Welcome to Financial Freedom God’s Way, where you will begin 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—it really is.
First, you are going to dig a bit deeper into the second of the two most important financial principles in all of the Bible, which is the principle of Stewardship.
Then, have you ever wondered how the Lord addresses the subject of borrowing and lending in today’s world? What about charging interest to Christian and non-Christians? What about collection options when Christians or non-Christian fail to repay? We’ll camp out there a bit during our Q&A time together today.
PLUS, John Maxwell will talk to us about getting back to the basics of life.—stay tuned, you sure don’t want to miss a single minute of today’s program.
So stay tuned, you sure don’t want to miss a single minute of today’s program.
Now, as we start, as we always start, please join me in prayer to make sure He is the one we are going to hear from during these next 30 minutes. . Father, thank You for meeting with us again today. Please give us ears to hear all that it is you have planned for us, to Your glory, in Jesus’ mighty name, amen.
Recall that during our most recent Seminar times together we’ve been considering the two most important financial principles in all of God’s Word. Why? Because, if you want to move to spiritually higher ground in your finances, you must begin to see through spiritual eyes what you have so long only considered only through worldly eyes. You need to understand and apply the two key, biblical financial principles of wealth and stewardship.
We now know several things about wealth according to God’s definition
First, it includes oh so much more than what we might expect. For example, it can include such things as money, but it can also include such things as our time, talents, abilities, skills, jobs, health, freedoms, family, the ability to drive a car, read a book, visit someone in the hospital and on and on.
The second thing we’ve learned about God’s wealth, is just that…it’s all His. He owns it all, everything is His by right of creation. He is the Owner.
Finally, what is important to God about all the wealth He places into our spiritual trust account is not the amount or the value, but our attitude and how we use all that we have been given.
Then during our last time Seminar together we discovered that the principle of Stewardship is the second of the two most important financial principles in all of God’s Word.
The principle of stewardship reinforces the principle that all wealth belongs to God—He is the Owner. Well, if He is the owner, what is our role? We are the manager, we are a steward of all that He places into our spiritual trust account.
And recall, perhaps the best example of a steward today is that of a banker—all of us, including the bankers, know that bankers don’t own the money they control, they manage the money they control. And we also saw that bankers, along with you and I, all stewards have some rights and some restrictions.
So, last time we saw that a steward is a manager. But today, well today, you and I are going to dig a bit deeper as we see what Jesus has to say about stewardship in the parable of the Talents from Matthew Chapter 25.
I know you are already very familiar with this parable, but listen, God is fully capable of showing you something new each time you look into His Word. So listen carefully and carefully consider this parable, won’t you?
In my mind’s eye, this Parable probably came after a long day of ministering, healing and teaching. The Lord and His disciples are probably sitting around the campfire on the side of the hill, and they are talking about the events of the day.
When one of the Disciples asks, “Lord, could you describe to us the Kingdom of God? Tell us, please, one more time, what will the Kingdom of God be like?” Now Jesus had talked about the Kingdom of God many times. But these guys still didn’t quite get it, did they? You see, they were looking for a Messiah who would come and raise an army, defeat the Romans, and restore the nation to its former glory and independence. However, that was not what they heard Jesus saying and it was not what they saw Jesus doing. So one evening around the campfire over a cup of coffee they asked again, “Lord, would you tell us again, what will the Kingdom of God be like?” And Jesus gave them this
Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability.
A servant in this context is someone with great level of responsibility to even include the responsibility to manage the master’s family and business. This is not the servant who washed the feet and carried out the
What was each servant to manage? TALENTS: What’s a talent? A talent was a measure of great Actually, if you check your old table of weights and measures you will discover that one talent was the equivalent of a lifetime of productive income. So the one who had five talents actually had the equivalent of 5 lifetime’s worth of productive income. And the guy with the single talent—he had no small amount of money—he was given a lifetime of income to manage.
And notice that the master gave to each servant according to the servant’s This master knew the abilities of his servants. He gave stewardship responsibilities consistent with management abilities. The guy with five talents could handle the five. The guy with the one could have handled the one.
Then what happened?
Well, the master went on his journey and the servants who received the five talents and the two talents went at once and doubled what they had to work
But the guy with the one talent hid it in the
Then the master returned and demanded both a recovery and an
The good stewards received more to manage and a great relationship with the master.
The bad steward lost all he had to manage and lost his relationship with the
Now let’s bring this Parable forward and see how it can apply to you today.
First, you are the servant in this parable, You are a steward or a manager. Who is the Owner? God.
What are the talents you are to manage? Wealth according to God’s
How are you to manage it? According to your ability. God knows your abilities. He never gives you more to manage than you can handle, so long as you remember you can only handle it through Him, He is the one that gives you the strength to steward what He gives you.
How, how are you to manage? AT ONCE: He expects you to act on what He gives you. God never has nor ever will condone
Why? Because He promises that one day He will come back, and you will stand accountable to Him for all you did or didn’t do with what He gave you, and He will reward you or discipline accordingly.
Listen my friend, Matthew 25 is a parable that warns that it is possible for you to misjudge your spiritual and material capacity. You see, so many times, you tend to understate your capabilities and capacities in Christ. Remember, you capacity is measured by the promises of God. And is God able to full His promises? You bet He does. Do you have the capacity to manage whatever it is that the Lord puts into your spiritual trust account? You bet you do.
The biblical financial principle of Stewardship—Matthew chapter 25 is a great parable to see what Stewardship should and should not look like.
Next time, well next time, we will dig even a bit deeper into the key biblical financial principle. Why? So we can not only recognize what the spiritual principle of Stewardship is and what it looks like, but also so we can see how we can choose to get the principle up and operating in our life. It will be great—do not miss next time.
Over many years working with Larry Burkett and Dave Ramsey, the topic of lending seemed to come up time and time again. Soooo, I thought it would be helpful if we camped out on the topic of lending for a while during our Q&A times together. As we do, first let me set the stage just a bit.
You see, even those of us who may think we are not lenders—well we often are. For example,
If you own or manage any kind of business, you are probably borrowing and lending money. A doctor who bills a patient for treatment becomes a lender. A Christian school that allows periodic payment of tuition is a lender. A parent who helps a son or daughter with a down payment on a home becomes a lender.
This being the case, it is no wonder we need Bible-based answers on how and when a Christian should lend money; how interest should be charged; and if collection agencies or even lawsuit should be used to recover delinquent accounts.
The bottom line is, that according to the Bible, we as Christians must realize that we are to be unique in the way we manage—in the way that we steward our finances, even in the way we lend to others.
So, let’s take a look at some great lending Q&As.
Here is the first:
I work in the lending business. Should a Christian lend money to other people and charge them interest?
Great first question. Let’s don’t focus on opinion or what is commonly acceptable to day…nope let’s focus on what the Bible has to say.
And if we do, we will discover that as a Christian, we should be concerned about two areas when it comes to lending money.
First is lending to non-Christians and charging them a fair interest rate.
Second is lending to Christians and charging them any interest at all.
In Deuteronomy 23:19, we are instructed not to lend to our brothers at interest. This tells us that for a Christian to lend to another Christian and charge interest violates a basic principle of God’s Word. We witness to others by our willingness to lend money to our brothers without profit.
Now, there is no such admonition against charging interest to non-Christians. We are simply directed to avoid excessive amounts of interest and to be fair.
So, in the case of this question, if you are an employee of a company such as a savings and loan or a bank, the money you are lending is not actually your own. You are merely a representative or agent for the company. In this case, the authority to make the decisions about charging interest to anyone is not yours. You come under the authority of those for whom you work and are to follow their directions (1 Peter 2:18).
Having said that, if you believe that it is a compromise for you to work for a company that lends money to Christians and charges interest, I suggest you simply change professions.
Now, let me ask, are you comfortable with this response? I suggest you go back and prayerfully consider both Deuteronomy 23:19 and 1 Peter 2:18 and see what the Lord tells you. Remember, these are His times with you, no my times with you.
Here’s another great question on lending. I understand the biblical admonition not to sue another believer, but do you believe it is all right for a Christian to sue a non-Christian for payment of a debt?
Now, how would you respond to this question? Think about it. With what you know and believe right now, how would you respond? Is it or is it not OK for a Christian to sue a non-Christian?
Now, let’s see how the Bible would lead us to respond.
First, it would be simple to take the position that, since Paul warned against suing believers in 1 Corinthians Chapter 6, it must be permissible to sue non-believers. But, not so quick—that assumption may be much too broad. Paul stated that suing a brother would bring shame to the church body, but he did no imply that suing a non-believer would be acceptable.
In Luke 6:30-31, the Lord delivered a much broader principle. He said that retribution is God’s prerogative, not ours. God expects a high standard from us as believers, especially in our behavior toward those who are outside the faith.
Then, we are admonished in 2 Corinthians 6:3 to give no cause for offense in anything so that the ministry might not be discredited. That does not mean you can never collect a debt for fear of being a bad witness.
Finally, we find in Matthew 5:38-42, the general principle that a Christian should not sue an individual over a personal debt when it is within his or her power to forgive the debt.
Now, let me ask you, do the responses to these lending questions—these are real-world questions, by the way—do these responses seem comfortable or uncomfortable to you?
Let me ask you, why do you suppose it is that we share these Q&A with you? Is it to simply see the responses given to others? Or, is it to help you see how these Q&As might apply in your life or in the life of someone close to you.
If some of these responses seem a little unrealistic in today’s world; if some of these responses make you a bit uncomfortable, then why not go to the Lord in prayer, with your Bible open, and ask Him to help you become comfortable with the stewardship He expects to see up and operating in the life He is giving you. Please remember what you already know—these are His times with you, not my times with you.
Minute with Maxwell
Well, it’s time for one of my favorite times with you, and that is our Minute with Maxwell. Recall that each time we hear from this world-renown Christian author, speaker, and coach—during each Minute with Maxwell, you are going to gain insight into a single word—and that insight can really add a great deal of value to you in every area of your walk with the Lord.
Today, let’s see what John Maxwell can teach us about the word “Basic.”
Wow, I don’t know about you, but to me the word Basic is a “blah” word. Why? Because most of us work to become anything but “basic.” But getting back-to-the-basics in life can give us an essential starting point to catapult us beyond simply where we need to be to where we want to be—to where the Lord would have us to be. Your daily do-to list might seem tedious now—I know sometimes mine sure is–but without beating the basics, our days will never evolve to match what is required of us, to what fulfills us, to what the Lord expects of us. So, yep, join me in resolving to be basic. Let me ask you—what is it that you need to handle to day that you have been putting off for oh so long? If it has most anything to do with what the Bible has to say about managing your money, about becoming a better steward of all that the Lord is putting into your hands—well, you can do it, we can help. Check it out on our website at christianfinancialministries.org.
There you have it, another time for us to talk about your personal finances from God’s perspective in in the books.
Remember, we’re still setting the biblical foundation for all of our times together by digging deeply into the two most important financial principles in all of God’s Word—the principles or wealth and stewardship. Recall that all we have comes from Him—He owns it all. Our job is to manage or steward all that it is He chooses to place into our spiritual trust account.
And we’re also discovering that all that the Lord has to tell us about wealth and stewardship is not always so very comfortable for us—so much of what the Bible has to say about money doesn’t seem to fit into the world as we see it today, to include what the Bible has to say about lending and repaying. To get comfortable with His Word for you today, you need to prayerfully to to His Word in prayer. You ask the question—He promises to answer.
And we just saw from John Maxwell that the answer the Lord gives us just might drive us back to the basics of life—and that’s a good thing.
And finally, well, finally, let’s close as we opened, let me close us with a word of prayer. Father God, I thank you for bringing us together today and for each of the days to come to Your glory in Jesus’ Amen.
Have a blesse d day, won’t you, and we’ll see you next time as we continue down your personal road to Financial Freedom God’s Way