Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
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From a sermon on “Money Matters” by Pastor John in a prayer meeting on January 2, 1991
Those who shackle themselves with debt become slaves to those whom they owe. Solomon recognized this long ago and warned his son, “The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is a slave to the lender” (Prov. 22:7). Some years back, there was a dear brother in Christ who, together with his wife, made ample money, easily double the amount that most saints whom I knew made, but they were always in financial difficulty. He even had to borrow a dollar from me one evening to buy oil for his truck. He didn’t even have a dollar, and yet he earned more income than almost anyone that I knew in Christ!
After tax season one year, he confided in me that his accountant told him that he and his wife had paid a total of over $17,000 in interest the previous year. That was more money than most of the children of God whom I knew earned as total income for one year! Now, I know that everything is relative in the world of finance and that paying $17,000 in interest in a single year may be an insignificant matter for truly wealthy people. But for that brother, and for everyone around us at that time, $17,000 was a staggering figure.
I tell this story because it helps illustrate what Jesus said about a borrower becoming servant to the lender, and this is what I mean: I never asked how much that dear brother’s yearly income was, and so I can only speculate as to how many months it would have taken him and his wife to earn $17,000. But I do know that however long it took them, during that entire time, they were working for someone else’s profit, not their own. They were de facto slaves to those to whom they owed money. Everything they earned during those months was going directly into their lender’s pockets instead of being used for the care of their own children. The children of their lenders were being fed and clothed and educated with money that that dear brother and his wife earned instead of them being able to keep the money they earned for their own children. They were what I call “debt-slaves”.
God promised His children that if we would obey Him, we would not become debt-slaves to men. “I will make you the head and not the tail”, He promised. And that is a promise to be greatly valued and greatly desired.
Banks advertise themselves on television and on the internet as “your friendly neighborhood bank”, but how friendly do you think those banks will be if you become unable to pay them the money that you owe them? You would not miss many payments before you would be out in the street and your friendly bank would be friends with somebody else who had the money. The love of money is the foundation of every bank on the planet, and you have no friend but Jesus. Do not put your financial security into the hands of men. Trust God and spend money the way He instructs us to do. Otherwise, prepare yourself to become the tail instead of the head, and to become the debt-slave of someone in this world who does not love you.