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Wednesday, November 5, 1997

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Romans 13:8-10
Psalm 112
Luke 14:25-33

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in god or in debt?

"Owe no debt to anyone except the debt that binds us to love one another." —Romans 13:8

Many Christians in the Western world are in debt. They owe on their houses, cars, and credit cards. Consequently, they seem to be disobeying the Lord's command that we owe no debt. Some people try to rationalize this by saying that many other people are in debt — even Christians and churches. However, just because disobedience is popular doesn't make it something other than disobedience. Some say that we shouldn't take Romans 13:8 literally, but in context. However, the immediate context of Romans 13:8 is quite literal in speaking of such financial matters as paying taxes (Rm 13:7) and refraining from stealing and coveting (Rm 13:9). Another argument is that the Lord allowed loans in the Old Testament and therefore debt (e.g. Sir 29:1). However, the Lord in the Sermon on the Mount commands: "Lend without expecting repayment" (Lk 6:35).

Most people would just as soon drop this subject and go on being in debt. However, Jesus commands us to turn our backs on, even hate, our very selves (Lk 14:26). We must let Jesus radically, and even violently (see Mt 11:12), rearrange our lives. Otherwise, we will do violence to His word by warping, compromising, and disobeying it. We live the life of Christ when we do what Christ wants no matter what we want or what our culture promotes.

Prayer:  Father, I accept Your challenge to rise above my selfishness and cultural conditioning.

Promise:  "In the same way, none of you can be My disciple if he does not renounce all his possessions." —Lk 14:33

Praise:  Robert worked hard to get out of debt so he could serve Jesus freely. The Lord used him much more powerfully than he could have imagined (Eph 3:20).

Reference:  (For related teaching, order our book, The Bible on Money.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, March 22, 1997

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 26, 1997