Seminar: Armor: Shield of Faith
Q&A: Debt and Borrowing
SCAM Alert: Cash-strapped Renters
John Maxwell: “Imagination”
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Welcome to Financial Freedom God’s Way, where you are continuing 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 everyone, this is Bob Louder from Christian Financial Ministries, and it is an absolute honor to have you with us again—it really is. What is on the schedule for our 30-minute time together today?
- First, during our radio seminar time together, we will take a good close look at the fourth piece of God’s spiritual financial armor that would be the shield of faith—I promise you will be amazed at what the Lord is going to show you.
- Then, during our Q&A time together today we will continue to dig deep into the questions that surround debt and borrowing. Today you will discover that to survive on a limited income you need to get help, You do not need to use debt.
- The BBB tells us about scammers targeting cash-strapped renters and what you can do about it.
- And finally, we will hear what John Maxwell has to say about the word IMAGNIATION. And we’ll see how it applies to achieving Financial Freedom God’s Way.
So stay tuned, won’t you. It is going to be a great time together with the Lord, so join me as we open with a word of prayer.. Father, thank You for meeting with us again today. Please continue to give us ears to hear all that it is you have planned for us, to Your glory, in Jesus’ mighty name, amen.
Now, let’s start our radio seminar segment with a bit of review.
- First, recall that the Bible says you don’t have, nor have you ever had, a single financial problem?
- Why is that? Because the Bible tells us is that finances are never a problem, they are simply symptoms of a spiritual problem. Now, the good news is that all spiritual problems have spiritual solutions. Right? And that’s one of the reasons God gives you all of His spiritual armor—so you can meet and defeat the enemy who wages spiritual warfare against you and your finances.
- Recall that according to the Bible, the devil’s entrance into your life, including his entrance into your financial and material life, is allowed primarily through your negligence. He slips in through an undisciplined, unorganized and an uncommitted mind and then begins to wage warfare against your mind and your flesh and your finances.
- Here’s a question for you: Are you dressed for battle
- We have already seen that the first piece of armor that the Lord gives us to put on is the belt of truth, the logos, the written Word of God. You see, when you put on God’s belt of truth, when you prayerfully determine to make the Bible a priority in your life, you are starting to get dressed for spiritual, for financial warfare.
- But Paul tells us there is more to God’s armor than just the Bible, it’s a great starting place but there is more. There is also God’s breastplate of righteousness. God helps prepare you for battle with the absolute assurance that you are “right” with Him because of who you are in Jesus Christ.
- Then during out last time together you discovered–you also learned you had better put on and keep on His shoes of peace. Recall that as a Christian you not only have peace with God, that’s to say that you and He are now part of the same family, not only do you have peace with God, He also promises you the Peace of God. That peace that surpasses all understanding that give you great footing to both stand your ground AND to advance and take back ground previously lost. And that’s an important point isn’t it. God’s spiritual armor is both offensive and defensive.
- So, we’ve talked about the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness and the shoes of peace. Next is the shield of faith.
Actually, the Roman soldier carried two different shields—
- And each would be clipped to the soldier’s belt—remember that the belt holds everything together.
- The first shield is the Greek word aspis. It was a giant Frisbee–small, light and round. He used it when he was fighting hand-to-hand. This was also the shield he carried in parades.
- But each Roman soldier also had a battle shield.
- It’s the Greek word thureos which is the word used here.
- In actuality, this shield was about four feet high and two feet wide.
- It was made from six layers of thick animal hide and was almost as strong as steel. It was exceptionally long-lasting and hard-wearing.
- Why all this coverage? Because soldiers of that day put tar on the end of their arrows and set them on fire before they launched them. Even a flesh wound from a flaming arrow, or fiery darts as Paul calls them, could be fatal. Tar inflicted into the body produced infection. Because there was no penicillin, more soldiers died from the infection that they did from the actual wound. So the objective of the enemy was just to wound them and let them die from the resulting infection. The Roman battle shield protected against these flaming arrows from head to toe.
- The roman soldier cared for his shield in a very interesting way.
- Every morning the Roman soldier thoroughly rubbed oil into the leather to keep it from drying out, becoming hard and brittle, and cracking.
- Then prior to battle he would soak his shield in water to help withstand the arrows of the enemy, especially the terrible fluid-filled arrows that carried fire designed to explode on impact.
Do you see some of the links Paul makes between the Roman battle shield and our faith?
- First and foremost, just as the soldier’s battle shield was clipped to his belt for easy maneuvering, our shield of faith is linked to our belt of truth. Your faith is attached to the Logos, the written Word of God. Listen, the presence or absence of your faith is determined by the presence or absence of God’s Word in your life. The first point Paul makes is that your faith and the Word of God must be inseparable.
- Also, just as the Roman battle shield would cover the soldier from head to foot, Paul tells us that God gives us enough faith to make certain we are completely covered—more than enough to cover every need that could ever come up in our life.
- And as this shield would be long lasting so also our faith is to be extremely tough and exceptionally durable and long lasting. No matter how hard or how long the devil beats against your faith, attacks your emotions and your finances and tries to bring on rage, anger, anxiety, unbelief, and worry, your properly cared for faith will stand up against and outlast each and every attack.
- When you see the devil’s attacks coming against you, when you see the flaming arrows of insults, financial setbacks, and temptations, you need to know beyond a shadow of doubt that your shield of faith will protects you. With God’s perspective, you can see beyond your circumstances and know that ultimate victory is yours.
- And isn’t it interesting how the Roman soldier cared for his shield?
- Remember, every day, every day he would rub it with oil, and before a battle he would soak it in water. In the same way your faith needs the anointing of the Holy Spirit—every day. You see, faith that is ignored nearly always breaks and falls to pieces during a confrontation with the enemy. And by the way, according to the Bible, the B-I-B-L-E, you can’t move forward in your faith on the strength of past anointing. Like the soldier—do it daily. You must do what is necessary to keep your faith alive, active, and well through the regular anointing of the Holy Spirit.
- And just as the Roman soldier soaked his shield in water prior to battle to help withstand the fire arrows of the enemy, you must keep your faith completely saturated with the Word of God.
- Why? Because Colossians 2:15 says that the devil may not be your whole problem. If you continue to be controlled by habitual hang-ups and to struggle with the same hassles and emotional upsets, your primary problem may be that you have not made the decision to submit your flesh and mind and your finances to the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit. If your shield of faith were properly anointed by the Holy Spirit and saturated in the Word of God, the devil’s arrows would be extinguished on impact.
- So what do you do? You make certain you ask the Holy Spirit to freshly anoint your life, including your material and financial life, on a daily basis as you regularly saturate your faith with the water of the Word.
Here are two more very interesting facts about the shield of faith.
- Each Roman battle shield had a metal bracket on each side that was designed to interlock with the shield next to him. That way the Roman phalanx could advance as a unit with each soldier relying on himself and the soldiers next door. They were almost inpenetrateable when they advanced together—linked shield to shield. I believe Paul tells us that individually our faith can be a mighty defensive weapon and a mighty offensive weapon, but when linked to the faith of other like-minded believers, well, we become almost invincible.
- And by the way, there’s a difference between taking it and having it. All of us have it, but not all of us will take with us and get behind it when in the day of battle.
- We try to use our wit and our wisdom, and it’s not enough. The devil comes at you with a barrage of fiery darts. If you’ve seen a movie of Roman soldiers lighting the tips of their arrows and filling the heavens with thousands of flaming arrows until it looks like the skies are on fire, then you have exactly the picture Paul is painting here.
- When the barrage hits, when everything starts going downhill, it’s time to get behind the shield of faith. As soon as you’re behind the shield, you are behind the sheltering arms of God and nothing can touch you. You are untouchable. You are unreachable. You become a Teflon Christian with the protection of the living God. Take the shield of faith and stand.
So, you have your belt of truth—you have your Bible. You have your breastplate of righteousness. You have your shoes of peace, and you have your shield of faith–fantastic offensive and defensive weapons. What is next? What is the next piece of God’s spiritual, financial armor Paul tells up to pick up and put on? Well next is God’s helmet of salvation. We will save that for next time.
During our Q&A time together today, let’s continue to talk about borrowing and debt.
- Recall that we have already discovered that although the Bible clearly does not prohibit borrowing, it is clear that the Lord would have us adopt a debt-free mentality rather than a debt-first mentality.
- To help highlight this this debt-free mentality, we have a great question for you today. Here’s the question:
- Bob, we’re a family of four, making right at $40,000 a year. We have an extremely hard time staying out of debt. No matter how hard we try, every time we get one bill paid off, something else breaks down, and we’re right back in debt again. Can you help us?
- Jenifer, there is only one way out. You and your family must prayerfully learn to discipline yourselves not to go into debt for any reason.
- One of the greatest dangers for a low-income family is to use consumer credit, especially credit cards. Unless you are very disciplined, you probably should not use credit cards at all.
- Furthermore, even so, you need to make out a budget that balances income and outgo, even if you must sacrifice a car, house, or private school. Be sure to allow some money for every category of expense.
- Then if you have an added expense (and you probably will), you must believe that God has an answer that does not require you to borrow money. A part of God’s solution is other Christians. How so?
- First, when you have a legitimate need, you must let others in your church know. Isn’t it strange that in Christianity we have great freedom to share physical problems, but practically no freedom to share financial problems? Yet God’s Word says ten times as much about finances as it does about physical needs. “At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need.” The goal is equality.” (2 Cor. 8:14 NIV).
- Second, get Bible-based financial coaching help
- from organizations like Crown Financial Ministries (crown.org) or the Dave Ramsey organization (www.daveramsey.com ).
- You can also begin to discover Financial Freedom God’s Way as you receive free Dave Ramsey financial coaching from our new Chatuge Ministry & Event Center in Hiawassee. In addition, Lake Chatuge area singles, marrieds, parents, business owners/operators, and seniors can begin to learn, apply, and pass on what the Bible has to say about money through our free seminars and workshops built on the teachings of Dave Ramsey, Larry Burkett, John Maxwell and others. AND, please keep tuning into to WJRB FM 95.1. You can check out all our services at christianfinancialministries.org.
Scam Alert from the Better Business Bureau
My friends, the Biden Administration may have extended the eviction moratorium, but that does not mean scammers have postponed their tricks. Con artists often take advantage of the confusion and stress surrounding major events like the moratorium that ended last October. With more than 4.5 million households and businesses facing foreclosure or eviction, the moratorium’s end is a perfect storm opportunity for scammers.
The Scams are apt to work like this
|As the eviction moratorium winds down, watch out for scammers offering loans, peddling credit repair services, or promoting government programs. These cons are a way to trick desperate people out of money they don’t have.
For example, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Better Business Bureau has seen numerous reports of phony “pandemic relief” grants or government programs that are supposed to provide funding to people impacted by the pandemic. Once you quote, “qualify for the grant,” the scammer will ask you to pay a processing or delivery fee to receive your funds. Of course, the grant doesn’t exist, and if you pay anything up front, you just gave money to scammers.
Advance fee loans, debt relief, and credit repair scams work in a similar way. They promise a loan – or to repair your credit – for an upfront fee. No matter how much you may need it, don’t be tempted by “guaranteed loans” or impossible services, such as removing late payments or a bankruptcy, from your credit report.
How to protect yourself from this scam:
- Double check any government program before you sign up. If an organization is offering you a grant or relief funds, get to know them before you agree to anything. Take a close look at their website and read reviews. If you think you might be dealing with an impostor, find the official contact information and call the company to make sure the offer is legitimate.
- Be wary of out-of-the-blue calls, emails or text message claiming to be from the government. In general, the government will not contact you using these methods, unless you granted permission.
- Do not pay any money for a “free” government grant or program. It is not really free if there is a fee involved. A real government agency will not ask for an advanced processing fee. Instead, find out if the grant is legitimate by checking www.grants.gov.
- Advance fees are a concern. Not all businesses promising to help you repair bad credit are scams, but if you are asked to pay in advance, that’s a big red flag. In both the U.S. and Canada, credit repair and debt relief companies can only collect their fee after they perform the services promised.
- Avoid guarantees and unusual payment methods. Real lenders never guarantee a loan in advance. They will check your credit score and other documents before providing an interest rate and/or loan amount and will not ask you to pay an upfront fee. Fees are never paid via gift cards, Cash App, or prepaid debit card. Unusual payment methods and payments to an individual are a big tip off.
Unfortunately, when time are tough for you and me, well, that’s when the scammers come out of the woodwork to separate us from our money. What can you do. Become aware of what’s happening out there, and prayerfully be alert to anything that sounds too good to be true.
Minute with Maxwell
Now, let’s start to wrap up our time together today with one of the highlights of all of our times together. Let’s spend a Minute with Maxwell and John Maxwell gives us his thoughts on the word “IMAGINATION.”
Wow, what a great teaching. Have you ever hit a wall and thought, “I wonder what is on the other side of this wall of debt I’m facing?” Well, why not allow your imagination to go and dream about what it will be like to begin to enjoy Financial Freedom, God’s Way. That’s the best part about imagination, there are no set boundaries – so dream on! IMAGINATION–another great Minute with Maxwell.
Okkkkk, that just about wraps up our time together for today. Recall,
- We started out by taking a look at the fourth piece of financial spiritual armor which is God’s shield of faith—we need to ask the Holy Spirit to anoint our faith each day, we need to soak it in the Word and then link our faith to the faith of others as well.
- During our Q&A time we continued talking about borrowing and debt and discovered, that if you are in debt, you need to get some help, you don’t need to get a new loan.
- We also took a look at several scams that are sure to surface soon as the eviction and foreclosure moratoriums get closer and closer.
- And finally, our Minute with Maxwell was all about the word Imagination.
My friend, thank you for being with us today. Remember to check out our website at www.christianfinancialministries.org. Now, well now it is time to close out in prayer. Father God, I 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 day, won’t you, and we’ll see you next time as we continue down your personal road to Financial Freedom God’s Way.