Summary: God threw His Son into the waters of sin to save us from drowning. Now, what can He do for us who are drowning in debt and financial bondage? Here's the steps to freedom! Link inc. to formatted text, audio/video, PowerPoint.
Save Me, I'm Drowning!
If you saw someone drowning and God said the only way to save them was to throw in your child, would you do it? I wouldn't. But that's exactly what God did in order to save our souls. We were going under, drowning in sin, and God, our only hope, did what only He could do, which is to bear our sins, in our place, so we could be saved!
Now we're saved, but most of us still know that drowning feeling, because we are drowning in debt and going under financially. One of the main weapons the devil uses to stress out believers is money troubles.
Good news: There is hope, and help. The Bible has the answers. Jesus spoke more about money than He talked about heaven and hell combined! And there's many more principles throughout the Bible that will help us...including right here in our Nehemiah study...
v. 1 They are fighting over money. 'Til debt do us part!
v. 2 They have a shortage for basic human needs...just for food.
v. 3 Just to eat they have to sell their necessities of life.
v. 4 Now they are borrowing money just to pay their taxes! The IRS accepts credit cards because of this.
v. 5 Their children have been sold into slavery, their future mortgaged away. The same is happening in the USA today. For the first time ever, we are raising a new generation who does not expect to have things better than their parents. It used to be that the kids would help the parents later in life...now it's been reversed and if not for the parents, many kids would not survive.
These are God's people in our text, and they are in financial bondage, and that greatly limits both their happiness and what they can accomplish in their lives.
God has a better way. What God orders, He pays for. Where God guides, He provides! He is our source, our be all and end all.
Symptoms of financial bondage:
1. Having to charge necessities of life.
Do you use credit for groceries and gasoline, clothes, etc., knowing you won't be able to pay it off in full that month?
2. Borrowing money to pay fixed expenses.
Talking about the house payment/rent, car payment, phone or cable? Borrowing from one card to pay on another card?
3. Are creditors writing and calling you for their money?
If there's a person in your life you'd like to never see again, just loan them some money!
4. Are you tempted to be dishonest about money?
Do you try to talk your way out of bills? Think about cheating on your taxes? Tempted to do something dishonest or unethical?
5. Do you ever say, I can't afford to tithe?
Do you bring the Lord's tithe [10%] to the Lord's house on the Lord's day so the Lord's work can be done in the Lord's way?
6. Do you and your spouse ever argue about money.
"Theirs was a perfect marriage, except a fatal flaw--one was quick on the deposit, but the other was quicker on the draw!"
One guy said, "My wife and I never argue about money. We made an agreement years ago, that I would make all the big decisions about money, and she would handle all the little ones. It's worked out great, we've been married 30 years and there hasn't been a big decision to make yet!"
7. Do you know how much you really owe?
Are you afraid to add it up? It's amazing in counseling how many people know they are in financial trouble, but have no idea how much they really owe. They sweep it under the rug. They try not to think about it.
23 Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds.
We cannot bury our heads in the sand. God has told us to be good stewards of what He gives to us. He is entrusting us w/ money, and we are letting Him down!
8. Do you know what it takes to survive each week?
If you added up all your expenses for the month and divided by 4.3, do you know right now what the answer would be, what you need to make ends meet? Many people just put their check in the bank and start writing checks, and then wonder why they have so much month left at the end of the money!
Make a list of all your bills, necessities of life. Put God up top, give Him the firstfruits! Don't leave anything off the list, if it is a need to survive. These are non negotiables. Do the math and see what you have left.