Christian Stewardship Of All We Have
When it comes to our possessions and especially money or finances many Christians, have different ideas. However the real situation is that all we have belongs to God as He created everything that goes into physical items like cars, homes, clothes, money and finances. God created our talents and gave us education and other tools all provided by our Father God. Even non-Christians have learnt that giving is a blessing and that God’s law in this regard operates regardless if they know God or not. Gravity works for everyone and so does forgiving. I believe strongly that many Christians are robbing themselves of a blessing in all areas of their lives as they hold onto “their” finances and are not good stewards of what God has given them. We are being disobedient. God expects at least the Tithe, which I know many say is only in the Old Testament however, Abraham gave a Tithe of all before the Law was introduced by Moses and therefore sets a standard for us.
If you are battling in your finances, what do you think is the problem? It cannot be God, as He owns the whole world and has commandments and laws to look after us. Jesus said His Father even feeds the birds. It is our mind set about money that keeps us in bondage. Men need to say “no” to their wives when necessary. Covetousness is a big problem for many people today if they were honest with themselves and it steals so much from our lives. The New Testament has many serious things to say about coveting. Many Christians will say that my church misuses finances and they cannot be trusted so I do not tithe. This sounds good in principle, but God said nothing about worrying to whom you give, only that you should give to your storehouse.
It might be to a ministry like the Salvation Army or a ministry that has feed you spiritually or one that serves the poor. It is the responsibility of the men and women that receive the finances, to steward them well. If you use the above excuse, it shows that the money is your god and God does not own your money. God says give with no caveats.
You cannot serve two masters God and Mammon (money) the Bible says for good reason. I can testify about what I have experienced with Jesus working miraculously in my finances over many years. I have not worked for over 5 years and paid maintenance to my ex-wife for over 14 years. Money has always been forthcoming when needed out of the strangest places. I have given even while not working. I have given clothes, shoes, household items, and money. I am being very direct as this is a serious area of all our lives especially as the financial future is uncertain and we need to know where our help comes. The current economic state of affairs is going to change dramatically over the next 5-10 years with even the possibility that United States Dollar will not be the International currency as it is now. Please click here for some more information. This will have major consequences for every area of our lives as the shift of financial power moves away from the US.
The word, stewardship, simply means to manage someone else’s property. For the Christian, as Scripture proclaims everything belongs to God, we manage the property of our Lord. Since everything belongs to Christ, we need to have the attitude and view that our things are His things, our stuff is His stuff, that all we could have now, all we have lost, all we will have, is His, including our very bodies and spiritual gifts. We are mere lessees of the property, money, relationships, talents, time, and even our lives. That means all that we are and not all that we have are really ours to begin with. They belong to God. Therefore, the duty of the Christian is to learn how to become responsible stewards of our Lord’s resources entrusted into our care. It means to manage everything to the best of our abilities for His glory (1 Corinthians 4:2). Verses on Stewardship: Psalm 24:1; Proverbs 3:9-10; Romans 12:6; 1 Corinthians 4:1-2; 6:19-20; 2 Corinthians 8-9; Ephesians 5:15-16; James 1:17
Stewardship Part 1
Q: What does Biblical Stewardship mean to you?
These two words send the average congregation and common churchgoer into fear and panic. Stretching from the leadership and pastorate that fears to offend or drive people away, including the church member who may be too far stretched in time, and giving. There are people who do not want to be convicted, lest he be forced to reach for the sacred will of his wallet or the exercise of His call. Yet, these two words are simple, and needed, because the church and the body of Christ could not function without them being proclaimed and exercised.
Stewardship Part 2
Are you giving what is right, or what is left? In my experiences and observations, I have observed, with sadness, that most people in evangelical circles do not see stewardship as important. A common response to the subject of stewardship is that all we need to have is a good heart, or be sincere in our faith. Money and how we manage life is irrelevant. However, is this true? Is God only concerned with our heart? If so, what does that mean? Well, when you read the Bible, you can see that it has a very different definition of stewardship than what is popular in the church today!
Stewardship Part 3
Learning What It Means to Give Cheerfully!
How do you feel when churches, ministries, or even missionaries seek you, asking for funds? Does it give you a toothache? Do you cringe and make the quickest possible exit, or do you see those requests as opportunities to serve? Many people run away from stewardship because they do not see it as God does. This is a reflection of our spiritual condition! We should never separate money and finances from our spiritual life. Yet, so many Christians do, seeking to be cheerful with what they can keep, not with how they can be used. 2 Corinthians 8:1-15 – A Template on How to Give. (NKJV)
Moreover, brethren, we make known to you the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia: that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded in the riches of their liberality. For I bear witness that according to their ability, yes, and beyond their ability, they were freely willing, imploring us with much urgency that we would receive the gift and the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. And not only as we had hoped, but they first gave themselves to the Lord, and then to us by the will of God. So we urged Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also complete this grace in you as well. But as you abound in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all diligence, and in your love for us—see that you abound in this grace also. I speak not by commandment, but I am testing the sincerity of your love by the diligence of others. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich. And in this I give advice: It is to your advantage not only to be doing what you began and were desiring to do a year ago; but now you also must complete the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to desire it, so there also may be a completion out of what you have.
For if there is first a willing mind, it is accepted according to what one has, and not according to what he does not have. For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened; but by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may supply their lack, that their abundance also may supply your lack—that there may be equality. As it is written, “HE WHO GATHERED MUCH HAD NOTHING LEFT OVER, AND HE WHO GATHERED LITTLE HAD NO LACK.” Deuteronomy 8:17-18 “then you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth. And you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day” (NKJ).
The above scripture tells us that it is after all God who gives us the strength and ability to obtain wealth so that His Covenant may be established on the earth. If God then is the source of our wealth, then it first belonged to Him and it is only right that the tithe goes back to Him. Money is a servant to utilise, not a god to serve. Wealth is very deceptive and we need to know the difference between wealth that is sought and wealth that has come from the hand of God.
a) Wealth that is sought and pursued is associated with this world’s system and all the curses and problems that accompany it. Satan is the god of this world, and he does not work according to God’s rulebook, the Bible. He is out to destroy the world and especially the children of God.
b Wealth that has come from the hand of God is blessed and has no curse associated with it. God wants us at all times to recognise this and give Him the glory for our success.
IS THE TITHE A NEW TESTAMENT LAW?
a) The tithe is a law just as seed time and harvest is a law, but it is also a principle and God’s principles have not changed. The tithe was in existence before the Law, during the Law dispensation and into the New Testament dispensation.
The Oxford Dictionary says “a principle is a law of nature forming the basis for construction or working of something”.
b) Tithing was practised before the law, we see this in Genesis 14:17-22 and 28:18-22.
c) The reason why tithing was included in the Law was so that the House of God and Levites would have provision. It was God’s way of provision for His priests. This is still applicable for today. There are still priests and churches that need provision.
d) To establish God’s Covenant on the earth, money is required for the Gospel to be preached to all the earth. The word “steward” is the Greek word “oikonomos” meaning a “household servant”. It is the responsibility of a servant to look after the wealth of his master.
The responsibilities of a steward’s functions are found in Matthew 20:8; Luke 8:3; Luke 12:42; Luke 16:1-8 and Titus 1:7. As stewards of God’s money, we have the responsibility of providing for those in the household of God through tithing and offerings. When we became children of God, we gave Him Lordship over every area of our life, including our finances. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s” (NKJV),
GOD’S CONDITIONS AND PROMISES Malachi 3:8-11 “Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. 9 Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. 10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. 11 And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts” (KJV).
5.4 GOD’S PLAN FOR PROSPERITY IS ACCOMPANIED BY CONDITIONS a) Verse 8 & 9 (Conditions)
- Many people handicap themselves by lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6) and disobedience. Verse 9 says that by withholding the tithe we bring a curse on our finances, because we are robbing God.
- By not tithing, we are breaking the law of sowing and reaping. You cannot reap what you have not sown. God has to have something to work with. God knew that by bringing the tithe into the law, He was ensuring His people’s prosperity.
The motive for tithing must never be to receive, but to obey, for God honours obedience not greedy motives.
b) Verse 10 (Promises)
- Giving opens the windows of Heaven and God is able to bless us to overflowing. Why overflowing? So that we can keep the channels of giving, open.
- In this verse, God invites us to prove (try) Him to verify His trustworthiness.
- By not giving, we rob God of the privilege of blessing us to overflowing.
c) Verse 11 (Promises)
- God has blessings reserved for us. There is nothing Satan can do to withhold or curse what God has blessed.
- Giving to God requires faith and receiving from God also requires faith. Our faith and our motives will be tested and if found to be pure God will release His blessings over our lives.
NEW TESTAMENT SCRIPTURES ON TITHES AND OFFERINGS
a) Justice, mercy and faith are the most important elements of the laws of God, but tithing should not be neglected (Matthew 23:23, 5:17).
b) In the New Testament, we give our tithes to Jesus after the order of Melchizedek (Hebrews 7:1-16).
c) Tithes and offerings should be offered to God if possible on the first day of the week (Sunday) (1 Corinthians 16:1-4).
d) We reap just what we sow in life. We receive with the same measure that we give. (Luke 6:38, Galatians 6:6-7).
e) Jesus became poor so that we may become rich in spirit, soul and body and enjoy financial blessing and prosperity (2 Corinthians 8:9; 9:7).
f) As we sow into the Kingdom of God, He shall supply all our needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:15-19).
I believe this teaching will bless and help you in your finances as you apply Gods word to your finances and your heart attitude.