STEWARDSHIP FOCUS
GIVING      Dr. Joseph Stowell
 
On the first day of every week, each one of you should set side a sum of money in keeping with his income saving It up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made. I Corinthians 16:2
 
Christ taught in His stewardship parable that all we have has been given to us by Him, and we will be held accountable for how we use it (Matthew 25:14-30). That truth is certainly a step beyond the lopsided “10 percent for God: 90 percent for me” formula. That limited view of stewardship actually makes us vulnerable to letting the percent become master of our lives. True stewardship sees all I have as belonging to God. How do I Invest it all for Him? By measuring every expenditure in the light of what is best for Him.
 
For instance, when my children were younger, we lived in a delightful neighborhood where many on our neighbors did not share our faith in Christ. Most of them knew I was a minister. I knew they watched us and that the testimony of Christ was at stake through our lives. Since no one had dandelions in their lawns, I spent money on weed killer so that the Christian on the block wasn’t the one to reseed my neighbor’s lawn with dandelion. My children needed to be fed and clothed in a way the glorified Christ.
 
Keeping indebtedness in check is important as well. How can we use our money for the eternal cause of Jesus if we are in bondage to our credit cards? Giving directly to His cause is essential. Not just 10 percent–that would be the minium-but 12,15, 20 percent , or more. As God’s Word says, we are to give in proportion to how He has prospered us so that we make friends who will welcome us into heaven (Luke 16:9; I Corinthians 16:2).
 
God uses money to test our trustworthiness and commitment to Him. As Christ said, “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much”(Luke 16:10). Is He the ruler over all you have?