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No Debt Except to Love

Romans 13:8
Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. (NIV)            

Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. (NKJ)

Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. (KJV)

Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled {the} law. (NAS)

Some have concluded that this verse means we are never to have debt.

We do need to be very careful with debt. It can enslave us and impoverish us.

Proverbs 22:7
7 The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.

But debt is sometimes necessary. Many businesses could not operate without borrowing money to invest in such things as buildings, equipment, and raw materials. Many farmers could not plant new crops without borrowing money for seed and fertilizer. Most families could never afford to buy a home without taking out a mortgage.

Rather, Paul is teaching that we need to be good stewards of what God has given us to manage.

Often, it is better stewardship to have a mortgage than to pay rent.

It is bad stewardship to be unnecessarily in debt.

Average credit card debt per household with credit card = $16,007
Total U.S. consumer debt, as of March 2010 -  $2.45 trillion

Bankruptcies and foreclosures are near all time highs.

Paul then makes a radical transition, telling us that we have a perpetual debt of love to one another.

Because Jesus Christ loved us, we are obligated to love others.
First commandment = love God with all our heart….
Second commandment = love neighbor as self.

The transition from debt to love may seem strange, but once again, the Lord is way ahead of us and very relevant to today.

Studies have shown that a major reason people run up large debts is that they are desperately seeking love.

A significant percentage of people filing for bankruptcy are hungering for love.

Women buying lots of fancy clothes, shoes, makeup, etc. trying to make themselves more attractive to men.

Men buying expensive cars to make themselves feel more desirable and respected. 

Parents, feeling guilty about their parenting, buying huge amounts of toys and other gifts for children, trying to make the children love them.

Studies have shown that many people who have chronic debt and financial problems not only need counseling about budgets and spending habits.  They also need counseling about relationships and their own need to feel loved.

We have a debt to love others - and we can do with the love the Lord gives us.
I John 4:19
We love because he first loved us.

Galatians 5:22
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love…..

We need to realize how much God loves us.
Ephesians 3:17-19
….and I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18    may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-- that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.       

We need to realize that giving lots of gifts doesn't equal love.
Love is giving yourself.  Your time, your energy, your heart and soul.

We need to realize that we can't buy love.
We have to receive it from God and give it away to others.


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