Debt: A Daily Decision

Scripture: Romans 13:7-8, Psalm 37:21, Matthew 4:3-10
Date: 03/17/2018 
Lesson: 11
"Managing money requires wisdom, budgeting, and discipline."
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Welcome, friends, to Sabbath School Study Hour. And we're glad that you've tuned in today to join us as we study God's Word. We know that people from all four corners of the earth are part of this class. And we get our messages that come into our Granite Bay church website, some to my personal Facebook site, and we love to hear your responses that you're participating in the Sabbath school study. And today we're going to be continuing in our study dealing with the subject of stewardship.

And Pastor Ross today is going to be especially teaching lesson number 11, and this is very important, it's debt: a daily decision. And it may be some of you will have questions regarding this very important subject and if you send them to our Facebook site or email them to the church here, they'll be some that we'll try to gather those and we'll see if we can incorporate some of your questions into today's study. But before we get into our study for today, we like to invite our singers out, we're going to be singing, and I'll tell you more about the offer in just a little bit. We are so excited to be singing with you like we do every week. And we want you to join with us, those of you here and those of you at home as we sing a medley and some of our favorite songs.

All hail king Jesus all hail emmanuel king of Kings Lord of Lords bright morning star and throughout eternity I'll sing your praises and I'll reign with you throughout eternity Joyful, joyful, we adore thee God of glory, Lord of love hearts unfold like flow'rs before thee op'ning to the sun above melt the clouds of sin and sadness drive the dark of doubt away giver of immortal gladness fill us with the light of day All thy works with joy surround thee earth and heav'n reflect thy rays stars and angels sing around thee center of unbroken praise field and forest, vale and mountain flow'ry meadow, flashing sea chanting bird and flowing fountain call us to rejoice in thee Majesty worship his majesty unto Jesus be all glory honor and praise Majesty kingdom authority flow from his throne unto his own his anthem raise So exalt, lift up on high the name of Jesus magnify, come glorify Christ Jesus the King Majesty worship his majesty Jesus who died, now glorified king of all Kings Jesus who died, now glorified king of all Kings All hail king Jesus all hail emmanuel king of Kings Lord of Lords bright morning star and throughout eternity I'll sing your praises and I'll reign with you throughout eternity and I'll reign with you throughout eternity Thank you so much for singing with us. And I hope you were blessed and at this time Pastor Doug is going to have our opening prayer. Thank you to our singers. And, again, I want to welcome any who may have just joined us in the route, we're so glad that you are a part of our Sabbath School Study Hour. And we know that we have some of you who are actually online members from different parts of the world, and we're glad that you're joining us today.

Now we have a free offer and we hope you make the most of this. Free offer, this is actually a book that you could say I wrote with pastor Joe Crews because it is a combination of two of our messages dealing with the subject of the flesh and the Spirit. It's a battle that I suspect everybody here has known something about, and you will be blessed by this. And so, if you like a free copy of the book, the flesh and the Spirit, call the number 866-788-3966. That's same as 866-study-more, ask for offer number 792.

Call, we'll send you a copy, read it, and share with your friends. Before we begin our study, let's have a word of prayer. Loving Lord, we just really pray that the Holy Spirit will be present now. We're going to be talking about a very practical subject that we all deal with from day to day many parables address the subject of debt, help us know how to apply this to our lives and that we might be faithful stewards. Bless our teacher now, we pray in Jesus' Name, amen.

Pastor Ross is going to be bringing us our lesson today. Good morning, everyone. Pastor Doug and I decided to exchange roles this morning. He did the introduction and I'm teaching or at least leading out in the lesson. And, again, we want to remind those who are joining us on Facebook, we're going to try and take a few moments near the end of our study this morning to answer some of your questions relating to the subject of debt.

I'm actually going to invite Pastor Doug to come join me a little later and we're going to try and look at as many questions as we can on this important subject. Now for those of you who don't have a copy of our lesson quarterly dealing with stewardship, I've been told that the lesson is available for free to download at the following websites. So those who are viewing online, you can download it right now just Again, that's the website if you want to download today's lesson. And the title of our lesson number 11 is what we're looking at is debt: a daily decision.

Important subject that we're be looking at. We have a memory text, comes to us from Romans 13:7 and 8, I'm going to read this right out of our lesson quarterly that says, "give to everyone what you owe them. If you owe taxes," what must you do, "pay the taxes. If revenue, then revenue. If respect, then respect.

If honor, then honor." Now here is the point I want us to take note of, "let no debt remain outstanding, except continuing debt of love for one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law." Now that last phrase whoever loves others has fulfilled the law, the Ten Commandments as you know are divided up into two parts. It's Ten Commandments, but divided up roughly into two sections. We have the first four of the Ten Commandments that have to do with our relationship with God. It defines for us what it is to love God. The last six of the Ten Commandments define for us what it is to love our own neighbor as ourself.

And one of those commandments tells us that we should not steal, meaning, take something that does not belong to us. There is another commandment in particular that deals with debt and it's the ten commandment that talks about covetousness, but we'll get to that a little later in our study today. So this week we're going to be looking at what the Bible has to say about debt. I remember growing up, often the families would get together, my dad siblings and they would be talking, and visiting, and we would be having a wonderful time, but then someone would say, "I have to go to work." And I remember little rhyme that often would be said when it was time to go to work, and it goes something like this, "I owe, I owe, I owe so off to work I go." Looks like you folks have heard that before. You know, when you think about that, that's probably true in a lot of situations, in a lot of families here in America and around the world especially more developed countries where it seems, we go to work to really pay off the credit card or at least try and pay the interest on the credit card, right? And so debt is a serious issue that as Christians we need to talk about.

In our lesson we have the opening paragraph, it says, "sometimes you can be lucky enough to have someone who is willing to lend you money. Maybe that person does so with a pure motive that is he or she actually wants to help you out of a financial jam." But in most cases people don't lend you money out of the goodness of their heart, they lend you money because they want to earn more of your money in return, isn't that correct? Yes. What's the word that we use when it talks about people wanting to earn our money by giving us money first? We call that interest, right? Seems like our society revolves around interest. Well, here are some interesting facts about interest. For example, if you were to take out a mortgage, and we understand that there are situations where we do need to take out a loan, one in particular is buying a house.

There are probably some good reasons to purchase a house instead of just keep renting a house. But there is not too many people that can come up with cash to buy a house. But if you would look at the interest, if you were to take out a mortgage for $200,000. I pick that number because here in California $200,000 for mortgage is, well, I don't think you can buy a house in California. At least not in this area for $200,000, isn't that correct? In some areas it's even more, but so I pick $200,000 because it's easy to do the math.

And I said, you shopped around and you were able to get a 30-year mortgage at just a fantastic interest rate of 3.5%. Can you still get mortgages at 3.5%? I think it's beginning to go up now. Anyway let's say you're able to lock in an interest at 3.5, it's a 30-year loan on $200,000, you'll end up paying an interest, this is just the interest, $123,312 that is 61% of the original amount that you're asking for, you have to add on to the top to pay the interest. So on a $200,000 mortgage you end up paying $323,312. That's why people are so keen to give you a loan 'cause there is a lot of money involved.

Now typically here in North America an average mortgage is 30 years, and you want to try and do the best you can to get the shortest term for you mortgage 'cause you end up paying less interest, although typically the monthly payments then end up in higher. But did you know that in the United States it is legal for a bank to give you a 50-year mortgage? That's a long mortgage, you don't want that. However, if you're living in japan, things are so expensive over there that in 2002 a law was passed allowing a 100-year mortgage in japan. You could take out a loan for a 100 years on a house. And in 2006 the united kingdom adopted the same thing.

You could take out a 100-year mortgage. In other words, if your great grandfather at the end of world war I in 1918 took out a 100-year mortgage on a house, the good news is that you would be paying it off this year. It will probably pass on from one generation to another, but that's incredible a 100-year mortgage and you can get it. Now, of course, individuals are not the only ones that end up taking out loans and getting into debt. All right, countries have a reputation of getting into debt.

And you probably heard a lot of discussion recently about the us debt. Currently it stands at $20.5 trillion, that's a lot of money, but it's kind of hard for us to wrap our minds around $20.5 trillion. If you took the us national debt and you divided it up amongst every person in the United States that is husband, wife, man, woman, child, everybody it divided all up each person would be responsible, if you want to pay the debt off, each person will be responsible to come with $62,651. That's if you take the national debt and you divide it amongst every person in the United States. Well, I don't think we're going to be paying that debt off anytime soon if everybody has to come up with $62,000.

Now the annual interest that is paid on the us debt is $310 billion, that's the interest. Now how much is that? Two years ago the federal income tax received from the entire state of Texas was about $300 billion. In other words, all the money that came from Texas furnished the debt for the us government, isn't that remarkable? And that's just the interest. So countries are in trouble when it comes to borrowing money, it's easy to keep raising the debts ceiling, but are we ever going to be able to pay that off. So Christians need to be aware of the trap of debt.

Now Sunday's lesson is entitled borrowing and spending. And it opens up with a little story about the prophet Elisha. And if you have your Bibles, you can turn to 2 Kings 6, we have a story, we're going to look at the first six verses here. And it's emphasizing the importance of taking seriously paying off our debts. And verse 1, this is 2 Kings 6 beginning here in verse 1.

It says, "now The Sons of the prophets said to Elisha," I was talking about The Sons of the prophet that's not all of Elisha's kids, but there were the schools of the prophets back in the days of Elijah and Elisha, and they would travel from these different schools where young men would come and they would learn not only what the Bible have to say back in those days, they would focus on the Psalms, they would focus on the first five books of Moses that would talk about sacred history, often they would learn some kind of a trade, they call this the schools of the prophets. And so in one of these schools the young men came to Elisha, and this is what they said in verse 1, "see, now the place where we dwell with you is too small for us." So they were all crowded into this little one room school so to speak. Verse 2, "please let us go to the Jordan and let every man take a beam from there, and let us make there a place where we may dwell." So they wanted to build a dormitory where the young men could stay and they wanted to go down to the Jordan river. Why the Jordan? Well, there were more trees down there, and they could go, and they could cut down trees, and they could build themselves a little place to stay. Probably, it wasn't very far from where they were.

So the prophet said in verse 2, he said, "well, go." Sounds like a good idea. Verse 3, "then one said, 'please, consent to go with your servants.' And he said, 'I will.'" It's always a good thing when your students want the teacher to go with them to do something. They love Elisha, their prophet, the one who is teaching them. Verse 4, "so he went with them. When they came to the Jordan, they cut down these trees.

" Verse 5 says, "but one was cutting down a tree, the iron axe head fell into the water, and he cried out and he said, 'alas, master! For it was borrowed.'" Now little bit of historical background during this time, the time of Elijah and Elisha, the arch enemy of Israel was the assyriats. And the assyrians would come down in these raids and they would take away the food, during the harvest season, they would sometimes take away the people, you probably heard the story about little maid and naaman, he was assyrian captain, and they were at constant war or having these skirmishes, these battles with the assyrians. And the assyrians wanted to make sure that the Israelites would not be in a position to revolt again them and so they took the iron available in Israel, they took it away. There were some iron available for farming equipment, but they didn't want to have, of course, any iron available for the Israelites to make weapons of war so it was very difficult to come across something made from iron. Axe head was allowed, it was part of the farming equipment, but it was very rare in this case.

The young man obviously couldn't afford his own axe, so he went and he borrowed an axe from someone, and while he was swinging away at this tree, you know, this little nail that you fasten on the top of the axe handle that holds the head in place. Somehow while he was chopping away at the tree, the axe, that the little nail worked its way off. And the next thing he knew the axe had flew off the handle. Now just as well it landed in the river and didn't hit somebody else there, right? That could have been terrible. But anyway, this axe head flies off and land somewhere in the river.

The Jordan river is not like a Montana river that's clear and just bubbling along and you can see the bottom of the river. It was somewhat of a muddy river, especially if it was rainy season and there would be a lot of silt that would wash down into the river so you just look down and see. There were places in the Jordan where the river was very deep and it ran very quickly. And presumably this was the situation. And the young man cried out and says, "the axe head has gone over there in the river, it's over there somewhere, I wasn't quite looking, but it's out there, and it's deep, and we're never going to be able to find this axe head in this fast flowing river.

" So he asks the prophet, what do we do? And so verse 6 says, "then the man of God said, 'where did it fall?' And he showed him the place somewhere out here. So he cut down a stick and he threw into the river and he made the axe head float." Can you imagine that? This big axe head suddenly just bobbing to the surface of the water like a stick or crock. And all of them, the young men are just standing and staring at this, they've never seen something like this before. And they stood there watching and finally the prophet said, "well, put out your hand and take it." And so he did. So here we see in this story a miracle performed so that the young man could return the axe head, sort of emphasizes the importance of paying back that which we borrow.

It is a serious thing even in the eyes of God. Now the verb to borrow means using something that does not belong to you. And, of course, you use it with their permission, but whenever you borrow somebody else's stuff, there is always a risk involved. You take responsibility for the thing that you borrow. And it's no different when it comes to borrowing money.

If you're taking money from somebody else, there is a risk involved. The only reason we borrow money from others is to spend it. And the financial risk is presuming that sometime in the future we'll be in a better financial position to pay off the money that we borrowed. And most people think for some reason that in 6 months or 12 months, we're gonna be in a better financial situation than we're now. And so the tendency is to swipe the credit card thinking, well, I can repay this in a few months, but it doesn't always work out that way.

So borrowing money always involves some kind of a risk. Now, we're going to have somebody read for us here in just a minute, Psalms 37:21. But just before we do that, while we get ready, I'm going to read Ecclesiastes 5:5, "whether wise man tells us better not to vow, than to vow and not pay," right? If you're going into a loan and you're going to make a promise that you're going to pay back, whatever it is you borrow, well, don't borrow the money if you can't pay back the money. Do you have any examples in the Bible of people who made a vow and they didn't follow through with the vow? I think of two people in the new testament in particular. Do the names ananias and sapphira ring a bell? Now what was the situation there? Well, the church was expanding its mission activity, and people were moved upon by the Holy Spirit to sell different things and contribute to this fund.

It wasn't so much a building fund, it was an evangelism fund. And so they would sell what they could and they would bring it to the apostles and laid at their feet and say use this for the mission, the expansion of the church. While there were two individuals in the early Christian church, first century church, ananias and sapphira, a married couple and they got thinking about and they say, "well, we have this field that we haven't used for a while. Why don't we put that on the Market and sell the field, and then we would be able to give the proceeds of the field to this mission fund and bring it to the church." Well, they put on the Market and they got a really good offer on the field. And so they took the offer, they bought the field and then they started thinking about and said, "you know what, I don't know if you want to give all of this money.

It's pretty good, maybe should hang on to it, maybe take a vacation, we've been working hard for a long time." And then they said, probably told the church, "we're going to give all of the proceeds of the field to this project. We don't want to look bad and go to the church and say, well, actually we decided to give 50%." Let's just tell the church that this all the money from the land. You know, what happened. Ananias came and he stood before Peter and Peter said, "is this all the money like you pledged to give." And ananias said, "yeah, absolutely. Yep, this is it.

" Acts 5:4, then Peter answered and said, "while it reMained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not under your control?" Meaning you could have changed your mind even after you sold the field, but you lied. And then he says, "you have conceived this in your heart, you have not lied to man, but you have lied to God." And immediately after that what happened to ananias? He fell down dead. Unfortunately, the same fate happened to his wife. Well, that's a very sobering lesson taught to the early Christian church, that God does take serious honesty. And if we make a promise, if we make a vow, it is important for us to see that through.

All right, I think somebody is going to read for us now, Psalms 37:21. "The wicked borrows and does not repay, but the righteous shows mercy and gives." So a characteristic of wickedness is borrowing and then what? Not repaying. Of course, that's true even in today's society. We live in a consumer culture today where we are continually surrounded by an endless supply of things that we just must have, isn't that true? Things that we didn't even know that we needed until the advertising told us that we can't live without it. And I think we're always coming up with new ideas to tell people why they need this fancy gadget, or why they need to spend money on this or that.

This is kind of the way our society works. Back in 2017 more than $150 billion was spent in United States on telling people why they have to buy their particular product. More than $150 billion spent on advertising in the us. And we've all seen different schemes to try and get us to buy stuff. One that seems to be pretty popular is no interest, no payment for six months.

Boy, that sounds like a good deal, doesn't it? You can just go pick up your couch and you don't have to worry about paying for the next six months, no interest. And so you know what ends up happening? You don't save up what you should be paying during that six months. And, by the way, at the end of that six months, they tag on all the interest that you should have paid on that first six months and you have even a bigger bill, so you got to be careful with all of these different schemes, but there are many out there. Now, of course, there are some situations where we do need to take out a loan, I'm thinking about buying a house. It does make sense to take out a loan in some cases in buying a house.

Sometimes there is a school loan that has to be taken out, so that a person can finish up their education. So we're not saying, don't ever take out a loan, but what we're saying is be very cautious when you take out a loan. And make sure that you're not just borrowing somebody else's money to take something or get something that you don't really need. You need to take that into consideration. All right, why do people get into debt? Well, there's four main reasons why people get into debt today.

The first is our consumer lifestyle. We're offered with an endless variety of goods of things. Now let's say, you wake up in the morning and you're wanting to have breakfast and get ready to go to work. Well, first of all, you need to make a decision. In the United States there are more than a 100 different kinds of yogurt so you got to buy a yogurt, you got to pick from a 100 different kinds.

And then you're going to have some cereal. There are more than a 150 different kinds of cereal available for purchase in the United States. Well, after you get through eating your cereal, you need to brush your teeth. Guess how many different kinds of toothpastes are available. More than 200 different types and flavors of toothpastes are available in the United States.

So if you're like me, I'm somewhat curious, well, what does this flavor tastes like in, or what about that cereal, it seems to have, you know, some more raisins in it. So we're just bombarded with an endless supply of stuff. And everybody is trying to convince us why we need to buy their stuff. So number one, consumer lifestyle is probably the main reason why people go into debt, especially credit card debt. The second reason why people go into debt is because it's so easy to go into debt.

Each year American families are bombarded by credit card applications. On average each… an average family in the United States gets credit card application every two weeks. Well, that's dependent upon your credit. If you don't get any credit card applications, you probably have other problems, right? Your credit score is too low, but typically most families every week or two you get something in the mail that's offering some fantastic deal wanting you to take out a credit card. Third reason why people end up going into debt is because of a lack of a household budget, it's one of the big ones here.

People overspend because they don't really know how much of their income actually goes to their bills. We have an idea, we know how much the mortgage is, we know what we have to pay on utilities. We know roughly how much we have to put in gas, in the car, but if you actually sit down and add it all up you might be surprised. And so what a lot of people do is they just look at their checking account, and they keep spending and then suddenly they realize before the pay period is up, "man, I've run out of money." And so where did they go? Well, they pull out the credit card, right? You got to buy that after all. So that's one of the big reasons why people going to debt.

The fourth reason why people typically going to debt is unexpected bills, and there are three general categories. The one is car repairs, it seems like that always happens with me, right? You least expect and something breaks down on the car, and you have to have a car, and nowadays to fix your car, you can't fix a car for 100 or 150 bucks it seems, that gets really expensive so those are unexpected bills that come along. Medical expenses come from time to time, and you got to pay your portion if you have an insurance, and then household maintenance. In the middle of winter suddenly your furnace goes out, you've got to do something, right? So we tend to go to the credit card to pay off those things. So those are some of the reasons why people end up going into debt.

Now on Monday's lesson, the title for Monday study is stewardship and instant gratification. And here's the point in particular that I think we as Christians need to take note of. And we're going to have somebody read for us Genesis 25:34 in just a minute. But before you read that, let me read 1 John 2:16 and 17. It says, "for all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, it is not of The Father, but it is of the world.

And the world is passing away, and the lust thereof, but he who does the will of God," does what? "Abides forever." Right? So everything that we see in the world typically is from either the category of the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, or the pride of life. And it plays up on our desire for instant gratification, we want it now. Desires for instant gratification can easily lead to covetousness. Now when you think about the Ten Commandments which one is covetousness, "thou shall not covet." That's number 10. And if you really stop and think about it, almost all of the other commandments, in order to break any of the other commandments you have to first break the 10th commandment that says, "thou shall not covet," because really it begins in the mind, it begins in the heart, people wanting something that is not theirs.

When eve was standing by the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the Bible says that when she saw the fruit and desires to make one wise, she coveted the fruit, she wanted the fruit. Now God had given to her and to adam all the fruit from all the other trees of the garden, but the one that they were not to eat of, that was the one that suddenly became so attractive to them. You might have plenty of things, all of your needs, but suddenly you're offered one thing and suddenly that becomes more important than all the stuff that you have, right? Your car might be just fine driving along, but suddenly you see an ad for a brand new car, and suddenly your car is not that appealing anymore, right? The new one seems so much better. Covetousness often leads to instant gratification. All right, let's read Genesis 25:34.

Genesis 25:34. "Then Jacob gave esau bread and pottage of lentils, and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way, thus esau despised his birthright." All right, I think we're all familiar with the story of Jacob and esau. So esau was coming back from the field and he's just famished and as he comes walking past the tent of Jacob, he smells the smell of this lentil stew that's been cooked. And he is so hungry, he can't resist. He says, "man, I want to eat this stew.

" Now, of course, Jacob he was somewhat cunning, especially, if you read on, his name means deceiver, and he has an opportunity. He knew his brother. He knew that his brother was somewhat impulsive, and he said, "well, I'll make a deal with you, I'll give you some of my lentil stew here if you give me your birthright." Now, if esau would have waited another 30 minutes, probably he would have had plenty to eat but he wanted it now. And so what did he do? He ended up selling the birthright for a pot of lentils. Now I like lentils, but, man, that doesn't compared our birthright, right? Esau controlled by his emotions and feelings allowed the pressure of the moment to overpower reasoning, and he traded his birthright for some instant gratification.

How many of you are familiar with buyer's remorse? I think we've all had buyer's remorse at one point or another where we go out and we buy something. "Oh, we just got to get it." And we buy it and then after a while we think, "oh, man, I shouldn't have spent that money." Especially if we spent it on a credit card, now we have to pay it off. Fortunately, you can take some stuff back here at least in our society. I always tell the kids, if they want something and they're all excited about it, and they've been able to earn the money to get it, I always tell them, well, don't buy it for a few days, just think about it, and the desire to have it typically begins to wane after a few days when they think about what it's going to actually cost them. So we don't want to just buy things on the spur of the moment.

Exercising self-control is, of course, a very important Christian principle. Number of years ago, they did a test at stanford university, it became known as the marshmallow test. It became very famous, maybe you've heard of it. And what they did was this. This took place in the late 1960s, early 1970s, and they got a group of four year old children to come into a room, set them on a chair and they placed one marshmallow on a table in front of them.

And they said to the kids, "you can eat the marshmallow right now and that's it, then you go. Or if you wait for 15 minutes, we'll give you two marshmallows that you can eat." Well, what do you suppose most of the kids did? They just ate the marshmallow. They weren't going to wait. But there were some four year olds that thought about it long enough and finally said, "well, you know, maybe I do want to wait, maybe I do want two marshmallows instead of one." And some of the kids that decided to wait would wait for 5-10 minutes and then they just give in anyway and they end up eating it, but there were a few kids, four year olds who were actually able to wait 15 minutes and then they got the two marshmallows. Well, one of the interesting things that they noticed about those children who were able to wait 15 minutes and exercise self-control, they noticed that there were three prominent categories or characteristics or behaviors manifest by those who were able to wait.

In some instances, the children manifest all three behaviors. In other cases, they manifested maybe two, one or two of the behaviors. But one of the things that they noticed is that those who were able to wait for 15 minutes, one of the first things they did is they turned away from the marshmallow, they wouldn't look at the marshmallow. Some of the kids even pushed the marshmallow to the edge of the table. In some cases they would cover the marshmallow with a piece of paper.

They didn't want to see it. They turned away from the temptation. The second thing that some of the kids did was positive distraction. Instead of thinking about the marshmallow, they would think about something else, they would just start to sing. Or in some cases the children would get up and they'd start walking around the room.

And some of the kids would crawl around under the table, some of the kids would turn their chair upside down and put it by the door trying to peek out of the little window to see what was happening outside, but they got busy doing something else. They didn't just stand there or sit there staring at the marshmallow. And the third behavior that they noticed, a lot of the kids started to talk to themselves throughout the 15 minutes and they would say, "I'm not going to eat the marshmallow." And they'd walk up and down, "no, I'm not." Some of the kids even talk to the marshmallow and said, "I'm not going to eat you now. I'm going to wait a little while. And then I'm going to eat you and your friend.

" So they would talk out loud, sort of positive reinforcement. Now, of course, I thought that was interesting, we find these principles very true when it comes to temptation. When we are tempted, one of the first things we need to do is to turn away from the temptation. Zechariah 1:4 says, "turn away from evil." It's the first thing we have to do. Secondly, we need positive distractions.

Romans 12:21 says, "overcome evil with good." And the third thing, we need to talk out loud. What is it that we need to say? Well, we need to quote Scripture. How did Jesus overcome temptation? He said, "it is written," right? "Man shall not live by bread alone." And Psalms 34:1 says, "his praise shall always be on my mouth." Now, that was interesting as a result of this test, but what these researchers did is they continued to follow these children as they grew up. They followed them for several decades and what they found was even more remarkable. Those kids who were able to wait 15 minutes, who were able to exercise self-control, they developed better emotional coping skills with life situations than those who couldn't wait.

In addition to that, they also had a higher sat scores than the kids that couldn't wait. They ended up typically having higher levels of education, they had lowered divorce rates, and they had a much lower rate of addiction. So exercising self-control is important, right? And as a Christian, we need to have self-control. Well, I see we have some questions that's coming in through Facebook, so I think well, we might pass to doug, we're going to pause right here. There's a few more things I want to share about our lesson but let's see if we can take two or three of our questions before we finish this up.

All right. Hello, Pastor Doug. Hi, Pastor Ross. Welcome back. I'm enjoying the lesson.

All right, well, the first question that we have that's coming from Facebook, "is it a sin to have a credit card?" It could be, depends on you. You know, one of the things they say in debt counseling, people who are deeply in debt through credit card debt, they say step number one, take out your credit card, step number two, get your scissors, because if you really want to pay off your credit card debt, sometimes one of the most important things to do is cut the card so you do not then become tempted to make new debt. Is it a sin to have a credit card? No. You know, Karen and I have credit cards but we pay it off as soon as we get the bill, and you can't travel these days, you can't get a hotel, you can't get a rental car, it's very hard if you don't have a credit card to do a number of things, so it's a very practical tool. But if you are deeply in debt and you're trying to pay things off, you may want to avoid that temptation.

Absolutely, yes, and you can get credit cards where I guess they like credit cards but you have to frontload the credit card... Yeah. So you have to make sure the money is there before you spend it. That's a good point. There are some credit cards you can actually have, they're prepaid and so they have a limit on them, so you're not tempted to go beyond it and pay this phenomenal interest.

The next question that we have is "should I pay off credit card debt before I pay tithe? Is tithe supposed to be the last fruits or the first fruits? Do you want the Lord to bless what remain so you have more to pay off your credit card? If you pay your tithe, he promises to bless the remaining 90% so it goes farther. If you wait and make tithe last, the first 90% is cursed, seems like the most economical thing to do if you believe in God is put God first as far as debt repayment. And the next question that we have, it says, "my adult son keeps getting into financial trouble and we keep bailing him out." I guess the question is "when do we say enough is enough?" Yesterday. You know, sometimes you have to practice tough love with somebody you care about, and if they're having problems and they keep getting in deeper, first of all, they're not going to learn to wait for that second marshmallow if you don't train them. And so, if you keep getting them out of trouble, they're not learning themselves that self-control and discipline may need to deny themselves and so, sometimes, yeah, it is tough.

Sometimes you need to say we're not going to bail you out and, you know, if you've got a 40 year old son and they're refusing to work and they're living in your house, you might lovingly say, "here's my final gift, it's a tent. Go find a place to pitch it, but you can't stay here." And so sometimes you help your kids by not forever rescuing them. All right, our final question and that's coming, it says, "will tithing put me more at risk of going into debt?" Well, lets back to that question. There's a promise that we have in Malachi 3, God invites us to test him. I mean this is really, the Lord is saying, look, "if you really want to find out if I am real, prove me, test me.

Bring all the tithes into the warehouse that there may be food in my house and see if I do not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it." And he says, "and I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes." They were an agricultural society and they often had pests and locusts and things that would eat up their crops and they have a very small harvest. And God said, "I'll make what you do have, go much farther." When God's people were going through the wilderness and they were faithful in their tithes and offerings, says, there's shoes did not wear out, their clothes did not wear out. God will bless you with one of those refrigerators that goes for 40 years. And so, yeah, I think that you'll be way further head if you are faithful. Was that the last question? I think we have one more.

It says, "will I gain personal benefit from tithing?" Yeah, first of all, when people talk about tithing, pastors have to guard against trying to make it sound like you're prosperity preacher, "if you pay tithe, God's going to give you more money." Sometimes the way God blesses you may not be money and you may not need more money. When you seek first the Kingdom of God, he says everything you need will be added to you. But some of the most important blessings are the joy that comes from knowing I've got peace because I'm doing what God wants me to do. A lot of people get the blessing of tithing immediately after they write the check or they make that gift. A lot of people do it online now because they just have a piece in their heart, I'm putting God first and there's a real satisfaction.

And that's one blessing and then the other blessings I mentioned, he'll open the windows of heaven and pour out such a blessing that it will not all fit in your garage. How many of you have that blessing doesn't all fit in your garage? Thank you. All right, thank you, Pastor Doug and thank you fans for sending in your Facebook questions. Just in the last few minutes, I just want to summarize some of the important points that we looked at here in the lesson and probably, the most important is learning to live within your means. Bible has something to say about that.

I'm going to have somebody read 1 Timothy 6:7 and 8, so if you want to be ready. But before you read that, let me read what Jesus said in Matthew 6:31-33. "Therefore Jesus said, 'do not worry,' saying, 'what shall we eat? What shall we drink? What shall we wear? For after all these things the gentiles seek for your Heavenly Father knows that you have need of all of these things,'" but what are we to do first? "Seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things shall be added on to you." Can you say amen to that? Amen. Have you put God to the test and sort him first, and God has provided your needs. He doesn't promise that he's going to provide all your wants but he's definitely going to provide your needs.

David said in Psalms 37:25, "I have been young, and now I'm old, I have never seen the righteous forsaken or they see begging for bread." Okay, 1 Timothy 6:7 and 8. "For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content." All right, unfortunately though we're not often too content just to have food and clothing, we want little bit more, right? Included in that is, of course, housing. God recognizes we need to have a shelter, we need to live in a house. God is very merciful and he's blessed because I think most of us will acknowledge that our homes are a lot more than just shelter, right? So God is good.

He definitely takes care of us, but probably one of the most important keys to living within our means. And by the way as a Christian that needs to be our priority. Lord, give me the strength, give me the wisdom, give me the self-control to live within my means. Now, probably the most important tool to living within your means is that of a simple budget. I think every family needs to have a budget.

I'm just going to give you four quick tips, now you might already have a budget and that's great, but for those of you who don't, let me give you four quick tips about having a budget. First of all, four principles, number one, give every dollar that you earn a specific use, put all your money to use. Every dollar can be divided up into one of the following four categories, your monthly expenses, those, of course, are your bills, your debt payments, your savings, or your investing, or your giving, that of course being your tithes and your offerings. So you want to divide up all your income into those four categories. The next thing you need to do is keep tabs on every dollar.

So you assign a job for every dollar, but then you need to make sure that that dollar is doing that job, right? So you need to keep tabs on your spending, so track your spending especially in those different categories. Point number three, don't rob from Peter to pay Paul. What often happens is you see some fantastic deal at the store and you only have so much money allocated to spend on whatever this particular item is but this is such a sweet deal you just can't pass it by, so what we typically do is we will borrow from one of the other categories of our income to get what we want instead of waiting until we have enough money in that particular fund to buy what we want. You know what I'm talking about? All right, so we want to try and avoid the habit of just moving money from one fund to another. And then the fourth thing which we've mentioned little earlier and I do this personally, I think this really helps is frontload your credit cards.

There are value too, there is value in using a credit card. There's different perks that's available. You can get points that will help with travel and some of these other things, but what I typically do is when I get my paycheck, I'll divide it up into different categories and I will prepay on a credit card a certain amount of money and it's actually you'll see it's a negative and that's a good thing. And then as you use the credit card, I'll bring it back to zero. And when the credit card hits zero, then I have to put that credit card away and I can't use it until payday, right, that's the goal.

So you can avoid going into debt by prepaying on your credit card or a debit card and just use the money that's already available. So these are just some basic simple tools that hopefully we can use. You know, as Christians, we want to be faithful stewards of the resources that God has given us. Don't think of your income as your income, think of it as a resource that God has given to you to manage. And by God's grace we want to manage it to the very best of our ability.

Oh, we've got one more verse that we're going to have it read which I think summarizes this whole subject of borrowing. It's Proverbs 22:7, and we'll have you read that now, 22:7. "The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender." Okay, there is the point. The rich rule over the poor, and the one who borrows is a servant to the one that lends. How true that is.

I'd like to remind our friends who are joining us on Facebook and internet and online members and those around the world, we do have a free offer called the "flesh and the Spirit" that really talks about self-control and how we can exercise that very important principle in all areas of our life. To receive it, give us a call on the resource phone line, it's 866-788-3966 and you can ask for offer number 792. Thank you again, friends, for joining us, until next week, we pray God's special blessing upon you. Amazing Facts changed lives. I met my ex-wife and her family were real big in the drugs and they started out with them wanting me to go to the doctor to help get them drugs.

And, you know, I'm noticing they're going to the doctor, they're coming back with like 60 pills and they're selling these pills for like 1000 bucks. And I'm thinking, wow, this is a lot of money I'm giving these people, so I'm just going to start selling it myself, but problem with that was that we had all this money but we were absolutely miserable. She would go out and sleep with other guys to get drugs and that ended my marriage. But during this time, I have to get a job to be able to back up to where I was at to open my shop again, so I get a job at food city. And when I get this job at food city, there is my wife now rebecca, she's a cashier there.

And when I walk in, she's the most beautiful girl I've ever seen in my life. I was like, "man, I can never have the girl like that." Wow, she's so beautiful, but as I'm working with her, she's actually kind of mean to me. And she's saying, "I don't want anything to do with you, get away from me," stuff like that, but, you know, I'll just keep being nice to her and I keep trying to give her my phone number. And it's around Christmas eve, we've just been dating for a little while and moved in together. My ex-wife shows up with my three children that I had by her and she's like here's your kids, here's their birth certificates, here's their self security cards, I'm done, and we are starting a family we have already have three kids.

During this time, we spent the next year watching nothing but Amazing Facts on youtube. I didn't even know they even had a website at this time, I just knew that this little guy on youtube was super smart, was teaching Bible, and I wanted to follow him. I wanted to be a Christian. I gave my life to God now because of these truths that I'm learning from Doug Batchelor. Just because doug told it didn't make me real sure about going to this church, I really didn't want anything to do with it but I called the guy up and I'm telling him and I'm not very nice about it actually, I'm telling him, "look, we were just thinking about coming to your church and he's really nice and he's like, "well, you're more than welcome too, we'd like to have you come.

" And I'm like, "well, hold on, I'm going to lay down some ground rules." I'm telling and I said, "look here, I'm covered in tattoos and I'm a tattoo artist." And you don't say, "well, you know... Well, I didn't know all that don't come to my church." He says, "you're more than welcome, we would love to have you, please come." He asked me what I want to do and I said, "well, I want to preach." I said, "I have all these truths, I have all this knowledge stuff I've never known before, stuff if I had when I was younger that would have been life changing to me. I said, "I got to share this with the world." I said, "I want to preach, I want to teach." He gives me the books, I study that. And now that I'm a Bible worker, I'm able to go reach people that most of the normal churches wouldn't even bother to even speak to. I'm able to go out and reach to people and have lived the lifestyle that I've lived.

I'm able to let him know that, I'm like you, I've been there, I've done there. I want to show you what my life is like now, I want to teach you this Bible, I'm going to show you what Jesus can do for you, it's not too late. Friends, are you afraid of heights? If so, you might want to look away right now. One of the most famous attractions in the san francisco bay area is the iconic golden gate bridge. While this world famous bridge was named as one of the seven wonders of the modern world.

Few people know the story of the brave men who were involved in its construction and also known as the half way to hell club. Designed by a group of visionary engineers at 4,200 feet from end to end, the golden gate bridge was at one time the longest suspension bridge in the world. During its construction from 1933 to 1937, the golden gate bridge had one of the best safety construction records of any project during that time. Keep in mind, they would factor in and calculate that one man would die for every million dollars that was spent. So with a budget of $35 million, they knew that loss of life would be unacceptable.

This is why the chief engineer Joseph b strauss was absolutely adamant about using the most rigorous safety precautions that it ever been used in bridgeville. He had a local manufacturer safety equipment, designed special headgear that he insisted be worn on every job. This became the prototype for the modern hard hat worn for the first time ever, but the safety precautions went even farther. Strauss provided a special hand and face cream to protect their skin from the cold biting wind and glare free goggles to protect their eyes. In addition, they also ate a special diet to help ward off dizziness when they were working at those epic heights.

But the most conspicuous safety precaution was a gigantic net that was suspended from end to end under the entire construction area of the golden gate bridge. In fact, during construction, this net saved the lives of 19 men who later became known as the half way to hell club. Now you need to keep in mind, these were some of the most dangerous construction conditions you can imagine. The wind was constantly blowing. They were walking around on iron that sometimes had ice from the freezing fog.

In places, they were over 700 feet above the icy waters. Yet, the men coming from all walks of life were willing to take these risks because it was during the great depression and they would get paid up to $11 a day which was a fortune back then. One of the other benefits of the net was they discovered that the men were much more courageous even though they were walking high on those slippery surfaces because they knew there was a mechanism to protect them if they should fall, this gave them the confidence and the courage to press on and get the bridge built in record time. You know, friends, as Christians we have a great work to do. The Bible tells us that we get to participate with Jesus in building a bridge that connects heaven and earth, and there are dangers along the way.

The devil would like to paralyze us with fear that we might fall or make a mistake, but we know that Jesus has provided a safety net for us and we don't have to be afraid. We can press on with confidence because the promise is in the book of Jude verse 24, he is able to keep us from falling. But sometimes we make mistakes, still don't be discouraged, friends, if you read in 1 John 2:1, the Bible says, "if we fall, if we sin, we have an advocate with The Father Jesus Christ. So let's press on together and build that bridge with Christ. Can't get enough Amazing Facts Bible study? You don't have to wait until next week to enjoy more truth-filled programming.

Visit the Amazing Facts media library at At, you can enjoy video and audio presentations as well as printed material all free of charge, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week right from your computer or mobile device. Visit

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