By The Rev. Rick Sellers, Mt. Zion General Baptist Church
Many churches have their approach to financial stewardship but the Bible really is pretty solid on this subject.
God says TRUST ME!
10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this,” Says the LORD of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it. – Malachi 3:10 (NKJV)
Church budgets have been established by this time and now it is up to the faithful support of Christ followers in the church to fulfill their responsibility to God and His Church.
I recall several years ago listening to Dr. James Dobson from Focus on the Family as he asked for the financial support of the ministry. What he said really was impressive. “If you can support our work financially now is a good time. However, I ask that you first present your tithe to your local church.”
The local church is God’s plan for reaching the local community. This is why it is important that Christ followers show their support financially through their tithe.
Now I know this is a subject which is not ever received well, however it is a subject that is Scripturally supported. According to one website I recently looked at, there are 500 verses on prayer, a little less than 500 on faith and more than 2,000 on money. As a matter of fact, Jesus taught more on the subject of money and possessions than His teachings on heaven and hell all combined.
We should understand that the Bible is honest, true and the very Message of God to those who will trust Him. Therefore, we should…FOLLOW THE BIBLE.
From the Bible we learn that God is THE CREATOR of all things and maintains ALL the RESOURCES that He needs. From the Bible we learn that we can TRUST HIM.
“Trust the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.” “TEST ME, says the Lord.” God is faithful. This we learn from the Bible.
So, if the Bible is trustworthy, doesn’t it make sense that we should…GIVE AS GOD CALLS US TO GIVE.
The Tithe was established by God in the Old Testament for the purpose of establishing the needs of the temple and to satisfy any of the needs of those in leadership. Much of what we read in Leviticus reminds us of God’s provision and direction for giving to God through the TITHE
The New Testament Church was established by God, through Jesus Christ for the purpose of spreading the Gospel (MISSION) and caring for people (BENEVOLENCE), especially the widows and orphans.
(See Acts 4:32–35; James 1:22–27)
If the Bible is trustworthy and we believe it instructs us to give, if we believe that God encourages this THROUGH His Word we need to understand that you will…RECEIVE THE REWARDS FOR YOUR COMMITMENT. Not that our giving should be with the motive of receiving.
19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. – Matthew 6:19–21 (NKJV)
Are you a slave, trapped by money? I find it interesting how random the writer of Proverbs can be and yet how he ties together what seems to be random to solidify a solid biblical truth. Consider this…
6 Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it.
7 The rich rules over the poor,
And the borrower is servant to the lender.
8 He who sows iniquity will reap sorrow,
And the rod of his anger will fail.
9 He who has a generous eye will be blessed,
For he gives of his bread to the poor. – Proverbs 22:6–9 (NKJV)
Here we find the writer of Proverbs revealing God’s method of financial stewardship from one generation to the next. Setting the example of managing your resources reveals to those close to you that you understand that managing your money is important. If you don’t manage your money, it will manage you.
Many people, as they celebrated Christmas, had a sick feeling in the pit of their stomach because they know they just financed everything they gave through their credit card, and that they will probably pay for this for at least a couple years. How would it feel to provide a reasonable Christmas and be able to relax because you have the money just for such things?
Dave Ramsey says, Christmas comes every year at the same time. It should never be a surprise when it arrives.
This might not be a very popular subject but it is important. Scriptures are clear. We must take responsibility and manage well our resources. If you need assistance with this look for the next Financial Peace University and get signed up. Mt. Zion GBC offers at least one class every year.
When you become better stewards of the resources God has given you, you will discover that it is most blessed to give.
By The Rev. Rick Sellers, Mt. Zion General Baptist Church
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