Archives For Debt

…by Bobby Jackson

One of the things I love about my church is that we are practical in our approach to help people follow Jesus.  Leaving people with lots of guilt or a “you should” mentality isn’t really all that helpful so each week we try to nail down some specific next steps that we can all take.

In the midst of a financial series we can start to feel like we are at a financial seminar.  It’s possible to forget that the Bible is where we draw what we believe about finances and how we use money.

Here is a resource we love from the guys at Lifechurch.com that walk us through some things the Bible says about how our heart and money work together (or against one another.)

Click on the link below to follow this five-day reading plan.  Its quick and painless to sign-up.  (Everyone should have Youversion on their computer or phone anyway, it’s great.  :-))

5 Day Debt Reading Plan

 

 

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…by Dave Wright

 

I woke this past Sunday morning looking forward going to church.  I told my wife the previous night that I was looking forward to posting my first blog of the year.  Then I walk in…and of course I get to write about finances…YEA!

 

I guess I did learn one thing this morning.  I am in the average column.  I have debt like the majority of other people.  I do have a job.  Do I want a better job?  Do I want to get paid more?  Absolutely.  Have I practiced my faith in God and prayed about it?  Yeah…maybe not so much.  Deep down, Sunday was much more than a SERMON ABOUT FINANCES!

 

“They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him.”  Titus 1:16

 

(Pause now as reality hits in 5,4,3,2,1…)

 

Why is it so hard to trust God?  It should be simple…but, it is not.  Human nature makes it hard to not try and do everything ourselves.  But that is the beauty of God’s love and grace.  He is waiting to take us in just as we are.  I am paraphrasing…if you just obey his word; God’s love will be made complete in you.

 

Pray everyday for God’s help!  Listen to what he says…he is waiting.

…by Larry McManus

When we think of these two phrases together:  “Financial peace” and “find blessing”, we often picture that televangelist who promises health and wealth with every donation you may send him.  It’s almost a “give to get” mentality that is rooted in the initial selfish thought of “what’s in it for me”.  However, we see that God’s word has so much more to say about financial peace than we may suspect.

 When it comes to finances and blessing, some of us may go to the other extreme and think “it’s all logical, quite simple math and there is no superstitious blessing at the end”.  After all “you can’t squeeze blood from a turnip” right?  I mean how can I give a tenth if I’ve already spent 110% on other things? 

 Most of us find ourselves somewhere in between these two places.  How will God bless me?  This really is not the right question, rather, how will I trust Him?  It’s a matter of faith, trusting God’s authority in this principle of giving rather than mere logic or self-preservation.   The wonderful thing is that there is a greater reward attached to our giving.  God calls it “blessing” or favor. 

 I loved to hear Greg and Jenny’s story of faith and finances.  It should compel us to do as God says and “test Him” more in the area of generosity.  A friend of mine used to always say “it’s not how much you make, but how much you save”.  I have modified that saying for myself to: “it’s not how much you make, but how you give and save that counts.”  It’s true, we can’t “out give” God, just test Him and see.

…by Jo Anne Stas

When I reflect on the principles Greg taught on this week I think of an equation that looks like this:

God’s design for us + Our cooperation = Peace

God’s design always remains constant in this equation but when I take out my cooperation it doesn’t add up to peace, it adds up to tension.  In my own life, that tension usually manifests itself through frustration.  I get frustrated with myself (and sometimes I take it out on others) when I know I’m not cooperating with God’s design for my life. Romans 7:18-24 says:

And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.

I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? 

I can resonate with Paul in this passage because I know when I assert my will (removing my cooperation) over God’s design it leads to chaos not peace.  But I also need to remember as a Christ follower, that the goal is consistency not perfection. I need to remind myself not to beat myself up over my failures but instead, turn them over to God.  I need to keep moving forward towards the peace in my life God intends. One of the things I love about Romans 7 is that it doesn’t end with verse 24 it goes on to answer the question, “Who will free me….?” Verse 25a says:

Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.

God’s mercy is new everyday and when I move out of cooperation in my relationships, my finances or any other area, restoring peace is only a prayer away.