Mark R Lindsey

Archive for the ‘debt’ Category

Strange Fire: Our attempts to serve God can be steps away from his clear plan.

In Bible Study, debt, Matthew on August 31, 2019 at 8:40 am

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Beware of your reasoning to “put God first”; your mind can trick you.

Matthew 15:1-6 – Then Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat.” He answered them, “And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? For God commanded, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’ But you say, ‘If anyone tells his father or his mother, “What you would have gained from me is given to God,” he need not honor his father.’ So for the sake of your tradition you have made void the word of God.

 

By your act of sacrifice to God, you could disobey God. Is that the sacrifice God wants?  Certainly not.

It is first most important to honor God himself. This means understanding He has a plan — that is the one you were made to take. (That’s what “Obedience”: doing what you were perfectly fitted to do —by creation, life, experience, abilities.) Honoring God means agreeing He is worthy of obeying in every way he has a plan. 

If I invent a way to honor God that prevents me from actually follow his clear plan, I’m really not honoring God. God puts his clear plan for me in the Bible, the Word of God.  Jesus calls this practice of inventing my own holiness  “making void the word of God”.  The Pharisees decided to donate money “to God,” and then claim that they couldn’t help their needy father or mother because of their donation.   So they had invented a way to “be holy” that replaced God’s actual way. It wasn’t holy at all.

What could it looks like to “make void the word of God?” Maybe:

  • Ask for donors to support me when I could be working. (Eph. 4:28)
  • Putting in extra hours helping at the church building when I should be seeking to understand my wife. (1 Pet. 3:7)
  • Attend seminary or college instead of working to pay my debts. (Rom. 13:8; Eph 4:28)
  • Doing International missions in a dangerous place, while lacking compassion in the lost people of that area. (1 Cor. 13:1-5)
  • Stop gathering together in a Small Group of Christians so I have energy to cheerfully endure the school & work week (Heb. 3:13, Heb. 10:25).
  • Write another article for my blog instead of listening to what God says to me in His word (Psalm 119:147; Psalm 143:8).

Pray to ask God to show you where you are deceived by your attempts at holiness that override God’s instructions to you. If God reveals errors, thank him for helping you, and commit to fight the sin. Ask other of Jesus’s disciples to help you fight and warn you against the deceitfulness of sin (Heb. 3:13).

 

It’s hard to buy on debt, wisely

In buying, debt on April 14, 2007 at 1:17 pm

It’s hard to buy on debt wisely, for me. Here’s the problem: if I have the money in the bank, and by spending it, it’ll just go away, then I can reason about its value.

But suppose I have to buy a car, and I can almost pay cash, but I’ll need to borrow a little — $1500. For only $1500 more, I can get the superdeluxe version. It’s hard for me to say no to the superdeluxe version, because that $1500 difference just doesn’t feel like real money. And especially so if I’ll be paying for it over a long period of time, like years.

I can get the use of that money now, for years, and feel the cost smeared out over the next four. It’s hard to refuse.

Of course, it’s real money. My only technique so far for handling it is to make a list of other things I can buy for $1500. But the problem here is that, unlike the superdeluxe features of the car, I won’t be able to buy them until the end of the several years.