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God Cares about Money

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore
The Truth Network Radio
March 17, 2021 8:03 am

God Cares about Money

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore

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March 17, 2021 8:03 am

You may not realize it, but the way we manage our finances affects our relationship with the Lord. And that explains why much of God’s Word is devoted to instructing us about how to handle our money and possessions. On the next MoneyWise Live, hosts Rob West and Steve Moore discuss that and more with Compass founder, Howard Dayton. Then Rob and Steve take your calls and answer various financial questions. God cares about money on the next MoneyWise Live at 4pm Eastern/3pm Central on Moody Radio.  

Rob West and Steve Moore
Rob West and Steve Moore
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Rob West and Steve Moore
The Todd Starnes Show
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Rob West and Steve Moore

This is Doug Hastings, Vice President of Moody Radio, and we're thankful for support from our listeners and businesses like United Faith Mortgage. My grandma loves iced tea. It's her thing. So I go to hang with grandma for a bit, and I see she's holding her big plastic cup with her tea, but the cup is literally sitting inside one of grandpa's sports socks. And I'm not making this up.

No one could make this up. Uh, grandma, you okay? Of course, dear.

The sock soaks up the sweat and keeps the tea colder. Hey, it's Ryan from United Faith Mortgage. And as I thought about it later, I thought, that's the kind of mortgage team I want us to be. The kind that's willing to take any step needed to get the job done on your new home purchase, refinance or cash out refinance. And can we help everyone? No, obviously we can't.

But if you know we're willing to use grandpa's sock to keep a drink cold, you'll know we're willing to do whatever it takes to make sure you're taken care of. We are United Faith Mortgage. United Faith Mortgage is a DBA of United Mortgage Corp. 25 Melville Park Road, Melville, New York. Licensed mortgage banker. For all licensing information, go to Corporate NMLS number 1330. Equal housing lender.

Not licensed in Alaska, Hawaii, Georgia, Massachusetts, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Utah. I am the vine and you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit.

Apart from me, you can do nothing. John 15-5 isn't a verse you'd normally apply to money, but how we handle our finances truly affects our relationship with God. Today host Rob West discusses that and more with Compass founder Howard Dayton. Then it's your calls on anything financial at 800-525-7000.

I'm Steve Moore. Yes, God cares about money, your money and you. That's next on MoneyWise Live. Well, Rob, our friend Howard Dayton is back with us today to talk about how God views money from his book, Money and Marriage, God's Way. Well, and as you know, Steve Moore, he is one of our favorites and so is that book. Howard, great to have you back with us. Wonderful to be with you, Rob. Just wonderful. This idea, Howard, that God is very interested in how we handle money and possessions, no doubt explains why so much of his word is devoted to it.

Talk to us about that. When my former business partner, Jim Seneff, asked me to join him in a study of the Bible to find out what God said about handling money, I have to admit it. I was clueless. I had no idea that the Bible said so much about money. Or really, that it was so important to the Lord, and certainly I had no inkling that learning what he said about it was going to radically change my life, my marriage, and I would say this, all for the better, Rob. We were just astonished to discover the Bible contains 2,350 verses dealing with money and possessions, and I think that God said so much about it for two basic reasons. First, I discovered totally by accident, every time I applied one of these financial truths from the Bible, I noticed it also improved my relationship with Jesus Christ.

I grew closer to him. It was something more than just dollars and cents. It had a direct application to my daily walk with the Savior.

And in Matthew 25, Jesus tells us a parable that really illustrates this dynamic. A master entrusted some money to three servants, and then he went away on a trip. When he returned, he told the two servants who had handled money wisely, Well done, good and faithful servant.

You were faithful with a few things. I'll put you in charge of many things. Enter into the joy of your master.

Exactly, Rob. The last part of that verse, enter into the joy of your master. Frankly, I hadn't realized that how I handled money could have such a significant impact on the intimacy of my relationship with Christ. If I handled it his way, it would help me know the Lord better.

If I didn't, on the other hand, it would damage that relationship. And really, there's nothing on this planet that's more important than knowing Christ well and experiencing his joy. And then the second reason the Lord said so much about money is that he wanted to equip us to be smart with our money. He realizes that all of us will have financial challenges, and because he loves us so much, he wanted to equip us to manage it really well. Howard, we've got so much to unpack here, including our roles and responsibilities related to managing money. But I want to talk for a moment about this idea of being in an intimate relationship with the Father and the connection with our money. You talk at Compass Finances God's Way a lot about this idea of financial discipleship, which is really a different idea related to our money than we often think about. Explain that for us.

We've got just about a minute before our break. Sure thing, Rob. Well, the good news is Scripture has this body of 2,350 verses dealing with money, and it's practical. It allows us to get our financial house in order. But as I said, his real heart is for us to know him better. And he uses money, something we all will deal with every single day, as a tool to help us accomplish just that. When we do it his way, trusting him out of obedience, the benefit is not only financial stability, but a closer relationship with Christ.

Love it. Author and teacher Howard Dayton with us today. He's the founder of Compass Finances God's Way. He's written a whole bunch of books about money and your relationship to it and your relationship to God. It's all intertwined.

We'll find out more when we return. This is MoneyWise Live. Your calls later.

800-525-7000. And welcome back to MoneyWise Live today. Why God cares about your money and why you should care about it and him as well. Howard, just before the break, we were talking about the 2,350 verses dealing with how we should handle money and possessions and why that's on God's heart.

Ultimately, it's about drawing us into a more intimate relationship with him. But it also speaks to not only the responsibilities we have as steward of God's resources, but our roles, our respective roles in managing money. So help us understand a proper view of our role in light of Scripture.

Sure thing, Rob. The Bible reveals a clear division of responsibilities in the handling of our money. Simply put, God has certain responsibilities and he's given others to us.

And I think that much of the frustration we experience in our finances simply comes from not realizing which responsibility are ours and which are not. And when you look at the Scriptures, the primary responsibility for the Lord is he owns all of our stuff. He owns everything. Psalm 24 one tells us the earth is the Lord's and everything in it. And that means we just can't give our tithe 10% and think we can spend the other 90% any way we'd like. If God's the owner of everything, I mean, think about that. That means we have to handle it all in a way that pleases him.

And frankly, this is kind of difficult to get our arms around for a lot of people. I mean, just think about it. Everyone around us, our neighbors, the media, even the law say that we own our possessions. But the Bible really reveals the truth. God is the owner. Oh, and it's so big, Howard. We can't gloss over it. As you said, you know, when we think about this, it means we have a high calling. I mean, we're the caretaker or manager of the creator of the universe's resources. That's a big deal, isn't it? It's a lot bigger than us owning it, I can tell you that. I mean, you're absolutely right, Rob. I mean, this is an incredible responsibility that he's given us.

Yeah. Now, we talk a lot about stewardship on this program. And, you know, once we give our lives to Christ, the rest is about stewardship, not only of our resources, but our time and stewards of God's word and relationships. But let's talk about this role of steward in the financial context.

What are the implications of that? Well, a steward is simply a manager of someone else's stuff. And we're to be the managers of whatever the Lord entrusts to us, Rob. And I love what 1 Corinthians 4, verse 2 tells us. It is required in stewards, that's us, that one be found faithful.

And that is the key. And if you don't know what God says about how to be faithful in handling money, just imagine with me. Suppose you bought a complicated piece of machinery. How would you learn how to operate it?

Well, you'd start by studying the manufacturer's manual. And handling money God's way is no different. We need to examine the creator's manual, the Bible, to find out what he wants us to do in handling his possessions.

Right. And, you know, God's wisdom, which comes from his word, applies no matter how much we have, Howard, right? I mean, this could be if we have an abundance or if we're dealing with minimal means.

You're right on, Rob. God wants us to be faithful regardless of how much we have. In fact, in Luke 16, 10, Jesus said, he who's faithful in a very little thing is also faithful in much. You know, if we're faithful with small financial matters, God knows he can trust you with larger ones. I love what missionary statesman Hudson Taylor said. Small things are small things, but faithfulness with a small thing is a big thing.

Well, I love that idea. And it really does underscore the responsibility we have. Faithfulness is about being consistent over a long period of time.

And it is in the small things which amount to big things over a lifetime. But no doubt, Howard, some people are out there listening right now and they're thinking, I just can't do it. You know, every time I try to be that faithful steward of God's money, I fail and I'm frustrated.

What counsel would you have for them? I totally understand. They're frustrated by the inability to solve their financial problems because they seem impossible. And sometimes they are impossible. It can't be done without God's help. You know, remember what our job is. It's simply to make a genuine effort, no matter how small it appears, and then leave the results to God. I love what the Lord says in Proverbs 21, 5. Steady plotting brings prosperity. I mean, isn't that great? I love it.

It's just like our God. The secret is steady plotting, Rob. Moving ahead step by step, even if at first you're just taking those small steps. Don't be discouraged. Don't give up. Take a step forward, even if it's a baby step. The fact is our Heavenly Father takes joy over our first steps of faith every bit as much as a new dad or mom takes joy in their little ones first steps.

Yeah, that's exactly right. And it can seem overwhelming, but we need to press on. Let's describe what that looks like, Howard, and get practical here. You know, when we talk about being faithful with 100% of what the Lord gives us, what does that look like? Well, unfortunately, Rob, most Christians have been taught how to handle only 10% of their income God's way, the area of giving. And although giving is crucial, so is the other 90%, which most people have learned to handle from the world's perspective. And since most people have not been equipped to handle the 100% of their money God's way, unfortunately, this leads to bad financial decisions, painful consequences. But there's really good news. We don't have to wonder.

We don't have to guess. All the basics about handling money are found in the Scriptures. Think of it this way. Just as your hand has five fingers, if you give some, save some, get out of debt with some, spend some, you'll always have some.

Those are the five keys. And we thank Ron Blue for that. Yeah, we sure do. I know, though, it's not by accident, Howard, that give some was the first in your list. And that runs counter to the way most people approach their finances.

They might wait and see what's left over to decide whether to give. What does the Bible teach us about that? Well, it's all about our attitude, Rob. When I realize the importance of giving with an attitude with love, it completely revolutionized my giving. In 1 Corinthians 13, Paul writes, If I give all my possessions to feed the poor, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.

I mean, think about it. It's hard to imagine anything more admirable than giving everything to the poor. But if we do it without love, it's of no benefit to us. And for years, I couldn't figure out how to consistently give out of a heart of love. Then it dawned on me the only way to do it is to give our gifts first to the Lord Himself. And because He's our Creator and Savior, we can express our gratitude and love by giving to Him. And whenever we give, we should remind ourselves that we're giving our gift to the Lord Jesus Himself.

That's so important. You know, giving is going back to our friend Ron Blue says, breaks the power or the grip of money over our lives. And that's clearly what we all want, because we want to get to the place, Howard, that you started with today. And that is where we can hear the words, enter in to the joy of your master. Howard, so thankful for you, my friend, your friendship and your participation on the program today. Lord bless you, sir. Thank you, Rob. My joy. Howard Dayton, the author of Money and Marriage God's Way and Your Money Counts.

You'll find those books and more wherever you buy your books online. We'll be right back. And we're back with you on MoneyWise Live. That guy over there, the one answering your questions, he's Rob West. I'm Steve Moore.

And we'd love to chat with you today. When you dial 800-525-7000, 800-525-7000, here's a great verse to hide in your heart. Matthew 621. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. So your heart follows your money. And that's, well, again, something to be aware of, something to be wary of.

Because we want our heart only to be following God, nothing here on earth, that's for certain. 800-525-7000. Let's begin, Rob.

Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Ryan, what's on your mind today? Hi, guys. Thanks for taking my call.

Yes. I wanted to get an idea from you guys on how to approach my family's finances. So we've been blessed to just recently be debt-free from my student debt. So currently we just have a mortgage and we're a one-income family with two little boys and we have a third on the way. And we have the finances to cover basically the monthly bills and have an excess. We currently do have an emergency fund set up. So we're just trying to figure out with that excess, do we invest it into our home because the market's going so crazy right now? Or do we keep building our retirement or basically invest it?

What would you guys recommend? Yeah. Wow. Well, Ryan, you are blessed. The Lord obviously has blessed you with two children, a third on the way. That's exciting. You're clearly following his principles when it comes to managing the money that he's entrusted to you.

That's phenomenal. And I love that you're trying to be intentional looking forward as to how you want to align your spending, your allocation of God's money with your values, what's most important to you. You know, this goes back to what Steve just said a moment ago, and that is our heart follows our money. So at its core, money issues are heart issues. And we realize that the way we allocate our money is the clearest indicator into what's most important to us, what we value. And the question is, are we happy with the story that our money tells about what we value most?

And I suspect you are because you're doing the right things. But we also recognize this other principle is true that applies to what you're talking about, and that is the longer term the perspective, the better the decision today. And so if you can look out as you're doing and say, where are we going as a family, as Christ followers, you know, as a couple, but also as a family, including our children?

And how can our money as a tool be reflective of that? When we look out a long way, then it helps us make a better decision today because you may decide, you know what, we need to dial back certain things. We may need to sacrifice in the short run so we can accomplish everything we want to in the long run. You know, at the end of the day, lifestyle is often going to be that thing that derails you from accomplishing what's most important to you, beginning with your giving. I would make sure that you put that in the plan first, not last. Often we deal with living expenses first, and that results in an unending list of needs and wants, and we never get to the other things like giving and saving.

I do your giving first. Of course, you've got to factor in what taxes. I would then look at what debt you have, and I'm delighted to hear it sounds like your mortgage is the only debt that's remaining. And then you'll want to figure out what savings goals you have and then live on the rest to the best of your ability. In terms of the priority order of these, you know, you asked about retirement, you asked about investing along with that and paying down the mortgage.

You know, my belief is this. I would like for you at a minimum to be assuming your emergency fund is there, and you said that it is, assuming you're giving at the level you're happy with right now. You can increase that as you go.

That's great. In terms of investing more for retirement versus paying down debt, I want to make sure at a minimum you're on track to pay off your mortgage when you reach retirement age, if not sooner. I would be one of those that say there's great flexibility and peace of mind that comes with paying off your mortgage in full. And let's not listen to those that would say, yeah, but it's a tax deduction and yeah, that money could be working for you.

You know, I think it's a great thing to be completely unencumbered, including your home. But I don't want you to forsake the ability to put your money away and compound it at an appropriate level right now in exchange for, you know, going too fast and paying off that mortgage. So I guess the bottom line is if you were already saving 10 to 15 percent of your household income toward retirement all in, then I would be happy with that. And I would say at that point, go ahead and start accelerating the payoff of the mortgage. If not, I'd probably get to that 15 percent level before you put meaningful dollars over and above the monthly payment. Now, I've thrown a lot at you here, Ryan.

Tell me your thoughts. The only question I would have off of that is with because we just recently, as I had said, I don't think I said it over the air, but we were young yet. My wife and I are still twenty nine. And we just a week or two ago just paid off the student debt. So we don't want to get used to having that money. So we want to keep rolling that over. And I didn't know with that finances. Of course, we would love to give more.

But in my opinion, this is always I'm up for hearing. But we we want to make sure that we're as debt free as we can be before we start giving above and beyond so that we're wise and not not indebted to someone else. So I didn't know what you would say for possibly rolling over and not getting used to having that that student debt money in our bank account. We'd rather just move forward with something else on it.

Yeah. But the only other day you have is your mortgage, correct? Yeah, that's that's the only thing no car debt or anything else.

Well, I hear what you're saying and I can appreciate it. And I love the idea regardless of what you decide to do with this, whether it's increasing your giving, increasing your retirement contributions or increasing the amount going over and above the monthly payment to your mortgage direct to principal. In either case, I'd love for you to automate that so that you don't see this extra money in your checking account and then it could get eaten up in additional lifestyle spending. So regardless of where you come down, let's automate it so it happens kind of right out of the gate behind the scenes.

You're not even seeing it. The only thing I would say with regard to giving versus the mortgage to consider is I hear you. And if you have a conviction around that, then go with your conviction and pray through it. The problem is the mortgage is going to take a long time to pay off. And I would hate for you to miss an opportunity to follow the leading of the Lord right now in increased giving with regard to versus the mortgage if that's going to take another 20 years.

So just pray through that. And I'm confident you'll make the right choice. Hey, Ryan, we have like 10 seconds here. How did you guys pay off your student loans?

Anything special or just you just got after it as best you could? I'll tell you what, let's talk a little bit about that later. We have to hit a break. We'll be right back.

Welcome back. This is Money Wise Live. We're taking your calls on anything financial today. Questions, comments, anything you want to share or talk about financially related would be preferable. Give us a call.

800-525-7000. Our last caller, I asked him a question and then we had to hit a break. But we were talking to him during the break, Rob, and he mentioned to us that he and his wife had both paid off their student loans.

They had tried very, very hard. I asked him how they actually did that. He said, well, we would get together monthly. We would communicate about it. We would look at everything and then we would cut everything.

And they got to the point where they were buying 1000 to 2000 dollar cars and kind of living bare bones. But they were of the same mind. And when you're of the same mind and you have the same long term goals, that makes it that much easier.

Well, that's exactly right, because when you establish your values and that's just another way of saying your convictions, your belief system, that then translates into your behavior. But if you can land on that as a couple and then as they did practically, you know, former host of this program, who was our guest earlier in the program, Howard Dayton says you should have a weekly money date. Well, that's essentially what Ryan was doing. He and his wife would sit down weekly during their money date and say, OK, honey, what are we going to do this week?

How are we going to keep spending in check so we can get more money going in the right places so we can pay off those student loans? And, man, that is the right habit to establish. Yeah, we love that. So, again, if you have any thoughts in that in that regard, if something has worked really well for you in upcoming programs, we're going to be asking you to share that information.

We'd appreciate that. 800-525-7000 Springfield, Illinois. Sue, how can we help you?

Hello. I do need some information on I bought a house about three years ago and they've stuck PMI insurance on it, which I've never missed a payment. So I come out of my account and I want to know if I should increase the payment on the house or just pay on the on the principal.

Yeah. Is this a conventional loan, Sue? Do you know or is it FHA? I was a first time buyer.

OK. All right. Yeah, it's probably an FHA loan. You're going to want to know that, though, if it's a conventional loan.

You can actually get rid of the private mortgage insurance when the equity in your home reaches 20 percent of the outstanding amount of the mortgage. So that could come through appreciation that could come through retiring the principal by sending just your regular payment or amount above that directly to principal or both. You know, you generally have to pay for an appraisal to confirm that before the lender will drop the PMI. And you'll want to make sure that they approve of the appraiser before going ahead. You certainly wouldn't want to spend the money to do that if you didn't you weren't sure they were going to accept it.

But you can get a ballpark idea of the value at something like Zillow dot com or an other online home value assessment site. If it shows you have the 20 percent equity, you can approach the lender about the process of getting that PMI dropped. But if it's an FHA loan, it's going to require PMI. So the only way to get rid of that would be refinancing. And you'd want to make sure that the refinance makes sense, meaning you can save at least a percent on the interest rate that you're going to stay in that home for at least five to seven years. So essentially you could recoup the cost of the refinance, which can be one to two percent of the value of the mortgage. So I think that's really the first step. We certainly want to get rid of PMI.

It doesn't do anything for you. It's all for the benefit of the lender. But it's obviously an added expense you'd want to drop as soon as you can. Does that make sense to you? Yeah, because when I bought the house and signed anything, he always added PMI insurance.

I said, what? Well, you can get rid of it within a year. Well, then when I called, I said, oh, no, you can't get rid of it within a year. But my income is I have my income until long term living. So I always have a house payment. And that's the only thing I owe is on my house.

That's right, except for my mortgage. OK, excellent. Well, congratulations on that.

Keep up the good work. And I'd look into this further. It could be that you're a candidate for a refi.

And if so, that would be the other way to get rid of it. But we certainly don't want you to do that unless it makes sense. Sue, God bless you. Thank you so much for that.

Let's go down to Southern Florida, WKES, our station on the southwest side of things. And Ora, thank you for your patience. How can we help? Thank you for taking my call. Yes, I appreciate it. And thank you guys for really giving us knowledge, you know, to know more about finance. What I need to ask is when purchasing a new car, say you're thinking about purchasing a car. What are some of the hidden fees, you know, that you look out for on and the fees that are legitimate that you cannot buy? Yes, it's a great question.

And Ora, thank you for your kind remarks. Couple of things. Three fees you will always have to pay when you're buying a new car would be a vehicle registration fee. You'll have to pay sales tax and then you'll have to pay a dock fee. And that's for drawing up the paperwork for the sale. But there are often extra fees that you can try to avoid. And if they're there, you would want to try to negotiate them away to the best of your ability. And that would be an advertising fee that may be a few hundred dollars to recoup the advertising campaign costs. I just say no to that one delivery and prep fees.

You can try to contest those. That's to prepare the car for sale. You may see rust proofing, paint sealing, fabric protection, you know, things like that. Certainly floor mats, extended warranties. Those are other things they're going to try to sell you.

You know, I would pass on those. You know, today's cars are built to withstand corrosive weather and road conditions, so I don't really think they need additional treatment. You know, when we bought our last car, they offered to do some Scotchgard on the seats for several hundred dollars.

Well, you can buy it for ten dollars on Amazon and do it yourself. You know, extended warranties studies show, we talked about this just the other day, that more often than not, you won't get your money's worth out of them. So instead, just make sure you fully fund your emergency fund for needed repairs. So I would just be on your guard against all of those types of additional fees and then recognize there are a few of them, the three that I mentioned at the top, that you will always have to pay.

That's right. And also beware of things like window etching, nitrogen in your tires, believe it or not, wheel locks, door molding, all that can add up. And all of those things, if you need them at all, like nitrogen in your tires, more than likely you don't. But those other things can be purchased off site from the dealer at an auto parts store. And sometimes they'll even apply those kinds of things for you.

So much cheaper if you decide you need them, but don't buy them from the dealer. No, no reason to be nasty or rude about it. Just say no, no, no and no. And we're glad you called today. Or we wish you the best.

Thanks so much. Let's see. We have to pause here for a break. Rob, what about, what about the latest updates when it comes to our, what am I looking for here? For the app maybe?

I'm drawing a blank here. The app. Yeah. I mean, do we want to say no, no, no, no to the app? Oh, no. Is that something we might want to use or need?

Yes, yes, and yes, absolutely. So the brand new MoneyWise app is ready for you to download as we speak. So head over to your app store, whether that's the Apple App Store, the Google Play Store, it's there in both. And what you will find is, first of all, the MoneyWise community will be waiting for you in our community tab. You can post questions and comments, be encouraged by one another.

And I even jump in there from time to time. Our Discover tab has the best content and biblical finance from all the leading voices in one place. And oh, don't forget the digital envelope system.

It's the best I've ever used. There you go. 800-525-7000. We'll be right back. Welcome back to MoneyWise Live. I'm Rob West. All right, we're going to have our family meeting part two.

What is that you ask? Well, if you were here yesterday, then you know what I'm talking about. If not, I'll fill you in. So I've asked Steve to step out during this final segment of the broadcast today so I could tell you something that's coming up here in the next couple of weeks. Steve Moore, I believe, with all of my heart, is the best co-host in Christian Radio. He's a great personal friend and has been really a fixture of this radio broadcast for decades, going all the way back to Larry Burkett. I know you love him.

You tell us that daily. And he has been an instrumental part of what we have done here for a long time. But he approached me well over a year ago and said, Rob, I think my role as co-host is done, meaning I want to transition a bit more of my time toward my family, Marsha, my wife, and my grandkids and have a little more flexibility to travel and see what the Lord has in store for me and not be tied to a daily radio broadcast.

And I certainly understand that. I encouraged him to stay as long as he could and felt like the Lord wanted him here, but that time has come. In fact, Steve will retire as co-host of MoneyWise and MoneyWise Live in just a couple of weeks. And we're sad about that, but we're also excited about what the Lord has for him in this next season.

And I will tell you with regard to the show, we have some really exciting things planned as we reimagine what MoneyWise Live can look like as we serve you with biblical financial wisdom each day. Now, why am I telling you this now? Today is not his last day. Because we have an opportunity for you to celebrate Steve. In fact, I'm going to stay after the broadcast today.

The team is going to stay as well. And we want to give you an opportunity to be able to celebrate Steve on the air. We're going to record these.

You will not be going over the air. We're going to be recording them after the show and give you just a chance to express how much Steve means to you, how he's been a source of encouragement and laughter over the years. So right now, anybody who would like to, we've got about eight lines open. If you call 800-525-7000, the team is going to put you on hold. And then as soon as the broadcast ends, we're going to give you an opportunity to express your sentiments to Steve Moore. So call right now.

As soon as the lines are full, I'll let you know. But here's the number 800-525-7000 if you want to be able to share a word about the impact Steve has made in your life. All right. Let's go back to the phones.

We're going to head to the Twin Lakes area. And Mike, welcome to the broadcast. Hi.

Thank you. I'm super excited to call in because I called in roughly four years ago. My wife and I had sat down. We had seventy five thousand dollars in student loan debt.

I was just looking for what I can do. And you guys encouraged me to get a budget, to stick to it, to live within our means and just put everything that we had towards our student loan. And today I made my final student loan payment. Come on. Yeah. Super excited.

Praise God. That's incredible. So literally today you made the final payment.

About four hours ago. Oh, Mike, that is amazing. God has provided for us, you know, at every turn. It hasn't been easy, but he's been faithful. And I just wanted to give an encouragement to anybody who feels like they don't see the light. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. And when you get there, it's a great, great feeling.

Yeah. Oh, I can only imagine. So your last student loan payment, you said it was in excess of seventy thousand dollars. You did that over four years, which couldn't have been easy. What might you share with our listeners with regard to how you did that?

What did that look like practically? Practically, like I call it earlier, you got to sit down with your spouse and make some tough decisions on what you can do each and every month. And for us, that was we were raising three kids.

And that meant, you know, not doing things that we wanted to do personally, because again, our financial goal was to be out of debt. Yeah, incredible. Well, I'm sure that feels great. And I know the Lord is honored by you following his principles, being diligent.

And now you have the freedom and flexibility that comes from having that debt completely eradicated. And even beyond that, those in our listening audience, Mike, have been encouraged by your testimony today. So we appreciate you calling today. Hey, I'd love to send you a copy of the Stewardship Bible just to encourage you. This is a beautiful Bible that we put together with our friends at the American Bible Society.

Every passage on money is highlighted in green. And I'd love to send it to you as our gift, just to say a way of saying congratulations for all of your hard work. So you stay on the line. We'll get your information and get that right out to you. And Mike, God bless you. We appreciate you calling. All right. Hey, let's continue to move along here.

We're going to head to Inverness, Florida, and Carol calling from WHGN. You're on MoneyWise Live. Hi. You have to forgive me for talking. I can't speak very good.

I had four strokes in December. And I have a fixed income and I owed $10,000. So I think you were saying something about giving 100% to God.

And I'm living on minimal stuff to begin with. Am I correct when you said that? That I have to give, that I should give 100% even though I'm on a fixed income? Yeah. Well, Carol, first of all, thank you for calling.

I'm so glad that you did. No, not necessarily giving 100%, but let's talk about that for a moment, because here's the thing. You know, when we search the Scriptures, Carol, no matter how much God has entrusted to us, however little or however much, we see that, first of all, God wants to be in relationship with us. He invites us to come into a relationship with him through faith by way of his son Jesus' death on the cross on our behalf. The Bible says in Ephesians, for it's by grace we've been saved through faith, and this is not of our own doing. It's a gift that God extends to us freely, not of works, so that no one can boast. We can't take credit for it because there's nothing we can do to earn it or deserve it. It's a gift. So out of God's generosity, one of the themes in the Bible, one of the ideas is that as an overflow of our gratitude to God for what he did by sending his son to pay the penalty for our sin that we all have, you and I and everyone listening, we give back.

We allow as an act of worship that gratitude to be expressed in part through our generosity, our taking a portion of what God entrusts to us and sharing it with others in need in our local church. So clearly part of what God gives us we're to live on, and it sounds like you're on a limited, fixed income. You've made that clear. And so clearly you need to provide for yourself. That's why God has brought this provision into your life. You need to keep the bills paid and food on the table and the utilities paid and a roof over your head. But the question is, what portion of that that God has entrusted to you might you allow to be shared with others? And it's not about the money, Carol. God doesn't need our money. He owns it all. The cattle on a thousand hills, the Bible tells us, is already his. He wants our hearts, and he wants us to participate in his activity because here's the secret.

When we give, we are the recipient of the joy just as much as the receiver. Let me ask you this. Have you ever come to a place, Carol, where you've placed your trust in Jesus as your Lord and Savior? No, I haven't.

No, I haven't. I just feel like that I don't know why I can't trust in him. I don't know why. But now I can't do anything. I can't drive. I can't do anything because of I'm strong. So I can't even go to church. And I'm sorry that I didn't give my heart before.

I don't know what's wrong with me, why I can't do it. Well, Carol, let me tell you, you are a precious creation created by a Heavenly Father who loves you dearly and has created you for a purpose. And he wants you. He doesn't want anything you can do for him.

He wants you. And he loves you more than you could ever imagine. And he's right there with you, even in the midst of these circumstances that you find yourself in. So here's what we all have to do. We can all know Christ and have a relationship with the Father, a growing relationship with Jesus. We have to first acknowledge that we're sinners.

We all are. We've all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. We have to recognize we all deserve death as the penalty for that sin. But we have to understand that Christ died for our sins and rose again.

That's the good news. God demonstrated his love for us, even though we were sinners and Christ died for us. And then we have to put our trust in Christ as our Savior. You need to do that. I need to do that. We all need to do that. And when we do that, we're reconciled to the Father and we can have a relationship with Jesus.

And then we need to begin to grow in that by fellowshipping with other believers, even if that's virtually and online or whatever that is, and begin to study God's Word. So here's what I want you to do. I want you to call this number. I want you to call 888-NEED-HIM. 888-NEED-HIM is the number I want you to call.

Or if you'd rather do it online and you have a computer, you could go to They're going to walk you through what I just explained and pray with you. And you can know for certain today that you're going to spend eternity in heaven with the Father when you place your trust in Jesus.

So if anybody else asks you that question, you can say, yes, absolutely. Jesus is my Lord and Savior. 888-NEED-HIM. I also want you to hold the line because we're going to send you a copy of God's Word that I'd like for you to begin to study as well. And I'm going to pray for you just as we close today. Father, thank you for this divine appointment, this conversation we've had with Carol today. Lord, we want her to know how much you love her, be near to her. Thank you that you sent your son to die for her and for all of us. And we tell you today, we trust you for her provision and protection in the days ahead. And we ask all this in Christ's name. Amen.

Well, folks, that's what it's all about, knowing Jesus and then being good stewards of his resources. Hey, we'll look forward to having you back with us tomorrow. If you still want to share a word about Steve Moore, you can do that by calling 800-525-7000. MoneyWise Live is a partnership between Moody Radio and MoneyWise Media. Come back and join us tomorrow, will you? God bless you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-14 13:28:15 / 2023-12-14 13:45:25 / 17

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