What The Bible Says About Debt


We concluded our annual Stewardship Emphasis Month at the Shiloh Church today. We are also on the runway to launch our “Back to the Future” capital campaign. Our prayerful goal is to pay off our mortgage and prepare for new open doors.

I preached a topical message today entitled, “What The Bible Says About Debt.” It is only the second topical message I have preached in my seven years as pastor of Shiloh.

I sought to make basic, biblical principles about dealing with debt…

I. Debt is owing more than you can pay. 

There are four different types of debt:

A. Credit card debt

B. Consumer debt

C. Mortgage debt

D. Investment debt

II. Debt is a spiritual matter (Prov. 3:6a; Luke 16:10-13). 

III. Debt is not necessarily sinful (Rom. 13:8). 

There are several big questions you should ask before deciding to going into debt?

A. Does it make economic sense?

B. Are you and your spouse united?

C. Do you have spiritual peace about this decision?

IV. Debt is not wise. 

Why is it not wise to get into debt?

A. Debt is enslavement (Prov. 22:7).

B. Debt presumes on the future (Prov. 27:1; James 4:13-17).

C. Debt robs God of the opportunity to work (Prov. 3:5-6; 2 Kings 4:1-7).

D. Debt displays contentment (Phil. 4:10-13; 1 Tim. 6:6-10).

V. Debt must be repaid (Ps. 37:21; Prov. 3:27-28). 

A. Give to God first (Ps. 24:1; Prov. 3:9-10).

B. Guard your heart (Prov. 4:23; 1 Tim 6:10; Matt. 6:19-21).

C. Live within your means (Prov. 27:23-24)

D. Develop a repayment plan.

Walking Together in Christ | Ephesians 4:25-32

We had a good day of worship at the Shiloh Church today. And it was a joy to preach all four of our worship services.

I continued our study of Ephesians, concluding chapter 4. I preached a message entitled, “Walking Together in Christ” (Ephesians 4:25-32).

The theme of the passage is the cultivation of holiness in the life of the believer. I argued: New life in Christ is evidence by how you treat other people, particularly your brothers and sisters in Christ.

In Ephesians 4:25-23, there are five ways to change your life in Christ:

I. Tell the truth (4:25).

II. Control your anger (4:26-27).

III. Live with integrity (4:28).

A. Integrity: “Let the thief no longer steal” (v. 28a)

B. Industry: “but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands” (v. 28b-c)

C. Generosity: “so that he may have something to share with anything in need” (v. 28d)

IV. Watch your words (4:29-30).

V. Respond with kindness (4:31-32).

A. The abstinence of bitterness (v. 31)

B. The practice of kindness (v. 32)


When Faith Grows Up | Psalm 131

11914588_10207256952442463_6417207560052072521_nI was scheduled to continue in Ephesians. But I had a sneaky suspicion that today – Back-to-School Sunday – would not allow me to spend the time I would need to get through Ephesians 4:25-32. I was right.

I “pulled a file” and preached Psalm 131: “When Faith Grows Up.” The point of the psalm is that faith grows up when you learn childlike trust in God.

Psalm 131 presents three marks of grown up faith:

I. Grown up faith denounces pride (131:1)

A. Humble your attitude (v. 1a-b)

1. A proud attitude is rooted in the heart (v. 1a).

2. A proud heart is revealed in the eyes (v. 1b).

B. Humble your ambitions (v. 1c)

II. Grown up faith embraces contentment (131:2)

A. Learn how to relate to God (v. 2a)

B. Learn how to relate to God (v. 2b)

III. Grown up faith practices hope (131:3)

A. Hope in the Lord today (v. 3a)

B. Hope in the Lord forever (v. 3b)

Praise God for those who were added to the church today! 

My voice was giving out after the first service. And our schedule was thrown after the first service. So I did not make it back to Orange Park for our 12:30 PM service. I texted the gang before I preached 10:45 to let them know I did not think I would make it back. A big shout-out to our Campus Pastor – Daniel Beckwith – for serving the word to our congregation at 12:30!

It was a joy to preach for the 10 school principles and many other teachers and administrators at our 10:45 service, along with covering our children in prayer.

Change the Way You Walk! | Ephesians 4:17-24

Yesterday, I continued my resumed study of Ephesians with a message from Ephesians 4:17-24: “Change the Way You Walk!” 

The point of the message was that to be a Christian is to adopt a radical way of life. You cannot walk worthy of the calling to which you have been called (4:1) if you continue to walk in the ways of those who do not know God (4:17).

Ephesians 4:17-19 teaches two steps to take to change the way you walk:

I. Forsake the way of sin (4:17-19).

A. The problem of sin is a matter of the mind (vv. 17-18a).

B. The problem of sin is a matter of the heart (vv. 18b-19).

II. Pursue the way of Christ (4:20-24).

A. To be saved is to learn Christ (vv. 20-21).

1. Christ is the subject matter (v. 20).

2. Christ is the master Teacher (v. 21a).

3. Christ is the learning environment (v. 21b).

B. To be saved is to live for Christ (vv. 22-24).

1. Put off your old self (v. 22).

2. Renew your mind (v. 23).

3. Put on the new self (v. 24).

This coming Sunday, I plan to preach Ephesians 4:25-32, in which Paul teaches that taking off the old self and putting on the new self is clearly evidenced by how we treat one another as brothers and sisters in Christ. Please pray for my sermon preparation this week.


Becoming a Grown Up Church | Ephesians 4:11-16

I am finally making it back to my study of Ephesians today. I stopped in chapter 4 at the end of 2014. I have preached other texts as we transitioned to one church in two locations this year. But I am excited about finishing Ephesians.

I am preaching a message today entitled “Becoming a Grown Up Church” from Ephesians 4:11-16.

The point of the message is that healthy churches are growing churches.

Ephesians 4:11-16 teach us the process and purpose of becoming a grown up church…

I. The Process of Becoming a Grown Up Church (4:11-13)

A. The church grows through spiritual gifts (v. 11).

B. The church grows by mutual service (v. 12).

C. The church grows for eternal glory (v. 13).

1. A call to spiritual unity.

2. A call to spiritual maturity.

3. A call to spiritual conformity.

II. The Purpose of Becoming a Grown Up Church (4:14-16)

A. A Doctrinally Sound Church (v. 14)

B. A Spiritually Mature Church (v. 15)

C. A Mutually Equipped Church (v 16)

Pray for the worship services at the Shiloh Church today. Pray that I would preach faithfully and clearly. Pray that much fruit will come from the planting and watering of the good seed of God’s word.

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