“The Danger of Debt”

Here are the notes from the message preached March 4, 2012.  There was too much information to get through it all.  I trust that it will be a help and a blessing.

I Timothy 6:6-10

-Today’s consumer has a total of 13 obligations on record at a credit bureau.  Credit cards, store cards, installment loans.  9 are likely to be credit cards.

-The median US household income is $43,000 and the typical credit card balance is nearly 5% of their annual income.

-Median balance on credit cards is $2200.

-8.3% of households owe $9,000 or more on their cards.

-The typical 1st grader can evoke 200 brands and will accumulate an average of 70 new toys a year.

-40% of financial planners working with divorcing couples say that money is a “key factor” in the decision to divorce.

Neither this message or this series is intended to be an indictment on any single person.  It is simply intended to encourage each of us to live lives that will allow us to be all that God wants us to be.  To be free from the self-imposed bondage that keeps us from ever realizing the life that God intends for us.

Indicators that you may be in bondage to debt:

1. You are living month to month

2. You are paying the minimum payments

3. You are moving balances instead of repaying balances

4. You are unable to give or tithe or respond to the call of God on your life.

Using money well and staying out of the bondage that debt can create requires:

I. A content heart (6-8)

We live in a society that teaches us to feel entitled.  We deserve things and the world owes us things.  Much of what takes place politically is not truly political but a reflection of our spiritual condition.  We believe that the government should take care of us when we stop believing that God can and will take care of us.  There is a lack of contentment in our lives because we have come to believe that if others have things that we do not that there is something inherently unfair about that.

To get out of debt you may just have food and clothing for awhile!

Proverbs 15:16 Better is little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble therewith.

Colossians 3:5 ¶ Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:

Greed is idolatry! It is lifting something up above your relationship with God.

Living simply is to live freely.

There is a whole world dedicated to taking away your contentment.  Some say that the economy exists by such.  It is creating idolatry.

Money and things are a competitor to your heart’s desire to love God.

You must choose to either serve God or serve money.  Choosing to get into debt is putting yourself in the precarious position of serving money.

Matthew 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

II. A cautious spirit (9)

I believe that we are provided by God, if we are willing to do the things that God tells us to do, all that we need to be and accomplish what he wants us to accomplish.

There are financial traps that we can fall into however, that can put us in a place where the resources provided to us by God are not enough to maintain that life that we have decided to live.

1. Presuming on the future

Proverbs 27:1 ¶ Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.

2. Spending wants before needs

Proverbs 21:17 ¶ He that loveth pleasure shall be a poor man: he that loveth wine and oil shall not be rich.

3. Poor planning

Proverbs 21:5 ¶ The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness; but of every one that is hasty only to want.

4. Living beyond your means

Ecclesiastes 5:11 When goods increase, they are increased that eat them: and what good is there to the owners thereof, saving the beholding of them with their eyes?

5. Never having enough

Proverbs 11:28  He that trusteth in his riches shall fall: but the righteous shall flourish as a branch.

III. A correct view of money (10)

Not something to love, but a part of life. Not love but a test of your loyalty and wisdom.

Ecclesiastes 5:10 He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity.

Proverbs 11:28 He that trusteth in his riches shall fall: but the righteous shall flourish as a branch.

So what do you do?

1. Put God first.

Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

-This is understanding the ownership of God.

Ask these questions to know if you have put God first:

a. Am I presuming on God by buying this today?

b. Would God be honored and I learn patience if I saved up for this?

2. Analyze your situation

Proverbs 27:23  Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds.

3. Stop Borrowing!

Proverbs 22:7 The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.

Decide, “If I cannot pay for it yet, than I do not need it.”

4. Make a payback plan

a. Little by little

b. Double payments

c. Sell off if you need to

d. Pay higher interest first.

Psalm 37:21 The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again: but the righteous sheweth mercy, and giveth.

5. Get back under the Lordship of Christ

Matthew 6:25  Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? 27  Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? 28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Conclusion

Ultimately Debt is a spiritual issue.  The question always comes back to the same thing for a Christian:  “Who am I serving and living for?  For Christ or for myself.”

How we spend our money and the things that we allow to have us in bondage answers that question.

Wherever you may be today on this issue, decide that you will surrender every area of your life to the Lord and trust Him to provide for you.

Reject the modern convenience of debt and begin moving down the path to financial freedom.

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