 22:7)
This brings us to the fifth point; be contented with what you have. (Heb 13:5, 2 Cor 6:10)
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Heb 13:5)
…sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything. (2 Cor 6:10)
Sixth, even in times like this, count your blessings – name them one by one! God has blessed you far beyond the little dimple caused by GST.
When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.
Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
And you will keep singing as the days go by.
When you look at others with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold;
Count your many blessings. Wealth can never buy
Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high.
So, amid the conflict whether great or small,
Do not be disheartened, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Words by Johnson Oatman, Jr., in Songs for Young People (Chicago, Illinois: Curts & Jennings, 1897) and Music by Edwin O. Excell
Seventh, do not have resentment over the authority that imposed GST. When Jesus was asked if the Israelites should pay taxes, Jesus simply said, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” (Mark 12:17)
Eighth, use some common sense when making business or purchase decisions. (James 1:5) Be careful of the quick-schemes to riches. (1 Tim 6:10, Prov 28:20) Thoroughly question and pray about your business partners before starting a venture together. (Prov 22:3)
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. (James 1:5)
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. (1 Tim 6:10)
A faithful person will be richly blessed,
but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished. (Prov 28:20)
The prudent see danger and take refuge,
but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.
Ninth, work hard. (Prov 14:23, Prov 12:11) God created work and it is a good thing. Work is the only thing we can do for eight hours. We cannot eat, exercise, or have sex for that long. Work is a gift. So, work hard.
All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.
Those who work their land will have abundant food,
but those who chase fantasies have no sense. (Prov 12:11)
Tenth, seek godly counsel. (Psalm 1:1-3, Prov 15:22) Find someone godly who shows good stewardship of finances to learn from and gain advices from. If you can’t, find godly counsel from reading the Bible and books written by alive or dead godly men.
Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed (Prov 15:22)
Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.
Yes, GST is here but God’s biblical principles stay the same in poverty and richness. They are simple, timeless, workable… and beautiful.
If you want to be wise and rich in all manners in this world, read and follow the Bible. This book holds all the secrets and the treasures, told and untold, in this world!
So that finally, we can say… We have lived, and we have lived fully. GST also stands for “God still there.” God bless you.
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