Biblical Stewardship Truths (Part 2)
Part 2-Week 4 My Testimony (continued)
What does the Bible say about money and possessions? (continued)
Biblical truth #14: We must understand and practice required giving. My father’s favorite Scripture was Malachi 3:10,”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 you will not have room enough for it.” My father convinced me by his words and deeds that giving anything less than one-tenth was robbing God. Although my mother did not work outside the home, my father provided her an allowance on which to manage the household needs. She gave a tithe of that allowance. I remember my father checking my church offering envelope after I received my first paycheck. Guess what? I had included a tenth. Over the years the practice of Biblical stewardship has been a way of life for me, and I have been able to prove both the reason and the promise Malachi gave the people of God about tithing.
The principle of the tithe was born in an agricultural setting. The people of God came to realize if there were going to be another crop, some of the current year’s harvest had to be saved out for seed. If everything were eaten and nothing put back into the cycle, the whole process would collapse. So the tithe was the seed fund, and it is a principle applicable to all of life. Many of us ought to put back more than a tithe. What Zaccheus did in giving half of what he had to those who did not yet have enough is not out of the question for some people.
Biblical truth #15: We must understand and practice sacrificial giving. The two best examples of this kind of giving for me are the Macedonian Christians (read 2 Corinthians 8:1-9) and the widow’s offering (read Mark 12:41-44). The Macedonian Christians, out of their extreme poverty, literally “begged to give.” But the Scripture says they gave themselves to the Lord “first.” That’s what true stewardship is about – giving ourselves “first” to the Lord.
In terms of the coins she used, the widow made the smallest gift, but to Jesus she made the most significant gift. The truth of that incident is it’s not the size of the gift, but the size of the sacrifice that really counts in the eyes of our Lord. Also, it teaches us that no one is excluded from making a worthy gift to our Lord.
Prayer focus: Pray that you will not be a taker, a freeloader or a burden on the process of life, but that you will give sacrificially and take hold of life that is truly life.
Next month: Christian Estate Planning Basics by Laurie Valentine