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Living Generously – The Tyranny of Debt

Living Generously – The Tyranny of Debt

Sermon Notes

Ecclesiastes 4:4, Proverbs 25:28, Deut. 28:12, Proverbs 22:7

Key Thought: There are basically two ways to raise your standard of living. One is to save your way to a better standard living. The second is to debt your way to a better standard of living. But only one of these helps us avoid being trapped by our financial decisions. Today, Pastor Rusty is going the discuss the challenges of creating debt. And one of those it that heavy debt deeply limits our ability to be generous. What will see is that from the Bible’s perspective is this: long-term debt (especially with consumer items) is not a long-term solution and should be avoided. 

Introduction

The most interesting human in the Old Testament made the most interesting statement about humans

And I saw that all toil and all achievement spring from one person’s envy of another. This, too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind (Ecclesiastes 4:4)

Key Question:

Are you comparing yourself into financial debt?

Context: 

We will look at two different books that speak about debt. First is Deuteronomy. Here, Moses is teaching the nation of Israel basic concepts about life in the promise land. This portion of Scripture has much to say about how obedience to God is tied to financial blessing. On the flip side, we will also see how disobedience will bring God’s discipline. The second is from Proverbs, and the wisdom writer speaks to us about the dangers of dept. Combined together, the Bible paints a negative picture about owing money unnecessarily. 

1. The Lord’s contract with Israel was conditional. And Israel failed. 

– The word “If” appears at least 12 times (Duet. 28:1-12)

– Israel failed to keep up their end of the Covenant and they were punished  (31:17-18)

– Bottom line: God can be trusted (to bless or to discipline)

Consider

God knows you are going to fail and has a plan for you anyway.

2. Debt was a sure sign of things not going well. Duet 28:12)

3. Debt will also limit us in profound ways. (Prov. 22:7) 

Debt Reduction Plan

  • Create some financial margin
  • Transfer that margin to your smallest debt first
  • Continue till that debt is gone
  • Repeat this cycle

Application:

– Identify the financial area where you lack self-control.

– Make a commitment today to limit what you are spending tomorrow.

– Tell someone you trust about it

– Work in your financial Workbook

Discussion Questions

TALK IT OUT

  1. Pastor Rusty suggests there are two ways to raise your standard of living. 1) You can save your way to a better standard of living, or 2) You can debt your way to a better standard of living. Which of these approaches are you currently taking?
  2. According to the Bible, long-term debt, especially with consumer items, isn’t a good long-term solution and should be avoided. Debt at least partially limits our ability to be generous. How is your debt preventing you from being generous in your giving?
  3. Deuteronomy 28:12 teaches that obedience to God is tied to financial blessing. How have you witnessed God’s blessings?
  4. Pastor Rusty observes when Israel failed to keep up their end of the Covenant, they
    were punished. Consider moments from your own life when you were blessed or
    punished. What is the connection between your faithfulness and blessings? In what
    areas may God be trying to get your attention in your finances?
  5. According to Deuteronomy 28:12, Pastor Rusty observes, “Debt was a sure sign of things not going well.” Do you agree?

LIVE IT OUT 

Identify the financial area where you lack self-control. This will help create
financial margin.

Develop a debt repayment plan (See Appendix).

  • List your debts from the smallest to the largest.
  • Identify the financial margin in your budget.
  • Use that margin toward your smallest debt first.
  • Then continue this pattern until you are debt-free.