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August 8, 2021 1:00 am
Society says getting into debt is normal. For too many Christians, dependence on God has morphed into dependence on a credit card. Why pray about a need when you can simply buy what you want? When people live beyond their means, debt destroys all too many marriages and families. What’s the answer?Click here to listen (Duration 54:30)
Society says getting into debt is normal for too many Christians dependence on God has morphed into dependence on the credit card why praying about a need, when you can just go by what you want when people live beyond their means, that destroys all too many marriages and families.
What's the answer.
Please stay with us from Chicago.
We welcome you to The Moody Church. Our weekly service of worship and teaching under the ministry of Dr. Erwin lutes are on this program. We continue a 10 part series on fighting for your family. Later in our broadcast will learn about till debt do us part. Pastor looks or comes now to open our service.
Jesus gave a parable. One day in which he said that there was a number of people who built their houses and he says one built his house upon the rock and the other upon the sand and he said when the wind blew the house that was built upon the rock stood the one that was built upon the sand was blown down. That's the basis of the song that were going to be singing in just a moment.
Christ the solid rock is not wonderful to be able to sing hymns like this that remind us of the grace of God in Jesus Christ were glad that you have joined us. Let's set our heads and give ourselves to the Lord during the these special moments. Father, we thank you that Christ is the solid rock and we thank you that we stand upon him. Thank you that he dug us out of the miry clay and put our feet upon the rock for his glory. And at this time Lord is in all times. We stand upon him alone.
Bless each we pray even those who have come. Perhaps not expecting a blessing. Surprise them by your grace and presence. We ask in Jesus name, amen and thank you to follow along with me in your bulletin as we read together, from Proverbs chapter 3 please meet me on the bold print, God's holy word. My son, do not forget my teaching. Let your heart keep my commandments for link that day and years of life. NP will you not love and faithfulness, first take you around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart so you will find favor in good in the sight of God and man, and I will all your heart and lean on your all your ways acknowledge him and he will make straight so in an and in an my topic today is to build dams, do us part. According to a Gallup poll about 50% of all divorces happen because of money issues, usually because of debt. I am going to take the time to read two letters that came to me. You can look over my shoulder. These came to me from different parts of the country.
Several years ago I left a very successful job to open my own business. Unfortunately due to 9/11 and other reasons my business failed after five years I lost about $200,000 which was my family saving my wife has never forgiven me for being so you're responsible I've lived with his guilt and shame for years and the money we've lost is a constant issue in our marriage. I can't trust God to help me because I suspect I made these decisions without consulting him every day I'm depressed over it. Do I just have to live the rest of my life reliving this failure by the way he's wrong even though he made those decisions unwisely, God is still available to help them another letter we've been married for 20 years.
We have young children all summarize here, we fell into debt. I took a second job because I lost some of our money in what I thought was a solid investment. Even though were making it financially.
She wants out of the marriage because she feels that I've neglected her emotionally, which I have because I took a second job trying to make up the extra money that I lost.
She spends hours on the Internet and is corresponding with a man she dated before we were married, she's helping him with his issues, but I think I know how this is going to and I feel helpless to stop it till debt do us part I to begin by saying that young couples before they are married and they say I do. They should solve the problems of their expectations regarding lifestyle regarding money issues because it is huge divides people and divides marriages what we have to do is to overcome three myths in our culture, three ideas that we live with, especially those of us who live in the great United States of America.
The first is the great desire to live beyond our means to live beyond our income to act our wage which most of us don't want to do.
So young couples and others that extend themselves. Yeah, it's more house than we can really afford, but it'll work out somehow because we really like. So we have to overcome that we have to overcome the manipulation of the marketers this past week somebody gave me a book on marketing and now they're studying neurology to see what it is that makes us buy things, the whole idea of surveys doesn't work anymore because the experts say that what people say in surveys. They do not carry out their behavior is different. I heard on the news that if you put on Facebook that you like Diet Coke for example, the day will come when you walk into a store and on your phone will flash Diet Coke for sale at a certain amount of money that's what it's coming to.
And we have to resist it.
Now I have today's seven principles that are foundational to this whole money thing. And because we don't have a lot of time. What I need to do is to summarize them, but each of them is worthy of an entire message but I want you to listen carefully. I've been praying that this message will keep a couple from divorce. For example, a couple that is on the rocks, a couple that can't talk about money because it's one of those hot button issues that they avoid so without any more chitchat.
Let's get right into it immediately. Principle number one is this that God owns everything. Now I am going to ask you to turn to first Timothy chapter 6 I'm go to be quoting other verses but this is the one I shall refer to a number of times in this message.
First Timothy chapter 6 Paul is talking about. Teachers and that he says that these false teachers. I'm in the last part of verse five.
Imagine that godliness is a means to gain that's in a sermon in itself. The health and welfare's godliness is the means by which you get money, especially if you support their ministries separate story. Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world and we cannot take anything out of the world. I'm going to stop there for just a moment who's was it before you were born. It belonged to God, the earth is the Lord's and all that is in it. Who is it. After you die whose validity it will be God's you say, but in late teen times.
It is mine because I earned it by the sweat of my own brow, or as some husbands say by the sweat of my own Frau. We earned the money you'll have to think about that some of you, but the fact is, the Bible says it is God who gives you the validity to get wealth, who woke you up in the morning who gave you health and strength who enabled you to find a job who gave you the wisdom to earn the money that you did as you worked hard it is God. Let me explain to you why this is so important. What this means practically is that every financial decision is therefore a spiritual decision is not like some people think what we give 10% to the ministry of missionaries in Moody Church and then the rest is ours.
We can do with it as we please know you can do because it belongs to God to now you can use it for yourself.
You can pay bills you have to live. But all of our financial decisions. As Larry Burket to say are, at root, spiritual decisions, so all of this comes under the umbrella of the sovereign control and watchful eye of God. That's lesson number one lesson number two is simply that we have to keep in mind that money makes all of the same promises as God and therefore it competes with God in our lives now.
Your Bibles are open to first Timothy chapter 6 notice in verse six.
Now there is great gain in godliness. Actually, verse six, yes, there is great gain in godliness and contentment and I'm going to actually skip now to verse nine will be coming back to the other verses in just a moment about contentment. It says in verse nine, but those who desire to be rich fall into temptation.
I've to stop there for a moment there is nothing wrong with bettering your living situation.
There's nothing about ambition to be able to earn money if it's going to help your family and is going to free you up so that you can give money generously to other causes and people in need. The Bible does not condemn wise investment. Some people live in poverty. Perpetually, when if they would think about it. They may have opportunity to better their situation. The Bible is not opposed to that.
In fact, it would encourage you that we looked at other passages but when Paul here in verse nine talks about those who desire to be rich. He's speaking about those who look upon money in itself as power and as something they want to attain to some of these people may be very stingy. Actually very stingy and so they don't look at it as an opportunity of generosity at all.
Paul says that that kind now notice it says they fall into temptation, into a snare into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many paintings do you love money more than you love God do you hear the voice of money more than you hear the voice of God.
You see, the reason that the rich fall into these temptations is number one.
They have the opportunity to be able to sin in new and creative ways because they can finance their sins.
For example, and not only that, the love of money has so come into their heart that they don't really need God. God says I am with you in sickness and in health, and money says the same thing it says I'm go to be with you during a good economy I'm going to be with you in a bad economy.
I am your security. I'll be there when you are sick. I'll be there when you are well will be there when you want entertainment when you want to travel. I will be with you competes with God and the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. You know when you talk about big money people just lose they become crazy.
Never noticed all the athletes. Not all of them, but many of them that have earned millions and millions of dollars ending up in bank.
It's because big money does things to people they sacrifice their families.
They sacrifice their ethics. They sacrifice everything because of the love of money so the Bible warns about that craving nothing wrong with money we needed to live, but the craving to be rich is destructive. There's 1/3 lesson and that is that Tim, the use of our wealth is a test it's a test brought into our lives by God to see where we should be slotted in the kingdom.
Not everyone in the kingdom rules the same way Jesus made this very clear. Just imagine during the thousand year kingdom. All Christians will have a part raining somewhere but some will have more territory. Some will have greater and more wonderful responsibilities just like a chandelier. All of the bulbs give light to a room. There are some that are brighter than others.
Jesus told parables about money.
Several of them in one of them. He said that there were those who were given on equal amounts of money, but at the time of reward they receive the same reward because both were faithful or unfaithful, as the case may be, whether they had much or whether they had little and then Jesus gave another parable in which he said this remarkable thing. He said if you cannot be trusted with the unrighteous money. I kind of like the King James here with filthy loop. Says who in the world thinks of money is filthy lucre go to Wall Street go to your bank. Talk to your neighbors labels out own love money know you but you dated and you enjoy it and you think about it all the time.
But Jesus said this, he said if you cannot be entrusted with unrighteous money. How are you going to be entrusted with the true riches. I don't know how the judgment seat of Jesus Christ is going to be like because all Christians will appear there but I can imagine in this is kind of scary because I personally take the point of view that not everyone is going to do well at the judgment seat and that's why worry so much about myself. Some Christians think all you know were all going to just get a pat on the hand and get into none on the now it's very serious. It is the judgment seat of Jesus Christ I assume that Jesus will show us our bank statements will show us our checkbooks and on this basis, he'll say you know some of you are going to have greater responsibility in the kingdom and some of you a very limited responsibility, because if you can't be trusted with money how my going to trust you with the true riches said Jesus very sobering. What is 1/4 lesson in that is that get rich quick schemes are deceitful. Avoid them. You know I wish I had time to speak about the lottery gambling except to say this. It is one of the greatest deceptions that is perpetrated upon American people on the south side here in Chicago there was a billboard that said two ways to have a better life, one way get up early in the morning. Work hard, come home late at night work six days a week. The other way play the lotto. Even as we are gathered here today. There are people who are using their money unwisely because of the lotto fever, and then you hear the ads and then I always am amused at gambling problem: 3 to 1 of the loan alone right where she was clear giving that in fact that's a phone number that should be given over and over again folks I could explain to you why this is a bad deal, but don't go there, but I'm not only thinking of that.
I'm thinking of a man whom I happen to know who went into their savings.
Their retirement fund and used it because he didn't do diligence online didn't tell his wife that idea and he did due diligence online and was making an investment that he absolutely was served was going to help them financially.
Well, it's an old story but he lost it all.
The marriage held together thankfully because he did what everybody should do in that situation mainly confess it to his wife and figure out where to go from there. And thank God there marriage survive, but don't fall into these get rich quick schemes, no matter how much pressure, no matter how tight the place is that you are in financially wish I could say more about that. I know a friend who cities made so many bad financial decisions that he's convinced that if he were to buy a cemetery. People would quit dying. He said we have to hurry to number five. The devil dirt and depth are bedfellows there related to one another. You know the Bible tells us that we should owe no man anything. Now some of us we do go into debt.
For example, we have a mortgage because the whole idea in America is that if you buy a house. It is an increasing investment.
Now that's been challenged during the days of the mortgage crisis but generally that's true but you think of all of the debt that is accumulated for a items that depreciate you know the Bible says this and is it accurate. Proverbs 22 verse seven, the borrower is the servant to the lender and some of you who lived with creditors, you know what that is like you become a servant to those who have lent you money debt is a terrible terrible pit fall into and you think of all of the credit card debt that people have something like an average of 9000, but that means that many people are way beyond the 9000 because there are some people who pay off their credit cards at the end of every month and so that takes into account the fact that there are those who are constantly constantly going into debt. It's a terrible terrible pit not want to speak to you frankly about this because you know when Rebecca and I were first married. We thought that some debt was okay. Whatever you needed. You put on a credit card and then later we discovered, you know, we actually have to pay this off and at an amazing rate of interest if you pay only the interest or make the monthly payment take years and years and years because of high interest rates. There was a time when families looked at situations very differently and you see what we've done is we've undercut God.
Let me explain. There was a time when families would say you know we need a new car, the old one is just absolutely broken down. It's not running anymore, and that we need a better vehicle for family so we don't have any money for very little money can't go out and buy one. So let's pray together and ask God to do a miracle in to give us a better car and they would cry up to the Lord they would pray to God and say, God, you know, our need and somebody in church would see them and say you know I have a car that I think you folks could use. I'd like to give it to you. The whole family would rejoice in the fact that God answered prayer. We don't have that today you walk in you can for 0% interest and probably make the first payment within six months or year I don't know exactly how all that works, but you don't need to pray to God because whatever you want, you can buy on credit. Now there was a time when God led his people, the way in which God leads us is through is through poverty and through money or lack of it. For example in Deuteronomy chapter 8 God said to the Israelites something very interesting.
He said that you know I let you in that wilderness and there was no food bye-bye provided man and I provided clothing so that you might trust me.
You see, we don't need that trust today for the credit card. Some of you quite frankly should do some plastic surgery at this point I can lend you some scissors. Those of you who are young people, you know, high school students going into college college debt.
I read that about 10 I think of third of college students wish that they hadn't gone to college, because all that they graduated with was a lot of death and oftentimes very poor jobs you know that there are alternatives out there. I talked to Pastor Bob about that and he sent me some very good alternatives to counsel young people, but you see that dad is absolutely overwhelming. I'd like to leave a challenge with you at don't accumulate new debt. Don't accumulate new debt that might not always be possible. But if that would be bottom line that from today on. We trust God, wherein a whole, or in a pit maybe of our own making. But we trust God and see as you cry up to him whether not he shows up and helps you so that you are not overwhelmed by continual debt that is incredibly important. Number six contentment now are looking at this passage of Scripture and this is what it says now is a verse six now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world and we cannot take anything out of the world, but if we have food and clothing with these we will be content course. Paul doesn't mean only food and clothing.
If you live in the state of Illinois, for example, our any other northern state you're going to need a house you're going to need some heating oil lubricant and need some place to stay, but what Paul is saying is that the basics if we have the basics we should be content.
Our problem is we aren't content we aren't content. As I mentioned earlier, it's okay to better your position and so forth. But at the end of the day we look at ourselves and we think that we have to be like our parents or grandparents or the neighbors or whatever. I was in a home one time where the people were poor.
I'm talking about dirt poor. No rugs on the floor just the basics of life and you know there is so much joy in that family. There was so much happiness because they understood having food and raiment therein shall be content. I hope I'm wrong but I believe that the day is going to come to the United States of America when God is going to humble us and bring us down to the level of people in other countries.
I've been in countries of the world were little children come begging, pulling on your pant leg for a handout.
Children that are hungry children who probably have nowhere to lay their head at night. What a heartbreaking circumstance we think to ourselves. Some of us at least that we are owed this and that and the other thing, and without it we cannot be content. Some people think that the apostle Paul.
Most assuredly, never lived in the state of Illinois and the reason is because remember the book of Philippians. He says I have learned in whatever state I am therein to be content the other day I just typed into Google Illinois debt and I wanted to see how many billions we are in debt and I discovered that maybe there's no agreement. I won't even give you a number but it is the bond belief get our legislatures totally paralyzed, unable to act, unable to do anything about it as we keep going this direction and someday someday. The experts say the house of cards is going to come down but I learned in whatever state I am therein to the contents of the apostle Paul. He said I know how to be a humble. I know how to be amazed.
He said I know what it is to suffer want and need. I also know what it is like to be blessed by a good income, at least sometimes. He did during his tent making experience have you and I prayed that God would make us content so that we would live within our income rather than beyond it.
Number seven generosity generosity should people give even out of poverty. I want to put too fine a point on it, but in a sense, it depends on how much you really do love God. The Bible says in second Corinthians. Regarding the Macedonians. It says they gave out of their extreme poverty while no wonder they received a special blessing you know the Bible says he who sows sparingly shall reap sparingly, the person who sows generously will reap generously. Now you know that we are opposed to what is known as the name that claimant money, wealth, theology. But the Bible does in second Corinthians connector very clearly. Generosity with God's blessing. For example, it says that if you are generous, you will reap a harvest of righteousness. That's why think proportionate giving is important even in the midst of poverty to give something to God to remind us that all of it is his and we are giving him the opportunity to test him and to indeed receive a blessing. It's not dollar for dollar not I give God $10 no give me 100 back no.
But God is generous and blesses those who are generous with that which means most to us means a great deal to us mainly the whole issue of money and so I invite you to be generous. Don't say to yourself what you were gonna pay all of these bills and then if we happen to have something left over. Know give something to God first and then as he prospers you do is our experience has been in our home where we increase the amount of percentage over and over again as we experience God's blessing. Let us be generous people and you know there are those in our congregation who are struggling today. They don't have a job they can't pay their bills. We do all that we possibly can to help them through the Fellowship fund, but there are also those needs that we hear about that we can contribute to, and do so with a sense of release and joy. Where does all of this lead us.
I'd like to give you some suggestions going forward. First of all let money unite your family and not divided.
Let money unite your family and not divided. That is so very, very critical because you see what happens during the time of financial need, you discover that people begin to use it as a point of attack between the wife and the husband. It's one of those hot button issues. One of the things that you have to do is to talk and if you made a mistake and made a foolish investment is no use trying to put the best face on and say what you know I meant well yeah will mean well you have to do is humble yourself and admit to it and be reconciled at that point and be dead honest in terms of your relationship how critical that is honesty and don't get into bed and assume the fetal position and put the blanket over your head.
This is an opportunity today we have opportunities we never had before. When Rebecca and I were first married, there were in all of these organizations and websites that help people who were in a natural need and who I gave them instruction as to what are the plans to get out of debt.
10. How can you restructure and how can you save money. The websites are filled in the books are filled now with good advice and you can go to financial advisors who are going to help you, but I plead with you, don't get divorced over the money issue come to agreement come to an understanding lay all the cards on the table and seek reconciliation.
Anything that is very important is the commitment of all that you have to God.
Now, when I began this message in point number one.
It all begins to God. Probably use it to yourself. Yeah, yeah, we've heard all that before but have you ever transferred what you own to God. I was reading a book this week on money. A Christian book in which it had a quick claim page in which you signed off on all that you won't you put that in there all my investments all my property.
All this all this.
What ever I have my car I sign it to God do that because you see, even in the midst of your need in the midst of mistakes. God is there to help us.
He doesn't abandon us simply because we say what you know you're the one that got into doubt. And so you know you can figure this out on your own.
God is available to those who give themselves to him blindly remember the fact that we should be generous because God is been generous. Let me ask you a question how much you owe God.
The truth is we all owe God.
Obedience to the 10 Commandments.
For example, thou shall not covet.
Thou shall not covet thy neighbor's wife, thou shalt not covet his possessions. You and I are guilty of coveting that is sin and we owed God righteousness on that part says thou shall not bear false witness, and we can go through all of the 10 Commandments thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, we owe that old to God. We are indebted to him hugely.
But you know what we have to do is to rejoice that Jesus paid our debt is not good news. Harry Ironside was the pastor here for many years. Back in the 40s tells a story that I showed retail during the days of Nicholas the first, there was a soldier who was promoted because he was the son of Nicholas is friend and this young soldier had the responsibility of divvying up the money divvying up the the money for the soldiers those days you didn't have it on the Internet you couldn't use that electronic banking soul. The soldiers had to be given money, but the young man fell into the sin of gambling and gambled away the money that belong to the soldiers and according to the story. He totaled it all up, saw what the total was decided that at midnight he'd commit suicide because he knew he was going to be outed and embarrassed and he totaled it up and wrote under the total. A great debt who can pay well. As the story goes, he fell asleep and Nicholas himself came by the barracks at night recognize the young man is the son of one of his favorite friends and was going to have them arrested. But notice that there was the ledger and Nicholas saw that the young man was sleeping and took out his pen and wrote one word under the caption great debt who can pay and then he turned away and left young man woke up, he saw the ledger and there under those words was one word Nicholas. He checked to see if this was an authentic signature by going to the safe, to see if it matched any recognized it was in the very next day someone came from the palace to bring the money that this young man had squandered great debt who can pay Jesus came to pay what you and I can't and when he said to tell a sty paid in full. He met our dad. He paid for us that we can be redeemed and even as we take the cup and we say this cup is the cup of the new covenant in my blood. This brand represents my body. That was the payment that was made because of our sin.
How can we help but being generous people. And if you've never received Christ as Savior and received that gift of payment acknowledge your indebtedness and believe on him right now and will you join me as we pray our father, we want to thank you today for your grace that is been given to us in Jesus our Lord. Thank you, that though he was rich, yet for our sakes he became poor. We through his poverty might be made rich.
Help us oh Lord God. We pray may we be in a position of great joy and help all father who are struggling with issues of debt to honestly face it and that know that you are there to help them see the way out. In Jesus name, amen.
He is on today's Moody Church. Our Dr. Erwin lutes are spoke about till debt was part the fifth in a 10 part series on fighting for your family as our series unfolds you'll hear teaching on the threats posed by modern technology and the Internet and on the power of praying parents don't miss any of these crucial messages. Unlike its alternatives to traditional marriage produces children with whom our future as a culture rests next week. Pastor looks or looks into Matthew 18 as he speaks on children. God's special gift. Our current series can be yours on CD as our thank you for a gift of any amount to The Moody Church.
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Let us know you'd like to support Dr. Luther's ministry. When you call Vince in the series on fighting for your family. Call 1-800-215-5001 or write to us at The Moody Church 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614 online go to moody author.com that's moody author.com. Join us next week for another Moody Church.
Our with Dr. Erwin lutes are in the congregation of historic Moody Church in Chicago