Common Sense REBORN Devotion

January 13

9You therefore, shall be praying this way:

Our Father who is in heaven, may YOUR name be sanctified 10and YOUR Kingdom come.  And may YOUR will happen on earth as it is in Heaven.  11And give us our continual bread of the day.  12And forgive us of our debts, so that we might also forgive our debtors.  13And bring us not to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one because YOURS is the kingdom and the glory forever and ever.  Amen   (Matthew 6:9-13; The Original Gospels)

Happy Friday Y’all.  The Lord’s Prayer above is taken from the translation in The Original Gospels.  The Lord’s Prayer is the prayer Jesus gives the crowd during the Sermon on the Mount when Jesus instructs all those listening how to properly pray.  The author of The Original Gospels, writes in his intro that the earliest manuscripts of the Book of Matthew dates the book to have been written in 41 A.D., “when many who saw and heard Jesus were still alive”.  The Professor who put together these translations writes that “the Old Syriac brings the reader much closer to the actual words of the Lord”(Dumdei, Mark, “The Original Gospels” pg. vii).  Why is this significant?  Well in the Lord’s prayer above, when I was younger I was taught the prayer was “forgive us of our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us”.  Jesus loved to speak in parables and metaphors, so I think overtime, historians have assumed that Jesus was referring to the greatest debt of all, the debt of sin.  But this prayer can also be applied to the real, tangible, financial sin of debt.

Financial responsibilities were a big thing even in Jesus’ day.  Debt had existed for thousands of years already.  The Wise King Solomon warned about debt in the Book of Proverbs.  Proverbs 22 has some of my favorite sayings of the Old Testament including:

2Rich and poor have this in common:

The Lord is the Maker of them all.

The two proverbs below speak more specifically of debt:

7The rich rule over the poor,

and the borrower is slave to the lender.

This first one is a harsh reminder that when you put yourself in debt, you are a slave to the one who lends you that money.

26Do not be one who shakes hands in pledge

or puts up security for debts;

27if you lack the means to pay,

your very bed will be snatched from under you.

And Proverbs 22:26-27 make the strong case about borrowing to purchase things. In the age of the crippling and binding restraints of credit card debt, verse 27 is a strong reminder, if you do not have the means to purchase something in full, do not buy it until you can. Credit cards should be only used for emergencies, and then those cards paid off as quickly as you can.

All of this is easy to say, much harder to put into practice. I have gotten much better in recent years, but I am far from being free of the slavery of debt. However, the Z family has dedicated this year to be the one to turn our financial situation right-side up.

I pray that all of you reading this make a pledge to become financially free in 2023, or better yet, that if you are debt free, you continue to be able to live without worry over money.  Pay off your debt, so that you can use that extra money to help set others free, or be more generous than you have ever been able to be.  Pastor Cam Huxford spoke a wise word about financial responsibility this weekend at our local church.  You can hear that word by clicking the image below.

A few weeks ago, as I wrapped up my recap for Christian music in 2022, I wrote that the amazingly talented artists had put out such incredible work last year that I did not know how they would top it.  Well, after two “New Music Friday’s” from the CCM (Contemporary Christian Music) scene, I can honestly say, already, that this year is not going to disappoint.  Here is another of my favorites from last Friday, the latest from Consumed By Fire, the perfect anthem for 2023:  Goodbye Ole Me.

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