Guest: O.S. Hawkins
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O.S Hawkins is a long-time pastor and author. He has published over 25 books throughout his ministry and has a lot of wisdom to teach. He provides many of his books for free, so that others can learn the powerful messages and teachings of Jesus for no cost to them. He comes on the Solomon Success show today to talk about his book Jesus Code and gives some great Christian investor tips.
2:40 – Jesus was always asking questions. It’s important to always ask questions.
7:15 – If you’re governed by things, there’s never enough.
10:00 – What is the Christian way of investing? Hawkins explains a little bit more about this.
13:10 – You have to start early to investing and to just get started. That’s the important thing, just start.
16:30 – If you want to see where someone’s heart is, see where they’re putting their money.
18:10 – When Hawkins received his paycheck, he’s always make sure a 10th of it went to the Lord.
19:30 – God looks at how you get your money, how you guard it, and how we give it.
22:25 – Book proceeds and donations goes to Hawkins’s ministry that helps retired pastors and widows who are living near poverty level.
“There’s a lot of questions in life that can not be answered by Google.” Tweet this!
“If you’re consumed by money and if money is your God, you’ll never be satisfied.” Tweet this!
“If the back of greed could ever be broken, our spirit would soar into reaches we’ve never known.” Tweet this!
Mentioned In This Episode:
The Jesus Code by O. S. Hawkins
Welcome to the Solomon Success show. This is your host Jason Hartman where we talk biblical principles applied to business and investing, learning from King Solomon of course. We’ll be back with a fantastic guest for you in just a moment here, but be sure to visit our website SolomonSuccess.org or SolomonSuccess.com. Take advantage of our extensive blog library and our free content. I think you’ll find some fantastic things there, so be sure to visit us on the web at SolomonSuccess.com
It’s my pleasure to welcome O.S. Hawkins to the show. He is author of the Jesus Code and president and CEO of Guide Stone Financial Resources, which serves 200,000 pastors, church staff, missionary, doctors, and other workers of various Christian organizations with their retirement needs. O.S welcome! How are you?
I’m doing great, Jason. It’s a joy to be with you.
Yes, it’s a pleasure to have you on the show. Tell us a little about the Jesus Code if you would.
Well, the Jesus Code actually follows the Joshua Code, which was 52 Scripture Verses Every Believer Should Know. I believe scripture memory is a lost art in the Christian world, so the Joshua Code was the challenge people to take one verse a week and there’s devotional thoughts on it and how to memorize them. Jesus Code came on the heels of it because I was devotionally reading through the Gospels and I always tried to read a chapter of proverbs a day.
100 times I’ve read the gospels, but I’ve saw something I’ve never seen so before, which is what makes the Bible such a miracle book, we’ve all had that experience, it was the numbers of times Jesus asked questions in the gospels. He was omission, he was all knowledge, he was the truth, and yet he was always asking questions. You know, some people think that leadership, whether it’s in the financial world or at home or at the office or church or where ever, is characterizes by certain punctuation marks.
For example, some think to be a good leader you’ve got to become characterized by the period, the mandate, go here, go there, do this, do that. Other think it’s the exclamation point, the enthusiasm, the optimism, but more often than not, real leaders are characterized by that symbol that’s been into humility we call the question mark.
So, one of the good things I love about your regular program is you answer a lot of questions that people are asking. That’s what Jesus was doing. 150 times in the gospels we find our Lord asking a question, so it dawned on me that it was sort of a code, a Jesus code. It’s okay to ask questions. In fact, there’s a lot of answers to a lot that can’t be found on Google. So, I took 52 question in the Bible that I think every believer ought to know before they get to heaven and that’s the Jesus Code published by Thomas Nelson. They cover every gamut of life and I know your program focuses on fiances. We deal with that in there also.
And, O.S. I love how you talk about how Jesus is the original teacher of supply and demand. Tell us a little bit about that if you would.
Right, one of the chapters in the Jesus Code deals with that. We’ve all been there, some time or another, we’ve found ourselves in a situation where the demand exceeded supply where we came up short and had to ask ourselves what’s the use, how am I ever going to meet this need?
The disciples found themselves out in the middle of thousands of people who had gathered in the Galilee there in John 6 and it was time to eat and they had nothing to serve. The kids were crying, their stomach were growling , then Andrew steps forward with a little lunch and Andrew did really well at first. He said, “Lord, there’s a lad here whose got a few fish sandwiches, but what are they amongst so many?” Jesus, as we know the story, took the loafs and basically multiplied it and fed them all food and took up after the supply.
So, you know, Jason, I have a business administration from TCU in Fort Lauderdale years ago. I’ll never forget the first economic course I took in college. Our professor went up there on the board wrote a formula and it was the law of supply and demand and he said, “I don’t care what you do the rest of this course or what you do for the rest of your life in economics, everything is going to be governed by this law of supply and demand. What does this law of supply and demand say? It says when demand exceeds supply prices go up and when supply exceeds demand prices go down.”
To illustrate for some of our hearers, you take a grocery story and they’ve got a bush full of apples they’re selling in there and no body’s wanting apples and they’re about to rot, there’s not a demand for them, but there’s a big supply, the owner will go over there and put a sign on there and say, apples for sale 5 cents than 25 cents, so the price goes down. He comes one morning and there’s a long line of people out in the store waiting for it to open and they all want apples, he goes in, he doesn’t have a whole big supply of them, so he goes over there where it says 25 cents and he puts 50 cents on that. Now, they all come in and they buy an apple.
So it’s the law of supply and demand. We ask, “What does this have to do with feeding of thousands of people on the Galilean hill side?” It’s all about the law of supply and demand and two things happen. Without Christ, demand always exceed supply and the supply is not enough. You see, here was a bunch of people who hadn’t factored Christ in the equation of life and by now the disciples had seen him do so much, but they didn’t factor him in to this problem and situation and there was demand out there. All these people were hungry and there was no apparent supply.
So, Phillip came up from the scene and he immediately, he had a cash register for a mind. He said, “Lord, if we had 200 penny worth of bread, it wouldn’t be enough to feed all these people,” He said, “There’s just no way.” There was a a demand with no apparent supply and the supply was not enough, they just didn’t have enough. And it’s always the way it is if we do not factor Christ into our lives, not enough.
It may be that some of our hearers may have a need today for which there’s no apparent supply. Could be emotional, could be physical, could be material, but there’s just not enough. When we’re governed by things, there’s never enough. If you’re consumed by money and is money your God, how much is enough? Well, just a little bit more, because they’re never satisfied.
Yeah. The famous quote there. It’s just never enough.
It’s renegotiation. It’s just a little bit more. So, without Christ factor in the equation of life, demand always succeeds supply. People are living their lives without Christ, they’re trying to figure out their finances without Christ, they’re trying to meet their needs of their family without Christ and the cry would always be not enough.
What happens was Christ took the lows, multiplied them, and with Christ factored into the equation then, supply exceeds the demand and the supply is more than enough. All the people ate and then you remember what happened? They took up the basket fulls that remained. What happened was the boy gave all and the boy got to give again and that’s always the way it is with Christ. You can never out give him. With Christ factored into the equation of our live, supply always exceeds demands more than enough.
You know, the question in that verse was for Andrew brought that fish out there and said, “We’ve got a boy that’s got little lad with a little large of water, what are they amongst so many?” Not much at all if all you look with human eyes, but God has bigger plans for us and they’re so much..You know the thing, Jason, before we leave this story right now and I know we need to, the thing that stuns me most about this story is that little boy left home that day with the potential to feed thousands of people in that little sack lunch and didn’t even know it. I think how many of us have the potential to do something great for God that haven’t even awakened to it yet.
Well, that’s a very good point. So, let’s dig into the Christian way of investing. Just tell us about your view of that because I wanna talk about anthology and saving for the future and planning and so forth.
Yeah, well, if we’re talking, we basically have a huge retirement organization here and personal investing at Guide Stone. Our investing policy that we don’t invest in companies that are publicly recognized to be involved in alcohol, gambling, tobacco, abortion, and those sorts of things. Folks can learn more about us by going to GuideStone.org on the internet. I was captured by a little verse and proverbs.
I know ya’ll make much of proverbs on your program on Solomon Success because there’s so much wisdom there obviously. I came across a little proverb one time and I thought that’s exactly what we’re trying to do here at Guide Stone to try to help almost a quarter of a million people to a place of vocational retirement with some financial security. It was proverb 6:6 where Solomon says, “Go to the ant, you sluggard, and be wise and consider her ways to how she stores up food in summer, so that when winter comes she has a harvest.” I thought you know, that’s a good advice for an ant. That’s pretty good advice for those of us who are trying to save money toward retirement.
When I was a little boy, Jason, over in East Fort Worth, there was no rail road crossing way back decades ago before they had all the elaborate arms and everything, there was a big sign on that railroad crossing and it said, “Stop, look, and listen.” And that’s what really Solomon is saying here to us today. He’s saying, “Stop. Go to the ant.” I mean, just go to the ant and just stop for a moment and consider her ways.
You know, the truth of the matter is, when you do that and you stop some of life’s greatest lessons are learned in the simplest things right under our nose. The Lord Jesus was the greatest teacher who ever lived and he kept it simple. He talked about lilies through the field, birds of the air, and ants. And, stop, look, that is consider her ways, he said, and then listen, be wise.
So, what does this have to do with retirement planning? You know, I’ve always believed retirement is like a marathon. If you’re a marathon runner, you know when there are four stages in a marathon race. First of all you gotta get a good start, you get on a starting block and there are hundreds of people out that who are running this marathon and you’re back behind them all and you have to spend a lot of unnecessary energy to get ahead of them, so you gotta get a good start.
Secondly you gotta set your pace. You go for miles and miles just setting your pace in that zone and just setting your pace, that’s the majority that race, then there comes a time near the end of the race they call the kick and you get that second wind and kick in and do a little bit more, and then the last stage comes when you can finish the finish line when it’s a 100 of yards away and you sprint toward the finish and finish strong. So, retirement planning, Jason, is exactly like running a marathon.
Wait a second, I gotta tell ya, I absolutely love that. That’s a great metaphor and I think it speaks to people who, I’ll say quote unquote invest, because it’s not really investing, but they’re kind of gambling with their financial future. They engage in like speculative practices. I’m particular found of the real estate side and the real estate investing and you know, they all invest for appreciation and speculative things that just don’t make sense. There are gambles basically where something great has got to happen to get a return, you know, rather than just planning and running the marathon, if you will. You know? I think that’s quite an analogy.
You’re absolutely right. You know, risk is involved in everything and everything we do we have risk. Jesus took the whole parable of the talents to let us know that He does want us to be a risk taking people, but different people have different risk tolerance and what we got to do..
Prudent risk, though. Prudent risk.
Yeah. We’ve got to determine our risk tolerance and, as you just said, prudently. So, what I mean by getting a good start on a marathon, you gotta do that in retirement planning. You got to start early, if you don’t, you’re going to lose a thing called compound interest. That’s the single key in getting to financial security in your later years. It’s so important to get a good start and just get started where ever you are along the way, get started! That’s the most important thing.
Get started young so you can take advantage of your compound interest and then, in retirement planning I’m talking about now, then the second thing you do is just set your pace. You determine your risk tolerance and you get a mix of your investment products and everything and then you just don’t get panic by the volatility of the market, you just set your pace and you run the race and you know, we’ve always had times of volatility, but historically, the market continues to raise. It always has, hopefully it always will. So you set your pace and you don’t let emotions evolve in there.
If you’ve got years of planning, you set your pace and you run the race, then you get the place where you’re near the end of the race, the kids are gone, they’re out of college, you don’t have as much expenses as you do, that’s when the kick comes in. That’s when you maximize your 401k or maximize 403b then when you put deferred compensation products in there and when you continue to protect savings, continue to do all you can to maximize those differences so that you can save more taxes obviously, then you get near the end when you’re going to retire, that’s the sprint. That’s when you pour as much as you can into those retirement funds.
Yeah, well definitely true. So, you know, you mentioned the market, O.S. and I wanted to ask you what are your thoughts about this crookery and scandals and scams that go on on Wall Street? I mean, it just gets so discouraging after a while to see these, these greedy people just skim all the profits off the top and the shareholders don’t get the fair end of the deal.
Well, you know what, unfortunately it’s part of the world in which we live. It’s not just in those markets and those market circumstances and situations. It’s in every area of life, because greed is the number 1 factor to personal revival and corporate revival and if the back of greed could ever be broken, our spirit would soar in to reaches we’d never known.
You know, Jason, if I were asked to write someone’s biography and I could only have one item to use to get to know that person and write the biography. Someone might say, well ask for their diary, because then you can know what they were thinking everyday, you could know all their hidden thoughts, you could really get to know them that way. Somebody else might say, no, get their bible and look what they’ve underlined in the bible, look a their notes. Somebody else might say, get their prayer journal, ask for their prayer journal, then you can see.
I wouldn’t ask for any of those things. If I only had one item to write someone’s biography. You know what I’d ask for? I’d say let me see your check book. I want to know what your cancel checks say, because Jesus said in Matthew 6:21, “Where your treasure is, that’s where your heart will be also.” If you want to know where somebody’s heart is, you just see where they’re putting their money. We think that our treasure follows our heart, we think that if we just get our heart right, then..that’s not what Jesus said. He said, “Where your Treasure is, that’s where your heart will be also.”
You put your treasure in something that’s worth while, your heart will follow it. You take your money and put it in a lake home or you put it in all these conveniences for yourself, that’s where your heart will go on the weekends. So, greed is a very dangerous thing in the life of anyone, so what our cancel checks and what our debts and our accounts say tells us a lot about who we really are, where we spend our money.
O.S., I really like that. I remember years ago the pastor saying in church, he said, “If you want to know what your focus is just look at your calender and look at your check book and there you go.” *Laughter*. That’s great. Where should it be like..what would the good check book look like and that, of course, credit card, whatever transaction, but it’s a good metaphor, what would it look like if it were to be right where our treasure is going?
You know, I’m a firm believer in returning the tide and I know all the arguments about that, but to me, I never thought that Jews under the law should have given more than we believers on grace. So for me, I learned, Jason, early on in life back there when I was in college to take, every time I got a pay check, to make sure the first 10th of that paycheck went to the Lord and it’s amazing how much the rest of it goes.
I was in a meeting the other day and an older man stood up in the back of the room and I was talking about retirement planning and this gentleman, he was retired and up in his 80s and he said, “When I started out, when I was 22 years old,” He said, “Every check I got,” He said, “I gave a 10th of to the Lord. I put a 10th of it in my retirement account. I gave a 10th of it of me to save.” He said, “I’ve lived all my life on 70% of what my salary was.” He said, “Everybody can do that.” He said, “If you get started and discipline yourself to do that.”
It may mean you have to budget, live on a budget and everything, but he was a man up in his 80s that was well fixed and now had lots of opportunity to get to worthy causes and leave his kids an inheritance, because he had done those great things.
That is a great thing no question about it. I think that’s also in the Richest Man in Babylon parable as well, so good advice.
Jason, there are three things, very quickly, that I think God looks at in our money. Number 1, how we get it. I think that’s important on how we get it, whether it’s through greed like we talking about people scamming other people or something like that. How you get your money is important. How you guard it is import. Guarded wealth will never advance the kingdom. It’s how we get it, it’s how we guard it, and it’s how we give it.
I like that. You know, especially the point about guarding it. I think the getting it and giving should be fairly self-evident, but the guarding it is interesting. So, being overly curious and not taking risk or hoarding, right, is that what you’re imply when you talk about guarding it?
Yeah, exactly. You know it’s amazing to me how some people..it’s just like what we were talking a bit more, if money becomes your God, then you guard it and you hold it and it becomes your God. No matter how much..I’m not talking about people who don’t very much money, I’m talking about people who have a lot of money. It’s amazing how much..some body has a lot of money, those who guard it and hoard it like that, the market could go up 200 points in one day and they check it and see how much they made, but you know what they say? “Man, I wish it gone up 250. I wished I had made just a little bit more.” It satisfies.
There’s a little placard, Jason, on everybody’s desk. We have 492 employees here at Guide Stone in Dallas and there’s a little placard on everybody’s desk that reminds us of what Psalm said about said Solomon’s father David. In Psalm 78:72, it said, “He led his people with integrity of his heart and the skillfulness of his hands.” Those two things ought to characterize all of us who are believers who deal with money especially and that is integrity. We all have integrity than anybody else and we shouldn’t sacrifice excellence, skillfulness of hands. So, those two things are vitally important and anybody who’s trying to console someone toward these material money things.
Very good advice. Very good advice. O.S. your website is GuideStone.org?
GuideStone.org or you can go to OSHawkins.com and get some information there.
Great, good stuff and the book of course is available on Amazon and all the usual places, right?
Everywhere. Jesus Code 52 Scripture Questions Every Believer Should Answer.
Let me just say this, Jason, in passing as we leave, all the royalties, book royalties from my books go to Mission Dignity. It’s a ministry we have here at Guide Stone, we’re on a mission to bring dignity to a forgotten bunch of people and that is pastors and their widows and most of them, we have served thousands of these folks, most of them are widows 85 and over living near the poverty level.
They’ve pastored little churches somewhere and never were able to make much money, never were able to provide for a retirement and 10 years ago we could give them $10 dollars a month and now through so many generous gifts to Mission Dignity, we’re able to give the neediest among them $600 dollars a month. It helps them buy medicine and food and a lady wrote to me recently and said, “I get to eat at night and it’s not just a piece of toast.” So, every time somebody buys the Joshua Code or the Jesus Code, the proceeds go to support Mission Dignity.
That’s an excellent cause. O.S. Hawkins thank you so much for joining us today.
Thank you, Jason. Blessings on you.