Seminar: “Stewardship” 4 of 4
Minute with Maxwell: “Tithing”
Clark Howard: “Flood Cars”
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 everyone, 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 AND you and your family are making plans to vote this coming week.
- What is on tap for our 30-minute time together today?
- First, we will wrap up our discussion on the second of the two most important biblical financial principles—the principle of
- Then, during our Q&A time together, we will see if the Bible tells us that as a Christian, we should give up every material possession in order to serve the Lord. Wow, that will be interesting.
- Next, and keeping with our theme of giving, John Maxwell will talk with us just a bit on the word “tithing.”
- Then finally, we will hear from our consumer advocate friend Clark Howard on how to avoid buying a flood-damaged car. This advice is particularly relevant given the recent hurricane.
- So stay tuned, won’t you–you are not going to want to miss a single minute of today’s program.
Now, that is where we are headed today, but let’s start out as we always start out, and that is with an opening word of prayer. Father in Heaven, We, the people, in the land of the free and the home of the brave, desperately need You. Oh that we would leave our ways of seeking to be blessed and instead seek to bless others. We ask for Your guidance and wisdom as we vote for our leaders. We ask You to protect our land from enemies, both within and without. And we praise you for the freedom we have through the blood of Your Son. May your plan be the desire of our nation. And Father, as you spend the next 30 minutes with us, I pray that you will give us the ears to hear all that you have planned for us. We ask all this to Your glory, in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen and Amen.
So, this week, during our seminar time together, we are going to wrap up our discussion on the second of the two most important biblical financial principles in all of God’s Word—which is the principle of stewardship.
And as we do, first, recall that the first critical, biblical financial principle is wealth—wealth according to God’s definition.
And recall also, that wealth according to God’s definition, includes a whole lot more than just the money in your billfold or purse or the change in your pocket. It includes a whole more than just your home and car and checking account and savings account and your investments.
Wealth, according to God’s definition, includes all these things plus your time, your talent, abilities, skills, your education, your family, your job, your salvation. It also includes who you are as a person, as a husband, a wife, a child, an employee or boss, an American, as a Christian. It includes everything God has ever placed into your spiritual trust account. And the most important thing to remember about wealth according to God’s definition is that it all belongs to Him. It’s all His by right of creation.
God is the owner. Your job is not the owner. Your job is to be a steward or a manager. Recall that our definition of a steward is simply the manager of someone else’s’ property.
Now, recall also, that in the parable of the talents and the parable of the foolish rich farmer, we saw some good and some not-so-good, examples of stewardship, and also discovered that you and I tend to underestimate our capacities and capabilities in Christ. Remember, your capacity is measured by the promises of God. And is God able to fulfill His promises to you? You better believe He is.
And, doesn’t this all bring us right back bring us back to Luke 12:22-25, where Christ said?
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens; They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feed them. And how much more valuable you are than the birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?
- My friend, what good is it to worry? But so often we get caught up in the tyranny of the urgent, don’t we? Do you ever get caught up in the tyranny of the urgent where you get all stress out doing what is urgent at the expense of doing what is important? Have you ever been there and done that? Sure you have.
- But God tells you that you can trust Him to separate the urgent from the important so that you don’t have to worry. To separate the urgent from the important is His job. Listen, do you know when it is that we as Christians so often get into trouble? When you try to take on His job. You don’t have to worry because God as the Owner will tell you what to do if you are close enough to Him to hear and recognize His voice and if you have the heart of a steward. Isaiah 30:21 says Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Now, you have to close enough to Him to hear His voice, it may be a still, quiet voice, but it’s there. He tells you His voice will always be there.
- Again, the key is relationship before action. And remember, worry is not part of your job description, it’s not part of the job description for a steward of God’s wealth.
Finally, what is the evidence of stewardship? How can you know for sure that you are headed in the right direction—that you are headed away from ownership and accepting the rights and privileges and responsibilities of being a steward? I will tell you that, according to the Bible, you are moving in the right direction if you
- Know know what God’s Word says,
- Acknowledge His authority and direction as the Owner,
- Accept your responsibility as a steward, a manager and NOT as an owner.
- And listen, this is key, you can tell if you are moving in the right direction if you can claim Proverbs 10:22. What does Proverbs 10:22 tell us? It is the blessing of the Lord that brings wealth and he adds no trouble to it.…do you have material things and none of the worry that the world has? Remember what you learned earlier, how you manage the material areas of your life is a good, visible, outside indicator to you as to where you are inside, spiritually with God.
Well, this is stewardship. It’s the second of the two most important financial principles in all of God’s Word.
- Remember, you started off with a quick review to remind you that wealth according to God is a whole lot more than just what you might find in your check book. And remember, the amount or value of whatever you have is not as important to God as your attitude about whatever you’ve been given.
- Do you remember the definition of a steward? A steward is a manager of another person’s property.
- And you saw that one of the best examples of stewardship in the world today is the banker…he manages your money, he doesn’t own it.
- Then you saw a couple of Jesus’ parables on stewardship, the Parable of the Talents and the Parable of the rich fool.
- And you just saw how you can know for sure whether or not you’re headed in the right direction when it comes be being the steward God wants you to be.
And, do you see how the principle of stewardship ties to the first foundational principle of wealth? You are simply to manage all that God has entrusted to you. He is the owner. You are the manager.
This was quite a bit of information. But remember, the Holy Spirit wants you to move from information into lifestyle transformation. So, after we close out today, why not spend some time in prayer asking the Holy Spirit to take you even deeper. Remember, your capacity to learn and apply is limited only by the Holy Spirit’s capacity to teach and coach.
Now, as you can see, during our radio seminar times together we are drawing heavily on the Word of God. So maybe here is a good time to raise a warning flag for you. Not everything that sounds biblical is Scriptural. You need to be careful to stay away from all those “sayings” that sound Godly, but they’re not—they are not found in the Bible. My friend, you need to learn to recognize and stay away from what is called religious folklore. And to help you do just that, we are going to begin to look at Religious Folklore during our next time together.
My friend, recall that during our Question and Answer times together we are focusing on and learning about the subject of giving. And trust me on this, not every question is easily answered. For example here is the question for today:
Do you believe that Christians should give up every material possession and monetary surplus to serve the Lord? More specifically, how do you interpret Matthew 19:21, in which Jesus said, “If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me”?
Wow, now that’s a deep question, let’s see how the Lord would help us discover the response that would be the closest to His heart.
- To start, let’s take a look at 2nd Corinthians 8:13 in which Paul wrote,
- Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality.
- In other words, the purpose of giving is to satisfy needs, not to create new ones. I see no instance in Scripture in which someone is directed to give away everything, except when the person had a problem with his attitude toward their possessions. If you have a balanced attitude toward material things,–if you have a good grasp of the principles of wealth and Stewardship–God will give you more to give away.
- Proverbs 30:8-9 says this:
- “Two things I ask of you, LORD; do not refuse me before I die: Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the LORD?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.
- Here again we see that God’s main concern for each of us is our attitude.
- Then, Paul wrote in Philippians 4:11-12:
- 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.
- So, it seems that if you have an attitude that needs to be corrected, God may well tell you to give away everything and learn to trust Him. But if you can handle material things as a steward, and keep life in balance, you can use your resources to multiply the Kingdom of God. Each of us must live a disciplined life, learn to budget our money, and be gracious givers, but not to the point of giving away everything.
- Quite often, a new believer will feel the need to give away everything and go to the mission field. That is usually when the wife, who had been the giver in the family, panics. Almost always this desire to give away everything is born out of guilt and repentance.
- Paull tells us, in 2 cor. 9:7, Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver
- One sign that God wants somebody to give everything away is that that person will have a cheerful spirit before, during, and after, and the spouse agrees.
- So, what is Jesus telling us in Matthew 19:21 when He says to sell our possessions and give to the poor? Well, actually, He is not telling us something to do as much as He is challenging us. Matthew 19:21 is meant to challenge the casual follower with the fact that Jesus wants His followers to be totally committed to Him.
- This is a great question with a rather convicting response.
Minute with Maxwell
- Now, in keeping with our focus on giving, let’s see what Christian author, speaker, and coach John Maxwell has to say about the word “tithe.”
- Wow, another great word study from John Maxwell.
- Now, I don’t know about you, but when I give something away, in my mind, mathematically—when I give something away it is logical that I will have less. But the Biblical principle of tithing tells us something different, doesn’t it. When you give more—when you are selfless—for the betterment or value of others, you will be blessed; you will find success in ways that are not just monetary. Give it a try—you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
- Now, think for a moment, was there something that the Lord just gave you through John that really hits home? If so, how about spending some time with the Lord after the program is over and dig a bit deeper.
When you’re considering buying a used car, one of the things money expert Clark Howard wants you to be aware of is the vehicle’s history. This is especially crucial right now in light of the recent hurricane that hit parts of the Southeast.
Clark warns us that highly discounted new and not-so-new flood cars are a-coming our way. They are not here yet, but they will be soon, probably just after the beginning of the year.
The question has to be: What can you do to avoid these so called flood cars? The answer, consider taking these four steps.
- First, check out several free online tools that will give you the history of the car you are considering to buy.
- One is Carfax’s free Flood Check Tool, which is a database of flooded cars. But you need to know that this data base will only show cars that are tied to an insurance claim. Some older vehicles damaged by the hurricane were not insured for collision and comprehensive, and therefore they would not show up as an insured claim and therefore no show up on the Flood Check Tool. It’s easy to use, you only need to enter your email address and the car’s VIN. If the tool shows the possibility of flood damage, simply stay away from that car.
- Some other free online tools that show vehicle histories are VehicleHistory.com, and VINCheck which is a database from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), a nonprofit organization that fights insurance fraud.
- A second great way to avoid buying a flood-damaged vehicle is to do business only with reputable dealers. How can you tell if a dealer has a good reputation? There are several ways:
- Word of mouth: Ask people you trust to refer you to dealers they consider reliable.
- Or go to BBB.org and read up on the particular dealer’s accreditation, ratings, customer complaints and more.
- You can also check out some other online review sites such as Yelp and Trustpilot.
- The third way to id a flood car is to simply look for Signs of Flood Damage. Some signs that a car has been in a flood include:
- A musty smell in the vehicle’s interior.
- Water stains and mildew along the vehicle’s interior trimmings.
- Fading on the interior upholstery and elsewhere.
- Flaking metal.
- Mud in the car’s crevices including the spare tire compartment.
- Carpet that has been recently shampooed.
- Finally, even though you have worked your way through these first three steps, Clark still recommends you have the car inspected by a certified diagnostic mechanic of your choosing as a condition of purchase.
- “You can leave a deposit if you wish, but specify in writing that the money must be returned to you if the car doesn’t check out.
- A good mechanic should be able to find evidence of flooding by checking the condition of the car’s wiring, gauges, engine and other parts.
The bottom line is this: do your due diligence to first research the car’s title history. But if it’s an older used vehicle, that won’t be enough. You absolutely need the mechanic to check it out to make sure it’s OK.
Thank you Clark Howard.
Boy, what a great time this has been with the Lord!
- We started out by wrapping up our study on the two most important financial principles in all of the Bible which, of course, are the principles of wealth and stewardship. We’ve learned that God owns it all and He give us the job to manage all He places into our hands.
- Then during our Q&A time together we saw from Matthew 19:21 that Jesus is not telling us to sell all that we have in order to follow Him as much as He is challenging us to be totally committed to Him.
- We heard what John Maxwell shared with us about the work “tithe.”
- And finally, we heard from Clark Howard how important it is to check out the title and inspect any used car we may find even if the price seems too good to be true. Trust me, you do not want to end up with a hurricane flooded car in you driveway.
- Now, as we close, first, please remember you can go to our website at www.christianfinancialministries.org to either re-listen to or print a transcript of this program.
- And finally, well, finally, let’s close as we opened, let me close us with a word of prayer.
Dear God, we thank You for the bountiful blessings you have bestowed on this nation. Please guide us to become good stewards and vote this week. Help us to care for all of your beautiful creation, from the redwood forests to the Gulf Stream waters. Make us instruments of your peace in order to put an end to the rockets’ red glare and the bombs busting in air. Help us to love, care, and pray for all of our neighbors—locally and globally, and especially for the peace of Jerusalem—lead us to pray so we might be truly crowned with brotherhood from sea to shining sea. Amen and Amen.
Have a blesse day, won’t you, and we’ll see you next time as we continue down your personal road to Financial Freedom God’s Way.