Getting Your Money’s Worth – The Incredible Journey

(dramatic music) – What talks, burns a hole in your pocket, doesn’t grow on trees and makes the world go round? Yes, you got it, money It plays such a big part in our lives It affects nearly everything we do and influences virtually every decision we make Money is one of life’s necessities We just cannot survive without it For most of us, money can be a problem usually because we don’t have enough of it But today we’re going to meet a businessman who has a huge money problem, not because he hasn’t got enough money but because he’s got too much Julian Archer learned the hard way that when a person prospers, either God gains a partner or the person loses their soul He knows all too well that when we feel abundantly blessed, we are often in the most spiritually dangerous stage of our lives Today, Julian’s gonna take us on a frighteningly honest, soul-baring journey into the world of a successful Christian businessman He’s an outwardly blessed man with a sinister and secret struggle An eternal life and death battle to try to keep God’s blessings from becoming curses This isn’t fiction Stay with us and discover the secret of becoming truly financially independent Julian’s amazing story will surprise and inspire you and may even change your life forever (upbeat music) Money, money, money We all need it Money’s important It’s as necessary in our daily lives as food is for the body Just as you can’t live long without food, so you can’t survive long without money Money enables us to have the basics of what we and our family need to survive Food, shelter, education, health care It assists us in achieving our goals and dreams It’s a blessing and we all want to receive God’s richest blessings, especially the cash ones But money can also become a curse in our relationship with God and others What happens when you realise that you’re truly blessed but that your spiritual life has become damaged in the process? What if you’ve started worshipping God’s gifts instead of the Giver? None of us want that to happen, so how can we become financially secure without becoming spiritually bankrupt? Our special guest today, Julian Archer, is the founder of Faith versus Finance, a global organisation working with affluent people who seek to wisely balance their finance and faith He’s an international speaker and bestselling author His popular book, Help, I’ve Been Blessed has sold widely around the world and he’s here today to share his experience and insights with us Julian, welcome to our programme today You have lived a very different lifestyle Tell us about it – My parents met when they were young, had children very young, got into business, and then another business and another business and another business and by the age of 24, they had five businesses They were what we would call serial entrepreneurs But there was a challenge and that is that while they were successful in business, their marriage was absolutely shot and they had to make a choice between marriage and business And they chose marriage and they sold four of the businesses and we moved to the bush in Southeast Queensland, just west of Brisbane and became hippies Barefoot existence, growing up in the Bush, trying to grow your own food, living in a little tiny shed There wasn’t a lot of clothes We didn’t have washing machine,

we didn’t have running water, we didn’t have electricity, so it was a very, yeah, barefoot existence Sort of a Huckleberry Finn, if you look back on it from that point of view – How did your family move from hippies back to being business people? – Yeah, we were trying to grow a little of our own food and so we had the little health food store, and that was fine, but we wanted to grow everything, our fruit, our vegetables, our oil, everything we wanted to grow ourselves and so we planted lots of little trees and found out that we had too many So you’d plant 20 seeds and hope that one or two would come up for the family and 20 would come up And so, we thought, Well, let’s start selling some of these excess plants that we have And so we started selling out of the back of our ute, on the side of the highway, fruit trees and that became a little nursery and then a bigger nursery and things grew from there But during those times, we became Christians We met some people who loved Jesus and they shared that with us and that just, that filled the hole in our hearts that we probably didn’t even know existed to some degree, but once we found Jesus, it was just, it completely changed the game for our family’s life, for our lifestyle, for what we were doing in business Everything changed The businesses that we had been running took off They grew incredibly quickly We ended up having importing business, exporting We had distribution, we had a consulting business, we ran tours in other countries around the world We were exporting to 25 countries and it was crazy days The businesses were just going so well beyond anything that we could have ever dreamt of Money was pouring in We didn’t know what to do with it We weren’t accustomed to this It was just quite overwhelming And I realised as this was happening that it was actually having an impact on my heart It was having an impact on my spirituality I thought that well, God just wants to bless you lots and that’s what we all want, that’s what we pray for We say, Lord, bless me, bless me But I didn’t realise the other side of it and that is that sometimes when we are blessed, we start to worship the blessings and we lose our relationship with God, our spirituality – So it’s a real battle, faith versus finance – Just everywhere I looked in the Bible, in Jesus’ life, in His teachings, through the whole of the scriptures, it was there, faith and finance, money So I wrote it all down and in that process gave my heart back to God and said, Lord, it’s Yours And so I did it It turned into a book, a book called Help, I’ve Been Blessed which is an unusual title. (laughs) But Help, I’ve Been Blessed, how to stop God’s blessings from becoming curses – Are there any principles and words of wisdom that you’ve come across that have been particularly helpful in your years of battling faith against finance? – Yeah, as I did a lot of research to try and work at how to sort out this faith versus finance battle, I came across all sorts of people across all centuries who had been in the same battle That surprised me because I thought I was the only one originally fighting this I came across a guy called Oscar Wilde who actually made a statement He said, There are only two great tragedies in life One is not getting what you want and the other is getting it (laughs) And I thought, you know what, yeah, there’s some truth in that And then I came across a guy called John Wesley who in 1789, this is going back a couple of centuries, he wrote that wherever true Christianity spreads, it must cause diligence, or hard work, and frugality, or careful spending, which, in the natural course of things leads to riches But then he went on and he said, And riches leads to pride, and love of the world and everything that is destructive of Christianity It’s a seesaw situation where as the affluence goes up, the religiosity or spirituality of a nation goes down When there’s a great financial crisis or a war or something like that, boom, back up it comes So the faith comes back up But then as things become good again and everybody’s got enough and all the rest, the faith goes down again I’ve seen it happen in my life It happens in nations And that’s where my ministry is I now travel around the world speaking to different groups about that challenge and what can be done about it I was trekking a number of years ago in the Himalayas in Nepal with my two sons and I was a tea house right out, way up in the mountains and there was a little poster up on the wall and it had a quote on it by Mahatma Gandhi And it said, “Whenever financial security occurs, spiritual bankruptcy also occurs” I can only speak for myself but as my finances increased, my spirituality decreased

It doesn’t have to It doesn’t have to, but it often does – In a day when most Christian books on money are about how to attract God’s financial blessings, why have you chosen to refer to these blessings as curses? – What I found is that the blessings coming from God, I was taking those blessings and getting very distracted by them I was spending a whole lot of time maintaining them, insuring them, trying to grow them, investing in them, worrying about them, all the different things that you do when God gives you a lot of stuff And realised that those blessings had actually become a curse In my spiritual life, those blessings were now getting between me and God And so that’s why, yeah, in my book and in the ministry that I do, I talk about those blessings and how they can be curses God doesn’t give them to us to curse us It’s our reaction to them that becomes a curse if we react the wrong way – Julian, you suggest that it’s almost impossible to be financially secure without becoming spiritually bankrupt That’s quite a statement especially coming from an affluent Christian What evidence do you have to back this up? – It’s interesting in scripture that Jesus made a statement He said that it’s easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to get into heaven That’s pretty challenging words, especially when you’re an affluent person Maybe you’re in that 1% club of people And so, and we see it over and over in scripture where people are blessed and then they turn away The good news is that with God and Jesus said this as well, He said that with God, all things are possible And that’s the secret, whether a person is wealthy or not Are they with God? That’s the key word, with And if they are with God, then it is possible for them to live a Christ-like life, even in a wealthy environment But if they’re not with God, then they’re not gonna be living that life regardless of whether they’re wealthy or not So it is a battle Scripture is very clear about it but we also have examples in scripture of people like Nicodemus, Joseph of Arimathea, Abraham and others who were affluent, they were wealthy but they had a very strong relationship with God as well Once they got it sorted out, once they realised the relationship between wealth and their spirituality, they maintained a strong relationship with God – That’s an interesting picture on the cover of your book What are you trying to illustrate? – When I knew that a book was coming from all of this, I got a friend to illustrate a cover for me and I said to him, I said, Andrew, I want you to draw what the inside of my heart looked like when I was in this battle And so he drew this illustration of Jesus standing at a door, knocking on that door and there’s a guy inside, that was me, trying to get to the door I wanted to open the door of my heart to Jesus I wanted to But I had so filled my heart with all the blessings that He had given me that I couldn’t even get to the door I could hear Him knocking but I couldn’t get over all the stuff to get to the door I’m reaching out, trying to open that door and I couldn’t do it There was a guy called Billy Sunday, an American guy, who once said that, Many a man will slip into hell with his hand on the doorknob of heaven – What are the warning signs that a Christian has started to worship God’s blessings rather than God Himself? – In my life, I find that if my morning devotion time, my time with God in the morning is starting to be compressed and cropped and shortened or non-existent, then I have to go, Hey Julian, where’s your priority? The blessings that He’s given you are starting to overcome your life again, your spiritual life The other way that I know it is if I look at my calendar and my bank statements It’s very revealing When I look at my calendar and see how I’m spending my time and I look at my bank statements and see how I’m spending my money, it’s very revealing on where my priority’s really at Are my priorities on God? Is that obvious in my calendar and my bank statements? Or is it on something else? And it could be just about anything else, but God says, Julian, I want your heart, I want your whole heart – Are there any stories in the Bible that show how God’s blessings can become curses? – Yeah, the Bible’s actually full of stories about God’s blessings becoming curses, but I’ll just share one with you Back in, a few thousand years ago, Moses and the children of Israel had spent 40 years travelling around the desert,

around Sinai, the Sinai peninsula in Egypt today They had, they only had food and clothing and a little bit of shelter That’s all they had for these 40 years They then come to the River Jordan and Moses knows that on the other side of that river is what they called the Promised Land And this Promised Land is flowing with all the good stuff In fact, Moses knew that when they crossed over that Jordan, they would be, and he said this to the children of Israel He said, When you cross over this river, you’re gonna live in cities that you didn’t build So the inhabitants are gonna flee before you You’re gonna live in their cities You’re gonna live in houses that you didn’t build You’re gonna eat from vineyards and olive groves that you didn’t plant You’re gonna drink from wells that you didn’t dig So basically they were just gonna be so blessed as soon as they crossed over that river And what did Moses say to them? He said, But when you have all this stuff, don’t forget God What do they do? They cross the river, they have all the stuff and they forget God And this is what happened in my life This is what happened in my nation And it’s a real warning that this isn’t something new This isn’t a new problem This is something that’s been around for thousands of years And if we are gonna take our faith seriously, then we have to really seriously look at this faith versus finance issue in our lives and beyond – Your book addresses a lot of questions that affluent Christians need to consider Please tell me more about the last one on raising godly children – One of the challenges that we face as Christians living in an affluent society is how do we raise godly children It’s really hard In a materialistic world where they are being bombarded and surrounded by all these messages saying, You need all this stuff You won’t be happy without all this stuff It’s really hard to raise godly children In my book, I have 12 different steps that my wife and I have done We’re not claiming to be perfect at this Our boys are 18 and 19 at the moment They’ve been great through their teen years They’ve really looked after us, but they’ve still got a life ahead of them But those 12 points take parents through some of the things that they can do – Tell a little about these 12 points for raising godly children – One is praying You’ve got to pray for our kids Family worship Being intentional So not just thinking, well, they’re kids They’re sort it out We have to be very intentional about this We need to pass on our values Quantity time Limited screen time A choice of peers Taking them on mission trips Wisdom, passing on wisdom I have one called the rule of tens and that’s basically it’s very simple It’s an old Jewish principle The first 10% of your income goes to God The second 10% goes to others, gifts for other people And the third 10% goes into your own savings The other 70%, it’ll go fast enough (laughs) but those three 10’s That’s the rule of tens Financial planning, actually helping our children to plan financially And another one that we have, my wife and I, is abstinence We said to our boys, we want you to abstain from certain things in life and that’s from drugs, sex before marriage, alcohol We want you to abstain from those things because we know that those things can bring a lot of challenges to a young person’s life – Lots of Christians are struggling with these issues in our affluent society What can you offer them? – Look, all I can really offer Christians who are struggling with this today is Jesus Christ and my testimony, my testimony of what Jesus has done in my life Turn your eyes upon Jesus and the things of earth will grow strangely dim And that’s what I’ve found I’ve found that the more that I focused on Jesus, on a daily basis, all the blessings, all the material things that He’s given me just grow strangely dim They’re no longer a priority They’re no longer what I’m here for and I’m able to just focus on things that really really matter People think, Oh if I just had a bigger house or another $10,000 a year salary, that would be enough But I can tell you as somebody who has had the bigger house and the million dollar a year extra salary It’s never enough unless Jesus is what you want When Jesus is what you want, then He’s enough If you’re chasing stuff, you’ll never have enough, but if you’re chasing Jesus, when you get what you’re chasing, you’ve got enough – Julian, I’ve heard you say that you’ve got manure in your wallet Really? What do you mean? – Clint Murchison Jr., who was the founder of the Dallas Cowboys made a statement many years ago He said that, Money is like manure If you pile it up in one place, it stinks But if you spread it around, it does a lot of good And I see a lot of truth in that

If we pile up all of our money, if we hoard it for ourselves, selfishly for ourselves, it starts to stink – What do you suggest as a first step for a person who realises their busy lifestyle is damaging their spiritual life? – Ultimately it’s about our heart It’s about our heart Are we filling our heart with the blessings or are we filling our heart with Jesus? This can be more than just affluence You might be blessed in other ways But if your blessings are going up, your knees need to go down It’s as simple as that So I just encourage people, if you’ve been blessed, if your blessings are just pouring into your life, get down on your knees and be thankful for them Humbly thank God for them and that will lead to sacrificial generosity because that’s what God wants us to do He blesses us so that we can pour those blessings out and give them to other people – Julian, it’s been a pleasure to have you on our programme today Thanks so much for sharing your journey with us and I’d like to wish you God’s richest blessings in all your endeavours – Thank you very much, Gary It’s been an absolute pleasure being with you – The Bible has a lot to say about money Did you know that there are other 2300 references to money in the Bible? That’s almost twice as many as verses about faith and prayer combined And Jesus had a lot to say about money too In fact, Jesus spoke more about money than He did about love and more than He talked about heaven and hell combined Nearly 15% of everything Jesus spoke about related to money and possessions Over 30% of His parables deal with a topic of money That’s a lot Money is a big deal to Jesus Why? Because Jesus knows that there is a very clear connection between our spiritual life and our attitude towards money and possessions And He knows that we need lots of direction and clarity on the whole money issue Jesus knows that money is one of the most likely reasons for us to reject Him, ignore Him or leave Him Jesus knows that it’s a heart issue Notice what He said in Matthew 6:21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also Jesus knows that how we think and behave with money affects our spiritual condition and He outlines very clearly just what the issues are and what’s at stake a few verses further on in Matthew 6:24 No one can serve two masters Either you will hate one and love the other, or you will be devoted to one and despise the other You cannot serve both God and money Jesus presents us with a very clear choice Will we serve God or will we serve money? Jesus says, You cannot serve both It’s impossible It’s one or the other And all of us must choose Yes, the issue is simple Whom will you serve? Jesus wants only the very best for us He loves us and cares for us He doesn’t want anything to come between us and Him And He knows that our relationship with Him can be deeply affected by our relationship with money He doesn’t want money to harm us or separate us from Him So He lovingly warns us to be careful and to get our priorities right and to use money as a tool to bless our families, others, those in need and to use it to share His love with others and expand His kingdom Jesus offers us a friendship, a relationship with Him that brings peace and happiness If you’d like to ensure that you keep your life in balance and harmony with God and that nothing ever separates you from Him, why not reach out to Him and ask Him to assist you right now as we pray? Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your love and goodness to us Thank You for the promise to provide what is good and best for us Thank You for helping us to deal with the challenges and temptations of life Thank You for guiding us and helping us to get our priorities right May we not allow anything to come between us and You Lord, we want to experience happiness

and live life to the full Please bless us now as we reach out to You and move forward in our lives as You intended us to do Bless us and please give us hope and fulfilment We ask this in Jesus’ name, amen Julian Archer learned the hard way that when a person prospers, either God gains a partner or the person loses their soul He knows all too well that when we feel abundantly blessed, we’re often in the most spiritually dangerous stage of our lives But he reminds us that the Bible is full of guidance and wisdom on how to balance our lives, get our priorities right and stay in harmony with God If you’d like to find inner peace and happiness, if you’d like to strengthen your relationships with people and with God, if you’d like to be financially secure without becoming spiritually bankrupt, if you’d like to find a better way, then I’d like to recommend the free gift we have for all our viewers today It’s a booklet called Money, God and You This booklet is our gift to you and is absolutely free There are no costs or obligations whatsoever So please don’t miss this wonderful opportunity to receive the free gift we have for you today Here’s the information you need Phone or text us at 0436 333 555 in Australia or 020 422 2042 in New Zealand Or visit our website, to request today’s free offer and we’ll send it to you totally free of charge and with no obligation Write to us at P.O. Box 5101, Dora Creek, New South Wales, 2264, Australia Or P.O. Box 76673, Manukau, Auckland 2241, New Zealand Don’t delay Call or text us now If you’ve enjoyed today’s journey into the world of money and finance and our reflections on the Bible’s wisdom regarding balancing our lives and ensuring that we are financially secure without being spiritually bankrupt, then be sure to join us again next week when we’ll share another of life’s journeys together Until then, remember the ultimate destination of life’s journey Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes There shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying There shall be no more pain for the former things have passed away (uplifting music)