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God the Economist

Hello kind reader! Thanks for stopping by! Last month I was honored to have taught a three-week Bible study series on the subject of Praise & Worship at my church, Community Fellowship Church in Dalton, GA. The last of the three lectures was titled "The Economics of Worship," an examination of four key characteristics that all economic decisions and worship have in common. This entry stems some from some of my findings.

Let's start by defining economics and worship and take it from there.

Economics is something most people only look at when things go wrong. Only when an economy is on the brink of crisis, thousands lose their jobs, and prices rise or fall does economics ever come to the minds of most. The year 2008, with the financial crisis and housing bubble busting, was an unpleasant introduction to economics to my generation and me, too. Economics is more than complicated numbers, stats, and theories, but at the heart of it is the study of people. It's a social science. Economics examines what drives human beings to do what they do given a limited set of options. Summed up, economics = a study of choices. As scary as this sounds, every choice you make involves economics to some degree.

To try to define worship is just like trying to define economics, even in one's best efforts to define it, you'll still miss something. So I define worship as "living obedience," or obedience displayed, no matter how large or small. Looking to the Bible, Abraham: left his homeland, had a child with his wife Sarah in their old age, changed his name, and was willing to sacrifice his own son, Issac. Moses: obeyed God in rescuing his captive Isaelite family from Egypt. Noah: built an ark though it hadn't rained in over 100 years. Rahab: hid spies. Jesus gave His own perfect life.

Worship and Economics have two common variables: 1. People 2. Prices

Significantly enough, God Our Creator, sent His son, Jesus, as a human being. A solution to mankind's ever increasing sin, Jesus came to become salvation for mankind. The price? Jesus' own perfect life and sinless blood. God loves people so much that He chose to make man into His very own image (Genesis 1:27) and even sent Jesus in the form of a man. God's plans always involve people and prices.

In economics, we use the term "opportunity cost." Allow me to define it this way: You're sitting comfortably in front of your computer right now reading this blog entry. But you've could've easily chosen not to visit Pianomics and instead checked your Facebook, Twitter, or surfing another of your favorite websites, but, you are here. What you gave up is the chance to chat on facebook or tweet and the fun and benefits associated with those decisions. Examining those alternative uses of your time and weighing your options, you believe visiting this site would be the best use of your time, and now you're here! Opportunity cost is simply what we forgo or "pass up" to make the most of our resources whether it's time, money, or anything else you could possibly think of.

So then, as we choose to live for God and walk in love and forgiveness, we choose not to be disobedient to His Word, we choose not to be misguided from His wonderful plan for our lives, we choose not to compromise who we are and what we believe for the sake of fun or popularity. We forgo comfort, our natural cravings and lustful desires, even our own reputations to follow His Will so that we can learn of Who He is, follow His Will for our lives, and be filled with love and joy knowing He dosen't forget about His children. These are only some of the costs associated with choosing to love and obey The Creator.

God, the Ultimate Economist, so neatly and creatively gave us His rich Word and Jesus as the perfect example of the great costs, but great glory that comes with living for Him. Deuteronomy 5:29 so beautifully depicts how we, and those connected to us, are all blessed simply by our own decision to obey God's Word.

The Bible is filled with so many more examples of worship and many men and women who gave up so much for the greater benefit of giving God glory and letting their light shine for others. Having been made in God's image, we too, are to use our resources and make the right choices to live for Him and represent Him with every choice.

In conclusion, God is aware of all the costs and sacrifices we make in living for Him and none of it goes unnoticed (Psalm 37:25).

Also consider: Not only was it a great cost to Jesus in sacrificing His own life for ours, but too, the great cost to God to send His only son to save you & me. Lovenomics!!!


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