All of your relationships — with spouse, family and friends — are important, but temporary. Your only eternal relationship is with God. We need the bonds of family and friends to help us thrive in this world — but they pale to the significance of your relationship with the Lord. Today Rob West gives some practical ways you can draw closer to God. This is Faith and Finance -biblical wisdom for your financial journey.
- You’re thinking, “What’s my relationship with God have to do with finances?” - because this is a show about money, right?
- Yes, but it’s also about our faith, and for Christians, faith and our finances have everything to do with our relationship with God, and the Bible gives us three principles to connect the dots.
- First — God created everything and therefore He owns everything. Colossians 1:16 reads, “For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities — all things were created through him and for him.”
- Second — God gave us everything we possess. James 1:17 tells us, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” So God owns everything, but He’s given us resources to use temporarily as his stewards.
- Last — God is not distant and detached. He wants a close relationship with you. James 4:8 reads, “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” We draw near to God by obediently following His law. With over 2,300 verses in Scripture about money and possessions, God has made his desire quite clear. He wants us to manage money according to His principles.
- Our friend Howard Dayton points out that wisely managing money and the other resources God has blessed us with deepens our fellowship with Christ. Having a close relationship with Jesus is another way to describe what the Bible calls “true riches.” In Luke 16:11, Jesus indicates that God uses money as a test. He says, “If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches?”
- Jesus is saying that how you handle money affects your spiritual life. If you manage it well — according to biblical principles — you’ll naturally grow closer to Christ. If not, your fellowship with the Lord suffers.
- So biblical money management is a very practical way to improve your spiritual life, but sometimes things get in the way of that. There are two kinds of disobedience that keep us from handling money God’s way and growing closer to Him.
- The first is passive. It’s just plain laziness. Some people don’t want to take the time to organize their finances - make a budget and track their spending. Doing those things might only take a few hours a month. Still, it’s just too much to bother with.
- Worse, that same person will spend more time than that watching TV every night. As a result, intimacy with God suffers.
- Another person has a different obstacle to growing closer to God. It’s an active or willful disobedience. For that person, money and possessions compete with Christ.
- Jesus tells us clearly how that will turn out. In Matthew 6:24 He says, “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”
- Then there are people who think they can surrender every part of their lives to Christ except money. They might be quite good at making money, paying their bills on time, saving and investing — but they refuse to give Christ lordship over their finances — to follow all of the Bible’s teachings.
- Maybe they stumble over tithing, or other giving to God’s Kingdom. They have the resources, but they don’t want to do it. Again, their intimacy with Christ suffers.
- Finally, there’s the person who’s not following biblical financial principles but thinks his relationship with the Lord is just fine. To him we might say, “What you don’t know will hurt you. What are you missing out on? You might think finances aren’t interfering with your relationship with God — but how would you know?
- If that’s you, commit to the Lord in earnest prayer and then follow through managing your money and possessions His way. You’ll find what you need to get started by downloading the free FaithFi app. It will not only give you three ways to set up your budget based on the envelope system. It also has the best Christian financial content out there, to help you grow closer to God by following His principles.
- Do that for 3 months and see if your relationship with the Lord is more intimate — if you feel His presence more fully in your life and affairs. And then report back. We’d love to hear how it’s working for you!
Next, Rob answers these questions at 800-525-7000 or via email at askrob@FaithFi.com:
- Can you combine and contribute to two old 401ks from previous employers, if your current employer doesn't offer a 401k, and can you also contribute to a Roth IRA?
- Are CDs offered by banks covered by FDIC insurance and can you roll an IRA into them?
- If you and your wife are finally empty nesters and trying to catch up on retirement savings after years of being in debt, how can you recover from the hit your retirement accounts took in 2022 if you plan to work for 8 to 10 more years?
- What should you do with $100,000 in the bank if you are 50 and have $45,000 in a 401k and your wife is 60 and just starting her retirement savings?
- What's a simple budget template suitable for your 30 year old son who has a low income but is getting serious about his finances? (Rob referred the caller to the FaithFi App).
- How do you know if you need an trust instead of a will, and what's the difference between a trust and a TOD designation?
Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Also, visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community, and even download the free FaithFi app.