A Living Wage

(Mal 3:5) And I will come near you to judgment. And I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those who extort from the hired laborer’s wages, and turning away the widow, and the orphan, the alien, and not fearing Me, says Jehovah of Hosts.

I recently came across a survey in regards to the city of Seattle raising their minimum wage to $15 an hour. What I found shocking was a trend as far as the results at that time. By a large margin many respondents said that $15 an hour was too high. I found this appalling especially when you consider the highest paid CEO on record for 2013 received a salary of $68.2 million dollars. Where is the outcry when it comes to outrageous corporate salaries? That person making $15 per hour will earn $600 per week and $31,200 per year. In comparison the $68.2 million dollar CEO earns $1,311,538.46 per week and $32,788.46 per hour. His salary per hour is more than the annual salary of the individual earning $15 per hour. His salary is enough to hire an additional 2,186 workers at $15 per hour. The average CEO pay for 2013 was $10.5 million dollars which equates $201,923.07 a week, $5,048.07 per hour and would equate to 336 workers at the $15 per hour rate http://www.abqjournal.com/409158/news/average-ceo-pay-tops-10-million-in-2013.html.

No one in this country has more responsibility as the President, no matter who they are. Whether you like them or not the president of the USA is often referred to as the leader of the Free World. They are referred to as the most powerful person in the world and the job has to be one of the most if not the most stressful job in the world. Yet the salary for the President is $400,000 a year with a $50,000.00 expense allowance http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/thepresidentandcabinet/a/presidentialpay.htm.

Let’s take a look at a major company in trouble JC Penney. According to some reports they may cease to exist sometime this year. Currently their average sales associate earns $8.52 an hour the average Store Manager earns $81,947.00 per year http://www.glassdoor.com/Salary/J-C-Penney-Salaries-E361.htm. However their CEO was scheduled to receive an” 85% pay hike to $1.5 million. In addition, Ullman will be eligible for a $3 million bonus and $5.5 million in stock awards that could push his total pay package north of $10 million this year, regulatory filings show. That’s more than quadruple the $2.4 million in salary and perks Ullman earned last year as he scrambled to shore up Penney’s finances following Johnson’s disastrous revamp effort that spurred a $1 billion loss on a 25 percent sales drop in 2012. Still, it’s a far cry from the $33.7 million in salary and stock awards that Ullman bagged in 2011 as he handed the reins to Johnson” http://nypost.com/2014/03/25/jcpenney-gives-ceo-ullman-salary-hike/.

It is mind boggling how this same scenario is repeated hundreds if not thousands of times across this country. Yet there is no uproar very few if any seem to care. Hard working Americans are losing their jobs daily due to corporate greed and mismanagement yet people say that an individual earning $15 an hour is earning too much. There is a story in the Bible of a rich young ruler who came to Jesus one day. (Mat 19:18) He said to Him, Which? Jesus said, You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not bear false witness, (Mat 19:19) honor your father and mother, and, you shall love your neighbor as yourself. (Mat 19:20) The young man said to Him, I have kept all these things from my youth up; what do I lack yet? (Mat 19:21) Jesus said to him, If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in Heaven. And come, follow Me. (Mat 19:22) But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful; for he had great possessions. (Mat 19:23) Then Jesus said to His disciples, Truly I say to you that a rich man will with great difficulty enter into the kingdom of Heaven. (Mat 19:24) And again I say to you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

Throughout the Bible in the Old and the New Testament we can see where God is concerned that everyone is provided for and no one is hungry or lacking the basic needs of life. Yet in a country that is supposed to be God fearing with a majority that consider themselves to be Christians. People are denied a living wage this is unacceptable and we can and hopefully will do better. Most people who know anything about the Bible are familiar with the story of Job. He was a wealthy and prosperous man and God allowed satan to attack him, he lost everything that he had. In my daily devotional the other day I came across a passage from the book of Job. I find it interesting some of the things that Job did prior to satan’s attack. For those who are well off Job gives us a good example of how we should handle wealth.

(Job 29:2) Oh that I were as in months past, as in the days when God watched over me; (Job 29:12) For I delivered the poor who cried for help, and the fatherless who had none to help him. (Job 29:13) The blessing of the perishing came on me; and I caused the widow’s heart to sing. (Job 29:14) I put on righteousness, and it clothed me; my judgment was like a robe and a diadem. (Job 29:15) I was eyes to the blind and feet to the lame. (Job 29:16) I was a father to the poor; and the cause which I did not know, I searched out. (Job 29:17) I broke the fangs of the wicked, and plucked the prey out of his teeth.

When we are blessed with riches and means we have a responsibility to help those that are less fortunate. I suggest to anyone who comes across this blog to check and see if the companies, businesses, and corporations that you support. Do your research and see if they are responsible. The poor is found in at least 138 verses in the Bible. As our scripture text informs us God will deal with those who do not pay a fair wage. In my opinion no one deserves a 68 million dollar salary to me that’s the pinnacle of corporate greed. (Deuteronomy 15:11) For the poor shall never cease out of the land. Therefore, I command you saying, You shall open your hand wide to your brother, to your poor, and to your needy, in your land. (Deuteronomy 15:12) If your brother, a Hebrew man or a Hebrew woman, is sold to you and serves you six years, then in the seventh year you shall let him go free from you. (Deuteronomy 15:13) And when you send him out free from you, you shall not let him go away empty. (Deuteronomy 15:14) You shall richly bestow on him from your flock, and from your grain floor, and from your winepress; with what Jehovah your God has blessed you, you shall give to him.

(Lev 19:13) You shall not defraud your neighbor nor rob him. The wages of him who is hired shall not stay with you until the morning. God is concerned about those who are everyday workers; he’s concerned about the poor. As we noted earlier the top CEO salary was 68 million paid Anthony Petrello of Nabors Industries. Nabors owns and operates the world’s largest land-based drilling rig fleet and has one of the largest completion services and workover and well servicing rig fleets in North America according to their website http://www.nabors.com/. Everyone deserves to earn a good and decent living. However in this country the extremes are too extreme from those who earn the least to those who are compensated way too much. (2Ch 7:14) if My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Be Encouraged and Blessed Minister Mike.


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