Feb 24, 2016
WOFCF Bible Explosion
The Nature of Stewardship
Point #1 Tithing
God invites us to try out stewardship and prove to ourselves that obeying Him by recognizing His ownership of our resources will open up all kind of blessings to us. There is a wonderful example of this in the Bible: “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this, says the Lord Almighty, and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it” (Malachi 3:10).
Now, back to the biblical mandate that God’s people acknowledge His ownership by giving a tithe to His work. In the quoted verse, God said, “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse.” In today’s world, the storehouse is generally interpreted to mean your local church--the place where you are fed spiritually and through which your service to the world is focused. A tithe is one-tenth of your weekly or monthly income...this is the minimal Christian stewardship standard. 10 percent of your income is brought to the church and given to support its mission. Other offerings may be given to meet other needs as outlets of your generosity and compassion, but your first commitment is to the mission of your local church.
What has your experience been with tithing? In what ways is tithing a responsible stewardship of your resources?
Point #2 Cheerful Giving
Because of our spending habits and obligations, it can be difficult for even the most faithful to give to the church cheerfully, joyously or readily. There are some things we can do that might change our attitude:
- Remember where it came from (James 1:17). Every blessing we have, including money, is from God.
- Remember what we owe (Romans 8:32). A monetary donation is nothing compared to what we receive because of Jesus’ sacrifice.
- Remember what the money is used for (Romans 15:26). Ultimately, this is what our offering should go to--the equipping of the saints and the spread of the Gospel. If it doesn’t, we need to rethink who is worthy of our gifts.
- Remember God’s promise to the giver (Luke 6:38). This does not mean that God will always financially bless those who give, but if we make Him a priority, He will take care of us.
How can you become a more cheerful giver?
Point #3 Investment (Matthew 25:14-30)
Stewardship is about making an investment. When we exercise good stewardship over the resources entrusted to us, we are making investments in God’s work and in the lives of otherpeople. It takes the investment of people’s time, energy, abilities, and finances to meet the needs of people and to advance the kingdom of God in the world. Investments are made with the view toward reaping a return. It is a great blessing to see others come to Christ and the needs of people relieved because we have been faithful in making an investment. Stewardship is not about how much you have, but what you do with whatyou have. God has “invested” in you with the prospect of you investing those things that will advance His kingdom and help others.
How are you currently investing your resources in God’s kingdom? What additional investments in time and resources might God be calling you to make?
Point #4 Let’s Talk Budget
The bible tells us to keep careful track of our financial lives (Prov. 27:23-27). For us today “the condition of your flocks” and giving “careful attention to your herds” means keeping an eye on your bank account, and knowing exactly what your money is doing. If we don’t carefully plan our finances, and direct them where to go, we will one day find ourselves broke, even with good paying jobs. This is accomplish through budgeting.
- Budgeting is the absolute best way to become master of your money and accomplish two main goals:
o It is a way of documenting your financial life on paper. It shows where your money comes from, and where it goes.
o It allows you to make informed, strategic choices about spending and saving.
- Telling your money where to go each month ensures that your basic needs, like food and shelter, will always be met.
A good documentation of your financial habits, makes it easy to see areas that need some work, and redirect your money flow to meet those needs.