Saturday, July 23, 2016

Gold Standard

He has declared that he will set you in praise, fame and honor high above all the nations he has made and that you will be a people holy to the Lord your God, as he promised.

-- Deuteronomy 26:19

What makes a dollar bill worth more than the paper it's printed on?

It's really nothing more than the U.S. Government's assurance that we can trust them to back it up. Before 1933, our nation's monetary policy was based on the gold standard, which meant you could exchange a paper dollar at the bank for a dollar's worth of gold. But the Great Depression changed that. Seeking ways to inflate the nation's money supply, increase spending and get the economy moving, President Franklin Roosevelt ordered the confiscation of gold coins and gold Gold Coincertificates in denominations greater than $100 in exchange for other money. In theory, a dollar bill (Federal Reserve Note) was still backed by a dollar's worth of gold or other tangible assets at the U.S. Treasury. In 1971, the government officially abandoned the gold standard. And ever since, the dollar is backed only by its assertion that our currency is the nation's legal tender "for all debts public and private."

This rock-solid guarantee has stabilized our nation over the years because the public knows it can literally take it to the bank. And although that's a comforting thought during these rough economic times, Christ-followers should find much greater solace in another promise that's printed on every dollar bill: In God We Trust.

God's promises extend beyond our financial status and job prospects. Not only are they eternal, we can count on them because of his proven track record of meaning what he says and saying what he means.

J. Barton Payne's Encyclopedia of Biblical Prophecy cites more than 1,800 promises from God. And no doubt the greatest was fulfilled--as predicted centuries earlier--through the birth of the world's Savior in an obscure outpost of the Roman Empire. It was that first Christmas that God came to Earth to live among his creation in the person of Jesus. God was here with us in the flesh!

The fulfillment of this promise was much more than a footnote in history. Through Jesus, the devil was defeated and Christ-followers were given the power to live victorious, Spirit-filled lives. What's more, centuries after his death and resurrection, these same promises and assurances still apply to us today. Let's consider this familiar passage from the tenth chapter of Matthew's Gospel:

"Are not two sparrows sold for a penny," Jesus asked some of his earliest followers. "Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father's care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows."

It's a reflection of our Creator's deep concern and love. In fact, he knows every one of us intimately--even before he formed us in our mother's womb. So does God really care about our troubles? Rest assured that his promises are worth more than any amount of gold. And you can take that to the bank!

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