Love you all, praying for you
This Daily Huddle is longer than usual. I pray God will draw your heart to stay with me. Sometimes God’s Word is so direct. These are not always comfortable – but they are so important. We've been teaching God's financial principles to others - for over twenty-five years. But God revealed something recently that may be the most important verse in the Bible - about money. Psalms 119:72 - The laws from your mouth are more precious to me than silver or gold. What does that really mean? When I was a kid, I thought that meant ‘I would rather read the Bible than have money.” Which I knew I wasn’t quite there yet… But once you have lived a few years – you’ve seen money come and go. What’s the use of having money if you can’t keep it. And God’s Word is so true – money has a way of taking wings and flying off to the sky like an eagle. Or what’s the use of having money if trouble comes with it. More than one lotto winner wished they never won the lottery. Not only is the love of money the root of all evil, it can also be the root of a lot of disappointment. God Word says “The blessing of the LORD brings wealth and He adds no trouble to it.” But David is talking about something deeper here… As usual – there are secrets hidden beneath the words. David is saying not only would he rather have God’s Word than money, he was saying at every point that he must choose… He chooses the direction of God’s Word – and he rejects the direction of money. Matthew 6:24 – No one can serve two masters. He will either love the one and hate the other, or will be devoted to one and despise the other, you cannot serve God and money. It’s One or the other. You will either serve God or you will serve money – you cannot serve both. You can’t love both – you can’t live under the authority of both. That’s what serve means. When money says, “Why would you do that? That doesn’t make sense?” You say – “God’s Word says… and it doesn’t matter if it makes sense or not. The Word from His mouth is more precious to me than silver or gold.” When money says – “but you’d incur a penalty.” You say, God Word says… and it doesn’t matter if it means I lose money or not.” When money says “The interest of debt is less than the interest of this investment.” You say, “God’s Word says… and it doesn’t matter if I lose out on a profit or not.” That’s how you know His Word is more precious to you than silver or gold.” When you obey what God’s Word says, and reject what money says – and all those who follow after it. When money says, “Why would you pay rent? You’re just throwing your money away?” You say, “God’s Word says… do not become a slave of the lender – you were already purchased at a very high price.” It's His money not mine, If God wants to “waste” his money on rent – that’s His call not mine. But I will obey His Word - because the words from His mouth are more precious to me – than silver or gold. If He says do not become a slave of men (1 Corinthians 7:23) the lender (Proverbs 22:7) - then I will obey His Word – because His Word is more precious to me than silver or gold.” But how will you ever… get a house? How will you ever get an education? How will you ever get a car, how will you ever get a TV or furniture for your house? Notice how it’s already becoming more easy to discern… that’s money talking. That is not my call to make, that’s not my decision. And since when do I have to understand how – before I obey now? Abraham didn’t… He would have never left Ur of the Chaldees for a land that God would show Him, neither would he have offered his son as a sacrifice – if he had to first understand fully – before obeying immediately. Faith doesn’t always understand right now – but it will. There will be many times where you will have to decide… to choose… between what money says, and what God says. You cannot serve both – you cannot come under the authority of – both. Better to make the decision now – rather than be in the throws of it then. What does God say? And what do you say? Say it now – and you’ll say it then. People, even well-meaning people (like relatives and friends – and those who have a book to sell, or investments to sell you…) will always say what money says – not often what God says. But to come under the authority of God, you need to leave the authority of money. You cannot serve (come under the authority of) God and money. You will obey one or you will obey the other. You will live according to what One says, or you will live according to the other. You will hold on to one, and place little value on the other. It doesn’t matter what the reason is… or what money says. If God says tithe, I tithe. If God says give, I give; if God says, let no debt remain outstanding, then like the gazelle in Proverbs 6, let no sleep come to my eyes until I plead my case with my neighbor – I do not rest until I have obeyed. Till every debt is paid. When God says Do not strike hands in pledge, I do not strike hands in pledge, not for myself or anybody else. I do not come under the authority of another - that God says is a curse. What is debt? Debt is – buying today – what God has not given you the money for yet. Some of you already are disagreeing with what is being said. It’s not that you want to disagree with the Word of God, or the words spoken, it’s that you know you want something or may want something that God has not given you the money for yet, and it’s making you uncomfortable. Money says – there is an easy fix for that, it’s called “easy payments.” 90 days same as cash. Better to have a mortgage than rent, you need that education to get the job you want. The 1st is zero percent truth, all lie. 90 days is not the same as cash. The second is zero truth, 100% lie. God never called rent a curse, nor groceries or utilities, but He did say debt was a curse. An education for the job (part truth, but the implication is false. The implication is – “without debt, you can’t get an education therefor without debt, you couldn't get the job. That is 100% false. God has done it before – many, many times. When God says, the borrower is slave to the lender Proverbs 22:7. When God says You were bought at a price, do not become slaves of men, (I Cor 7:23) When God says you should have no debt except love (Romans 13:8) I don’t borrow. I don’t become intwined with, subservient to – another. I already belong to someone. I reject becoming a slave to any other except Jesus Christ who purchased me at a very high price. When God says let no debt remain but the debt to love – the only monthly payments I will ever make, are those love payments. It doesn’t matter what money says, it doesn’t matter what makes sense, it doesn’t matter what everyone else is doing, even my pastor and my church, it doesn’t matter how much “money I would save” or how much money I could earn… the Word of the LORD is more precious to me than silver or gold. When God calls debt a curse, I choose to be blessed, and my children and their children after me. When God says the wicked borrow – I will not borrow. When God says the wicked borrow – AND the wicked do not repay. I will not let money say to me “the wicked borrow and do not repay, but the righteous borrow and make their payments on time.” That’s what money says, but it is not what God’s Word says, not in this verse, not in any other verse in the entire Bible. The Word says the wicked borrow – that’s what the wicked do. And… the wicked borrow and don’t repay. ‘Cause sometimes when you borrow – things happen! Circumstances change – what you assumed would continue - didn’t continue. That’s why God says do not become slaves of men, don't borrow! Your very bed could be snatched from under you. That’s what the wicked do. God says the righteous don’t borrow and repay – the righteous – don’t borrow! The righteous lend. They don’t borrow – so they never “not repay.” They don’t borrow that’s why they lend. How do they have money to lend? They don’t borrow - they don’t have to repay. They pay their savings – they do not pay another master. That’s why they have money to lend. And then God says, “Lend without interest – to anyone who asks you.” And “lend expecting nothing in return.” “Give to the poor.” The righteous have money to give – because they didn’t borrow and always have to pay. They save, so they can give and give hilariously. And as they give – more will be given to them – God’s Word says this unmistakeably. The reason the devil wants you to borrow – is so money is your master, so you become a slave to the lender, so there’s no money to give! And if those who give receive (God promised), you can’t receive, because you have little or nothing to give - you owe. You’re giving it all to the lender. Give and it will be given to you… good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over will be poured into your lap – for with the measure you use – it will be measured to you! The devil wants to steal your ‘measure’ with debt – with slavery. Give and it will be given to you. Borrow and it will be taken from you (your good measure, pressed down and shaken together will you pour into another masters lap – that’s how the wealth of the wicked is stored up for the righteous. Those who act wickedly store up for someone else. But what if they are more wicked than me? First, don’t assume. Second - what is that got to do with you? Even if they are – this is what God says Ecclesiastes 2:26 – To the person who pleases him (obeying God’s Word pleases him, not obeying it does not), God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness (they’re not in debt, they’re wise, that’s why they’re happy), but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases Him (who obeys what He says). God says He gives the wicked the task of storing up money that He will give over to the righteous. When you borrow – when you choose what God calls a curse – when you violate what He said, “Do Not Do…” the devil steals your measure… your measure to give is small. There’s not much left to give. You give to the lender, not to the poor, or to the LORD. So you get nothing in return. Debt always leaves less to give - that means there is less that you will receive. Your measure of giving is small, so small will be the measure you receive. You want to hear a crazy verse? Proverbs 19:17 – He who gives to the poor lends to the LORD, and He will reward him for what he has done. Think about that! Not just be kind to the poor – this is talking about giving! Don’t just say ‘be warm and well fed – how can the love of God be in you.’ (James 2:16) This is talking about giving money to the poor. God says it’s a loan to Him. He obligates himself to repay you. When you obey God’s Word – and refuse to be bound to another master, the measure you use to give can be big, and therefore so is the measure you receive. The devil wants you bound to another master, slave to the lender – so he can not only steal your freedom, and keep you under the curse, but he can also steal the blessing that giving would have given back to you – because your measure is small. So… is the law from His mouth more precious to you than silver or gold? Or does your love of silver and gold supersede your love of God? Which one will you serve? Whose authority will you come under under? Which one will you obey? Supersede – literally to set above – to make void, inefficacious or useless by a superior power, coming in the place of – to replace in power, authority, effectiveness, acceptance, or use, by another person or thing. To set aside the old statute with a new one. Every time money talks it’s always trying to get you to set aside with God says. God says you will serve me, or money – you can’t obey both. The ugly truth is this. If you obey what God says – you love God more than money. If you do not obey what God says (money talks a good game and it has many people parroting what money says – financial advisors, people in your church, your friends, well meaning people, even in your family). But if you do not obey what God says about money – you love money more than you love God. Praying that you will take God at His word, and no matter what money says – you will choose what God says. That you will make up your mind right now – so you don’t get sucked into the temptation that will come. That His Word and His laws, His commands and His instructions would always be more precious to you than silver or gold. That you would always be free to give hilariously so that your life will overflow with the fruit of the blessing He gives.
Have you ever heard someone praise God for the curse? I’ve been in churches where they stood up to praise God for the good interest rate they got. Praising God for a nice slavemaster when you choose to be enslaved, that’s not a praise – that’s an hallucination. What are you thinking? The reason people use debt is so they can buy things now, that God didn’t give the money to buy right now. They can’t afford it. But when money talks – it changes even the definition of words. Afford it means do you have the money? But money says – it’s not do you have the money, can you afford the payments. That’s money talking – that’s slavery talking. Do you think that thing that you traded the curse for – especially before the first payment comes due – is not enjoyable? Top down – wind in your hair – stepping on the gas – chicks looking as you drive by. Or all the kids fit in the van – it’s got cup holders everywhere and the video screen behind every seat. Yes those first few weeks are enjoyable – until the payment comes due. Until the first two years go by and after 3 days you realized it didn’t make you happier than you were before, that new smell has faded, there’s cheerios or Kool Aid in ever crevice of those leather seats, and now the car repair bills are coming, but the car payment doesn’t stop…When you still owe more to the bank than you can sell it for on Let Go… Do you praise God for the new car payment? The car is nice – but it’s a curse. That new smell wears off… and when they come get it – you could even believe God was supposed to provide for your needs – that He was supposed to make your payments – as you serve another. God is not obligated to make payments on what He told you never to do… on what He warned you not to do. You can praise him all you want. And you may never get repossessed… but you will never know what God could have done. You didn’t wait on Him. Not only did you sacrifice freedom, you sacrificed His best, His blessing, you’ll never know what He had planned - you sacrificed your testimony! Did God do that? Praise God I got a 5% interest rate from 5/3 Bank. That’s the current rate – what are you talking about? Every slave gets that rate. To quote Steve Harvey – “That’s not a testimony – that’s a store policy.” How is that a laughable testimony? Why would you praise God? You should praise the bank – they did it. God told you not to – but you listened to what money says. “No, God told me to do this… we really needed something, and we got a great deal.” That’s money talking, everyone’s heard it a million times. So you’re saying that God told you to do something – completely opposite of what He directly said in His Word? That’s what Money says, it’s not what God says. Along with the curse, along with the lost testimony, you also lose what God really had for you. It was even bigger – and far less expensive – it was definitely better - if you only had waited on the LORD for one more week, or one month - or just a year. You may have found what you really need is something way bigger and better – and God had it for you – but instead you’re stuck with those payments. You're stuck with what you chose, stuck with the curse… but that blessing will go to someone else. And the next loss? – If you choose the curse once, so will your kids one day. When you choose the curse once, it’s easier the second time and every time after that. Just because you take someone to church (in that car God didn’t give you the money for yet – but the bank did…) doesn’t mean that person wouldn’t have come. That you couldn’t have taken that person to church in your old car – or even on the bus… Or that God couldn’t have gotten them to church in someone else’s car. And finally – what does that curse decision - do to your example? God said we are to be an example to others. Paul said – follow me, as I follow Christ. If you don’t obey His Word – they can’t follow you as you follow Christ… cause you don’t follow Christ - you follow money. But they will follow you – right into that curse. Your kids, your grandkids, your friends, your parishoners. If nothing else. Refuse the curse – to keep someone else from following you into that ditch. I’d rather have a testimony that only God could do – I want a laughable testimony. Not a testimony of the bank - that any bank in town could do. People will always justify themselves with the lie they disobeyed to. Well God is using this car (payment). That means nothing – God can use anything… but He doesn’t have anything for you – He has the best. But you have to wait on Him, and you have to obey – or you’ll never know. Well I could never have done this if I hadn’t taken that curse, I could never have become this if I hadn’t… How do you know that? You don’t. That’s money talking again. All you know is what you chose – that God said is a curse, when God said – I have better. So one day you will tell your kids – do as I say, not as I do. Doesn’t ring as true. Your kids will do what you do. How can you disciple others in obedience – when you choose what God says is the result of disobedience – the final curtain of a long list of curses. The curse of debt – Deuteronomy 28. Whatever God has planned for you – He will provide for. It might take a little work, it might take a little longer – but God said He would provide. And He doesn’t need the bank to give you a loan. He owns everything in that bank – and they’re trying to charge you interest for your Dad’s money? Praying that you will decide now. That you will pre-decide – to be Content with what you have. More money doesn’t mean more happiness, or more success, or more ministry. Debt bought things don’t mean ministry is better. New car or house or building doesn’t mean more success or more ministry. It means more of the same. If you do it – so will they. You could enslave all those around you – when God wanted you to call them to freedom. Or… you could reject what money says. You could give them hope that God could provide the very best in His fullness of time. You could give them the resolve to wait on the LORD – just like you - because they are seeing you do it! They’re seeing you wait on Him, they’re curious to see how God will bless your obedience. They might just say - I’m going to obey like them, what God said – no matter what! That’s the kind of example that will have people walking in laughable testimony. It’s what will have people walking in freedom and blessing, not bondage and curse. So what is more precious to you? Is the law from His mouth more precious to you? Or is silver and gold?
Love you all,
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