Summary: Part IV of a Sermon Series on the Lord’s Prayer.

Grace to you and peace from him who is, who was and who is to come. Amen.

- Today we are closing our series on the Lord’s Prayer

- Matt 6:12-13

12And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

13And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

- We’re talking about debts

- Not national debt

- Not the Wall Street crisis

- But what debts do to our individual lives

- We ask God to forgive our debts, because they are burdens on our souls

- NRSV has "debt" and it covers all important aspects

- The goal according to the Holy Scripture is to be debt-free

- debt-free not only when it comes to sin - our debt to God

but also emotional and financial debts

- God wants us to become emotionally debt-free

- Unequal relationships:

- parents - children

- spouse - spouse

- sibling - sibling

- friend - friend

- balance of giving and taking

- Proverbs 22:7 The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.

- dependence on such an unbalanced relationship can cause your entire life to be unbalanced

- that is where the term trespass is true: The stronger party trespasses the independence of the weak by helping, loving, caring and establishing dependence

- the weaker part will always feel an obligation to give back, but may never manage to do so, because the trespasser won’t let that happen

- Take control of your relationships, some are uneven by nature, in other ones you are either the stronger or weaker part, maybe both. Anyway: Take control of your relationships, don’t let relationships take control of you and make you feel guilty or too powerful

- God wants us to become financially debt-free

- The problem with financial debt is they make you feel sick

- they won’t let you sleep at night

- and if you don’t address the issue it gets worse by itself

- interests are a killing instrument for debtors

- Exodus 22:25 If you lend money to my people, to the poor among you, you shall not deal with them as a creditor; you shall not exact interest from them.

- God’s protection plan for his people

- As with many of the Old Testament Laws we do not take this one serious and okay interests

- But it’s even worse. With financial debts you can never be sure who your creditor is gonna be because your obligation may be sold, or bailed-out and all of a sudden, you belong to the government or even the Mafia

- With money it is the same as with emotions. Carmen Wong Ulrich hosts the popular CNBC show "On the Money"

- Her creed is: Take control of your money

- Let me add: And don’t let your money take control of you

- You are the one writing the checks, you are the one swiping the cards, your are accountable by yourself. So take control for yourself. Do not allow THEM to take you over

- sin

- trespass - go where you are not supposed to go

- debt to God only, taste the forbidden fruit

- No wait: Matt 25:40 Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.

- causing financial or emotional damage to fellow humans is a sin against God

- Sometimes we simply cannot avoid guilt altogether

- Sometimes we do not have enough power to take control of ourselves

- That is when we have to push the reset button and ask God for a heavenly bailout

- how to take control?

- be mindful of my relationships and the way I act in them

- be a good steward to belongings entrusted to me

- take care of them to the best of my abilities

- Know that I will fail for sure from time to time

- I will sin against God and my neighbor

- That is why we shall ask God to forgive all our debts, not just sins and trespasses, but really all we owe.

- We are never gonna reach the goal of being debt-free, so we always have to ask Our Father in Heaven to forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

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