Seminar: Foundation Stones
Q&A: Tithing while looking for a home church
Minute with Maxwell: “Do Over”
Re-Listen to or Download the audio file.
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 during our 30-minute time together today?
- First of all—during the Your Finances in Perilous Times Radio Seminar, you are going to discover some really great reasons to keep coming and showing up here every week. You see, the Bible has some great reasons for you to learn, apply, and pass on what the Bible has to say about money…it’s going to be great and just a little unusual.
- Then, we are going to get back to your questions. First has to do with what to do with the tithe while you are looking around for a church. And the second has to do with family finances when two folks remarry…trust me, you don’t want to miss this one.
- Finally, we will hear yet another Minute with Maxwell as Christian author, speaker, teacher, trainer, mentor, and coach shares with us his thoughts on the words “do over.”
So stay tuned, it’s going to be another great time together. You are not going to want to miss a minute of today’s program.
As we start, as we always start, please open with me in 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.
Now, as you already know, during our Radio Seminar times together you are learning what God has to say about how you are take care of, how you are to best manage the material areas of your life and do it in ways that are pleasing to Him.
Right now we are working through three foundation stones that will help guide you down your personal road to Financial Freedom God’s Way.
- Last week, you discovered some interesting statistics showing that, even though you are one of only 10% within the body of Christ who is ever going to step our and prayerfully work to discover and apply what the Lord has to teach about managing your material resources…even so, you still have some rather uncomfortable financial habits in common with others within the body of Christ and everyone else as well.
- You are unique, that’s true, but there are some other great reasons for you to be here. God gives you some great reasons to take the time—to make the choice to bounce back and forth between listening to this radio program now, and then relistening to the program and reading and studying the program transcript on our website at christianfinancialministries.org
Why Study: Because it’s important to God
Now, as we start, I want to remind you of something you already know. What would that be? Well, according to the Bible, God has a plan for you; He has a reason for you to be here and to be taking an active part in this Radio Seminar. Why? Why is that? What is His plan? Well, you see—and listen carefully here—according to the Bible—listen very carefully here, this just might surprise you,—according to the Bible, money is important to God. Did I say that right? Yes, I did. Money IS important to God. You may think and you may have been taught that money is not important to God but according to the Bible, money is actually very important to God. How do you know? Let me ask you a question and I want you think about for just a minute. Here is the question.
- How DO you know, how CAN you tell for sure that something, that anything, is important to God? What would be a clue for you? Any ideas? Think about it for just a second or two. What is just one way you can know for sure that something—that anything—is important to God? Do you have a thought or two in your mind?
- I submit that you know that something is important to God. One way is to see if God talks about it in His Word. Right?
- I mean, if it is there, it is important. Would you agree?
- But then—here we go, secondly—how can you tell that something in God’s Word is extra ordinarily important to God? Again, think for just a second. How can you tell that something in the Bible is extra ordinarily important to God? What do you think? Sure, if He covers it more than once or in different ways, then it is actually extra ordinarily important to Him.
- So, this being the case, then how you manage your material life is extra ordinarily important to God because God spends a whole lot of time talking about it in His Word.
- For example, do you realize that in the Bible you are going to find
- 700 verses on prayer and almost 500 on faith, yet there are over 700 verses, which deal directly with money, and another couple of thousands of verses that talk about the impact money has on all the material areas of your life.
- Two-thirds of the parables deal with money.
- Do you know that the Bible has more to say about money than heaven and hell combined? Even more to say about money than salvation.
- As the matter of fact, If you were to take God’s Word—all of God’s Word—and you were to categorize every verse in the Bible — if you start from “In the beginning” and you work your way to “…come Lord Jesus,” –you write down every verse and you put every one of them into categories, what you would find is that the Bible has more to say about money than any other single subject, except one. Do you know, I mean, can you guess what that “one” subject might be? What might be the ONLY subject God talks more about than money? Any ideas? There’s just one. You categorize them—there’s just one. What do you believe is the only subject that God talks about in His Word more about than money? Well, the answer is love. Love. God spends more time in the Bible talking about money that any other single except the subject of love.
- So, you can see, can’t you, that God does have quite a lot to say about money, about ALL aspects of money—all of them to include how you are to earn it, how you spend it, how you save it, how you invest it, how you give it and all the rest. Money is important to God and therefore it ought to be important to you. And, if it’s important to you then you need to act on it, which really isn’t going to be a big issue with you because it’s easy for you to act on what you believe is important.
- You see, my friend, you do tend to respond to, to act on, what you believe is important.
Important to You
You see, when God places this kind of emphasis on anything you ought to sit up and pay attention, it ought to be or become important to you as well. Remember that 2 Tim 3:16 tells you…
All scripture is God breathed and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.
- Now, you likely recognize the “teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” part of this verse, right? But you just might tend to miss a couple of things.
- For example, the first part that says “All scripture is God breathed and useful…” The Bible tells us His Word is useful, it has a purpose.
- You see, we memorize verse 16, but not verse 17. And that is unfortunate because it is in verse 17 that God gives us the reason for verse 16. It’s verse 17 where you discover how the Bible is useful…What does it say, let me read to you both verse 16 and 17:
All scripture is God breathed and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, to prepare the man of God for every good work.”
- How are we to prepare to do God’s work? By allowing the Words to teach, rebuke, correct, and train us.
- You see, Scripture is “God-breathed,” it is the very Word of God and His Word is useful. It has a purpose. He gives you His Word for a reason. And the reason is to prepare you for the good works He has planned for you. Listen, according to the Bible, if you are bogged down in your finances the reason is that you have not invested the time and energy to discover what God has to say about money and what to do about it, and remember, there are well over 3,000 verses in the Bible dealing with money. How many of those 3000-plus verses do you know and live out?
So, why are you here? Because the subject of material management is important to God, it should be important to you, and therefore you need to begin to look for and begin to act on some personal applications.
Money is an “Indicator”
Now, here is another thing, a surprising thing you are going to discover as we spend time together: How you use, or how you misuse money and the material areas of your life is a very clear indicator to you in at least two different areas. You see, according to the Bible, your faith is very, very personal but it is not so private. There are some outward evidences of the inward quality of your relationship with God—did you realize that?
- For example, according to the Bible, how you handle money, how you handle the material areas of your life, is a clear, visible, outside indicator to you, as to where you are inside, spirituality with God., Luke 16:10-14 says:
- Whoever can be trusted with very little, can also be trusted with much. And whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?
I have to believe, that honestly, one of the very best ways for you to check your spiritual temperature is to look into your personal checkbook.
- Why do I say that? Because I know from counseling and coaching and teaching inside and outside our country for well over 30 years, and looking inside my own family—what I find is that Christians are great at faking at what is really going on. All of us in the Body of Christ are well equipped to say what we believe others want to hear, right? Many of us, even you, I bet you, you are quite likely a great talker; you quite likely, probably, tend to do a great job at faking your true attitudes—at least some of the time..
Let me give you an example. You’ve already seen that all of us in the Body of Christ have a lot in common. Right? But I bet there are other ways that our families are more alike than you might imagine—yours and mine. For instance, how do you walk into church every Sunday? Do you walk in with a big frown on your face or do you walk in with a big smile? You know, someone asks you “Hey, how are you doing?” And you say, “Fine, just doing just fine. I can’t believe it’s so good.” And you know that’s a lie. Because, I remember back in the day that there were many times my family had a rough start to a Sunday morning. My daughter was running late because she had to change clothes 13, 14 or more times—you know what I’m saying. My son was running late because he was out in the yard playing with the dog. Debbie, my wife, Debbie was running late, well, she was just running late. Now you need to understand that I like to be on time—I even like to be early. So, sometimes, this can be a hard thing for our family. So it’s quite likely—it’s quite possible—that after all the delays heading out for church I was tense, the kids were tense, Debbie was tense, and so what happened? Well, Debbie and I had an argument, well, not an argument, because good Christian families aren’t supposed to have arguments. Right? So, we didn’t have an argument, we have a “time of intensive fellowship.” Does that sound familiar? Has this ever happened to you? So what could happen? We have our times of intensive fellowship in the car, everyone’s down and out—in the car. But as soon as we hit the parking lot and walk into the church everyone is all smiles. “Hey, how are the Louders doing this morning?” “Fantastic, man, we couldn’t be better. I mean, if things were any better I couldn’t stand it.” I remember once someone once suggested that Debbie and I solve this problem by changing roles on Sunday morning: I was to be the one to get the kids ready and Debbie was to be the one to go out and sit in the car and honk the horn! We never tried it! Maybe we should have but we never did.
- The point here is that all of us, that you, are quite likely great at faking what’s going on in your life—both spiritually and financially. On the outside you can present a face that all is well. However, on the inside, well, you might have to admit that you may be struggling, you may even be drowning.
- You see, you can fool others and yourself so easily simply by learning to quote a few Bible verses and some evangelical clichés. You can even learn to give a proper Christian testimony and deliver it with a great deal of conviction and force. But none of that—none of that means your faith is real.
- There are indicators in your life that can help you see what’s really going on in your life and in your heart. For example, according to the Bible, the way you handle your finances is usually a dead giveaway to what’s really going on inside you spiritually. It is a strong clue as to who is, or who is not, in control of your life.
- God says that money—He says that money and how you handle it, is a testing ground. According to the Bible, money is a testing ground to indicate to you where you stand with Him. He already knows. Don’t be mistaken here, He already knows. The Holy Spirit keeps Him up to speed second by second. This is not for an indicator for Him because He already knows. This is an indicator for you so that you can know.
- According to God’s Word, how you handle the material areas of your life is a clear, visible, outside indicator to you as to where you are inside—inside spiritually with God. Putting it another way…listen to this…putting it another way, your spiritual growth is tied directly—directly to the way you handle your money. WOW! Let me say that again: According to the Bible, your spiritual growth, my friend, is tied directly to the way you handle your money. Now, I know that this is a super strong statement, but I know that it is, but I also got to believe that you will begin to call it truth as you work your way through this Radio Seminar. Alright?
That’s the first indicator. But, do you know what? There’s another one. There is another benefit that you may not have seen. How well you handle your finances, how well you handle the material areas of your life—it has a lot to do with how well and how effectively you relate to and deal with other people as well. How so?
This is a particularly good indicator for husbands and wives, but it also applies to singles. It applies to singles as well.
- Because, if you stop and think about it, you are going to probably agree that money is either the best area of communications between you and those closest to you; or it’s the worst, and it is the worst a great deal of the time.
- Remember the statistics? Better than half of all marriages fail, and finances are the main symptom 80-90% of the time. As the matter of fact, if you do some reading and studying, you are going to find that many Christian counselors say that money is the number one cause of stress and failure in all marriages—in all marriages.
- And remember my friend,
- Do Christians have these problems? You bet we do!
- Do you believe there are Christians filing for divorce and bankruptcy? Absolutely.
- We suffer right along with everybody else.
- Why is that? Why do we suffer? Well, because for the most part we do not know, or know how to apply what God’s Word has to say when it comes to managing the material areas of your life.
- As the matter of fact, God says that His people perish for what? Again, boy, that’s a another great question to think on: God says that His people perish for what? For what?
- Lack of knowledge—lack of knowledge. By the way, do you realize that your personal lack of knowledge has a huge—it has a direct impact on our churches as well.]
- Do you believe there are churches out there, churches all across the county that have the same rate of delinquent payments and bankruptcies as does the average American business? That’s a lot of churches who are losing their buildings.
- So all this just goes to show you, that truly, truly, how you handle your money and the material areas of your life is a good, visible, outside indicator to you as to the quality of your relationship with God and with others as well. By the way, I want to remind you of this one more time, God already knows what’s going on. The Holy Spirit keeps Him up to speed second by second. These are indicators to you so you can see what’s really happening inside you.
My friend, this is a great place for us to stop for today. Remember, won’t you, that there are lots of reasons for you to look into God’s Word on the subject of money.
- It is important to Him,
- It ought to be important enough for He and you to apply it into your life,
Plus, you need to recognize that how you handle your material life—how you handle the material areas of your life is a good, visible, outside indicator to you as to the quality of your relationship with God and with other people as well.
Next week, hey, do you realize we are just about to dig into the first of the two most important Bible verses about money in all of God’s Word…but before we do, next week we want to talk just a bit about some specific responsibilities that you have, that I have, and that the Holy Spirit has, as the three of us travel down your personal road to Financial Freedom God’s way…it’s going to be great so don’t miss it.
Questions and Responses
Alright, it’s been a little while since we have talked about some questions and answers on air so I thought we might spend a little time there today. And this is a good one, it is one we commonly get—having to do with tithing. Here is the question: Bob, since we are currently between churches and looking the one God would have us join, should we give our tithe to the churches we visit? Response: The Bible tells us in First Corinthians 9:14 that we are to support those who teach us. If you have been attending a new church for a short while, you might want to prayerfully tithe to that church even though you are not members. HOWEVER, you need to ensure that the church uses your tithes wisely–something you cannot easily discern over a short period of time. One alternative I’ve seen folks use is to deposit and hold your tithes in a special savings account until you are more settled on a church home. HOWEVER, be careful. You may be tempted to dip into those funds for other things.
Good question—here is another. Rev. Louder, I’m a widow who recently remarried. My husband and I are both in our late sixties. We have been wondering if we should keep our assets separated? He would keep his assets for his children, and I would keep my assets separated for my children. What do you suggest? Response: One of the great things about the Bible is that it is clear and concise and it does not regard ages, assets, or opinions. According to the Bible, once you are married, you and your new husband are one. Period. If you both willingly agree to keep the assets in trust for your children, that is fine. However, you need to be very sure that neither of you is doing this because of intimidation—either from each other or from other members of the family. You should know that the data shows that if you keep your assets separate (to include separate checking and savings accounts, credit cards, etc.) your marriage will suffer. Spend some time praying about this, seeking God’s plan for your life, and seeking some spiritual counsel from your pastor AND some good Bible-based financial counsel (www.crown.org or www.daveramsey.com ). This is an important issue for you and your husband to come to grips with.
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 as John Maxwell gives us his thoughts on the words, “do over,” this should be interesting. Let’s take a listen.
Count our lessons, not our losses—Great word. Thanks John..
And that wraps up our time together. Let me closes us in prayer. Father, we thank You for bringing us together and teaching and encouraging us again today, and for each of the days yet to come, to Your glory, in Jesus’ mighty name, Amen.
Have a great rest of your day, and we will see you next time for Financial Freedom God’s Way, radio.