Tag Archives: wealth

The valley of the shadow of debt

The causes of bankruptcy tell a deep dark tale. Every year, government agencies which administers bankruptcies publish a list of the top reasons people give for going bust.  It usually universal throughout the world.

Here are the usual suspects, but the number one reason given by bankrupts was unemployment or loss of income. Then there are adverse legal action as a result of having guaranteed a debt, relationship breakdown, excessive use of credit facilities and ill health plus a lack of medical insurance.

If there is one attitude that should be changed, it’s this: never underestimate the power of debt. It’s a slippery slope that’s hard to climb. Some even call it a curse. People fail under it, so make sure you know what you’re up against.

Secondly, bad things happen to indebted people. There seems to be an attraction (or opening) for more bad stuff.  Some say it’s a law of attraction. Maybe that’s why it’s called a curse. But if you borrow money you owe it to yourself to ensure you can pay it whatever happens.  This means factoring in the cost of taking out credit insurance into your borrowing. (sound ironic). But be aware it can prove expensive.  This is possibly the most profitable form of insurance ever invented.

It is especially important to take debt seriously if you have kids, although loading up with debt for luxuries can have a big impact on your ability to own a roof that’s over your kids’ head.

Thirdly, don’t be fooled into the blurred lines of good debt versus bad debt. The case for good debt would be appreciating assets like houses and student loans, bad debt would be for cars, boat and LCD TV screens. No doubt there is some true in the case for good debt, but it is a pretty fuzzy line to cross. House prices can fall, student loans can be a self-justified reason to get a car. Ultimately, can you control the debt, or will debt eventually control you. But without doubt, debt is such a serious burden it should not be taken on “miscellaneous” expenses like mag wheels, cosmetic surgery or fashionable clothes.

What is often overlooked is the interest incurred especially when you purchase an item by instalments. Debt is what you use today to buy what you can’t afford tomorrow while you’re still paying for yesterday. Eventually, you’ll get so tied up paying, it will result in an uncontrollable spin downwards.

And the sad truth is that there are two groups of debtors – those who get indebted by choice and those who do so as a result of a family crisis but because they are on low incomes and have no savings it is impossible to cope without borrowing. It’s tough to plan for the future when you are too busy fixing the things you did yesterday.

Money borrowed today must be repaid tomorrow. Borrowing money has its price – and it is a cost far greater than you realise. Anytime you use credit to borrow money, you pre-commit your future income. The effects of such a decision can range from simple inconvenience to financial disaster. Indebtedness is not something that seems to really bother Americans – until a financial crisis strikes.

If the financial situation is dire, and the financial forecast calls for difficult times ahead, you should work to get rid of all your debt. To do otherwise is to presume upon the future. If you want to ride out your own financial crisis and prepare for the next economic crisis, it stands to reason that we will want to operate from a position of financial freedom.

Getting out of debt may be hard, but it is not impossible. And it has a high price to pay. The best way to get out of debt is to cut spending. Cancel that magazine subscription, or high speed broadband access, or cable television service, forego restaurants and movies. Frugality will eventually pay off. In uncertain times, gone are the days where you “shop till you drop”, but instead, be frugal till you pay off your debts.

Establish a realistic repayment plan and discipline yourself to follow it. Establishing and following this plan is critical to the success of your debt-retirement strategy. There is no quick or painless way to get rid of debt. Once your plan is in place, you will need to take the long walk of self-discipline to make it work.

Never use your credit cards to pay for debt. The debt amount will just keep mounting. Many people justify indebtedness with the thought that they are making an investment when they purchase items. That’s an unwise assumption. And don’t apply for new credit cards you don’t need.

Many of these principles are laid out in our successful course, the Scriptural Financial Freedom series. To learn more, you can download the Small Groups kit from our Store.

Today’s Bottom Line

It pays to be debt free and financially free. Be a debtor to no man.

Transfer of wealth – a study

Wealth transfer is indeed scriptural, and it is truly real. That should be wonderful news, isn’t it? So the question you probably have is “where’s mine?” A legitimate question. However, so many Christians fail to understand that, according to the bible, you need to go through a process.

But first, let’s check out the most quoted verse from the bible about wealth transfer:

and the wealth of the sinner [finds its way eventually] into the hands of the righteous, for whom it was laid up. Pro 13:22 (AMP)

On the surface, it sounds great. Money and wealth are being tucked away by others and for you. However, so many Christians interpret this verse and all the other passages to mean that they don’t have to do anything but wait. And “wait” is all they do. They say: “I’m righteous, so the money is being stored up for me.” And then they start to get impatient.

They want God to hurry and send them that lottery ticket. And when the money doesn’t flow in, they say things like: “It’s all in God’s time…” or “maybe God is teaching me how to be patient first.” I’m sure you heard phrases like that a million times.

The problem here is that they aren’t following the process of God’s plan.

The Wealth Plan

One of the greatest examples in the Bible about the transfer of wealth is the life of Joseph. Like Joseph, there are promises and dreams in the Bible about blessings and God’s plan to prosper His children.

Joseph moved from a position of hopelessness, to a position of not just great wealth, but great authority. However, there needs to be a process. A moulding. The testing of your faith. Understand also, the purpose for this transfer of wealth. It’s not about hoarding wealth for yourself, but for helping others and the saving of lives. For building schools and orphanages, for missions and evangelism. Freely receiving, freely giving. It’s about your faithfulness.

Joseph was given the wealth of the entire nation. He was even given control of all of Egypt’s business and economy. That plan, as laid out by Jesus in the parable of the ten Minas in Luke 19, is straight forward:

“‘And he said to him, Well done, excellent bond servant! Because you have been faithful and trustworthy in a very little [thing], you shall have authority over ten cities.’ Luke 19:16-17 (AMP)

God is looking for people He can trust with this wealth. That is why Paul the apostle wrote, “He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully” (2 Corinthians 9:6). This promise deals with God giving to us today as well as in the coming days of wealth transfer.

 

Transfer of wealth

The Lord gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they gave them what they asked. And they stripped the Egyptians [of those things].Exodus 12:36 (AMP)

 

God promised Moses that when the Israelites came out of Egypt, they would leave with the wealth of the Egyptians. And it says God gave them favor. Favor? Think of what it was like when the Israelites went to the Egyptians, who had just lost sons and been ruined by all the plagues. Yet these same Egyptians gave them their wealth. Yet, God released huge amounts of wealth  from the pagan Egyptians to His people. They did not earn this money from making  bricks without straw. It was a supernatural transference.

 

Real Wealth

Often, we are given the word so we can contend to see it fulfilled. It is important to remember the enemy does not want you to reap the benefits of the promises of God, so spiritual warfare may be needed. The word gives us hope to stand and believe in the midst of adverse circumstances. Though our prayers are immediately answered by the Lord in the spiritual realm, it takes persistent prayer for those answers to manifest in the physical realm.

Remember the story of Daniel. After praying and fasting for the freedom of Israel from Babylon, an angel finally arrived. He told Daniel that God had heard his prayers, but a principality, who was the ruling power of darkness over the region, had held him back for 21 days. Though Daniel’s prayers were heard and acted upon instantly, it was his prayers of perseverance that allowed the angel to ultimately break through!

What if Daniel had become frustrated before his breakthrough and given up? He would have never seen God’s plan fulfilled. So therefore it is important that you commit everything to persistent prayer if you really want to see breakthrough.

 

 

Wealthiest by Definition, Poorest by Default

How did the United States, the world’s richest and wealthiest nation, closed down its government and come to the brink of a catastrophic default on its debt that could send shockwaves through the fragile world economy? Relax. The worst is yet to come.

US DEBT shot up to reach more than 100 per cent of gross domestic, Treasury figures showed. The new borrowing took total public debt to US$17 trillion, and putting it in a league with highly indebted countries like Greece and Spain.

Public debt subject to the official debt limit – a slightly tighter definition – was US$17 trillion, rising from the previous official cap of US$14.29 trillion a year earlier. Treasury had used extraordinary measures to hold under the cap, while politicians battled over it and over   addressing the country’s bloating deficit. The official limit was hiked US$400 billion and will be increased in stages over the next 18 months.

Looking at these statistics, it is not hard to see why debt generates so much news and discussions. The average American family devotes at least 25 percent, some as much as 50 percent, of its spendable income to paying outstanding debts. And that’s during sound economic growth. In financially difficult times, indebtedness can imperil our survival. Unfortunately, indebtedness has become a pillar of America’s financial framework. Both nationally and domestically. Greed will bring about global financial disaster – on a Biblical scale.

Dire economic downturns — including the worst since the Great Depression of   the 1930s — giant tax cuts, costly wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and a pricey new health program all helped sour Washington’s fiscal picture. Or, as President Barack Obama put it literally in a speech  “For the last decade, we’ve spent more money than we took in.” Nervous Americans are bombarding their financial advisers with questions about what to   do if the U.S. government defaults on its debt. Although we do not expect the stalemate to result in a temporary default, we now see a more than 50% chance that US sovereign debt will be downgraded by the rating agencies in the coming months. How will America pay its debt? Eventually, the US government will shut down. It’s a matter of when, not if.

When this happens, it will send shock waves across the U.S. economy and the world that will hit consumers and businesses, both struggling through a weak global economic recovery. The debt ceiling debate already is weighing on the economy. The bankers says credit is an important part of your financial identity. the more credit you have, the better your lifestyle can be. “Anything is within your grasp if you can simply get the payments low enough.” Nothing can be further than the truth.

The Bible discourages debt, individually and nationally, because debt presumes upon the future – and on God. If you are concerned about economic uncertainty, the last thing you want to do is to take anything about the future for granted. In fact, debt is a curse. If you go into debt, you are obligated to repay – yet you take on that obligation without knowing for certain whether you will be able to repay or not. Second, debt may deny Him an opportunity to work.

If the financial forecast calls for difficult times ahead, you should work to get rid of all debt. To do otherwise is to presume on the future.

Can USA continue to meet its financial obligations. No way. Ratings agencies have warned the country to reduce its debt-to-GDP ratio quickly   or facing losing its coveted AAA debt rating. That is just the tip of the iceberg. The runaway debt is beyond hope. The entire nation will eventually go over the fiscal cliff. What matters now is: Can  you continue to meet your financial obligations – car payments, credit card bills, housing instalment loans, and the like – if you lost your job? If there is hyperinflation? If the dollar collapses? We now have to view debt through the window of possibly one of the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression. We have to find answers that will enable you to approach debt with a proper perspective.

Debt is not something that seems to really bother buyers in good times. Yet borrowing money has its price – and it is a cost far greater than you realize. Anytime you use credit to borrow money, you pre-commit your future income. The effects of such obligations can range from simple inconvenience to financial devastation. Many are now paying that price today.

There are two simple principles to keep in mind if you want to work to strengthen your financial position. First, you must increase your financial flexibility, and second, you must reduce your financial constraints. If borrowing money limits financial flexibility, the absence of debt makes for a lifestyle of financial freedom and opportunity. With no, or even low, financial pre-commitments, you will be at liberty to pursue your goals and desires.

The freedom from the financial obligations of debt can spell all the difference in how effectively personal resources can be used by God. Getting rid of any debt, whether it is large home mortgage or a relatively small credit card balance, is a guaranteed profitable investment.

How to get out of debt? Whether your  debt is due to unwise overspending or an unexpected calamity, one thing is certain: Getting out of debt is always harder than getting in. The most effective way to get out of debt is to cut your spending. Establish a realistic repayment plan and discipline yourself to follow it. Beware of over-ambition. Once your strategy is in place, all you need is the  self-discipline to make it work.

Ultimately, it all boils down to 3 simple rules in financial planning: First, spend less than you earn. Second, avoid the use of debt. And lastly, save up for financial uncertainties.

The Bible does show many ways to overcome any financial crisis. Many of these principles are laid out in our successful course, the Scriptural Financial Freedom series. To learn more, you can  download the Small Groups kit from our Store.