Financial Freedom God’s Way
Financial Freedom God’s Way
#109 6/17-18/2023
Financial Freedom God’s Way
Financial Freedom God’s Way
#109 6/17-18/2023

Seminar: Memory #2
Dave Ramsey: Start Walk to Retirement
Minute with Maxwell: “Earning Trust”
SCAM Alert: Text message impersonators
Q&A: How to Prepare to Invest


Re-Listen to or Download the audio file.
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Welcome to Financial Freedom God’s Way Radio. This is where you will continue to learn, apply, and pass on, Bible-based financial principles and applications so that you and your family will not only just survive, but thrive during these very uncertain times.

Hi and welcome, this is Bob Louder from Christian Financial Ministries, and it is an absolute honor to have you with us—it really is. I’m praying you and yours are enjoying a fantastic and safe weekend.

  • What is on tap for our 30-minute time together today?
    • First, you and I are headed back into our weekly Your Finances in Perilous Times Radio Seminar—remember last week we took a break from the Seminar to encourage you to take part in the Family Fun Day in Hiawassee to help celebrate our Towns County First Responders. This week, we’re back in the Seminar where you will see how important scripture memory is and what to do about it as you consider Financial Freedom God’s way.
    • Then, our friend and mentor Dave Ramsey is going to talk a bit about what to do if you are moving along in life, have debt, and have no retirement account…now that is something you need to hear, apply, and even pass along to someone else.
    • Christian leadership author, teacher, trainer and coach John Maxwell is going to share his thoughts on “earning trust.” Earning trust, that’s going to be a good word.
    • We will have yet another SCAM alert from the Better Business Bureau—we need to know to spot an impersonator sending you text messages.
    • And finally, we may just have time for a Question or two.

So, that is where we are headed today, it’s going to be a great time together, you are not going to want to miss a single minute. But as we start, well let’s start as we always do and that is with a word of prayer. Father we thank You for meeting with us today. Will You please gives us ears to hear all that You have planned for us to hear, to Your glory, in Jesus name, Amen.


Radio Seminar

Now for our Radio Seminar time together today, let’s talk just a bit more about the importance of Scripture memory as the Lord and you move along road path toward Financial Freedom Gods Way

First, recall we started talking about the importance of scripture memory back a couple of months ago…as the matter of fact, it was program #96 that aired back on March 18-19 of this year. And by the way, the audio and a transcript of that program is available on our website at

  • By way of a quick review, back then you first considered several “Questions and Answers” regarding Scripture memory and meditation. For example, you learned from the Bible how memory and meditation differ and yet how they are inseparable.
  • You also saw that both Scripture memory and meditation are possible for you–you can do it!!!
  • You took your first look at the verses you’re going to memorize during this seminar. And finally,
  • You discovered a plan of how to memorize and meditate; a plan to use “as is” or to adapt as the Lord and you see best. Now, I’ll include both the Memory Q&As document, and the memory plan along with this week’s transcript on our web site.

Today, first of all, I want to encourage you to continue working with your first memory and meditation verse, which is Deuteronomy 8:17-18. I say “continue” because this was one of the key verses you considered as you learned how to pick up, put on, and use God’s belt of truth as part of His spiritual financial armor. Do you recall Deuteronomy 8:17-18? It goes like this: You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me, but remember the LORD your God, for it is He Who gives you the ability to produce wealth.” Do you see how this verse ties in with God’s definition of wealth? Everything you have, including your job, comes from God. YOU are to steward or manage everything God places into Your spiritual trust account to include the way or all of the ways He gives YOU to earn an income.

Also as promised back in March, you can download and print my personal study notes for your next memory verse which is Matthew 6:19-21. Matthew 6:19-21 tell us, Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. My notes on Matthew 6:19-21 are in a Microsoft Word document. They are not a PDF document. That way, if you choose, you can take my notes and add, subtract, multiply and divide as the Lord and you prayerfully see fit.

Now, let me share with you one more Scripture Memory and Meditation aid. Each time you review a verse you previously memorized—once you have it memorized, I suggest you use a simple, three-step process to review your memory work

  • First, read the verse out loud (use the same translation source each time)
  • Second, repeat the verse out loud from memory with emotion and feeling
  • Then finally, read the verse out loud again
  • So, you are going to read it, quote it, then read it again.

So, what is your assignment for out time together today? First, pray for wisdom, print off my notes, review all the Scripture memory and meditation information from March 18-19, then dig deep into this, the second of the six memory verses for the Seminar. When you do, God promises to bless you. Listen, according to the Bible, He and you will be blessed when you and He memorize His Word.

Dave Ramsey

Now, well now, let’s have a word or two from one of the best if not the best Bible-based financial teacher, trainer, mentor, and coach—let’s see what Dave Ramsey has to say about you or maybe someone you know who is moving along in life, has a lot of debt, but no or not enough retirement money set aside. These are great words to apply and even to pass along…so listen hard my friend. Here’s Dave.

Wow, not that is a great word from someone who absolutely knows what he is talking about. But, my guess is, you may be thinking something like, “yep, great words, but where do I start? Well, maybe you are just like Johnny on the call with Dave, you know you need help, you are not sure where to start, and you are someone who wants to apply what you hear…you see, application is key—you know from experience that information without application leads to frustration. So how can you apply what Dave is giving you? Here’s how. Google ,and order a copy of Dave’s book titled, The Total Money Makeover, there is also a workbood by that same name—the Total Money Makeover Workbook. So you buy the book, you and your wife prayerfully read and apply, and if you run up against an issue you are not sure how to deal with, go back to and get some one-on-one help. The bottom line, it’s absolutely critical that you prayerfully take active steps to move from information into lifestyle transformation. Thank you Dave Ramsey.

Minute with Maxwell

Next it’s time for one of my favorite times together with you, it’s time for a Minute with Maxwell where Christian leadership author, teacher, trainer, mentor, and Coach John Maxwell is going to share with you and me some thoughts on how to build trust—how to build trust from John Maxwell. Let’s listen.

One of the things I just love about John’s teaching is that he always combines his teaching with ways to apply his teaching. If you need to relisten to John’s teaching today to better understand the applications, all you have to do is to head over to our website at , look for program #109—it’s all there for you. Thanks John.

Scam Alert from the Better Business Bureau: How to spot an impersonator in your text messages

I know you already know that scammers have long used social media to impersonate people you know and trust. According to the Better Business Bureau, scammers have been using a new tactic: text messages with a spoofed caller ID. This scam can be hard to spot at first glance, so you need to know and watch for the warning signs.

Here’s how this scam works.

  • You get a text message that shows up in your phone as from “Mom” or “Dad.” According to the message, “Mom” is at the store, but she left her credit card at home by accident. Could you send her $150 to finish her shopping.
  • This request seems harmless, but don’t do it. Scammers have spoofed caller ID to appear as “Mom” or “Dad.” They are relying on the fact that many people have “Dad” or “Mom” saved in their contacts list. Scammers hope you won’t think twice (or double-check the phone number) before sending help. If you do transfer money to a bank or digital wallet account, your money will be gone for good.

So that’s what the scam looks like, here are some red flags you need to be able to spot to avoid being scammed.

  • First, if anything about a message is unusual, consider it a red flag. If your parents never send text messages, it’s probably not them texting now. On the other hand, if they text all the time but never ask for money, you’re probably dealing with an impersonator.
  • Look for a new message thread. If you text with your parents on a regular basis, you should be able to see previous messages from them. If you can’t see any of the earlier messages, it’s probably a scammer contacting you for the first time.
  • Finally, double check the sender info. Click on the sender information to make sure the name matches your parent’s real phone number.

So, there you have it. Short and sweet. Exactly what the text message impersonator scam looks like and how to avoid it. By the way, you can google BBB Scam Tracker—that’s BBB for Better Business Bureau—BBB Scam tracker and follow the links to see a whole lot more about the scams that are going around.


Now, well now I do believe we have time for one question—and it ties right in to todays program very nicely. Here’s the question: Bob, my wife and I would like to begin investing, but we find it hard to generate the money to do so. Can you help us? Well John, I suggest you get in contact with either the Dave Ramsey organization or Crown Financial Ministries ( When you do you will discover that before you start investing you need to be living on a budget, have an appropriate emergency fund, and be debt free except for your home. Only then should you consider investing and only if you find a credible Bible-based investment counselor who is willing to teach you how to invest, not just invest your money for you. Great question.


Boy, this has been another great time together with the Lord and you.

  • Recall, we started out by taking a second look at the importance of scripture memory as the Lord leads you down the road to Financial Freedom His way. And remember, I’m including some extra tools and information as part of the transcript of today’s program—you can relisten to or get a copy of the transcript of this program, plus a whole lot of other information on our website at
  • Then our friend Dave Ramsey outlined a great way to start out on your journey to Financial Freedom God’s Way—you might want to order the Total Money Makeover Book or the workbook to begin to apply all that Dave was sharing with you.
  • Next, John Maxwell gave you his thoughts and applications on how to build trust.
  • And you just learned all about the text message scam that’s going around and how to avoid it.
  • And we finished up with a great question about when it’s appropriate to start investing.

My friend, it has been great being with you and the Lord today. Now, let’s wrap up our time together just as we started, and that is with a word of prayer. Father, we thank you for bringing us together today and for each of the days to come to Your glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Have a blessed rest of your day, won’t you, and we will be looking to see you next time as we continue down your personal road to Financial Freedom God’s Way.

Scripture Memory and Meditation

Questions and Answers


It’s been said that when God’s Word becomes rooted in your soul, you bloom and grow and become more like Jesus.

My friend, if you take only one thing away from your Academy experience, I hope it is the importance of Scripture Memory and Meditation. Financial Freedom God’s Way is a critically important subject, but it pales in comparison to the importance of learning God’s Word.

Below you will find some helpful “Questions and Answers” to encourage you along is as you move into the spiritual disciplines—hearing, reading, memorizing, meditating and studying the Word of God.


What is memorization all about? Scripture memory puts God’s Word in your mind. Your goal should be to repeat each verse word perfect from memory to include the topic, reference, scripture, and the reference again.

What is meditation all about? Prayerful meditation puts God’s Word into your heart. Meditation is thinking with a purpose, asking God to direct your thoughts. Your goal should be to relate each verse to your own circumstances. HOWEVER, remember, don’t confuse Bible knowledge with spiritual maturity; knowing more about the Bible does not automatically make you a better disciple of Jesus Christ. Remember that many of the Pharisees knew the Old Testament, yet they were spiritual phonies. The key to spiritual maturity is applying God’s Word into your life.

Why memorize and meditate on God’s Word? Why? Because God encourages you to do so. Consider these verses:

  1. Psalm 119: 9, 11: How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Scripture memory can help you get victory over sin. When temptations come along, you can call up a verse from memory that specifically addresses the temptation.
  2. Deuteronomy 6:6: These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Deuteronomy 11:18-21: Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land that the Lord swore to give your forefathers, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth. God instructed the Jews to have His Words in their hearts. The same principle is also beneficial to you as a Christian. His Word is a powerful tool that should be at your disposal at all times.
  3. Colossians 3:16: Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom; Memorizing the Word of God will greatly aid in fellowship, because if you have Christ’s words in you, then the rest of the verse will naturally follow…teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
  4. I Peter 3:15: But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect… Having God’s Word memorized makes you a more effective witness for Him. If you are indeed ready to share the Gospel with others, God can use you, and the verses you have memorized, to bring others to Him. Remember…you don’t always have a Bible handy when you need it.

Why memorize and meditate on God’s Word? Why? Because God wants to communicate with you through His Word. You take your praises and problems to God through prayer. Then He shows you His solutions through His Word. In prayer, you call out to the living God from the depths of your soul. In Scripture memory and meditation, God calls out to you from the depths of His living Word.

Why memorize and meditate? Consider what others have to say.

  1. Dr. Howard Hendricks of the Dallas Theological Seminary said that if it were up to him, every student would be required to learn one thousand verses word perfect before they graduated.
  2. “Bible memorization is absolutely fundamental to spiritual formation. If I had to choose between all the disciplines of the spiritual life, I would choose Bible memorization, because it is a fundamental way of filling our minds with what it needs. This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth. That’s where you need it! How does it get in your mouth? Memorization!” (Dallas Willard, professor of Philosophy at the University of Southern California.)
  3. “I know of no other single practice in the Christian life more rewarding, practically speaking, than memorizing Scripture….No other single exercise pays greater spiritual dividends! Your prayer life will be strengthened. Your witnessing will be sharper and much more effective. Your attitudes and outlook will begin to change. Your mind will become alert and observant. Your confidence and assurance will be enhanced. Your faith will be solidified” (Chuck Swindoll).
  4. One of the reasons Martin Luther came to his great discovery in the Bible of justification by faith alone was that in his early years in the Augustinian monastery he was influenced to love Scripture by Johann Staupitz. Luther devoured the Bible in a day when people earned a doctorate in theology without even reading the Bible. Luther said that his fellow professor, Andreas Karlstadt, did not even own a Bible when he earned his doctor of theology degree, nor did he until many years later. Luther knew so much of the Bible from memory that when the Lord opened his eyes to see the truth of justification in Romans 1:17, he said, “Thereupon I ran through the Scriptures from memory,” in order to confirm what he had found.

Is this something I can do? Yes, because you can ask for and count on God’s help to memorize and meditate. He will give you a deep hunger and thirst for His deep wisdom and counsel in scripture. He will help you digest His Word as you memorize and meditate on it. As you learn to focus on Scripture in a very personal way, taking God’s Word to heart, He will encourage you to put that truth into action in your life.

Are you sure this is something I can do? Yes, because you already memorize important information. You already have a good memory! For example, think for a minute about all the information you already know by heart—your address and phone number, all the people you know by name, details about your job, facts and figures about your favorite sport or hobby, and on and on. Once you stop and think about it, you’ll see that your memory is pretty good after all. Anything is easy to memorize when you really have an interest in it.

What am I going to memorize and meditate on during my time with the Academy? There are seven modules to this Seminar. The first six Modules each include a “Scripture Memory” button on the left navigation bar. When you click on the button you will find a hard copy of the verse for that module as well as a Microsoft Word document of my personal study notes. I’m giving you a Microsoft Word document rather than a PDF document so you can first consider my notes, then add, subtract, multiply and/or divide as you and the Lord prayerfully determine. Here are the six verses you will memorize during this seminar:

  1. Deuteronomy 8:17-18: You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me,” But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth.
  2. Matthew 6:19-21: Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
  3. Matthew 6:24: No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
  4. 2 Corinthians 9:6-7: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
  5. Philippians 4:11-13: I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
  6. 1 Timothy 6:9-10: People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

How do I go about memorizing and meditating? I know, that you know, that you know, that Bible memorization and meditation are important tools for your spiritual growth. But how do you do it? What’s a good plan to follow? I’m glad you asked. Here’s an outline of the process God gave me. Perhaps it will prayerfully work for you. At least it will be a good review or a good place to start.

  1. Determine the best time and place to regularly practice these spiritual disciplines.
  2. Pray for wisdom. Ask God for help to memorize and meditate to His glory.
  3. Review the previous memory verses
  4. Understand the context
  5. Study the content
  6. Summarize the content
  7. Memorize (I find it best to memorize in 30-minute sessions.)
    1. As you start to memorize a verse
    2. Read in your Bible the context of the verse.
    3. Try to gain a clear understanding of what the verse actually means. You may want to read the verse in other Bible translations or paraphrases or perhaps consult a commentary-after you’ve done your personal study!
    4. Read the verse through several times thoughtfully, aloud or in a whisper. This will help you grasp the verse as a whole. Each time you read it, say the topic, reference, verse, and then the reference again.
    5. Discuss the verse with God in prayer, and continue to seek His help for success in Scripture memory.
  8. While you are memorizing the verse . . .
    1. Write the verse on a 3×5 card. Record the verse on your Mp3 player.
    2. Work on saying the verse aloud as much as possible.
    3. Learn the topic and reference first.
  9. After learning the topic and reference, learn the first phrase of the verse. Once you have learned the topic, reference, and the first phrase and have repeated them several times, continue adding more phrases.
  10. Think about how the verse applies to you and your daily circumstances.
  11. Learn to repeat the verse with feeling and purpose as if you were the author.
  12. Always include the topic and reference as part of the verse as you learn and review it.
  13. After you can quote correctly the topic, reference, verse, and reference again . . .
    1. Writing the verse out can be helpful. This deepens the impression in your mind.
    2. Find a friend to check you on the verse. Better yet, memorize together!
    3. Review the verse immediately after learning it, and repeat it frequently in the next few days. This is crucial for fixing the verse firmly in your mind because of the tendency to forget something recently learned. Review! Review! Review! Read your 3×5 card and listen to your MP3 recording. Repetition is the best way to engrave the verses on your memory.

How to Meditate

  1. Pray: Praise God for the way His character is revealed in the verse. Thank Him for any promises you see. Ask Him to apply these promises into your life. Confess any failure. Do it all out loud.
  2. Paraphrase the verse.
  3. Ask questions: who, what, where, why, how.
  4. Emphasize different words or phrases.
  5. Find and “consider” cross references.

Application Suggestions

  1. Pray: Continue to ask God to give you discernment and wisdom to apply what He’s teaching you.
  2. Do: Practice what you learn.
  3. Review
  4. Record: I strongly suggest you keep a spiritual journal


Well, there you have it. Some Questions and Answers to prayerfully help you along as you learn to memorize and meditate on God’s Word, specifically the six critical “money” verses.

In closing, I want to share with you parts of an old article written John Piper entitled “Why Memorize Scripture?” Over the last few years God has renewed my desire to memorize and meditate on His Word. To my very great surprise and enjoyment, I’ve found that I’m actually able to memorize—even to memorize extended sections when I’m willing to put in the effort.

Piper offers a list of reasons why we should memorize Scripture. They are:

  1. Conformity to Christ – Bible memorization has the effect of making our gaze on Jesus steadier and clearer.
  2. Daily Triumph over Sin – As sin lures the body into sinful action, we call to mind a Christ-revealing word of Scripture and slay the temptation with the superior worth and beauty of Christ over what sin offers.
  3. Daily Triumph over Satan – When Jesus was tempted by Satan in the wilderness he recited Scripture from memory and put Satan to flight.
  4. Comfort and Counsel for People You Love – When the heart full of God’s love can draw on the mind full of God’s word, timely blessings flow from the mouth.
  5. Communicating the Gospel to Unbelievers – Actual verses of the Bible have their own penetrating power. And when they come from our heart, as well as from the Book, the witness is given that they are precious enough to learn.
  6. Communion with God in the Enjoyment of His Person and Ways – The way we commune with (that is, fellowship with) God is by meditating on his attributes and expressing to him our thanks and admiration and love, and seeking his help to live a life that reflects the value of these attributes.

These are six really good reasons to memorize and meditate on God’s Word. On the flip side, I suspect that the primary reason most of us do not commit more Scripture to memory is simply the difficulty involved. It is a difficult and time-consuming process to take those words and force them into our minds.

My friend, you already read and study the Bible. Now you’re ready for God’s Word to take hold of your life—including your financial life—in order to shape and reshape you from the inside out. Enjoy this part of your journey down your road to Financial Freedom God’s Way.

Matthew 6:19-21
Sorry about the formatting 🙁

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

1. √ Set the time and place

2. √ Pray for wisdom

a. I need to better steward what God has already given me (the Holy Spirit, my wife and family, ministry, mind and body…and TIME). Then God will bring more if He requires it to do what He wants done.

b. Start lightening up my home—sell and give away (applications)

3. √ Read the Introduction

4. √ Review the previous memory verses

5. √ Understand the context

a. One of the principles taught in Matthew deals with Jesus’ lordship over finances, which gives Him the absolute right to command me regarding my use of and my attitude toward His “wealth” (money, etc.).

b. Remember that in this section Jesus gives me His divine advice on how to handle anxiety and worry. He is fully aware that anxiety and worry often have their genesis (pathogenesis–the development of a disease–the origin of a disease and the chain of events leading to that disease) in the material/financial areas of my life. And so He begins by advising me not to be in the habit of treasuring (attitude) treasure (stuff) for myself.

6. √ Study the content

a. Among the ancients, treasures, riches, or wealth consisted of clothing as well as gold, silver, gems, wine, lands, and oil. An abundance of anything conducive to the ornamentation or comfort of life was considered treasure. Like then, most people today are thrilled with splendid displays of expensive garments and accessories. Our treasure, in fact, often consists of beautiful and richly ornamented clothing. In a society like ours, an unlimited number of things could become “treasures”—clothing and jewelry, cars and boats, or CDs and DVDs, to name a few.

i. Too many of us, wealth tends to be seen as money, land, houses, and cars, but in biblical times, clothing was a key part of a man’s wealth. For example, Joseph gave his brothers “changes of garments” (Genesis 45:22), and Achan coveted “a beautiful Babylonian garment” (Joshua 7:21). Part of clothing’s appeal was its ability to make a “display,” so the garments of the rich were impressively colorful and opulent. Moths were the most destructive force against such treasures. Although a moth is small, its power to destroy clothing is great (Job 13:28, Isaiah 50:9; 51:8; James 5:1-2).

ii. “Rust” represents anything that “eats into” and destroys things more durable than clothing. In this parable, rust has a wider application than mere iron oxide. Rusting or oxidation will eventually corrode all metal, including silver and gold. This means all of my physical treasure will deteriorate in time (Do not wear yourself out to get rich; do not trust your own cleverness. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle. Proverbs 23:4-5; Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. James 5:3). Once moths and rust settle on an object, they gradually eat their way from the exterior to the interior. Thus, beyond their ability to destroy physical objects, moths and rust can represent decay in my life.

iii. “Houses” in the ancient Middle East were frequently made of sun-baked clay or loose stones. Because of this, thieves found it comparatively easy to dig through the wall to enter and steal. “Thieves” represent the ungodly world that continually seeks to break in and steal everything I have and return to me nothing but trouble (Israel’s watchmen are blind, they all lack knowledge; they are all mute dogs, they cannot bark; they lie around and dream, they love to sleep. They are dogs with mighty appetites; they never have enough. They are shepherds who lack understanding; they all turn to their own way, each seeks his own gain. “Come,” each one cries, “let me get wine! Let us drink our fill of beer! And tomorrow will be like today, or even far better.” Isaiah 56:10-12; The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10). Moths and rust attack consumable things, but thieves look to steal enduring treasures. All three metaphors, moth, rust and thieves, merge into one lesson: the futility of an earth-centered life. Taken together, these three stealthy destroyers demonstrate the folly of amassing earthly goods for their own sake. If no other destroyers come against me, old age is like a moth that eats away at my outward appearance, disease is like rust that corrodes my body, and death is like a thief that breaks in and steals everything I have. A grim Spanish proverb says, “There are no pockets in a shroud.” I can take nothing with me but my character and the souls I have helped to save. (…and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it. Ecclesiastes 12:7; But it is the spirit[ in a person, the breath of the Almighty, that gives them understanding. Job 32:8).

iv. By paying to God what I owe Him (that is, His tithes), He rewards me with blessings. Christians often find their third tithe years to be abundant with all types of blessings and invaluable lessons learned (Every Jew was required by the Levitical law to pay three tithes of his property: one tithe for the Levites; one for the use of the temple and the great feasts; and one for the poor of the land in the 3rd and 6th years of the 7-year cycle. (Read more: Google “the third tithe” His blessings are not always material, however. Storing up spiritual treasures in heaven is far more important than physical prosperity. God does not promise to make me wealthy but that my relationship with Him will prosper. Such eternal blessings are far greater than any temporary physical blessings I could receive. (Adapted from Martin G. Collins)

b. Don’t store up – Just don’t do it! Some of Jesus’ listeners were. For me, for example, Jesus doesn’t say not to have a retirement plan. He does say that the retirement plan is not to be the object or goal of my life’s work. As an aside, it is hard to find Biblical support for retirement per se. I am “retired” but am now busier in the Lord’s work than I was in the Air Force and small business.

c. “Possessions” often end up possessing their “owners”. Or stated another way, it is not wrong to possess things, but it is wrong for things to possess me. The desire of many in our society is to build lives around the “things” they own. For example, in Jesus’ day Luke records that the Pharisees were “lovers of money.”

d. Matthew Henry had a pithy statement regarding riches writing that…”Man takes great pains to heap up riches, and they are like heaps of manure in the furrows of the field, good for nothing unless they be spread.”

e. Not uncommonly I tend to arbitrarily divide my life into the spiritual and the material. Jesus demolishes this division in these verses by declaring that in the final analysis my heart’s attitude toward material things is a mark of my true spiritual condition. Material and spiritual cannot be separated. For example, attending church on Sunday (the “spiritual activity”) should not and ultimately cannot be separated from how I conduct myself Monday through Saturday (the “material activity”). This latter in fact is probably a more genuine assessment of my true spiritual condition than my regular attendance at church and Sunday school. Religion that is not real is just that…lifeless religion! Religion that involves a vital relationship with Christ 24/7 is real life!

f. Martin Luther wrote that…”Whenever the Gospel is taught and people seek to live according to it, there are two terrible plagues that always arise: false preachers who corrupt the teaching, and then Sir Greed, who obstructs right living.”

g. Jesus isn’t teaching that it’s OK for me to be careless in handling money. Rather, I am to prayerfully lay solid financial plans which will help make me a better steward of the earthly resources that God entrusts to me.

h. The whole teaching of Matthew 6:19-21 may be summarized in six simple words: Invest in that which lasts forever! First, my relationship with God. Second, people.

7. √ Summarize the content:

a. Invest in that which lasts forever

i. The whole teaching of Matthew 6:19-21

ii. My relationship with God and the souls of people.

b. An earth-centered life is futile.

i. All three metaphors (moth, rust and thieves) merge into this lesson.

ii. Taken together, these three stealthy destroyers demonstrate the folly of amassing earthly goods for their own sake.

iii. If no other destroyers come against me, old age is like a moth that eats away at my outward appearance, disease is like rust that corrodes my inner body, and death is like a thief that breaks in and steals everything I have.

c. It’s OK to have possessions. It’s not OK for possessions to have me.

i. Jesus doesn’t tell me that I cannot have worldly goods.

ii. He tells me that worldly goods must not have me; that worldly goods must not be the object, goal, or focus of my life’s work.

d. I am to plan.

i. Jesus doesn’t tell me that it’s OK to handle money carelessly.

ii. Solid financial plans help me better steward the earthly resources that God entrusts to me.

e. I must no longer divide my life into the spiritual and the material.

i. This is the bottom line of Matthew 6:19-21.

ii. Jesus declares that my heart’s attitude toward material things is a mark of my true spiritual condition. For example, attending church on Sunday (the “spiritual activity”) should not and ultimately cannot be separated from how I conduct myself Monday through Saturday (the “material activity”). This latter activity is a more genuine assessment of my true spiritual condition than my regular attendance at church and/or Sunday school.

iii. More simply put, who I am in Christ is better demonstrated by how I choose to live Monday through Saturday rather than just by what I choose do on Sunday. Religion that is not real is just that…lifeless religion! Religion that involves a vital relationship with Christ 24/7 is real life!

8. √ Memorize

9. √ Meditate

a. Regarding our office building (9/8/10)

i. Does this building (a consumable, subject to moth and rust) help bring people to God and/or help strengthen relationships–mine, staff and others–with God (the enduring possibly subject to thieves)? Yes.

ii. Is it required for the Kingdom work God is giving us right now? No. Not right now at our current level of ministry.

iii. Do I see the potential of increased ministry? Yes, the potential is now becoming a reality.

iv. Does this potential require this building? No.

v. Do I properly care for this building? Yes.

vi. How much money and time does it take to care for this building? Not much time but about $2700 per month total care.

vii. Could this time and money be better used for the enduring? Yes.

b. Regarding our home (9/8/10)

i. Does it help bring people to God and/or strengthen relationships with God? Yes.

ii. Is it required for our family now? Not required but helpful for a short while longer while Breanne is at college.

iii. Do I properly care for our home? Not as I should.

iv. How much time and money does it take to care for our home? Not much money but a lot more time.

v. Could this time and money be better used for the enduring? I don’t believe so right now. However, we can lighten our load by starting to give away/sell off a bunch of stuff.

c. It occurred to me this morning that my storehouse in Heaven is not nearly as large nor as full as God would have it to be. I’ve known this Word but have not liven it out to the capacity of the Holy Spirit working in and through me. It’s not that I’m “keeping score,” it’s just that living in consideration of Heaven hasn’t always been on the forefront of my mind. Therefore, I place my mind in Jesus hands. He blesses it and gives it back to me in power. My capacity to learn and act is now measured only by the capacity of the Holy Spirit to teach and lead…all to His glory. I’m now going to need a much larger storage room…YEA! (5-5-11)

10. √ Apply

a. Prayerfully and carefully consider the possibility of selling/leasing this building if God brings an offer. Get our house in better shape and lighten our “stuff” load. (9/8/10)