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. Where are we going duing our 30 minute time together today?
First of all, we are going to take a look at the second piece of God’s spiritual financial armor He gives us to pick up and put on—that would be the breastplate of righteousness.
Then, during our Q&A time together today we begin to dig deep into the questions that surround debt and borrowing.
Unfortunately you will learn about yet another scam that is up and operating in our community.
And finally, we will hear what John Maxwell has to say about the word Community.
So stay tuned, and as you tune in, let me open us with a word of prayer. 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.
Radio Seminar Did you know the Bible says that you don’t have, nor have you ever had, a single financial problem? Wow, that’s a wild statement, isn’t it? Or is it?
The Bible says that finances are never a problem, they are simply symptoms. Finances are symptoms. The problems are spiritual. Another way of saying it is that spiritual problems have a way of showing up in and through your finances. 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.
Let’s dig a little deeper here. Are you ready?
Remember from our last time together that
According to the Bible, the devil’s entrance into your life, including his entrance into your finances, 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.
Rather than hide from the devil, you must learn what God has to say about him and how to put on and use God’s spiritual armor.
We’ll first take a look at what each piece of armor meant to the Roman soldier, then see how it applies to us today.
We saw during our last time together that the first piece of God’s spiritual, His financial armor that He gives us to put on is the loin belt, or the belt or your translation of the bible might call it the belt of truth. In any case, the Belt of Truth is the logos, the written Word of God. When you put on the loin belt of the Word and determine to make it a priority in your life you are well on the way to winning the battles that come against your
Your ministry, AND
The second piece is what Paul calls the breastplate of righteousness.
For the Roman soldier, the breastplate
Was the shiniest, most beautiful, and most glamorous piece of weaponry the Roman soldier had—the most noticeable thing about him. In the real world, the breastplate went from the neck to the knees. It was usually made of brass and became brighter, shiner and more reflective with use.
The breastplate was designed to combine light weight with ease of movement and protection from blows.
It was attached to the belt by leather thongs passed through rings on the bottom to keep it solidly attached. It was anchored to the belt, the belt had to be put on first, then the breastplate.
But what is the breastplate of righteousness to you and me?
First, just exactly what is righteousness?
Righteous comes from the Old English word rightwise, which described something “which is as it ought to be.” So to be righteous is to be “as you ought to be,” that is, to live according to God’s standard.
Think about it. Why does the United States government have a Department of Standard Weights and Measurement? So that 12 inches in FL is 12 inches in CA, and so that 16 ounces of bologna here is 16 ounces of bologna there. The Bible is God’s Bureau of Standard Weights and Measurements. That means that sin in FL is sin in CA. God’s Word is eternal and unchanging. Time, distance, social mores, changes in public attitude or a new government administration—none of these can create a new moral standard. Our moral standard is not established by our government or by anybody or anything else. Our moral standard for righteousness is the Word of God.
When you got saved, God handed you His book of standards, and told you to make your day-to-day choices based that book. You put on the breastplate by deciding to live your life by the standards of God’s righteousness, “which is as it ought to be.”
For example, suppose you are in financial trouble. The devil says to you, “If you’d stop tithing, you’d have plenty of money.” Do you steal from God? Or do you choose righteousness by the standards of God? If you stop tithing, your armor falls off. The devil is free to attack you. Your problems will get worse. Your car will break down. Your refrigerator won’t work and the IRS will call you and want to audit you all the way back to the Civil War. Righteousness is knowing and acting on the fact that you are “right” with God. You are in a “right” position with God. Not because of anything you did except for the single fact that you asked Jesus Christ into your heart as Lord and Savior. Because Jesus is right with God, you are right with God.
That’s what righteousness is, but how is it used? Your breastplate of righteousness is first of all a defensive weapon: When you walk in righteousness, you wear a weapon of defense against the enemy’s slanderous accusations and insidious strategies.
“Here me, you who know what is right, you people who have my law in your hearts: Do not fear the reproach of men or be terrified by their insults. For the moth will eat them up like a garment; the worm will devour them like wool. But my righteousness will last forever…,
God is telling you that when you are dressed in righteousness, you do not have to fear what man or the devil can do to you.
The righteous will never be uprooted, but the wicked will not remain in the land.
The righteous always outlast any attack that comes against them.
So, your breastplate of righteousness is first a defensive weapon, but it’s also an offensive weapon
The brilliance of the soldier’s breastplate often blinded the eyes of his opponent so thoroughly that the opponent could not see to fight—it was an offensive weapon.
When you truly begin to walk in righteousness, all you have to do is walk into a dark situation–any dark situation including a dark financial situation–when you walk in righteousness, darkness heads out the back door. Because darkness always flees from light.
Righteousness will equip you not only in a spiritual way, but it will also affect you in the natural realm as well. Righteousness will make you noticeable.
With your breastplate of righteousness fixed firmly in place, God’s glory radiates from your life to all those around you.
It becomes more brilliant with use.
Someone who is righteous is someone who is exceptionally open and bold in how he or she approaches situations.
For example, an attitude of righteousness will profoundly affect your prayer life—you pray with confidence, power and authority.
As you walk in your “breastplate of righteousness,” a righteousness consciousness will begin to develop, overtaking false emotions of unworthiness and condemnation. And with every step you take in righteousness, you become more and more gorgeous to the eyes of God—and more and more blinding to the eyes of the enemy!
The more you wear your breastplate of righteousness, the more you walk through life fully conscious of your righteousness in Christ, and the more brightly you will shine as a light in a dark world of sin.
And as you walk with your breastplate firmly in place, you will learn that your righteousness is not only a defensive weapon to protect you from the blows of the enemy, but it is also an offensive weapon to help you as you assault the enemy and take back lost territory including lost financial territory.
Do you want God’s blessing?
The secret is living righteously.
Psalm 5:12 says, “For surely, O Lord, you bless the righteous,”
Do you want God to watch over you and protect you? Then live righteously.
Psalm 34:15 says, “The eyes of LORD are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their cry.”
And Job 36:7 says that he does not take his eyes off the righteous.
Do you want God to provide for your children?
David said, “I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.” (Psalm 37:25).
Do you want God to answer your prayers?
Then put on your breastplate of righteousness.
Proverbs 15:29 says that the Lord hears the prayers of the righteous. But Psalm 68:18 says that if there is iniquity in your heart, God will not hear you. So I’m telling you plainly, God does not answer all prayer. When there is iniquity in your heart, God says, “I’m not listening until you put on the whole armor of God.”
The standard of America is, “If it feels good, do it.” If there is no absolute right or wrong, then whatever I feel like doing is what I should do. Ladies and gentlemen, there is a standard of absolute right and absolute wrong. It is the word of God. Guard your heart with the righteousness standard of God’s Word.
Let’s spend today’s Q&A time together talking about borrowing and debt.
By way of introduction
I am sure you already know that borrowing is an ancient concept, one that is thoroughly talked about in the Bible.
The problem today is that while we live in an economy that is pretty much build on debt, we find that the Bible promotes a debt-free mentality. Unfortunately, many of us and even many of our churches have a deb-first mentality.
What we need to realize is that borrowing is not prohibited by Scripture, however the Bible does give us basic rules on how to use it.
As you will see in the questions I’m about to share with you, most Christians violate one or more of these rules, not out of disobedience, but out of ignorance.
Here is a great first question: Bob, could you define debt? If I owe four hundred dollars a month on a car, and I can afford the payment, am I legitimately ikn debt? Or does debt refer just to an amount I woe that I can’t afford to repay?
Well, my friend, I have to start out by saying that to define the word debt is not a simple task. There is debt and then there is being in debt. Basically a debt is something you owe and being in debt is having an obligation to pay that you cannot meet. When you borrow money, we traditionally say, “You are in debt.” But if you are able to make each payment, you are not “in debt.” When you can’t pay what you have promised, then you are in debt.
The sad news is that somewhere around 50% of all American families are in debt in a typical year. That is to say that they are unable to make the monthly payment on the money they borrowed. Actually, lots of folks borrow more money to make the payments on the money they have already borrowed.
The number-one cause of being in debt for young couples is housing. For example, a couple buys a house too expensive for their budget, and the house strips them of cash they need for other things. Because they do not have cash to keep their car repaired, they end up buying a new car. That strips them of even more cash, and then they go into debt for necessities such as food, clothing, and medical expenses.
Being in debt is hard for anybody to handle. It will destroy a relationship between husband and wife and between a Christian and God. You cannot have a good relationship with your spouse when all you ever talk aout ar money problem. When you sit down to read God’s Word and nothing comes to mind except money problems, you do not read very much or very long. When you sit down to pray and all you can think about are money problems, guess what, you probably stop praying.
In our society so many people are in debt that we accept it as normal. It may be normal, but it is certainly is not biblical.
Here is a great follow-on question: We are a young married couple, and we periodically get credit cards mailed to us. I would like to have some, but my husband thinks that they are evil and that a Christian should never use them. I find it hare even to cash a check without a credit card and almost impossible to rent a car. Is it wrong to have credit cards?
Ouch, but that is a great question. Let me respond by first letting you know that what we find is that credit cards are not evil, and credit cards are rarely ever a problem. The problem is the misuse of credit cards. You see, most children see their parent use credit cards to buy clothes, gas, food, and even toys. But very few parents bring their children in when the write the checks and say, “Kids, remember when we charged all that stuff? Well, now, we have to pay for it.”
Credit cards are not essential but they can be a great convenience. So let me give you three simple guidelines on how to use them and not suffer as a result. As husband and wif, together, you should set some very simple rules for using credit cards.
Rule #1: Never use your credit cards to buy anything that is not in your budget for the month. So first, you should have and live on a budget.
Rule #2: Pay your credit cards off in full every month with no exception.
Rule #3: The first month you are unable to pay the credit card bill in full, destroy the cards.
My friend, if you get these three rules up and operating in your life the misuse of credit cards will likely not be a problem in your life.
Scam alert from the BBB
These Marketing Services Make Empty Promises
If you own a small business, watch out for scammy marketing services. BBB Scam Tracker has received numerous reports of phony services tricking small business owners into signing monthly marketing contracts. But these con artists fail to deliver what they’ve promised.
How the Scam Works
You get a cold call, email, or a social media post for a low-cost, small business marketing service that sounds like the perfect way to boost visibility for your business. They claim to offer local marketing, help with your website, and a whole lot of other services to bring a whole lot of new customers your way. It sounds good, it sounds cheap, so you sign up.
But once you make your payment, all of a sudden the company becomes hard to pin down. They might give you a delivery date for marketing materials, but constantly postpone it or simply stop replying. In most cases, you’ll be hard pressed to get in contact with someone once you’ve been billed for the services. Several BBB Scam Tracker reports even complain of being charged months after they cancel.
How to avoid scam services:
Double check the contact information. One giveaway that you are dealing with a scammer is that the company has no telephone number or physical address. If there is a phone number, call it to make sure it’s in service. If a physical address is provided, look it up to see if it is really associated with the company name.
Reach out to references. If the company provides references, contact them. Make certain it is possible to actually contact the people on the list and look them up online to make sure they are real people with legitimate small businesses like yours.
Make sure you understand exactly what you are paying for. A reputable company will be able to clearly describe their services and their timeline before signing up for anything.
Use safe payment methods. Never send money to a person or company via wire transfers, cryptocurrency, or pre-paid debit cards. If someone asks you for payment this way, it’s probably a scam. Always pay with your credit card. Should a problem arise later on, the charges can be disputed.
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 “COMMUNITY.”
What is John telling us here? To me he is saying that There is only so much you can do alone, together WE can achieve so much more. So learn to lean on those that surround you and lift you up, allow them to be your biggest cheerleader. It is so valuable to have people that genuinely want to see you succeed in your life! Community: what a great word to live by. Thanks John.
Boy, this has been another great time together.
We started out by taking a look at the second piece of financial spiritual armor the Lord gives us to pick up and put on which is the breastplate of righteousness. We are righteous before God because we asked His Son into our hearts as our Lord and Savior. We are righteous, so we need to think, speak and act like it.
During our Q&A time we talked just a bit about borrowing and debt and learned that although the Bible does not prohibit debt, it does give us rules to use it. We get into trouble, be become in debt when we don’t follow those rules.
You learned how to avoid the marketing services scam that is going around.
And finally, our Minute with Maxwell was all about the word Community—the importance of having community in our lives.
My friend, this has been a great time together with the Lord. 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 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.