Seminar: Financial Freedom God’s Way #3
Minute with Maxwell: “Impact”
Un-Edited Radio Transcript
Welcome to Financial Freedom God’s Way Radio. This is where you learn to identify, 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. Now, what is on the schedule for our 30 minute time together today?
Wow, as you know, we are starting to work our way into our Financial Freedom God’s Way Radio Seminar. And as we do, I have to tell you that the session for this week and next week are the two most important sessions of the whole Seminar. How so, well, you are about to find out—you are about to discover the Bible in a new and exciting way. And remember, you can always to to our website at christianfinancialministries.org to either re-listen to or get a transcript of today’s program and our two earlier FFGW RS programs as well.
Now, after the Radio Seminar session, we will only have time for a Minute with Maxwell where Christian leadership author, teacher, trainer, mentor, and coach John Maxwell will share with us his thoughts on the word IMPACT.
Now, I promise you that we’ll pick back up with Clark Howard, the Better Business Bureau, and answer more of your questions again next week. This week, the Bible like you’ve never seen it before.
So stay tuned, won’t you. It is going to be a time together with the Lord you are not going to want to miss. Let’s start by making sure The Lord is the One driving our time together—let’s open with a word of prayer. Father, we thank You for meeting with us, teaching us, and challenging us again today. Will You please give us ears to hear and the faith to put into practice all that you have planned for us today, to Your glory, in Jesus’ mighty name we ask, amen.
As we get started with our Radio Seminar time together, what I want to do is to ask you a couple of questions. OK? First question, would you love to be mightily used to make a spiritual and a financial difference in the Kingdom of God today? Would you? Would you really?
Now, the second question is this…do you believe it’s still possible for you or anyone to still make a spiritual and a financial difference in this world today, even in this lousy economy?
These are great questions for you to consider, right? But more important than the questions are your answers. How are you answering? Let me venture a guess; let me see how close I can come.
For example, I have to believe that your answer to the first question has to be yes or you wouldn’t be listening right now. Then, according to the Bible your answer to the 2nd question ought to be “yes” because according to the Bible, it is still possible for one person, any person, for YOU to make a spiritual difference, and it is still possible for one person, any person, for YOU to make a financial difference.
But listen, what is more important—what you will soon see—is that it is also possible for you to blend the two together to make a huge difference, both spiritually and financially.
It will take work on your part, that’s true. But it will be a whole lot easier than you might imagine. Why? Because according to the Bible, making a difference in the Kingdom of God has absolutely nothing to do with the amount or value of whatever you have. Making a difference in the Kingdom of God today has everything to do with your attitude and how you use whatever you have been given.
What you and I need to do right now is to set the tone for all of our times together…and it’s a spiritual tone. Because financial and material management, according to the Bible, financial and material management is first and foremost and always a spiritual issue. By the time you finish the Seminar this week and next week, you will not only have considered these two questions from me, you are also going to discover, consider, and answer three foundational questions from God.
Three questions God has asked countless folks throughout the ages who have chosen to be mightily used by Him to make a difference in His Kingdom—you’re going to take a look at some of these people.
Three questions that are the foundation for all of His work through you as He and you work through this Financial Freedom God’s Way Radio Seminar—you’ll have a chance to consider and respond to these same three questions.
So, prayerfully listen hard my friend, because these two sessions are going to be the most important of all of our Radio Seminar times together. You are about to take the first and most critical step along your road to Financial Freedom God’s Way. Are you ready? Great let’s get started.
Now, right off the bat, I’m sure you already know and would agree that there are people out there in the world today, right now, today, who are making a huge impact on the Kingdom of God. You may know some of them; you might even be one of them. It was the same way back in Bible times. The interesting thing is that those who made a difference back then and you and those who want to make a difference today have quite a lot in common.
To help you see this point you and I are going to take a look at several Bible folks God used in a mighty way. Then you will be able to consider how you—how YOU—have more in common with these Bible folks than you might first believe.
Now, you could choose from a long list of well-known Bible characters to get started.
For example, there was Abraham. You remember that God called Abraham to leave his country and head for a new country. Now there was a man who had a little trouble with God’s timing, didn’t he? Abraham had to have a push or two or ten to get going and to keep going but God still used him. Do you and I sometimes have an issue or two with God’s timing? Probably so.
Or, how about Jonah. Jonah was a victim of some of the social pressures of his day, wasn’t he? But God still used him. Again, do you and I ever have a history of having to deal with social pressures in our spiritual and financial lives? Again, probably yes. And there were many others.
There is a whole long list of people we could consider as examples, but if you really want to dig deep here for just a bit, which is exactly what you and I are about to do, one of the most fun and exciting folks to consider is Moses.
Now, you remember Moses. He was born then was rescued by Pharaoh’s daughter, grew up in the palace of the Pharaoh, and was trained to rule, Moses was trained to lead. But then one day his temper got the best of him and he killed a man, so he had to run for his life and went to hide out and live in the land of Midian in the Sinai Peninsula, where he met and married his wife and then took care of his father-in-law’s sheep. Later on God met with Moses in a bush that burned but didn’t burn up on Mount Horeb, where God called Moses to go back and to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt, through the wilderness and then on into the promised land.
Someone once said, I wish I would have said it because it’s a clever saying, someone once said, “Moses lived 120 years. He spent the first 40 years learning to be a somebody in the courts of Pharaoh, then he spent the next 40 years learning to be a nobody in the desert of Midian, and finally he spent 40 years, leading the people of Israel, discovering what God could do with a somebody who was willing to become a nobody, for His sake.” And that just about sums up Moses’ life doesn’t it?
What I want you to do is to go back and focus for just a minute on the burning bush experience Moses had, you’ll find it in the third chapter of Exodus. It takes place at the end of Moses’ second 40 years and this is where you are going to discover God’s three questions. Remember the burning bush experience that Moses had? I bet you do.
Now, what you find in Exodus 3:1-5 is that Moses is having an encounter with God. Notice that right up front in this conversation God told Moses to take off his shoes because he was standing on holy ground.
Did you ever wonder why in the world it was that God started His conversation with Moses by telling him to take off his sandals? Lots of historians will tell you that taking off your shoes was a way to show respect. You took off your shoes before you entered the church, or the synagogue, or the temple, or even somebody’s house—taking off your shoes was a practice that demonstrated respect.
However, a deeper look shows that it was actually a whole lot more than just showing respect. Why did God tell Moses to take off his shoes? Because God and Moses both knew that to take off your shoes in the Jewish culture at that time also meant you were giving up your rights. You see, to go barefoot before God means, “God, I don’t have any rights before you. I am your servant. I’m in your service.”
We know this is true from Bible history because we see that when you stood at the gate to the city and agreed to sell your property, you concluded the sale when you took off your sandal and gave it to the buyer—it demonstrated to everyone at the city gate that you were giving up your rights to your property—you were transferring your rights to the property to the new owner. The most obvious example of this is when Boaz bought the property that had belonged to Naomi’s husband on his way to getting together with Ruth.
We also know that for the most part, slaves in Bible times, slaves were never permitted to wear shoes. Why? Because, for the most part, slaves had no rights. That’s why one of the first things the father did when his prodigal son came home was to put shoes on his son’s feet. You see, the son wanted to present himself to his dad as a servant, so he took off his sandals. But the father said, no, no, no. The father wanted his son and everyone else to know that the son was coming back as a son; he was not coming back as a slave, so the father put shoes on his son’s feet.
And that’s why God said to Moses, “Take your shoes off, this is holy ground.” It was God’s way of saying, “Moses, you need to recognize that I’m God and you, Moses, you are my servant.”
Then, remember? God went on to tell Moses exactly how he was to serve…remember? God gave Moses some very specific instructions on how to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. And you also recall that Moses was a little fearful that he couldn’t speak well enough; maybe he thought he couldn’t act well enough; he wouldn’t be at the right place at the right time. Moses didn’t believe he had what it took to make a difference for God. He had a lot of excuses, didn’t he? He had an early version of excuseitis. Moses seemed to be camping out on Someday Isle for a while, wasn’t he? But, do you know what? In this case, Moses was absolutely right. He was not ready to serve.
And this is where you get to God’s three questions. You find in Exodus Chapter Four that God used three questions to get Moses ready to serve. Let’s take a look: First question: “Moses, will you show me your hand?” God said, “Stretch out your hand. Show me your hand.”
That had to have been a hard thing for Moses to do. Because Moses knew a little about how God worked. Moses knew (and here’s a great word picture) Moses knew that to stretch out his hand before God in that culture at that time was to totally open himself up to God, and in Moses’ case it meant to confess that his hand had blood on it. Remember? Moses had killed a man. And the last thing Moses wanted to do before the Lord God of the Universe was to knowledge that his hand wasn’t clean. It had to have been very hard for Moses to say–he did, he said it, but it had to have been hard for him to say something like– “Okay, God, here it is. I’m opening myself up to you. I’m stretching out my hand. I’m confessing my faults. I acknowledge that there is sin in my life, and that this sin is standing between You and me.”
And God said, “I know, Moses, and, I’ve known it all along. Now, here’s what I want you to do…”
“…put your hand inside your coat.” And Moses did and when he brought it out, you remember the story, when he brought his hand out of his coat his hand was covered with what? Sure, leprosy…his hand might have been either white as snow or more than likely it was all shriveled up and deformed, and possibly all bloody and oozing with open sores. Leprosy was a terrible disease. Now, we know from Bible history that Leprosy was a symbol of sin, and Moses’ leprous hand was God’s way of saying, “I know Moses, I know your hand is bloody. I know there is sin in your life. I know your heart needs cleansing and our relationship needs restoring before I can use you…before you can make start to make a difference. I know that…
…so, here’s what I want you to do next.” “Moses, put your hand back inside your coat.” Now, I always thought that must have hard for Moses to do as well…to take that diseased, highly contagious leprous hand and put it back inside his coat. I rather imagine he did it with a great deal of care and tried his best not to touch himself as he did it.
Then God said, “Now look at it.” Moses pulled his hand back out and it was?…sure, it was clean; there wasn’t a sign of the leprosy. It was completely healed. You see, it was just like the father and his prodigal son. God wanted Moses to know for sure that he had been forgiven. And like the prodigal son, Moses could actually see that he had been forgiven because the symbol of his sin, the leprosy, had been completely removed. The symbol of his forgiveness was the fact that his hand was completely restored. God and Moses were communicating big time here. Moses understood that he was cleansed, a right relationship with God was now in place, and that he was about ready to serve and be used in a mighty, mighty way. …
So, God’s first question to Moses: “Show me your hand.” “Will you choose to show me your hand?” “Will you choose to show me your hand?” You don’t have to. It’s your choice. But it’s a choice you need to make if you want to choose to make a difference.
Now, Moses might have thought to make a difference, to be used by God, all he had to do was to confess his sin, to get his relationship with God squared away. But God had another question for Moses once the relationship between God and Moses was set in place—you have the second question. God asked Moses, “What is in your hand? What do you have in your hand Moses?” Moses must have looked and he must have thought and must have said something like, “Well, the only thing I can see I have in my hand is this shepherd’s staff.” You see, Moses had the shepherd’s staff with him during this encounter with God because the encounter with God came at a time when Moses was out doing his job as a shepherd. The staff was the primary tool of his trade. God said, take a look at what you have in your hand. So, when God asked, what’s in your had, it didn’t take a whole lot of looking.
So, God’s second question is, “What’s in your hand?” Moses, again, because of his history, his education and his experience must have answered in his mind something like, “God, there’s nothing in my hand–nothing that you could use. The thing that I hold is despised. It’s nothing–it’ not worth anything, I have absolutely not one thing that You can use.”
Alright, let’s review: First question: “Will you show me your hand—let’s set the relationship in place.” 2nd question: “What’s in your hand?—now let’s see what we have to work with.” And then, well then, God’s third question is implied. God’s third question is, “Moses, will you give me your hand and what’s in it? May I have it, and may I have you completely? Even if you can’t see how I can possibly use you and what you have, may I have it and you anyway?” And bless Moses’ heart, he said, “Yes.” He said Yes.
Do you see the point here? God is asking you and me these same three questions right now as we begin to work through our Seminar time together. God is asking you, “Will you show Me your hand?” He’s asking you, “What’s in your hand?” And, God is asking you, right now, “Will you give Me your hand and what’s in it?” … And by the way,
Moses wasn’t the only one. By implication, God asked these same questions to any number of other people in the Scriptures—some whose names you recognize but others you may not recognize.
For example, How could you possibly win a battle with only 300 men who don’t have a single weapon? Well, you could if you were a scared little man named Gideon who one day said, “God, I don’t seem to have anything in my hand but if you fill it, I’ll give it to you.” So God put a dream in Gideon’s hand, Gideon gave it back, God blessed it, and the land was saved.
There are more, so many, many more…What’s in your hand Dorkis? “A needle and thread Lord. What could you do with just a needle and thread?” “I could clothe the widows and the orphans if you’ll give it to Me.”
Or, how about, Hey, David, what’s in your hand? “Lord, I’m just a boy with a sling shot. What difference can a boy with a sling shot make?” “I could kill a giant and encourage a nation, if you’ll give it to Me.”
And my favorite one, my favorite one is this and we could camp out here for quite a while, what’s in your hand little boy? “Gosh mister, practically nothing. Why, just five barley loaves and a couple of fish, but what could you do with five barley loaves and two fish, they’re hardly enough for me to even have a snack?” “I could feed 5000 men plus all the women and children if you give them to Me.”
Then, then of course, there was Moses. What’s in your hand Moses? Remember? “Just a shepherd’s staff Lord, something I’d rather not have and rather not have to even think about.” But he gave God his hand and what was in it and do you remember all that God did with that staff? Throw in on the ground, it becomes serpent, pick it up, it becomes staff. Touch the waters of the Nile and they turn to blood. Hit the ground and the plagues come forth. Hold it up over the Red Sea on the way out of town and God sends a strong east wind to divide that sea. Hold it over the people when they fight and they win. Hit a rock in the desert and water gushes out. Look what God did with something that Moses said was useless. “You can’t use it Lord. It’s nothing but a despised shepherd’s staff.”
“Will you show me your hand?” “What is in your hand?” “And will you give Me you hand and what’s in it?” God is asking you, my friend, as we said at the start, God is asking you these same three questions right now. The bottom line is that if you really want to serve Him in any area of your life, including the spiritual and financial areas of your life, it’s time you get serious—no more time on Someday Isle—no more excuses! If you really want to get the most out of our time together, then you need to prayerfully respond to these three questions.
Next week, the next time we are together we will work together to answer these critical three questions. Please, please don’t miss it.
Minute With Maxwell
Ouch, my friends, I know I promised you a Minute with Maxwell, but as you can see by the time, it just isn’t going to happen this week…I thought we would have time but I thought wrong. But again, not to worry, we’ll pick back up with John Maxwell, Clark Howard and his money tips, Scam alerts from the Better Business Bureau, and responses to your questions, we’ll get back to all of those plus our Radio Seminar next week.
But now, well now it’s time to close. But I do want to let you know that Elvis will be back in the house for a special concert coming up on Saturday, Sept 17th at 7 PM. That’s right, Roy Perren is going to be back at the little red building now know as the Chatuge Ministry and event Center, formally known as Stella Berrong’s Mountain Music Theater. The address dis 2532 Hwy 76W, on the west side of Hiawassee. Elvis is going to present a fundraising concert to help us cover all that it is that Christian Financial Ministries is all about. There will be no charge, your donations will be greatly appreciated, but not required. So, Elvis, Saturday, Sept 17 in Hiawassee, don’t miss it.
And that wraps up our time together for today. But before we go I want to remind you again that you can both re-listen to or read a transcript of this of any of our Financial Freedom God’s Way Radio Seminar sessions by heading over to our website at www.christianfinancialministries.org. That’s www.christianfinancialministries.org.
Wow, what a great time together today, I’m praying you counted it a blessing. Now, well now, let’s close as we always close, and that is with a word of prayer. Father, we thank you for bringing us together and teaching us today and for each of the days yet to come, to Your glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Have a blessed rest of your day won’t you, and we will see you next time as we continue down your personal road to Financial Freedom God’s Way.