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Do You Trust God?

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore
The Truth Network Radio
August 9, 2023 2:22 pm

Do You Trust God?

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore

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August 9, 2023 2:22 pm

Jesus challenges us to have faith — and that’s not an abstract faith, but a deep and abiding trust in Him. And, when it comes to trusting the Lord, money plays a significant role. On today's MoneyWise Live, Rob West will encourage us to lean into God’s trustworthiness as we manage our finances. Then he’ll answer some questions of various financial topics. 

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Today's version of MoneyWise Live is prerecorded, so our phone lines are not open. Jesus challenges us to have faith, not faith in the abstract, but a deep and abiding trust in Him. Hi, I'm Rob West.

You know, there's only one way to learn to trust someone, and that's by experience, seeing that person's day-to-day character and faithfulness. And when it comes to trusting the Lord, money plays a significant role. More about that just ahead.

Then we have some great calls lined up, but please don't call in today, because we're prerecorded. This is MoneyWise Live, biblical wisdom for your financial journey. Well it's Monday, and as we begin our broadcast week, we often focus on first principles, foundational teaching related to money management and good stewardship. Remember, there are five basic things you can do with money. You can earn it, live on it, give it away, owe to someone, or invest it to grow for the future. Earn, live, give, owe, and grow.

Today I want to talk about one of those, giving. If you look through the scriptures, you'll see repeatedly God challenging people to trust Him. Abraham and Sarah had to trust Him about having a child in their old age. Moses had to trust Him when God sent him to Pharaoh.

Paul had to trust Him when he faced beatings and imprisonment. And you and I have to trust Him. We have to trust that what we have been told is true, that He loves us, that He will make a way for us, and that though this life has many troubles, He is working things toward a good end, and that Jesus Himself is preparing a place for us in the world to come. But how do we learn to trust Him?

Well, as I mentioned, we learn it by experience. I'm sure you've heard people who've walked with Jesus for a long time testify about how God met this need and that need, how He came through in a difficult situation. They trust God because they know firsthand that He is trustworthy. So what does that have to do with giving? Well, I would submit to you that giving is a fundamental means by which we learn to trust God.

It is essential to becoming a person of deep faith. Consider a couple of examples from the Old Testament and the New. In Malachi 3, God calls the people of Israel to bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, and then He issues this challenge. Test Me in this, says the Lord Almighty, and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. If the people would trust Him in their giving, God assures them He will take care of them.

Indeed, He will give them an abundance. And think of the widow at the temple in Mark 12. She contributed a very small amount to the treasury, but it was all she had, and Jesus commended her great faith. She trusted that God would meet her needs. As I've said before, God doesn't call us to give because He wants something from us, but rather because He wants something for us. He wants us to grow in our trust of Him. He wants to prove to us that He is faithful and that if we give, even if it doesn't seem to make sense financially, He will reward our trust. You know, it's been my experience that when you learn to trust God in the area of giving, it becomes easier to trust Him in so many other areas. Financial teacher Larry Burkett used to ask a convicting question, Do you trust God, or do you just say you trust God?

The only way to know if you really trust God is to do something that requires you to trust Him, such as giving money away and believing that God will make it possible for you to live on what remains. How much should you give? Well, that's ultimately between you and God. Many Christians give at least 10 percent of their income. Some give more. I would say that wherever you are on the giving scale, set a goal of increasing your giving as your faith expands. If you're giving 5 percent now, perhaps make it 7 percent next year, and then keep moving up as the Lord leads you.

Oh, and let me be clear. This is not so much about a particular percentage, but about trusting God and doing what He tells you. He knows you better than you know yourself, and He knows how to direct you so that you can learn to grow in generosity without being overcome with anxiety. God loves a cheerful giver, and He wants to lead you to that place of cheerful, trusting generosity. So here's what I want you to remember today. The Lord is trustworthy in all things, and He will demonstrate His trustworthiness as we learn to trust Him in the area of giving.

And further, giving as the Lord directs us is a way for us to know if we really trust God or if we just say we trust Him. This area of generosity is so huge for our financial lives, because it's what ultimately breaks the grip of money over us. You're listening to MoneyWise Live, and you can find us online at However, today we're not live, so if you hear that phone number, please don't call. But do stay with us. There's lots of great information ahead.

Welcome back to MoneyWise Live, where biblical wisdom meets today's financial decisions. Let's head to the phone. Burl, thanks for calling. Go right ahead, sir. Thanks for having me on.

I really liked your show. Thank you. It's a little off the subject you have for today, but you had a session on you can't out-give God. Yes, sir. One thing my father used to always tell me is you can't out-give Him, but you can't out-stinge Him either.

If you try to close up your pockets and He closes up His pockets, it will hurt you a lot worse than it'll hurt Him. Hmm. I like that. To your point, Burl, we were talking about this idea. We often hear this saying, you can't out-give God. Well, that's not a Bible quote, clearly, but as we look at that, we can really explore that idea. And really, I think it comes down to our expectations in the matter of giving. Are we trying to out-give God? Are we trying to earn God's favor? Do we expect material success when we're generous? Because none of those expectations are biblical. In fact, really, our giving should be an expression of gratitude for God's great gift to us.

But to your point, you can't out-stinge Him either. I like the picture, Burl, of the open hand. You know, if we hold things loosely with an open hand, we can—the Lord can take something out, but He can also put something back in, right? But if we hold it with a tight clenched fist, as if to say it's our own and not His, well, nothing comes out, but nothing goes in either.

And I think those pictures are appropriate when we think about what God is saying to us in the Council of Scripture. Obviously, your dad had a huge impact on you, Burl, it sounds like, as you think about managing the money you've been entrusted. Is that right?

Yes. I'm not near as good as he was. He got by on nothing and did pretty good at it. But the example he used is the Dead Sea. You know, the water coming into the Dead Sea, when it comes out of the Jordan River, it has life, it has fish, it has things living in it. Water comes in, water goes out, it hits the Dead Sea, which has no outlets. Water goes in, it turns blackish, it can't support life. It's just a big septic tank.

Yes, that's right. Well, it sounds like your dad was a wise man, and he obviously had a profound impact on your life. I love that picture as well, Burl, you're exactly right. You know, God's intention is not for us to be a reservoir where his provision stops with us. Rather, we should be a pipeline where it flows through us into God's activity.

And to your point, that is where life is found and the great privilege of being able to partner with God where he's at work. So, Burl, thank you for weighing in on the program and sharing those nuggets of wisdom that you learned from your father. We appreciate it.

All right, God bless you, sir. A quick email today. We receive emails all day long at questions at, and we love to tackle them. We have Money Wise coaches trained, ready to respond to your questions, and they do so with a personal response.

Many of them get read on the air as well, like this one from John. He says, I'm a small business owner. How do I tithe on earnings from my business? The gross, my salary, something else.

And John, what I would say is, first of all, thank you for your desire to be obedient and faithful in what God has entrusted to you. You know, when we think about our business, it's quite different than the giving that we do personally, because if you tithe on gross receipts, that is, you gave a tenth from the gross that you made, you may not be able to stay in business, depending upon what type of business you're in. You know, take a gas station, for example, you know, a gas station might only make, you know, two percent in profit from the gross amount that they're receiving. And so you give a 10 percent tithe, you wouldn't be in business very long. So when we have a business, we have a couple of options. If you are controlling the business as an owner, I love that you want to give out of your profits from the business in addition to perhaps the giving that you're doing on your own with the money that you receive personally.

Hopefully you're keeping a good set of books so that everything is separate. The business is completely separate from your personal finances. And hopefully you're to a point where you're paying yourself a salary and perhaps on top of that, distributions. The key would be to determine at a period in time each year, whether that's annually or quarterly, whatever it might be, what the true profit was for the business during that period of time. So this is the net profit that would be retained in the business after all of the overhead and expenses. And you pay for the products that you're offering.

And yes, you pay your salary and the salaries of any other workers or contractors that you have. And you might have some retained earnings. So some profit that stays in the business and you can calculate that over a period of time. That profit would be the amount that if you want to give as a business that you would tithe on because that's actually the profit that you received. And then as you pay yourself a salary that comes out prior to that profit, well, that would be income that you'd recognize.

That's your increase. And then you could give on that as well. So I think that's the way I would approach it.

John, again, I love this idea that you're using your business not only as a way to bless others and provide a service or a product, but also as an engine for ministry, as a way to be able to give to the Lord. And I think that's tremendous. Again, eight hundred five to five, seven thousand is the number to call.

One other quick question before we take our next break. And this one says from Donald, my wife and I are recently married. I'd like to set up a 529 plan for my kids, for kids we may have. Donald says, if we end up not having kids, can I change the allocation for that money? And Donald, first of all, let me just affirm you as a planner. I love the fact that you're planning for the kids that you may have down the road. However, I wouldn't get quite that far ahead in your planning.

Here's what I would do. I would be ready when you the Lord blesses you with kids to begin a 529 college savings plan if you specifically want to save for college, which is great and certainly better to do it sooner than later. The very best way, in my view, to do it is through a 529 college savings plan. But I would not do that until you have the kids.

And here's why. Although you can get the money out without a penalty if they get a scholarship or a grant, if they don't and or you don't have kids, you're going to have to transfer that account to somebody else, yourself or a family member. Probably better just to wait until you have kids. But when you do, I think that's the best vehicle to save. I would start early.

And by the way, the best website to determine which 529 plan is the best for you is called We'll be right back on MoneyWise. Stay with us. This is MoneyWise Live with Rob West.

Hey, if you hear a phone number mentioned today, please ignore that number and don't call us because today's broadcast is a reprise edition. Why we take an hour a day to talk about money? So we can just make more of it? No, it has nothing to do with that. In fact, we recognize that money decisions are often symptomatic of heart issues.

That's not my idea. Jesus said, where your treasure is there, your heart will be also. You see, your heart follows your money. And so in many respects, the way we handle our finances is one of the key ways that we work out our spiritual journey. In fact, as I've observed this in counseling families for a couple of decades and answering thousands of questions on the radio, my experience is that your financial journey is one of the key ways that God shapes your spiritual journey. Because when we look to God's word, we realize quickly that if something is going to dethrone God from first position in our lives, it's most often going to be money and the things that money can buy. You remember in Jesus' parable of the sower when he talked about the seeds that fell that were choked out and the word was prevented from bearing a 30, 60, 100 fold return.

And the disciples said to Jesus, what was it that choked it out? Well, the way I read it, two and a half, perhaps of the three reasons he gave were financial. He said it's the deceitfulness of riches, the desires for other things. You know, as we seek worldly pleasures, often it can derail us from pursuing God's best. The key is to put God in his rightful place as Lord of everything and then to put our finances under his Lordship because here's a little secret.

It all belongs to him anyway. And then accept our role as steward or manager and make money a tool to accomplish his purposes. Well, that's entirely different than the way the world approaches it, but it's the right way and it's the way that will allow us to experience the more joy and freedom and contentment because we're holding it loosely. We're living simply.

And you know, here's the reality. There's a paradox of prosperity and that is that the more you have, the more choices you have and the less real freedom you have. You know, when Julie and I lived in our first one bedroom apartment, tiny little apartment when we were first married, well life was a lot more simple when you have a couple of small closets just to keep all of your earthly possessions.

And that doesn't mean that it's bad to have a bigger home and to have a few more things and especially as your family grows. But it does mean that we need to recognize with all of that comes the time and attention that we have to put toward the things of this world. And we need to make sure that we're always guarding our hearts because the reality is the way we work out our money is really the training ground of the heart. And God has always been about our hearts. So the question is, can we handle money in a way that actually draws us toward the father? So we're giving and we're a part of his giving journey here on earth. We're connected to his activity. We're using it to create memories with our families and we're using it in a way that allows us to provide and all of these things that I think are right in line with what God has intended for us. And yes, he wants us to enjoy what he's given us, but it's done in the context of starting on our knees and saying, Lord, what would you have me to do? How can I be found faithful in managing your resources? And part of that is answering the lifestyle question.

That's right. What is the appropriate lifestyle for you or for me? Well, nobody can tell us that. It'd be great if in the Bible it says, well, you're supposed to live on 78.2% of what I give you.

It's not there. And so it causes us to go back to our knees to say, God, what would you have me do? How should I be living? I don't want to take my cues from this world.

I don't want to match somebody else's life that I see on social media or keep up with my neighbor or my brother in law. I want to have your heart for me. And I think each of us need to decide what that looks like.

And when we do, I think that's where we experience God's best. Hey, I'd love to talk about that with you today. We have some lines open. We'd love to hear your question or comment today. 800-525-7000.

That's 800-525-7000 you can call right now. You know, as we think about this idea of lifestyle, let me also say this. You know, the lifestyle choice we make is a large determinant of what you can ultimately commit to eternity through your giving.

If anything is going to give it in the way to you being able to give and respond to the leading of the Lord in your generosity, it's going to be the lifestyle that you settle on. It also almost always drives debt decisions. The debt that we take on is often largely driven by the lifestyle that we choose to live at. And so that means that we have to make those lifestyle decisions with great intentionality, not just slipping in to the lifestyle that we have, but deciding through prayer. You know, what we will find is as your income increases over time, your level of spending is almost always going to rise to your level of income unless you protest to the contrary.

And so as you perhaps get a bonus or a raise, or you have some additional money, maybe an inheritance, the key is to guard against this idea of allowing lifestyle creep to occur, where your lifestyle just continues to grow alongside your income. Instead, the better approach is to decide with intentionality, here's the lifestyle God has called us to, and perhaps cap it at some level so that as God provides beyond that, well, that creates more money for your priorities. And I would say, namely giving, perhaps becoming debt free, certainly saving for the future, but there should be a limit to that as well. And the key is we want the opportunity to experience the freedom and the security and the contentment and the peace of heart and mind that comes from handling God's money well. And so as we approach that, I think for each of us, we need to ask the question, how much is enough?

How much is enough? Both for my lifestyle, that is my spending that happens on a monthly basis, but also how much is enough for my accumulation? One of these is a cash flow and a spending decision.

The other is really a balance sheet and an accumulation issue. Because in the same way we need to decide how much is enough for our monthly spending, I believe we should set a financial finish line for our long term savings. It's not about the mindless accumulation of wealth for saving sake. It really is about a plan that's considered in prayer. God, how much is enough for me for our future? What is it going to take for us to maintain the lifestyle you've called us to in that season where perhaps we're no longer working? It's prudent to save for the future. We should be wise. And I think investing is a part of that.

It absolutely has a place. The question is, what is that ultimate number? And once I'm on track to achieve that, well, perhaps then I can redirect toward even additional giving or becoming completely debt free, all of these things. And as you consider this, what I will encourage you to do is really to try to increase your giving with intentionality over time. The secret here is that when we realize the joy of giving, we'll also realize that it breaks the grip of money over our lives. And here's what I've experienced is that over time you will experience that joy and therefore you will find ways to reorder your finances in such a way that you can do even more because it's just a blessing to be able to give and be a part of God's activity.

That's the way he designed it. Look at the scriptures from the Old Testament to the New. It jumps off the page, God's generosity for God so loved the world that he gave. And so entering into God's generosity story, what he's doing in the here and the now is a privilege for us to be a part of. And that's our opportunity today is to say, God, how can I be connected to where you're at work? Henry Blackaby said, find where God's moving and go there.

And we want to do that not only with our time and our attention and our prayer life, but also with the financial resources that we're managing. All right. I hope that's been an encouragement to you today. Folks, we're going to pause for a quick break. We'll be right back on MoneyWise Live. Stay with us. This is our final segment of a broadcast we previously recorded.

Thanks so much for being with us today, and we hope you'll stick around and enjoy the rest of today's program. Here in this final segment today, we'll talk about impulse versus intentional spending. Which best describes your spending?

Are you impulsive online in the checkout line or are you intentional? Do you have a spending plan? Have you given every dollar a name, as I like to say, in controlling the flow of money in and out?

Well, we'll talk about the downsides of impulse purchases and perhaps how you can be more intentional as you think about handling God's money. Let me also remind you, if you haven't downloaded the MoneyWise app, this is a great opportunity to do it. Some big and exciting changes are coming to the MoneyWise app later this year as we completely relaunch the app with a host of new features.

It's the tried and true envelope system for you to manage your money. Also in the app, you'll find all of our content, podcasts, articles, and videos. The very best content in Christian Finance is right there. And you'll find our community as well, where you can post questions, get answers from others on their stewardship journey, and our MoneyWise coaches.

Again, you'll find it in your app store. Just search for MoneyWise Biblical Finance when you head to the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store. Again, MoneyWise Biblical Finance when you download the MoneyWise app. Also, when you download it, be sure to check with one of our coaches at We have a team of coaches that are trained to come alongside you to help you get set up with your spending plan. They've helped hundreds and hundreds do the same thing.

So they'll have some new ideas to share that perhaps could help you get pointed in the right direction. Answer your questions and get ready to deploy your spending plan that's free of charge. It's something we do as a service here at MoneyWise, and we'd be delighted to help. Just head to and click on the Community button, and then click Connect with a coach, and we'll get you set up with a coach right away. Let's head to the phones.

Madeline in Mississippi, you go right ahead. I'm 73, retired. I have a small amount, I guess, in Roth RA, and I have a traditional RA, and because my husband was administered, we moved around, and he has a pension. Yes, ma'am. And I had rolled over all of my 401Ks into my traditional RA so I could keep up with the RMDs that I have to do.

And I have two questions. I don't trust the government right now with all their inflation spending. And of course, you hear conspiracy theory, and then wanting to get into the seniors' pensions and the RAs that tax them even more. And I'm wondering whether I should take withdrawals of Roth RA and put it in like lockbox or either in a safe, a locked safe at home to have liquid money. I do have liquid money as far as savings and a checking account that I have at hand if I should have to get to it. Then I, and my concern was with the RMD, I am taking that and putting it in a balanced index fund and just I'm not using it because I've not had to between my husband's pension, he lives on it, and then I am taking his Social Security and my Social Security and I have that to do my spending on.

So I just, I have my tax advisor that tells me, you know, you need to be spending it, get it out, do whatever you need to do, take trips and so forth. But my brother who knows all, understands a lot of the marketing and all of that, he says leave it there. And of course, over the last few months, I've not even looked at, I'm scared to see what I have lost on this. Yeah, yeah.

Well, a couple of thoughts here, Madeline, I appreciate that background. Number one is, you know, I certainly understand what you're saying about the headwinds that we have the challenges we have in this country economically and otherwise with regard to some policy decisions that were made. Certainly you're right on with the inflation that we have, although I think it peaked last month, and we're, we've already seen evidence that it's starting to come down. It's going to be a slow decline, and it's going to be at an elevated level for some time. The market and anticipation of that inflation reverting closer to what our target is, has already responded very positively. I think we could have another down leg in the market here if we were to slip into a recession, I think because of the strong labor market. And a few other things, we still see that this economy is very strong.

But I agree with you, we have some some challenges, namely the spending that we've done and the debt that we've run up in this country, that ultimately we're going to have to deal with. With regard to how you should approach this, I still think, especially in light of inflation, Madeline, with any money that you don't need, I would keep it invested. I think that's the very best way for you to overcome the effects of inflation and keep this money growing. I mean, you can see what happened, you know, folks that when the market was down 20% just scrambled and pulled it out and went to cash. You know, they've missed about half or more of that recovery in this point.

Now, again, it could turn down again. But what we know is based on history, the market will recover well before the economy recovers. And so it's not a time to go to cash. In my view, I think investing with a properly diversified portfolio is the best way to go in the future. So I'd start with your spending plan and determine how much money you need. And then anything that you don't need, I wouldn't be pulling it out and putting it in cash or a lockbox or anything like that.

I'd leave it invested in a balanced portfolio that's appropriate for your age and risk tolerance. And then with your RMDs, obviously, you've got to get that money out. And if you don't need it, you could just kind of shore up your emergency fund. Another option to look at, Madeline, would be to use what's called a qualified charitable distribution. So you can satisfy that required minimum by sending it directly to your church or a charity. And if you were going to do some giving out of cash, perhaps instead of the cash, you hold on to the cash and just do the giving directly out of your IRA to satisfy that required minimum. The ministry or your church gets the full amount. You don't recognize it as income, which is a blessing to them.

You satisfy the RMD. And then if you didn't need the money anyway, then, you know, you're all things are equal at that point. If you did need the money, then you could backfill by pulling it out of savings instead of making that gift out of cash. So I think I would stay invested, especially if you don't need the money. I'd leave it right there. I would look at your statements.

I'd be talking to your adviser about your investment plan, but I would consider that qualified charitable distribution as one option. We appreciate your call today. We'll ask the Lord to give you some wisdom as you make these decisions.

And may God bless you. Before we close out the program, which word best describes your spending? Is it impulsive spending or are you intentional? You know, when we think about impulse spending, you know, impulse buying is something that I think in this day and age where we're so preconditioned to be able to having immediate gratification, it's becoming a more difficult decision all the time. The challenge is, if we call it what it is, impulse purchases are hasty decisions. And the Bible warns against those.

Proverbs 21 5 reminds us the plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage, but everyone who is hasty come surely to poverty. So we've got to recognize them for what they are. Secondly, their immediate gratification.

I mentioned that. That means putting the pleasure of the moment ahead of everything else. Well, first John two fifteen warns against that do not love the world nor the things of the world.

If anyone loves the world, the love of the father is not in him. And they often result in buyer's remorse, which is inconvenient, if not financial costly. If as believers, we should seek things that don't result in regret. Matthew thirteen forty four says the kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field when a man found it, he hit it again.

And then in his joy went and sold all that he had and bought that field. So we certainly don't want to have a buyer's remorse. And then finally, impulse purchases, steal money from better causes, better things that we can use that money for. First Timothy six eight says be rich in good works, be generous and ready to share. And when we're spending on impulse purchases, well, it's not available to pursue the things that more align with our values and our priorities. So think about that today and instead be intentional rather than impulsive, making a plan, giving every dollar a name and then controlling the flow of money. And I know you will be thrilled on the other side of that as you see yourself making progress away from impulsive spending. All right.

Now, Carol in Oklahoma, just about 30 seconds left. How can I help you? Property title insurance is being promoted a lot today. We're told that's the fastest growing crime and we have to have separate insurance for a property title. Can you just give us advice on that? And it's not other safety procedures.

Yeah, very good, Carol. Well, this is not something you need. It is being marketed very heavily as what's called title lock insurance. Bottom line is nobody can lock your title.

If you're concerned about it, I'd go down to the county office and ask them to alert you if any changes were made. But if somebody fraudulently changed your title, it's fraud. It wouldn't hold up in court. They couldn't foreclose. They can't take the property. It's just a way for somebody to get a subscription or a service that you're paying them for that's really unnecessary. So I wouldn't be concerned about it. I certainly wouldn't buy property title insurance or title lock insurance. It doesn't do anything you can't do on your own and contact your county deeds office.

Ask them to put an alert if there's any changes made to your deed and that will cover it and there's no cost to it. Carol, thanks for your call today. Well, folks, that's going to do it for us today.

We are about out of time before we head to the end of the program. Let me remind you that Money Wise Live is listener supported, which means we can only do what we do each day because of your generous support. If you'd like to be a financial partner one time, perhaps you want to be a Money Wise patron giving monthly, whatever it is, just head to our website at You can click the donate button. There you will find an online form to give, a toll free number to call our team or the physical mailing address if you'd like to send a check. Again, Just click donate and thanks in advance. MoneyWise Live is a partnership between Moody Radio and Money Wise Media. Let me say thank you to my team today, Amy Rios, producing, Dan Anderson, engineering, Jim Henry, providing research, and Melody on our phones today. Thanks for joining us. We'll look for you next time for another edition of Money Wise Live. Bye-bye.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-09 22:05:55 / 2023-08-09 22:19:25 / 14

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