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Kingdom Economics: Increasing Your Kingdom Treasure

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James Russell

Read Time: 3 Minutes 36 Seconds

Inflation is not only a problem, but an increasing problem, throughout much of the world. Annual consumer inflation rates which are higher than the U.S. rate (8.2%) include Turkey (83.5%), Argentina (83.0%), Netherlands (14.5%), Russia (13.7%), Britain (10.1%), Germany (10.0%), Spain and Italy (8.9%) and Mexico (8.7%).

Countries which have lower consumer rates than the U.S. include Singapore and South Africa (7.5%), India (7.4%), Brazil (7.2%), Canada (6.9%), Australia (6.1%), Indonesia (5.9%), France and South Korea (5.6%), Switzerland (3.3%) and Saudi Arabia (3.1%). Among major industrial countries, only Japan (3.0%) and China (2.8%) have inflation rates at 3.0% or below.

Inflation is a sustained rise in the general price level. Its root cause is too many dollars chasing too few goods. Inflation destroys purchasing power as it takes more and more of a currency to purchase the same quantity of goods and services. Inflation harms those on fixed incomes and lenders. It helps those whose incomes rise faster than inflation and borrowers with fixed interest rates. Inflation is like a cruel tax on the disadvantaged.

Inflation can destabilize an economy and in extreme examples could cause an economic system to fail. Since price expectations feed inflation and can cause an inflationary cycle, controlling inflation is paramount. But most efforts to control inflation will slow the economy causing economic pain. The government could encourage more goods with lower business taxes and fewer regulations, but the supply side tools are unlikely to be implemented with the current political environment.

Recent strength in U.S. stock markets is the result of stronger than expected nominal (non-inflation adjusted) profits and a hope that the Fed will slow or reverse its monetary tightening policies. Currently, the market is expecting the Fed to raise interest rates three-quarters of a percent in November, with possibly a smaller increase in December.

The economy will face significant headwinds in the coming months. Many are expecting a rail strike, after the mid-term election, which would cause spot shortages and higher prices. The energy market will also be stressed with the arrival of colder weather this winter.  Higher energy prices, especially heating oil and natural gas are expected. Expect greater uncertainty.

The Lord warns us how moths and rust will destroy, and thieves will steal our earthly treasures. He could have also added inflation and a slowing economy. But He assured us that, if our hearts and actions were kingdom minded, there was safety.

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also,” (Matt. 6:19-21, NASB 2020).

In the kingdom of God, we have the responsibility, opportunity and wherewithal to produce, and steward works with lasting value. Many works, even good works, do not have lasting value, if the people turn from God. It should be noted:

  • The magnificent temple built by Solomon does not exist today.
  • The temple of Jesus’ time does not exist today.
  • Most New Testament churches do not exist today.

But the message which Jesus delivered in His short three-and-a-half years of earthly ministry has changed and is changing the world. The fruit from the sacrifices of early disciples is being seen today in the lives of hundreds of millions of believers.

The manuscripts that early believers wrote are providing inspiration, wisdom and guidance to millions. The examples of the faith, obedience and blessings of Old Testament believers are still inspiring millions. Unfulfilled biblical prophecies are as valid today as when they were made, even if separated by thousands of years. The lives of the martyrs are an inspiration to believers and a testimony to the world.

When prioritizing our efforts (time, focus, monies and prayer), do we place eternal fruit at the top of our list? Do we have heavenly priorities? Are our activities in line with what we are called to do?

Can we tweak some of our projects, that don’t have obvious kingdom value, to at least include some of heaven’s priorities? Do we have activities which routinely waste time or other resources? Are we willing to change our priorities to increase eternal kingdom treasure?

“Each one’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each one’s work, (1 Cor. 3:13, NASB 2020).

Souls are eternal. Equipping the saints is eternal. We are children of the living God on assignment. Let us determine to magnify Him is all that we do. If we listen to His guidance and obey, we will increase our kingdom treasure.

“Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least,”—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. {eoa}

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James R. Russell is a professor of economics at Oral Roberts University.

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