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– Well guys, let’s go ahead and get started. We will jump in with Marc Hall. Truly appreciate Marc being part of this webinar. As a part of our ministry, one of the things we like to do is offer resources and tools from various backgrounds, various issues that we get to deal with. And when Marc and I first talked, it sounded like what Marc’s ministry is really geared towards and based on centered very practical. And that’s what we gravitate towards as guys of course, are tools that are useful and practical. And I really appreciate Marc’s heart. Marc is gonna tell you a little bit more about himself and his family and his ministry, but I just wanna let you guys know Marc, one of the resources that he’s put together, it really shoots for the heart of a man not just from a money aspect, but it really shoots for having a kingdom focus. And I truly appreciate that. And so Marc, man, it’s so good to have you, look forward to hearing from you not just about money but about how we can honor God as men of God and look forward to hearing more about you and your family. So man, I’m gonna let you take it and you just go with it, all right?
– That is fantastic, man. Larry, it’s so great to meet with you guys on this program and on this video. You got an exactly right? If it’s not practical, you can’t use it. You have to apply the knowledge. It’s great to know stuff, but if we’re not actually using that in growing in our faith and in our spiritual walls, then it’s no good to us at all. So thank you for that introduction. Yes tonight, what I wanna talk about tonight really deals with stewardship as a whole. Not just gas money as a big deal, and is a big part of that that’s what last while we call it tonight, men and money. And so tonight what we’ll talk about is what exactly is biblical stewardship. And sometimes that word stewardship has a negative connotation towards it, but it shouldn’t because it’s something that comes from God and something that God wants us to have a part, a big part of our life and a big part of our spiritual walk. So what is it, what does the Bible even tell us about that? And then why is it important? I’m gonna just answer that with that first thing I said if the Bible talks about it’s probably important, but why is it a part of the normal life? And then the practical part of it, how in the world do I become a better steward? What does that even mean? And we’ll go into some of those principles and some of those things, some of those things that we can do as as man, as husbands, as fathers that we can do to really show that spirit in our lives. And yes, even though we entitled to men and money tonight, I do want to stress, it’s not just about the money and we will talk that. So Larry did say, hey, talk a little bit about me. I wanna get you caught up a little bit about who I am because a lot of you probably don’t know that. And so we go back, this is a very young version of Marc. This is probably about half a life ago. I grew up in Dosan, and actually worked for my hometown, a TV station. My first career was in broadcast journalism. And I worked with WTB Wine in Dosan. And as you can see that topic through I love showing this one especially now that we’ve lost the real home run champion. I love showing this picture and the appreciation that I had, even in my early 20s. This is a 22, 23 year old version. You noticed that dark black hair, that bouffant I’ve got right there, kicking. That was a great day of my life. And these are just some different pictures from my several years that I spent in that profession and doing what I did back then. Those of you from the Wiregrass and they’d be watching this in the Dosan are that’s Alan Roberts, who I worked with the Dean of sports and the Wiregrass for so many years. And then I had the other picture because down here if you work as a young guy in the reporting industry on TV, you’re gonna cover a lot of weekend festivals and fairs and you can get a lot of free hot dogs and things like that. And then I don’t know why I showed that one with that shirt. I guess being a huge Garth Brooks fan back in the day I was just trying to imitate what he wore on stage. I have no idea but the hair and the glasses are definitely impressive, but that was 20 years ago. That’s part of not backward over 20 years ago. Since then, what’s been going on in my life. A lot of girls, a lot of estrogen in the house. And I wish I could see your reaction when I tell you that my girls are 18, six and five years old. That’s right. This fall, we’re actually sending girls to college and to kindergarten. My oldest, Emma, heading off to Auburn University in the fall. I’m very thankful for the university footing the bill for a good part of that. And that is fantastic, but yes I find myself back in T-ball this year of all things. So it is a very interesting year. And if you didn’t think that God had a sense of humor, he definitely does. So over this period of time, over these past few years of my family has grown up my wife, Christian and I have been growing the family. About 10 years ago, I got into the financial services industry, helping folks with retirement planning and with your investment support one case, things like that. And I’m with a company that not only I’ve been so fortunate to meet with a company the past few years that not only allows me to be able to live out my faith and what I do with my clients in a mob business, but it really encourages it. And I’m very involved with an organization called Kingdom Advisors which if you are familiar with stewardship from a biblical standpoint, from a Christian standpoint, the names Larry Burkett and Ron Blue probably come to mind from books or different things back in the day. And I’m gonna tell you right now, if you’re looking for more information and want to learn more to specially Ron’s, “Master your Money” book, I would highly recommend as we go through this today to be able to look at your situation specifically even has a place in there that you can write your own information to follow through the principles and the recommendations he gives there that can become your book and in your families stuff what you’ve got going on. So Ron has become a big influence for me over the past years. I’m involved with the Kingdom Advisors and you see there, the certified kingdom advisor that was the designation that I went through with that organization that Larry and Ron co-founded several years ago for advisors like me who want to be able to effectively lead our clients in a biblical way and biblical principles. And so when it comes to my walk through stewardship, what I found along the way is that I keep coming back to a definition that Ron actually uses. And I love this one because it shows how it’s all encompassing. It’s not just a money thing. Ron says biblical stewardship is the use of God-given resources such as time, talent, treasure, truth, and relationships for the accomplishment of God-given goals and objectives. Now look at them, the God given resources, God given resources include every gift that God gives to me. It’s not just about money. As a matter of fact, that list doesn’t even talk about money to a large extent, but every minute of your day, every day of the year that you are on earth, every talent, every gift every piece of knowledge, your relationships, your network the people you know, the things you know, as a Christian what our goal should be is to build a stewardship mindset, where it’s not just about putting a few extra dollars in the offering plate. That’s fine and good, but that’s not what I’m looking for with a message that I wanna convey to you as to what the Bible is teaching us. What I want you to do is to be able to say, you know what? There might be some places in my life where I’m not really sure fine, but the Bible says where I need to grow well stewardship mindset so that everything I’m thinking about, everything that I do is wrapped around the center of what would God have me do with that? How can I give back in every area of my life and not just to give back what I’ve been given but to do so with gratitude. Now, I’ll tell you I’m a member at Ridgecrest Baptist Church in Dosan, and last year pre-COVID, we started a discipleship class and it was supposed to be a 10 week class to get through. We only got three, four weeks of that on the basics of biblical stewardship. And I’m gonna tell you what happened during that time and really what has spawned both a book that I’ve written and what I’m doing here with this ministry is that God opened my eyes to what people were really experiencing at home when they heard God’s word about stewardship. And when they able to start focusing on, you know what? There are some places in my life where the Holy spirit has really given me conviction. And I had folks, even in the past few weeks, we only got three, four weeks of those 10 weeks when everything was shut down last March. I still had folks after the first of the year that were in those classes, those first four weeks coming up to me and telling me about things I had been working on, about ways that their financial situation had gotten better whether our walk with Christ had gotten better because they were taking their responsibilities as a steward seriously. And so I just wanna ask, if you’re watching this are you searching for one of these things or a myriad of these things? Are you searching for contentment in your life, for peace, for joy, competence, for generosity. We’ll use money, bad habits, will you shift about anything in search of these? And we’ll leave crying to the sideline in so many times. And we forget too, that even good things in our life, like work, even church responsibilities, our sports or hobbies, those things going on, that can be good things that our mind but we can prioritize them in a way that knocks Christ out of his rightful throne position, out of his rightful number one position. And when we do that, we’re going against the reason that God actually created us. God wants us to experience these things you see in your screen. He wants us to be content in what we do and how we live. He wants to step on that true peace and joy. And as a Christian, you know when you’re in that place where you’re experiencing true peace and joy even in hard situations, think about here, you see Philippians 4:11 here. Think about Paul when he wrote this, “I have learned “in whatever circumstances I am, to be content.” We’re talking about Paul here who knew both ways of living. He was on the fast track before he became Paul as Saul. He was on the fast track and he was good at what he did. He just wouldn’t do anything any good, but he was prioritizing the money, the fame the notoriety that came with him working up the rates and what he was doing. But here we see, he learned true contentment while he’s sitting in a jail cell. Think about it, think about all that we do and all that we put our focus into. And yet Paul found his contentment sitting on the floor of a jail cell right to the Philippians here. And he did that because he learned how to rely on God’s promises and the power of Christ for his contentment. We weren’t relying on everything else under the sun. He turned to the Bible, he turned to Christ and he stopped trying to find it on his own. And I’m telling you right now to stop trying to find these things on your own and out of Christ power because that’s a futile search. I like showing this board and I like having a crowd to actually be able to talk back with me. I love getting back to those days where we can do that because we all know this is a monopoly board. All right, now I will give a full disclosure and that this game can cause bad feelings if played incorrectly or played with too much of a ferocity. It’s no longer allowed of our house. I’ll call it like the incident of 2012. But my watch no longer allows us to play monopoly. And the house that if you’ve enjoyed the game since then, look at what you’re seeing on the screen. You see the cards, you see the hotels, you see the money, what’s the main objectives of this game. The main objective of monopoly is to build your personal impact. You spend hours, sometimes into the wee hours of the night playing this game and trying to rack up every position you can, every park place and boardwalk, and you look, hey, you see here, you’ve got those hotels over there. That means I forget the exact amount but probably $1000, $1,200. And somebody has to pay you if they land on your park place or boardwalk, as they’re coming around, you are building this whole game towards this place where you can wipe out your opponent, where you can take all that money in and at the end be the victor because you had all the money and everybody else is broken at the end of it. But my question to you is, and it’s a fun game and there’s no problem in playing it. But what happens at the end of a monopoly game? What happens when everybody’s said and done, and you’ve won, you’ve got the pile of money. It all gets poured back into the box. You don’t leave the game an instant millionaire. No matter what happens in that game, it is all short-term game. Compare that to your life. Compare that to how we live. We spent a lifetime accumulating and building our own empires. But what I got to share with gives me a notice and I ain’t going with you. At the end of the night, at the end of life, it’ll get shoved back into the board. The board gets shoved back and to go put back up on the shelf. How much time and energy do we waste focusing on achieving and accumulating and taking everything that we can, all just deport back into the box at the end of the game? This is about a long-term focus. Are you thinking about your legacy? Are you thinking about more than just this moment? And that is so important to me. I like to compare the short-term and the long-term thinking the same as the temporary and the attorney thinking, because anytime that I put my mind on the short term and on the temporary most of the time because something doesn’t feel good and I just want it to stop, and I’ll get a totally away from any plans I’ve ever made. And I’ll come back here to this point and I’ll start making decisions with anxiety. And when the and guess what? Your decision is gonna be a burden. 100% of the time, it’s going to be a burden. When we lose our focus on the internal, when we lose our focus on the long-term and we’re not prioritizing the things of Jesus center line, but we have to understand is that God has the ability to take all the gifts that he’s given to us and he can use them and he can multiply as we give back to him. What I have may not be enough to do anything. What you have individually may not be enough to do anything, but what if you and I gave our time, or money or our resources, our gifts together, what if others came along and did the same thing together. Think about what’s happening now when God and the Holy spirit take place. And he takes everybody doing their part, what’s happening. That’s the church. We’re forming the church now. And we’re doing exactly what the Bible says. We’re all playing our piece. We’re all playing our part in bringing the different pieces of the puzzle together so that we can come together and do something that God can say, listen, let me take all of that to multiply and to be able to do things that you could not even imagine. One thing to remember is that God doesn’t need our money. He can do anything he wants to anytime he wants to, but we get the privilege. We have the privilege of being able to be involved in his kingdom work. How cool is that? That our God and savior allows us to be a part of what he’s doing. I like to bring up Patrick Morley here, and guys if you’ve never read a Patrick Morley book and you’re looking to dig deeper into the word of God, by all means, please pick up either “Man in the Mirror” or “Hear a Man’s Guide to Spiritual Disciplines.” And it he’s talking about stewardship here. And Morley says, it’s looking honestly at where we came from, appraising our resources. even if they are meager, remember that term, that phrase, and then humbly and gratefully using everything entrusted to us to bring glory to God. It’s looking honestly, everything God has done for us even if we think it’s a meager amount. I think we get screwed up a little bit on that term sometimes. And we get caught up on that a lot because God is not only calling the ultra high net worth folks to be good stewards. We are all expected to give as we’ve been given. I don’t have any explanation as to why God has chosen to give more to someone than to somebody else, that’s above my pay grade. That’s nothing I can answer for you. But what I can tell you is that we’re responsible for ourselves. If you think you’re let off the hook because you don’t have as much as somebody else you are wrong. God will never ask you to give something that he didn’t give you in the first place to give. I’ve also learned that God over time will actually reveal certain things to you. When you step out into faith, you may not think that you possess a certain gift or a certain quality, but sometimes God is waiting for you to take that step, to take that leap of faith, not a leap, but to take that step out in the faith, and say, God, I trust you. I don’t know where we’re heading with this, but I trust you. I’ve seen this myself and that all of a sudden you see constant listen, thank you for trusting me. Let me show you what I’ve got in store. And when he starts doing that, I don’t want you to miss out on the blessings that come from something like that. Moses, we talk about Moses who had a speech to think, probably a stutterer. He even told them the word I can’t speak well but the Lord said, I’ll be right there with you. I’ve got a task where you don’t worry about that, I’ve got. And so it’s important as we talk about being a good steward and that we have a right biblical worldview. And so you see here, I’ve got Barna’s biblical worldview. What I’m talking about here is George Barna. He formed the Barna Group back in 1984. And whether you know it or not, you have probably read some information that the Barna Group has put out there. They do information for churches cultural trends, leadership, spiritual development, really how they affect the Christian thing. And I believe it is more important than ever that we know, that we understand and that we believe what our biblical worldview is. So that then we talked about being impractical earlier. We have to know it, understand it and believe it so that then we can actually live it out because it’s not gonna happen. We’re not gonna get to the living out part if we don’t understand it and actually take it as truth and accept that and say, God this is what I believe, I’m with you on this. So out of this six things that you see on your screen Jesus lived a sinless life. God is the all-knowing and all powerful creator of the universe. Salvation is a gift of God and cannot be heard. Satan and hell is real. A Christian has a responsibility to share their faith, and the Bible is accurate and all of its teachings. These are things that are crucial. If you’re gonna have a biblical worldview and you may ask, why is this important? Because your worldview gives your life purpose and direction. We all have a reason that we’re alive. If you’re watching this right now, you’re alive. And Jesus has a reason for you being so. And so our job is to listen to our creator, to talk to our creator about what that purpose is so that he can share that with you. This is important because if you wanna look at one of the main reasons why so many things are upside down and lies beans I want in this world today, George Barna, these are the six things that they have listed, his group is listed as if you are a true Christian, this should be a biblical worldview. He asked self professional Christians over the last couple of years. Do you have a biblical worldview? These are people who profess to be Christians. You can probably know what’s coming but it is sad to see the number of folks, the percentage of folks who said they were Christians, who said they did not believe these six things and live them out in their lives. But number was 12% of people, 12% Christians, 12% of self professing Christians, whether they were or not said that they did not have a biblical worldview. And of course that number is detected by the Christians number gets even worse. In the United States, that number was 6% of US citizens actually carry a worldview, a biblical worldview. And that’s important because if you have a biblical worldview, you’re basing your beliefs on things that are always right, always relevant and never changing. These things you see in your screen were true 5,000 years ago, they were true 2000 years ago, they are true today and will be until Christ comes back again. And so, as Larry was talking earlier, I do believe it’s important to understand when we talk about stewardship, it’s not just being forced or being guilted into maybe giving a little bit more than you are new. Maybe starting to give when you never had before. You know what, that’s great, but it doesn’t solve the problem you have in your walk with the Lord. I want to stress to folks that stewardship, is a transformational process, not just a transactional, it’s not just something where you can do a couple of times, do something a couple of times and all of a sudden you’ve transformed your way into having a biblical worldview. I want to stress to you that it takes a transformational change in your life. A stewardship mindset will change how you view every aspect of your life. Don’t believe me? Look at what we consider pretty common sense money management principles. Did you have any idea that some of the most common sense principles, some of the tried and true methods of what we do from a financial standpoint, all come from the Bible. Stewardship is not entirely about finances but it is absolutely a big part. So my first question is you’ve never researched, you’ve never seen this stat before. Any idea how many guests actually speak on money, on stewardship on finances in some way. Remember is 2300, nearly 2300 verses in the Bible deal with money, stewardship, finances. It’s a big deal. 40% of the parables that Jesus told have to do with money. As a matter of fact, look at that 2300 number, got so many verses are actually dealing with prayer and faith in the Bible, that number is 500. Over four times as many verses that God gave us with money. It doesn’t mean it’s more important to him. But what I believe is that it meant we were gonna have a harder time understanding what stewardship really meant and what having a biblical worldview meant when it came on our money because of our natural selfishness and greed that comes with it. But I wanna do is look at these five things here. These transcendent money management principles. They’re transcendent because like I said before, they were always relevant and they are never changed. They’re always true, always have been, always will. The only way to succeed with your money in your life, doing these five things will lead to not just success but will also lead to contentment and the piece that you’re looking for. We look first at spend less than you earn. We should tell our Congress that’s right, Proverbs 21:20, the wise store choice food and olive oil, but fools gulp theirs down. A foolish man devours all he has is one translation. Avoiding the use of debt, Proverbs 22:7, the rich rule over the poor and the borrower is a slave to the lender. I’ll be the first one to take. We’ll talk more about debt in a minute too. Debt is not a sin, but nowhere in the Bible will you find scripture encouraging you to take on more debt. If you find yourself there, that is a place we want to move out of, and it may be hard but that’s where we put together a plan to do that. Build liquidity, the only way to get a hand to actually have a chance to manage your long-term goals and actually achieve them, is to build a cash margin, to build liquidity, to save over time. Proverbs 6:6-8 actually uses that ant, of all creatures go to the ant you sluggard, consider its ways and be wise. It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest, it’s saved for when it needs it later on. Philippians 3:14 shows us that setting long-term goals is a principle that is desired and it comes from the Bible. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me Heavenward in Christ Jesus. What Paul is saying here is, is to shed the distractions, shed you past mistakes and keep focused on moving forward, set long-term goals to get you to your ultimate prize. And if we’re surrounding that with our focus on Jesus, that’s gonna get us where we wanna go. And then where we must often talk about stewardship is in generosity, to rejoice in generosity. 2 Corinthians 8-9, both chapters have a lot of great verses, a lot of great scripture dealing with that. I picked out in second Corinthians 9:6,7. Remember this, whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. Don’t just do it to say you did it and to check the box off, do it because you want to do it in gratitude of all that God has done for you. Here’s a wonderful slide that as we talk about all the different things we can do with our money, there’s really only four things. Everything you can do with your money fits into these four categories. And I know you see five pieces of a pie that’s because one of them actually has two different sections. Think of it, live, give, owe, grow. And if you’re taking notes but I would actually really encourage you to do if you wanna get a better picture of where you are in your life and where you’re prioritizing things. If you did this pie and actually constructed this for your life and for your family, for your household, it would probably tell you a lot about what’s important to you. Let’s go through those different areas there, live, give, owe, grow. Live is basically your lifestyle. That’s gonna be the most for just body human. That’s the essential expenses, That’s all the lifestyle desires that we have to do the different things that we do. Everything from simply going out to eat and spending more there to taking vacations and buying new things and the toys, and all that kind of stuff. That’s all part of your lifestyle. So the question there is when you’re dealing with your lunch time as a Christian, we have to ask how much is enough. If we have God at the center, like you see in this pie here, God is in the center and we acknowledge that God owns it all, our question has to come back to, how much is enough? Because we look at the other piece of their live, give. So giving, giving breaks the power of money. If you are giving your money by definition, you are taking a clenched fist that you’re holding on to and spit it out for yourself, and you’re extending that hand to give to somebody else. You are opening that and it breaks the power that money has over you. To be a good steward of Christ, giving has to be a central part of your life. I’m not saying give everything away to the poor, we use that rich young ruler story and it gets misconstrued a lot. The rich young ruler, he said, Christ, I have done everything that you need me to do. I am ready to be yours. You tell me what I need to do. And he said, well, go give everything away, go sell everything and give it to the poor. And the reaction was astonishment. I can’t do that. The reason Christ asked him to do that was because it was his Achilles heel. It was that young rulers, Achilles heel. It was the problem in his heart that he could not give a what he needed to, he could not give to others in a way that’s not as bad as what Christ wants us to do. And so he said, what are you going to give it all? It was his way of proving that point to him, live, give, owe, grow. Owe is owing your debt. That’s your loans or credit cards, things like that but also your texts. And we should have a joyful attitude. I’m know it’s hard and we’re around tax season as we’re recording this, we’re doing this. I know it’s hard, but we should rejoice in the taxes that we owe because they’re a symptom of God’s provision. If you owe taxes, that means you’ve made money in some way, shape or form, you should be thankful. I told you, hey, this is not worldly stuff. This is biblical stuff and it can sound very odd sometimes but Christ sounded odd to the world and he still does. And then growing, the only way to grow your money is to grow margin, is the only way to meet your long-term goals by saving to your savings account, your money market, your investment, your 401k, things like that. And so you look at these four different ways you can spend money, five different categories. And if we say that God owns everything, he’s at the center. Then we have to say that every dollar, every decision that we make, every place that dollar goes, every decision is a spiritual war because by definition, yeah, I take a dollar and I see it towards debt that I’ve accumulated, that’s a dollar I can’t give. And so think about if you look at your situation and you’re overly populated in one area that you think you know, what got me be convicting me, the Holy spirit may be convicting me that I need to look at some other areas of my life and go, I may not be putting enough towards the growth to help my family. I may not be getting enough. I may be spending too much on my lifestyle. Do I have too much go to that area that could go somewhere else that maybe could pay down debt quicker or another category. But what I want you to do is to start thinking about purposefully because probably what we haven’t done for the most part is we get into trouble when we don’t take it seriously and don’t think about what we’re doing. So I want you to plan what you’re doing because what happens is, if you don’t plan, this is what happens to most people. I know there’s a lot of words on the screen, what I wanna show you here is this is a typical cashflow diagram. Meaning when we get our income and we get paid, when that check hits the checking account twice a month or weekly, however you get paid, when that money gets to the checking account, here’s what we go wrong. When we say the first thing we wanna spend money on is everything that our lifestyle, everything that we want, new toys, new stock, doing things in an extravagant manner that we probably shouldn’t be doing, we do all that first. We’re also gonna pay our taxes, we’re going to pay our loans because we pay taxes so we don’t go to jail. We pay our loans because we don’t want people to come back and get our stuff. So we’re gonna take care of those things. But what happens after we spend on all the frivolous stuff, we pay those things we kind of have to. A lot of times, and you may have seen it before, if you’ve had problems in this area, a lot of times you get to that point and you were actually worse off at this point than you were when you got paid, just in the last few days. You actually are running a cash flow deficit. You’re actually maybe have accumulated more debt. There’s no money on your credit card. They just be more stuff, no money on your credit card. But also you get to that point and you haven’t given a dollar. You haven’t saved the dollar. What did we just talk about? If you don’t save money, if you don’t create that margin in that cash flow, you have no ability to make long-term goals. And what you’re doing is you’re spinning out your hamster wheel that never stops. And that’s where you get in a situation of, I don’t understand what to do. I don’t understand what’s happening. You get that burden if nothing will change. Things change when you become purposeful about what you need to be doing. Let’s look now at what it should be and how we should take our money and what we should do with it. So when we get paid, of course, the debts, the loans the credit cards, the taxes, those types of things that they are and not living expenses. But then look, we’ve separated living expenses to lifestyle desires. You’re always gonna have to pay for the lights, pay for your food, pay for those basic necessities you’re always gonna have. So all that stuff about the top is well, but look what we’ve added to the top here. How should our cashflow actually look each month. We should move up the giving part on this flow chart. And I know you look at me probably and you’re thinking, yeah, but you don’t know my situation. You don’t know I don’t have enough to be giving before I do everything else. Well, let me assure you that if you were trying to live a Christian lifestyle, you can’t afford not to give. One of my favorite verses is Malachi 3:10. When God says, bring the whole tithe into the store hands, but there may be food in my hands. Test me in this, says the Lord Almighty and see if I will not throw open the flood gates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. Y’all you can afford to give, you can’t afford not to give when God himself is trying to tell you test me on this. The only time in the Bible that we see God saying, test me in this, give the part, give the time that I require of you, that I command of you to give back. Not because, I mean, not because I necessarily need that money, but because I need you to live with an attitude of thankfulness for all that I’ve provided to you. You know the great thing about this is that these principles apply to everyone. I know you may be thinking, but I don’t make as much as somebody else, that doesn’t matter. These are biblical principles. We’re required to give back based on what he gives us. So we make giving a part of that top tier there, and then we’ve created that margin. We’ve created that surplus cashflow to now we have some options, we’re growing our net worth. How do we grow our net worth? We paid down what we owe and we increase what we’re saving. Now you have an ability to serve those long-term goals. It means you may actually find that financial independence you’re looking for. You may actually be able to retire one day. You might be able to pay off that house one day. Now you’ve created that margin, that surplus, so now you can actually spend on some of those things you were spending on before that was wasting all the money up front. Now you can do that, you can take care of your family and you can go above and beyond the top which I wholeheartedly encourage you to do is to go above and beyond the time and to be able to give generously. Because let me tell you, we said it earlier, when you give generously, you release the power that money has on you by holding out that hand, taking that clenched fist and holding out that hand to give away. And so what I want to tell you is about these principles apply to each and every one regardless of your income stats. If you do these things and do it with a grateful heart and in the right way, based on those verses and those principles we looked at before, this will lead to you finding that contentment and that joy and that peace in your finances. And so what I encourage you to do is to review how you’re dealing with your money to see if you discover because I promise you if there’s something there, you just had this discussion alone, you probably discover a place where the Holy spirit is starting to rumble a little bit and to give you a call that it may be time for a change or an update, and the way that you’re doing things. What I found in, I told you about in my teaching more about stewardship and hearing back for more people who have read the book or heard me speak or talk about things or people that were in that discipleship class last year, what God allowed me to see was that most Christians want to do more. I just don’t really understand how sometimes. And what I wanna try to do is to show you to get you hopefully as an introduction to think, and you know what there’s maybe something I can do differently that can put me in a better place. So my question to you is, what’s your next step? Think about the things you’ve already talked about. And I know that’s a lot of information quickly, but I want you to kind of think about, listen this is recorded. You can go back and look at some of that stuff again. Take those some of that, look at some of that scripture and let the Holy spirit get to you. Remember we talked about, I want this to be a transformational process. This isn’t about doing one thing better or two things better this is about our hearts, our minds aligning ourselves with what Christ wants us to do. So what’s your next step? If you’re watching this and you’re not saved, the first step is get saved. Otherwise, none of what we just talked about makes any sense at all. So you’ll have my contact information at the end of this, get in touch with Larry, get in touch with your pastor, your church if you don’t know for sure that you are saved, that’s step number one. So you can even start understanding these things and having the Holy spirit work in your life. Secondly, what I would tell you is get serious, get serious about this. Nothing’s going to happen by accident. Nothing’s gonna get better, but you just continue to do the same thing that you’ve always done before. Get serious and get purposeful. Start making goals. Start figuring out in talking with Jesus because the Holy spirit, Jesus wants you to know all this stuff. He’s not trying to hide stuff from you. He wants you to know his scripture and his word but you gotta make the effort to go to him. James 1:5 one of my favorite verses too. And you’ve heard a couple of them today. As tells us, listen if you want wisdom from Christ just ask him. If you’re asking them to apply way and ask him to know him better, he’s going to provide that for you. So get serious about your money and doing things better because it will change your life. It will change your family’s life. It will change your relationship. I have seen personally working with couples when they started working together to attack debt to start saving more and to start doing things together and that rail, it has affected their marriage in a way where it has brought them. It’s brought them a stronger marriage and brought them closer together. You will experience spiritual growth. If you’re doing these things, that’s what this is all about. Stewardship is actually part of your spiritual walk. It is experiencing spiritual growth. And then by doing these things you can become a steward of God, get serious about what we’re doing because I don’t want you to miss out on the blessings that God has for you. And I don’t want you to miss out on the things that God may want you to be participating in but you’re not there because you’re not in tune with it. And you’re not growing spiritually. I tell I teach a men’s choir in steward church. One of the things that I talk about almost on a weekly basis is everybody watching this, is probably not probably everybody watching this is at a different place spiritually, totally different place. In your spiritual walk, how long you’ve been a Christian, where are you on? That’s not important. The important thing is that you take new information. You take, when you learn something new about Christ, take that to move one step forward, take that to move one step closer to him because he is calling you to come in. He wants you to know this information and he wants you to apply it to your life so that he can unleash some lessons. We read in Malachi when he said, bring that them to the storehouse. And let me give you blessings that you could never imagine. And so let me encourage you. If anything during this talk today, anything during this information, hey, feel free to reach out to me. What I want you to do is really to dig a little deeper and take some time, take all of this stuff that really gnaws at you. If there’s still something you’re thinking about an hour or two later after you watch this, probably means you need to start dealing with it. And the Holy spirit is trying to tell you something because I believe wholeheartedly. Larry thank you for the opportunity to be able to speak to everybody today. And you know, I really believe that just the way we talked about things before this the way I set up the book and that we have to get the information and it’s great to be smart but if you don’t apply it, it doesn’t mean a darn thing. And you’ve accomplished nothing by doing so if you haven’t put it into effect and said Christ helped me change something, that I know you’re calling me to change.
– Yeah, absolutely. Marc it’s really good information. It’s hits us right where we are. ‘Cause I think we can all identify with that especially identifying with how seeing your flow chart of how we spend our money. That’s extremely critical. And obviously it’s important that we plan. We think through our budget, we think through what’s our longterm goals. As you were talking, I was just wondering, all right. So as you walk with, and by the way as I get started with this question, let me remind guys if you have any questions for Marc, be sure to drop those in the Q&A section and we’ll feed those to him and get some answers for you. But as Mark, as you focus on couples, as you work with people advising them have you noticed or seen what seems to be some of the biggest obstacles in your experience? What are some of the biggest obstacles people continuously throw out there to you as far as well, we’re just not there. We’re struggling with this, but so what are some of the biggest obstacles and then what have you seen help those folks with those obstacles to overcome them?
– Some of the biggest obstacles, what we know where mean you look at the information, look at the numbers and that behind infidelity money is one of the major drives to divorce and arguments that come from that. And when you can’t get along and can’t function well with each of you on the same page. And what I find a lot of times is that if you ask a couple of questions in kind of get to the root of what was money like, what does money mean to you as a child? What were your first memories of money? When you start asking those questions, you start finding out really quickly that folks were raised in different ways. And what I bring up sometimes are topics that they’ve never discussed. And sometimes it’s just because they’ve never talked about it before. They’re just going about life ’cause they always have came together and just kept doing the same things and nothing changed. That’s the definition of insanity and keeping on doing that. And so what I try to do is focus them on, all right, let’s get back to the goals. What are we actually trying to achieve here? What are the things that you guys that are most important? And when I’m going through a financial plan with folks, I may come back with 10 recommendations of things I need to do, but then I ask them what are the top two or three things that you’re hearing that you’re seeing that are important to you guys? Is it paying off these loans here? Is it starting to put some more aside for retirement? Is it getting more in the emergency savings account? And then we start working together and that’s the key is the communication. Listen, I have walked out of the room before in some YouTube discussions for a few minutes because it’s surprised them when I got totally different answers that things were important. That one didn’t think so or the other. And I said, you know what, let me just take a minute. Let’s all discuss for a minute or two. And it’s pretty, it’s almost comical because it’s situations that have never come up in conversations that are going to come up. So what I try to help do is to really bring them together and say, all right, what are we working together? What’s our ultimate goal. And then let me help encourage you. One of the things we need to do to get there. I didn’t go in depth when we talk about goal making and goal setting, there are certain things that have to go along with the goal. One, I think it has to be written down. Otherwise it’s just a pretty thought. It is never gonna happen. You write down that goal. It has to be measurable, it has to be attainable. It has to be something that you both want to do. And it has to be something with an end point. And once you have those different facets you can say, all right, if we want to get rid of this $15,000 on this car loan over the next three years and we have enough to hit with 5,000 a year to do that then you break that down, divided by 12 months and say this is how much we’re gonna set aside each month to get that paid off. That’s setting the goal and that’s attacking it and getting rid of it. That’s how you work together. That brings the couple together because now you’re on the same wavelength. You’re on the same path now trying to accomplish something together. So not only you have the car’s going to get paid off, that’s not even the most important part. You’re now coming together and working together and actually making your marriage a better thing.
– Yeah, so it’s not just about money and that’s kind of what you’ve said over and over.
– Money is not good or bad. We talk about you give the example of a gun is not good or bad. It’s all who is using it and how you’re using it. Money is a tool that is to be used. And for Christians, we’re called to use it in a way that will glorify God in these different ways. Now we use in all kinds of different ways. Listen, I’m gonna be talking about this stuff. And I was guilty as other people in getting off the wrong path sometimes with what I’m doing with my money, what I’m doing my time what I’m doing with my resources. Please, I’m not sitting here saying I’m perfect because these are things that I’m learning and strengthening my walk through teaching these things and learning and digging deeper about these things as well.
– Yeah, that’s good. All right, we’ve got a question Jack is asking. So how much biblical latitude do we have as believers in pursuing and living in financial independence? For example, is it okay to retire in your 40s if you have enough investment to do so.
– And what I’ll say to that is, the Bible doesn’t give us direct answers to every question that we may have. And that’s the reason that we were given the Holy spirit for discernment. That’s the reason that God says to ask him for wisdom so that we can interpret based, and it may be not, it may be doing that in prayer and maybe talking to other leaders in your church or to your preacher and asking the same questions. And you just gather that information. But quite frankly, I see no problem in doing something like that. Yes, you’re taking care of all the responsibilities that God is calling you to take care of. If you’re taking care of your family, if you’re taking care of giving in the way that he wants you to give. Now, what I would say is are there opportunities for you to do different things to just retire and go to the house? I would say that’s probably not what God wants you to do. In that free time, now that you may not have that’s the decision you make, are you spending that time then doing things that are pleasing to him and are building his kingdom during that time? It’s not a clear cut answer but it’s definitely not a no don’t do that because if you have enough money to do that, that’s great. But none of us ever retire from being Christians. We’re on that clock, we don’t clock out there until we take our last break. So as long as you’re taking care of those things and still walking his path and he wants you to, there’s no problem at all if you have enough money to not physically work your job in that way.
– Yeah, that’s good. So then let me back us up a little bit then. Way before retirement, how do you consider in that you have three kids of your own. So how do you prepare them as children train them up with this mindset of having an open hand when it comes to being able to give and honor God with finances?
– I love that question, Larry, because I go back to my Ron Blue studies and Ron gave us in and I learned going through that the CKA goes and started like Cayman, advisor of material. Every Christian should ask three questions. One is whose is it naturally, we should not just say, God it shouldn’t just be a Sunday school answer. We should actually believe in limit that way. But whose is it? It’s his, how much is enough? And then is the next steward chosen and prepared? Well, for most of us, most likely the next door, it is chosen it’s gonna be our kids. So we’re gonna inherit life insurance, 401k whatever it is that we leave for them, but are they prepared? That’s a loaded answer at that point. And so, listen I told you I had a 10 week study ready to go. It’s hard in 40, 45 minutes and talk about every facet of what stewardship is. By all means, we are doing things now with our kids even at five and six years old. It’s not their money yet but in teaching them, even through your money and maybe money that you give to them of how to handle them it is as simple as if they have the chores, We have the we’ve used them in the past the three jar system, and I’m gonna have to get them here on the spot but the gifts, the save and the spent. And so they know that when they get that money, some of it goes into the give that guns they physically will take that money. And I think it’s important with kids, small kids to handle cash so that makings physically hold on to it and give it away again, opening that hand and giving it away. And they know that they’re going to give money. They’re going to save something for later on, but they’re also being able to spend some of it. And what you wanna start doing is starting to form those habits in them so that they can understand everything that we understand at this point, but you can start forming those habits. Another thing that we’ve done with our oldest daughter in the past couple of years, we did this at Christmas time a couple of years ago, where we said, listen here is an amount of money that we’re giving to you but it’s not for you to keep. It is for you to identify an organization that is working for kingdom purposes that we need you to decide where that goes but also why that needs to go there. So now what you’re doing is even though she doesn’t have the money to be doing that right now, she is now working mentally to think, all right this must be important to mom and dad because they have me giving away money. And she started to getting that routine of that. And so there are all kinds of different ways to do that. And I highly encourage you to find, be creative to find ways to do that. But that is crucial because the numbers the facts don’t lie. For folks who accumulate great wealth I believe the studies show that by the second generation, that wealth is gone the vast majority of the time because they took time to earn it. They took time to save it and grow it but they never took time to teach their kids what was important to mom and dad that you need to do it too.
– Yeah, that’s good. Yeah, it’s definitely where more lessons are caught than taught. And that is definitely one of them. All right, two more questions. And I will skip my question about the lottery ’cause that’s a whole other mindset and all that good stuff early, been hoping for years but still that’s another issue, that’s personal. All right, so if you are jumping in with someone who their parents did not pass this along to them, they did not have really good financial strategy growing up. So what is that one practical step? And I know you’ve already mentioned some but what were some of the practical steps to helping someone have that open hand, like right now.
– As far as your meeting with a couple coming together where one does not have the, maybe the strength or the teachings that we’re talking about here?
– Either a couple or an individual, as an adult.
– Okay, well, I was saying as a couple I think the key thing I’ll go back to I think the key thing is being open and honest to communicate with each other to understand, hey, listen, we may come from different areas, but we’ve got to get on the same page here and we’re gonna have trouble. And there is no decision that one of you should be making especially about large amounts of money in a relationship where the other one has no idea. Everything needs to be, you were joined together by God. He means for you to make decisions. He means less than even though I’m going to be the financial person in my family and this is what I do every day, my wife Christy was given to me by God as part of our partnership because she has attributes I don’t have. And when it comes to making decisions, I may think of over here, she may think over here her thoughts are just as important as mine. They’re just different and I need that to combat sometimes some of the things that I’m thinking that makes me go, oh hold on just a minute, I never thought about it that way. So that’s important thing. As far as an individual, I would say I think it’s even more crucial when you don’t have that to the other person to bounce off of. I think that’s even more crucial to dig deep into the word. If you’re serious about learning these things, this isn’t natural. Larry, you know that our selfish selves our natural selves are that monopoly board. Give me more, give me more, give me more, show me how I can do it. I don’t care about the rest of them. It’s not natural for us to think this way but the Bible instructs us to transform our minds to the things have gone to let the Holy spirit lead us and guide us. And that is honestly, that’s the only way for any of us to learn how to do this effectively. Like I said before, if you’re not saved, if you don’t have a relationship with Christ the stuff we just talk about for an hour doesn’t mean bunkers to you. And it sounds weird that I will give money away and then I would do different things. I would be happy about paying taxes. That’s ridiculous. That’s only God and the Holy spirit that can make you think like that. And so you’ve got to dig deep. When did you buy yourself especially you got to dig in and let God do that now.
– Yeah, and I’ll tell you, your imagery of everything goes back in the monopoly board. Everything goes back in the box at the end. That’s pretty powerful.
– Here’s my thing . At some point, we’re all gonna come before Jesus. And he’s going to ask us. He’s gonna ask us, hey, remember the money that you got from that income over time? What did you do with that? I remember that spiritual gift that I gave you. How did you spend your time honing that gift and using it for my kingdom? Is he going to say, well done good and faithful servant? Or is he gonna look at you and say, is that all you have really? And that’s not what I want. That that’s not what I want that first encounter to be. How will that first encounter? I strong, I want so badly for my savior to be able to tell me Marcus, well done, sir. Thank you very much.
– Yeah, amen to that. All right, so last question, Marc. Tell us real quick, a little bit more about your devotional book, about spiritual wealth and also where we can get it too.
– Okay, if the information we talked about today really starting to stir something. I think this may… Listen, I gave you some of the other guys Ron Blue and some of those other, there are great materials out there. This is one I produced last year that God laid on my heart and that you can actually see Ron actually has an endorsement on tail. We’re so fortunate to get here. But this goes along with the same way that I’m teaching through a series like tonight and that helping you really concentrate. If you’re that individual that needs more help, this is perfect for you. Whether you’re digging deeper as a Christian, whether you’re a new Christian kind of taking it all in right now, or you’ve never walked through a church before, this is still the best financial information you will ever get, is the best financial information you will ever see. And so not because it’s my writing, but because it’s scripture banks. And so what I do is I take you through understanding the standards, I take you into then adapting my mind and say, all right, I get this but I don’t really agree with it. Well, we need to agree with it so that we can move forward to start living it out. So the book is called is “Spiritual Wealth.” A 40 day journey to developing stewardship mindset. And it can be found at Amazon. You can get real easy there. We all have our Amazon prime are probably as well. If you’d like more information, go to my website as well, which is stewardshipmindset.com, stewardship mindset.com. There on the website you can actually make one purchase and get the ebook and the physical book mailed to you as well. You can buy either or you can the same thing on Amazon as well. And I would love for you to connect with me, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube just search for a stewardship author, Marcus Hall at those places throughout. I’d love to hook up with you I’d love to hear from you.
– Excellent, well guys, thank you all for joining us tonight. And again, please reach out to Marc for more information. He is ready, willing, and able to walk with you through any of these financial issues and questions. Marc, thank you, man. Truly thank you for your heart, thank you for your ministry. And again, if you have any questions, feel free to contact us or go straight to Marc. You’ve got his contact info there on the screen right now. Marc, thanks again.
– Thank you for the opportunity. God bless you Larry, thank you.
– You too man.