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Sermon of the Week 
Monday, May 03 2021

Proverbs 22:7 “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.”

Excessive personal debt is taking a huge toll in this country and the world.

The U.S. national debt hit a new high of $28 trillion dollars as of March. That’s 28 followed by 12 zeroes! In 1990 we owed 54% of everything the country brought in (or it’s GDP)                                                                                           But in 2021, our country now owes 130% of its GDP, or 30% more than it takes in through every stream of revenue.

The interest we pay (that’s all of us) on the National Debt is 570 billion dollars per year. That’s 570 billion that isn’t coming back into the economy for the American people on top of all that is being paid to the flood of illegals coming across our borders every day, because one party doesn’t want the wall.

It’s a debt which every American has to pay through every dollar we spend. That breaks down to $67,000 debt, owed by every man, woman and child when you get up every morning .  

This country owes a debt it cannot pay and it is a generational curse that every U.S. citizen must live with. But as Christians, we believe God will have the last say….

Well, I want to say, “Hallelujah, we are blessed beyond the curse! When king Balak commanded Balaam to curse the Jewish people, He told the king, “How can I curse what God has blessed”!! Somebody give me a Hallelujah! 

Herbert Hoover said…Blessed are the young, for they shall inherit the national debt… But God said we are blessed beyond the curse!

Josh Billings said..You should always live within your income, even if you have to borrow to do so. – But God said we are blessed beyond the curse!

Bill Vaughn said… Economists report that a college education adds many thousands of dollars to a man’s lifetime income – which he then spends sending his children to college. But God said we are blessed beyond the curse

Sam Ewing said…Inflation is when you pay fifteen dollars for the ten-dollar haircut you used to get for five dollars when you had hair. But God said we are blessed beyond the curse...

Debt is one of the major causes of stress unless you’re a politician who is spending other people’s money…. (there’s no stress in that)

Debt is the major cause of lost time at work, lost sleep, lost hair, physical problems, obesity and divorce.

When the Lord was promising to make Israel a powerful nation, He spoke in terms of borrowing and lending as a gauge which would represent the strength and weakness of the nation.

Deuteronomy 15:6 says, “For the LORD your God will bless you as He has promised you, and you will lend to many nations, but you will not borrow; and you will rule over many nations, but they will not rule over you.”                  Once again, the Lord is emphasizing that excessive borrowing will weaken people and nations, because the lender has power over the borrower. The Jewish people have thrived in their nation, by strict adherence to the principles taught in the Torah.  If the Jewish nation had waited to understand the ramifications of God’s principles, they would not have obeyed. But they obeyed even though they didn’t totally understand all that was involved in the kingdom principles God gave them. You might say that we need to obey God’s requirements of stewardship, until understanding comes, not if we understand

1 Corinthians 7:23 simply says, “God has purchased you at a high price. Do not be enslaved by the world.”

Debt is very spiritual.. because it’s about who and what controls you as a follower of Jesus Christ. Satan seeks to get control of anyone who desires to follow the Lord Jesus. And He is very successful at this deception!

The root cause of financial debt, is discontentment. Discontent is the mother of greed and covetousness. Discontent is the source of non-violent crimes and crimes which lead to violence and murder. 

Historian Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., says, “our society is marked by "inextinguishable discontent." Our quest is to get what is bigger and better and what is next. We want a better job with better pay and a better boss. We want better relationships and a better car and a better backhand in tennis or a longer drive in golf. And, we have a propensity to live endlessly for the next thing - the next weekend, the next vacation, the next purchase, and the next experience. We are never satisfied, never content, and envious of those who have what we have not been able to getor accumulate”.                                                           At the age of thirty-two Doug McKnight was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Over the coming years it would cost him his career, his mobility, and eventually his life. Because of MS, he couldn't feed himself or walk; he battled depression and fear. But through it all, Doug never lost his sense of gratitude to God. Evidence of this was seen in his prayer list. Friends in his congregation asked him to compile a list of requests so they could intercede for him. His response included eighteen blessings for which to be grateful and six concerns for which to be prayerful. His blessings outweighed his needs by three times. Doug McKnight discovered that what he had in Christ was greater than whatever else he didn’t have in life, and that was his source of contentment.

Paul, the apostle, wrote, Philippians 4:11 "I don't say this out of need, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am in. v12 I know both how to have little, and I know how to abound: 

everywhere and in all things I am instructed both how to be full and how to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. v13 I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.".

Paul is saying that true contentment is not found in what he has or where he is, but it is found in WHOSE HE IS!.... WHOSE HE IS!!

A man once went to a minister for counseling. He was experiencing a financial collapse. "I've lost everything," he moaned. All that I worked so hard for and poured my energy, time and money into is gone. All that I had hoped to build for the future is up in smoke. The minister said, "I'm so sorry to hear that you've lost your faith.' "No," the man corrected him, "I didn’t say that I lost my faith.""Well, then the minister said, I'm sad to hear that you've lost your character." "I didn't say that I lost my character," the man corrected him. So the minister said, “Well then, I'm sorry to hear that you've lost your salvation."

"That's not what I said," the man objected. "I haven't lost my salvation." Well, let’s see. The minister said…."You have your faith, you have your character, and you still have your salvation. Seems to me, that you've lost none of the things that really matter." Yes, it’s about Whose I Am!!

John Stott wrote, "Contentment is the true secret of inward peace. It remembers the stark truth that we brought nothing into the world and we can take nothing out of it. Life, in fact, is a pilgrimage from one moment of nakedness to another. So we should travel light and live simply. Our enemy is not possessions, but excess. Our battle cry is not “I must have everything!' but 'what I have at this moment is enough for this moment!' I can get to anywhere my God needs me to be, from righthere”.

Contentment comes when we can honestly say with the apostle Paul, Philippians 4:12-13 "I know both how to have a little, and I know how to have a lot. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret [of being content] - whether well-fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need. I am able to do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. 

A short-term missionary met a leper he would never forget on a mission trip, on the island of Tobago. On the final day, he was leading worship in a leper colony. He asked if anyone had a favorite song. When he did, this woman turned around, and he saw the most disfigured face he'd ever seen. She had no ears and no nose. Her lips were gone. But she raised a hand with the fingers gone, and asked, "Could we sing 'Count Your Many Blessings'?"

The missionary started the song but couldn't finish, he got so choked up. His associate later commented, "I suppose you'll never be able to sing that song again." he answered, "No, I'll sing it again. Just never the same way I ever sang it before I met her."

This kind of contentment isn't natural. We're not born with it. It is a fruit of the spirit which is learned through surrender to the one who is the prince of peace and the ruler of our heart.

May I ask you a question? Where is your contentment located? What is the one thing separating you from contentment? How do you fill in the blank: "I will be happy when this or that happens" When I am healed. When I am promoted. When I am married. When I am single. When I am rich. How would you finish the statement?

We can become so busy with somewhere else, and what we don’t have, that we don’t fully cherish where we are and what we do have.

Now, with your answer firmly in mind, answer this. If your ship never comes in, if your dream never comes true, if the situation never changes, could you be happy? If not, then you are living in the gripof discontentment.

Contentment isn't just about denying our feelings about wanting and desiring what we don’t have, but instead it is freedom from being controlled by those feelings. Contentment isn't pretending things are right when they are not, but instead it displays the peace that comes from knowing that God is bigger than any problems and that he works them all out for our good. 

Constantly trying to scratch our itches with one thing or another is like cotton candy. It's sweet for a moment and dissolves an instant later. 

Contentment is always an inside job. It has everything to do with what is going on inside you, not what is going on outside. It’s about what you’re attached to. That connection is found in a soul satisfying relationship with our Heavenly Father that cares for us and promises to meet us where we are.

Contentment is a matter of the will

If we fail to surrender our will, we shall forever be discontent. Our freedom will be suffocated. We will be in bondage to our desires. Our relationships will be poisoned. Potential blessings will be sacrificed. Our peace will be destroyed, and we will be robbed of joy, we will be miserable, and we willtarnish our witness. We dishonor God if we proclaim a Savior who satisfies and then we live in discontent.

Contentment comes from letting go of the past

Philippians 3:13 "Brothers, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But this one thing I do: forgetting what is behind, I am reaching forward to what is ahead". We cannot hope to ever gain contentment while holding on to past failures and mistakes – the mistakes of others or our own. There's a difference between ignoring past wrongs and forgetting them. Forgetting means that we work through the process of forgiving others and allowing God's forgiveness to cover us. 

We need to let go of such statements that begin with "I should have," “I could have”, "If only I had." True forgiveness requires that we see the wrongs clearly, articulate them, release them to God, and then walk away from them. This process may take some time and some learning by application, butwithout it we will never have a contented heart.

Tim Vanderveen from Spring Lake, Michigan was a great student at Hope College, Holland, Michigan. Tall, broad shouldered, curly hair, and a smile as broad as life. In the early 90s after graduating from college, he took a job at Johnson Controls. He climbed the ladder of success about as quickly as anyone can.

And on a rawboned, wind-whipped November afternoon, Tim called his good friend and former professor, Tim Brown. Professor Brown said, "Hey, Tim, how you doing?"

A weak, trembling voice said, "I'm not doing so good."

Professor Brown said, "What's up with you?"

Tim said, "I'm in the hospital in Grand Rapids. I got the flu or something. My folks are out of the country."

Professor Brown said, "I'm going to be in Grand Rapids later today. Maybe I can stop by and see you. Would that be okay?"

Tim said, "I'd appreciate that so much."

By the time Professor Brown visited Tim, the doctors had already been there. It wasn't the flu. It was leukemia. And that began a three-year, arduous battle that he would lose - or win, maybe.

Three years later, at Spectrum Hospital, room 5225, Professor Brown walked into Tim's room. His mother was sitting in the corner crying. You can't blame her. Tim is being assisted with breathing. He has lost a lot of weight and His hair was falling out. The professor got up close to the bed and said, "Hi, Tim, how’s it going buddy."

Tim said, "Hi, Professor."

There was a long, awkward pause. Professor Brown had been a pastor for twenty years and still didn't know what to say.

Tim broke the silence, with a voice that was just a whisper, he said "I've learned something."

So the professor said, "Tell me, partner, what have you learned?"

Tim said, "I've learned that life is not like a VCR."

So the professor said, "I’m sorry Tim, I don't get it. What do you mean?"

Tim said, "It's not like a VCR; you can't fast forward through the bad parts."

There’s a Long pause, as the professor is thinking to himself what Tim has just said.

Then Tim interrupts the silence again to say, "But I have learned that Jesus Christ is in every frame, and every event, and right now that's enough for me."

Hebrews 11.6, "But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." Hey, the devil can’t kill a true Christian, all he can do is promote us to the next level, of eternal life….                

If you have Jesus, you have grace for every sin, direction for every turn, a candle for every corner, and an anchor for every storm. You come to understand that you have everything you need. I said last week, If you have Jesus, you’ve hit the biggest lottery of all time…. 

One day an old man wrote a letter to God....and he tied the letter to a tree outside a church. The minister saw it tied there and took down the letter.

It read "Please God, I'm a poor man, I need you tosend me $100,000 so I can pay my debts and live peacefully".

Being a compassionate man, the minister took donations around town for the old man and raised $5,000. He tracked down the old man and handed him the envelope marked "From God"…

The next day, the old man came back and tied another letter to the tree.

The minister took down the letter and read it excitedly.

It said "Dear God, thank you for sending me the money. Next time, please send it to me directly because the minister can't be trusted. Lord, can you believe he took $95,000 of my money!" (I think that’s called discontent!)

Psalm 89:18 All we are and all we have, we owe to God, the Holy God of Israel, our King! 

We owe a Debt of forgiveness

We owe a Debt of praise

We owe a Debt of witnessing.. If you do not confess me before men, I will not confess you before my Father in heaven….. but aren’t you glad it also says ‘He ever lives to make intercession for us before the throne of God.”

We owe a debt of love…Jesus gave the ultimate gift of love for us…

We owe a debt to the one who provided finances, a home, a job, health and life to enjoy it all, and eternal life with Him beyond all of that. 

Wow, we owe an eternal debt, and our eternity has already begun the moment we made Him our savior and lord!                                                               

Can leukemia infect your salvation? Can bankruptcy impoverish your prayer life? Can what happens in your world, steal your joy? A hurricanemay take your earthly house, but will it touch your heavenly home?

When I come into a relationship with God through his Son, Jesus Christ, I understand that it is now all about WHOSE I AM, not what I have or don’t have.

Paul the apostle said, “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain”. 

Our chief aim and goal as children of God, is to please God….Those who know God want to please God .. like Enoch in the Old Testament "who had this testimony, that he pleased God". Do you have that testimony? When Enoch walked into a room, they said, "There is a man who is pleasing God. There's a man of God who is living for the Glory of God." What do people say about you when you walk into a room?

I don't know about you .. but I want it said about me what was said about Enoch, "before he was taken, he had this testimony, that he pleased God."

Let me bring this to a close with a promise from God, which is about being free of discontentmentand becoming debt free, and free from the bondage of too much debt. When I say bondage, I’m not saying don’t buy that car, or that home, but I’m talking debt that is beyond your ability to pay…. That’s bondage. 

John 8:35 “A slave (one who is in bondage) is not a permanent member of the family, but a son belongs to it forever. v36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed”.

Now I want to get to what the Lord spoke to me about debt when I began to develop this message. 

God told the Jewish people that when they loaned money to a fellow Jew, they were not to charge interest on the agreed term of payback. HoweverHe said something else, which is really amazing and it sounds a lot like John 8:35, because it’s about becoming debt free, or at least being able to pay your debt without being in bondage to it! Look at it with me…. 

Deuteronomy 15:1 “At the end of every seven years you shall grant a release of debts. And this is the form of the release: Every creditor who has lent anything to his neighbor shall release it; he shall not require it of his neighbor or his brother, because it is called the Lord’s release”.

IT IS CALLED THE LORD’S RELEASE! God wanted His people to be debt free so much that He provided a covenant of release from debt!

First, this is God saying, “It’s all mine anyway, you don’t own anything, it’s all on loan from Me”… I have loaned you the house, the car, the money, your children, your spouse, your job… etc…

Look at this….Luke 12:17 “And a certain manthought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my increase? v18 And he said, This will I do, I will pull down my barns, and build greater and there will I bestow all my increase and my goods. (He’s not thinking of God here) v19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have much goods laid up for many years, take your ease, eat, drink, and be merry. v20But God (everyone say But God) said unto him, you fool, this night your soul shall be required of you. Then whose shall those things be, which you have provided? v21 So also are those that lay up treasure for themselves, and are not rich toward God”.
What a question, and it is one that demands an answer…. THEN WHOSE SHALL THOSE THINGS BE?

Deuteronomy calls it the Lord’s release, John says He who the Son sets free is free indeed!!

The Holy Spirit has told me to believe this day, that God will perform the Release of The Lord… in your life and for your family. 

I believe there is a special anointing in this place, that comes by the infallible word of God to His people. We are not called to be slaves to the world system, that would affect our place of Sonship, since it gives us a divided heart. 

So I’m going to obey God today and speak the RELEASE OF THE LORD, over your debt and your bondage to it….

Galatians 5:1. “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage (or slavery).”

Nahum 1:13 For I will now break their yoke from your neck and tear away your shackles.”

Isaiah 10:27 “And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing.”

God is establishing covenant with our finances, that your debt be cancelled and the yoke and the bondage on you or your family being broken and destroyed. I want everyone to come and stand here with me. This is the RELEASE OF THE LORD! Our dollar bills still say “In God we trust” on them, even though there are forces that want to remove that statement at their own peril. We enter into this covenant of the RELEASE OF THE LORD today.

Prayer…..Lord Jesus, You taught us to pray “forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors.” Lord, You said that as we give, it would be given unto us full measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over. You said, in Luke 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. 

He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. We receive Your financial favor, which You bring to set us free. Jesus, You said that if we would ask for our daily bread, or provision, You would give it and it would be more than enough. 

We declare, according to Your word that It is time for a reset. It’s time for a Jubilee. It’s time for debts to be cancelled. It is time for financial freedom.Thank you lord, for financial healing and recovery. Thank you for freedom from the stress, the pressure, and the bondage of debt. Thank You that He whom the Son sets free is FREE INDEED! In Jesus Name!!!

Posted by: AT 03:42 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
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