Becoming Debt Free
Sermon shared by Tim Smith
Summary: One of the disciplines critical for us to practice in order to live debt free is to look beyond the immediate. You have to stay focused on Godís promised future. Debt is always about the immediate; itís always seeking relief or immediate gratification
Audience: Believer adults
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II Kings 4:2-7
Have you ever made a purchase and then felt bad or depressed afterwards? Have you ever bought anything that you ended up never using? I just found one of the greatest pullover sweaters in my closet and said, "Where did this come from?" It still had the tags on it! I remembered buying it in Boston and it got lost in my closet. Have any of you ever had those kinds of experiences? Have you ever said to yourself, "Wow, if I had all of the money Iíve paid in interest . . ." "If I could have just the interest from all of the cars that I have ever purchased . . ." On January 1, 2006 credit card laws change. The government is helping all the corporations that are suffering because so many Americans are going bankrupt, so come January 1 whatever minimum payment youíre paying against your credit card debt doubles. The Bible says in Proverbs 22:7, "The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is always slave to the lender." Debt is about slavery. Jesus didnít come to earth just to keep you out of hell. Jesus came to set you free from anything that keeps you in bondage. Galatians 5:1: "Itís for freedom that Christ has set you free, do not submit yourself again to the yoke of slavery." Debt is always about slavery.
We want to talk about how we can live debt free. There is hope. One of the disciplines critical for us to practice in order to live debt free is to look beyond the immediate. You have to stay focused on Godís promised future. Debt is always about the immediate; itís always seeking relief or immediate gratification. I call it the demonic distraction. Anything thatís good takes going through the wilderness; you have to go through hard times to get there. That plastic credit card is so tempting because itís instant gratification. The Spirit led Jesus through the wilderness. You say, "I canít live on what I make right now. Itís too hard." The Spirit will lead you through the wilderness, and itís not until you learn to live faithfully in the wilderness that God will take you to the next place. Jesus was in the wilderness, following his future purpose, and the devil showed up. The devil took him up on a hill and showed him the world and said, All of this is mine and it can be yours, Jesus, right now. You donít have to go through all that discipline, delayed gratification, all of that counter-cultural stuff. You can have all the splendor of this right now." "Whatís it cost?" "Weíll talk about that later. You can have it right now and weíll settle later." Have it now, pay later - that is the demonic distraction. If youíre going to look beyond the immediate and keep this future focus, you have to prepare for the unexpected.
In our Scripture today, the woman was not prepared for the unexpected. Her husband suddenly died and they were not prepared financially. Thatís what got her in trouble. You know that little bumper sticker "Dung Happens"? It does. It is just a fact that itís going to happen.
Story of our air conditioner going out. So we had to cover the cost of restoring our finished basement, new carpet and all. Guess what? Dung happens.
Hereís the key if youíre keeping this future focus: you canít live at your means. When you live at your means, youíre spending everything that comes in. You also canít live on credit. That is spending what you donít have, and thatís called living beyond your means. You have to live
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