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Summary: Looking at the spiritual impact that debt has on our lives. How it leads us away from God, others, family etc. We must control our spending so we can give to God's cause, not the credit card company's cause

Part 4 series on money

Australians are increasingly finding themselves in debt.

According to the Sunday times newspaper

IF you’re an average Australian you’re worth just over $250,000 have a house valued at $458,488, a mortgage of $341,000 , credit card debt of $3085 and earn $1124.50 a week.

Mortgage stress

According to the experts if you’re an average Aussie, then chances are you’ll technically be experiencing housing stress. This is when a household spends 30 per cent or more of its income on housing costs.

Someone earning the average weekly wage of $1100 would be hard pressed to pay off an average mortgage – which according to brokers Australian Finance Group is $341,000.

Repayments on that amount over 30 years at current interest rates would take up 60 per cent of an average pay packet. Two people contributing to an average-sized mortgage would still have to hand over 30 per cent of their combined income to meet repayments.

More debt

Home loans are not the only stress facing the average Australian. As a nation we’ve racked up $43 billion in credit card debt, according to the Reserve Bank. That works out to an average credit card debt of $3085. If you’re paying a fairly conservative interest rate of 15.5 per cent, you would need to throw $150 a month on your card to pay it off within two years.

What does this say about our attitude to money?

Two thirds of the stories that Christ used in teaching deal specifically with finances. The financial principles given throughout God’s Word are not there to see if we’re strong enough to live by them – they’re given because God knows that they are the best for us. God’s principles of finances are not a random set of rules to keep us under control – they are a loving Father’s wisdom to those who will listen and trust Him.

1) Obedience to God does mean a blessing

2) Common myths about money

3) Financial burdens must be broken

4) God’s plan for you is financial freedom!

Matthew 6:19-6:24

2 Thessalonians 3: 6 - 15

1) Obedience to God does mean a blessing

I am still looking for the modern equivalent of those (Christian) Quakers who ran successful businesses, made money because they offered honest products and treated their people decently... This business creed, sadly, seems long forgotten.

Anita Roddick

English, Businesswoman, owner of the Body Shop

Christ never said money or material things were problems. He said that they were symptoms of the real problems. He constantly warned us to guard our hearts against greed, covetousness, ego, and pride, because those are the tools that Satan uses to control and manipulate this world. Christ warned us a great deal more about materialism than He did any other sin. “And He said to them, ‘Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions” (Luke 12:15).

Satan has taken the very riches provided by God to enhance our lives and bring others to salvation and has diverted them for his use. Today, even some Christians evaluate others on the basis of how much they have and how successful they are in worldly terms. The poor are thought to be losers – while the wealthy and successful are thought to be the spiritual winners. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

The Bible has much to say about material wealth – let me read you an example from Leviticus Chapter 26: 4-28.

The principle I want you to see here is that total obedience to all (v.14) God’s commands will result in blessing. And “blessing” here means financial security, physical safety and overall well-being.

Many of us believe the myths about money such as, “It takes breaks to get ahead” or “It takes money to make money” or “You can’t be too honest and get ahead today”

These sayings are false for the Christian because it is God that is the source of our situation. God gives you your earning capacity and potential. God gives you your mental and physical ability to earn a living. God gives it all, and the moment we step back and say, “Oh, look what I have done, look what wealth I’ve accumulated,” we’ve stepped out of God’s will and into the trap of pride. The same trap as King Nebuchadnezzar when one day he looked out over his kingdom with pride in his heart and God taught him a lesson.

Listen to what Daniel chapter 4 says happened to King Nebuchadnezzar: 29 “Twelve months later, as the king was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, he said, "Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?" The words were still on his lips when a voice came from heaven, "This is what is decreed for you, King Nebuchadnezzar: Your royal authority has been taken from you. You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like cattle. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes." Immediately what had been said about Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled. He was driven away from people and ate grass like cattle. His body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair grew like the feathers of an eagle and his nails like the claws of a bird. At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honoured and glorified him who lives forever. His dominion is an eternal dominion; his kingdom endures from generation to generation. All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: "What have you done?" At the same time that my sanity was restored, my honor and splendor were returned to me for the glory of my kingdom. My advisers and nobles sought me out, and I was restored to my throne and became even greater than before.”

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