April 10, 2016 $tewards of Money And Reliable Truth “$.M.A.R.T. Debt”
Texts: Proverbs 22:7; James 4:13-16; Psalm 37:21; Romans 13:7-8
IN A NUTSHELL: Debt is a huge problem in our nation, in our world, and in our individual lives. Most families sitting in church on Sunday morning have some level of debt, and that does not necessarily place them outside of God’s will. There are some popular misconceptions about the scriptural teaching on debt that we’ll look at in this sermon. We will examine some of the negative consequences of debt and how it squelches our ability to be generous stewards of God’s resources.
ICE BREAKER: When did you first take out a loan or credit card? Did that first experience with debt have any effect on your decision-making about debt in later years?
1. Is debt encouraged in Scripture? Why? (Romans 13:8; Proverbs 22:7; 1 Corinthians 7:23)
2. What do these verses say about repaying debts? (Psalm 37:21; Proverbs 3:27-28)
3. Read 2 Kings 4:1-7. What principles of getting out of debt can you identify from this passage?
1. Here is a list of indicators that you may have a debt problemAre there any of these you have observed in your own life?
· You avoid asking the tough questions. How are we really going to pay for this?
· You are living month to month with no budget.
· Making minimum payments on a variety of loans or credit cards.
· Moving credit balances around.
· Dreaming of a quick fix for your debts.
· Hoping someone else will pay or work off your debts.
· Unable to give a tithe or respond to God’s call on your life.
2. If you are in debt, do you have a strategy or plan for debt repayment?
3. How can we live with contentment in our life? What’s the “secret” of contentment? (Colossians 4:10-19)
What is one action you can take this week in relation to wealth, debt, and/or generosity?
Read Luke 6:38; Philippians 4:15; 2 Corinthians 9:6-8. How is this spiritual economy different from the world’s system of “buying and selling” or “whoever has the most wins”? What priorities need to shift in order for us to be in alignment with the Lord’s stewardship principles?
THREE KEY PRINCIPLES
· Christians ought to live in freedom and contentment, but debt enslaves us.
· Christians ought to live in peace and assurance, but debt causes worry, fear, and insecurity.
· Christians ought to live generously, but debt ties up our resources.
· In what ways does debt limit our freedom?
· What would happen if you suddenly lost your primary source of income?
· How has debt affected your ability to be generous?
· Proverbs 22:7
· James 4:13-16
· Psalm 37:21
· Romans 13:7-8