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Debt Reduction – God’s Way for Individuals
Tom Copland, CA, presents seven workshops that will provide you with a biblical perspective on how to reduce and eliminate your debt with the long-term objective of honoring the Lord with your finances. Available in CD or DVD. These seminars were recorded at the In Touch Office in Markham, ON ( http://www.intouchcanada.org ).
CD set price is $35.00 plus $9.75 for shipping and tax. Order: DRGWCD
DVD set price is $50.00 plus $11.50 for shipping and tax. Order: DRGWDVD
* If you are in significant debt and you really need these CDs or DVDs and you cannot afford them, then please complete forms 1, 2, 3 and 5 of the Copland Budgeting System (which can be found on the home page of our website at www.biblefinance.org under Resources) and email it to email@example.com along with an explanation of your situation and we may provide the CDs or DVDs for free. All information will be kept confidential.
Debt Reduction God’s Way for Businesses
Presenting seven workshops that will provide you with a Biblical perspective on how to reduce and eliminate your debt with the long-term objective of honoring the Lord with your finances. Available in CD version only. These seminars were also recorded at the In Touch Office in Markham, ON ( http://www.intouchcanada.org ).
· God’s Wisdom on debt and the importance of saving
· Steps to get out of debt
· Cash flow planning & questions to consider before borrowing
· Sample cash flow for OPCO Ltd.
· Financial deceptions
· Steps to personal relationship with God
· Developing Godly attitudes toward money and one’s business
· Memory verses
DVD set price is $60.00 plus $12.00 for shipping and tax. Order: DRGWBDVD.
** If your business is in significant debt and you really need these CDs and you cannot afford them, then please send us a copy of your businesses financial satements for the last 2 years by email to firstname.lastname@example.org along with an explanation of your situation and we may provide the CDs for free. All information will be kept confidential.
To order the version you prefer ie. personal or business, please call inTouch Ministries at 1-800-323-3747.
Please visit our new website at www.biblefinance.org
If you review everything that the Bible has to say on debt, it is clear that God discourages debt and warns of the dangers of debt [Proverbs 22:7].
It is not a sin to borrow money, but it is a sin to borrow and not repay. Psalms 37:21 states, “The wicked borrow and do not repay, but the righteous give generously.” The implication is that the righteous person not only repays all debts, but goes “the second mile” and gives generously.
What kind of a “light into a world of darkness” is a Christian who does not repay his debts on time? Jesus said: “In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” (Matt 5:16) Clearly, it is God’s will that all Christians pay their debts on time.
Having seen the finances of over 2000 people since 1982, I am aware that most individuals and couples will have to borrow some money at some point, particularly for the purchase of a home.
Before borrowing any money, I recommend that you do the following.
1. Develop a budget, to ensure that you can afford the loan payments. [Luke 14:28-30]
2. Present the need to God in prayer and give God a chance [Psalms 37:7] to provide the cash or an alternative at lower cost. Often Christians buy things on credit without even giving God a chance to meet the need in a manner that is glorifying to him [Ps 107:8,9].
3. In prayer, ask God if it is really a need. God has promised to meet our needs [Matthew 6:31-33], not necessarily our wants and desires.
4. Most importantly, spend quality time with the Lord in prayer, seeking God’s wisdom [James 1:5] and God’s specific direction-i.e. does he want you to borrow the money or not? God has promised to direct us: “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you” [Psalms 32:8].
In summary, as shown in the diagram below, God’s perspective on debt is very different than the world’s perspective. The mindset of most people is to “buy now and pay later” or “smart people use other people’s money”. On the other hand, God’s desire is for us to use minimal debt or no debt [Deuteronomy 28:1-14], by saving for future needs, rather than borrowing [Proverbs 21:20]. God has promised that He alone will meet our needs. “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus” [Philippians 4:19].
Debt Or No Debt Debt
God promised his people, that if they fully obeyed him, then He would bless them so that they would be lenders and not borrowers.
“If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today…The LORD will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none.” [Deuteronomy 28:1, 12]
On the other hand, if God’s people did not obey Him, then they would be borrowers.
However, if you do not obey the LORD your God and do not carefully follow all his commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come upon you and overtake you….the alien who lives among you will rise above you higher and higher, but you will sink lower and lower. He will lend to you, but you will not lend to him.” (Deuteronomy 28:1, 12, & 43, 44 emphasis added).
Unfortunately today, most Christians violate God’s financial principles and as a result, accumulate debt. Sometimes it is an ungodly attitude such as envy, lack of contentment, greed or selfishness that causes them to spend more than the income that God has entrusted to them. Or, they “live paycheque to paycheque” [Proverbs 21:20] with no budget [Luke 14:28-30], and make financial decisions based upon their “gut feel” or personal desires, without asking for God’s wisdom [James 1:5] and God’s specific direction [Psalms 32:8].
Please remember, God has promised to meet our needs [Matthew 6:28-33], but not necessarily our wants and desires. If you want to be obedient to God, there is no substitute for being content with God’s provision. “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Heb 13:5)
All of us, like the apostle Paul, must learn to be content with God’s provision and the only way to accomplish this, is to have a close personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” (Phil 4:11-13)
In summary, God always blesses obedience when we utilize the money that He has entrusted to us [Matthew 25:14-30] according to His principles and His Will. To ensure that you are using God’s money God’s way, it is absolutely necessary that you regularly spend quality time studying what God’s Word says on finances. With 2350 references in the Bible to money and material things, there is “lots to learn”.
In this regard, I would encourage you to obtain some of the excellent materials from Crown Financial Ministries Canada – crowncanada.ca. In addition, if you would like a copy of my workbook called “Debt Reduction God’s Way”, then send an e-mail to me [email@example.com] and I will e-mail it to you at no charge.
Perhaps God’s greatest “financial promise” to believers, is that He will meet our needs, as we put Him first. Jesus said:
“So do not worry, saying, `What shall we eat?’ or `What shall we drink?’ or `What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” [Matthew 6:31-33 emphasis added].
God has promised to meet our needs and God does not need the bank, credit cards or a personal line of credit, in order to accomplish this. The apostle Paul confirmed this: “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus” [Philippians 4:19].
Nowhere in the Bible did God ever direct anyone to borrow money in order for God to meet their needs. Because God is all-powerful, all-knowing, and present everywhere, when God decides to provide, He does so utilizing His own resources. King David testified: “I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread” (Ps 37:25).
There are many examples of God’s miraculous provision in the Bible. Here are a few:
1. God provided the Israelites with manna for 40 years in the desert [Exodus 16:35].
2. Jesus fed 4000 families with seven loaves and a few fish [Matthew 5:35-38].
3. God provided for Elijah’s needs via the ravens during a severe drought [1 Kings 17:2-6].
4. Working through Elijah, God provided for the needs of a widow and her son [1 Kings 17:13-16].
5. God provided for the Israelites by making Joseph the PM of Egypt [Genesis 41:41 & 45:7].
6. On many occasions, Christ met needs by healing the sick [e.g. Matthew 4:24, 8:16].
7. God created oil by filling many jars so a widow could pay her debts (2 Kings 4:1-7).
In light of the above, is it not reasonable to trust God [not a lender], to meet our needs? Of course it is! Since 1982, I have had the privilege of counselling well over 1,000 people who had a lot of debt -in many cases more than they could personally pay back. However, when they started to manage money God’s way, God would bless them for their obedience via “mini miracles” of provision and unique wisdom. Obedience always brings blessing [Deut 28:1-14].
God has promised to meet our needs, but not necessarily our wants and desires. Often, what we believe to be needs are really wants and desires. For example, an individual earning $40,000 per year is in the top 5% of all income earners in the world! We are very wealthy but we don’t realize it. And so often, we believe that our needs are not being met when in fact they are. In Matthew 6:31-33, cited above, Jesus said that needs included food, drink and clothing. Similarly, in 1 Timothy 6:6-8 Paul said:
“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it, but if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.”
In summary, God does not need a lender of any kind, in order to accomplish His Will [Isaiah 46:9-11]. He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords [Rev 19:16]. Unfortunately, Christians often borrow money without: (1) consulting God [1 Kings 22:5] or (2) asking God to provide [Matthew 7:7, 8 & John 15:7] and (3) waiting for His provision [Psalms 37:7]. God admonishes us, not to worry, but rather put Him first and He will meet our needs [Luke 12:27-31].