Summary: Proverbs gives us the proper context for giving. Without saying the word Tithe it reveals to us that we are to honor God with the first and best of all our increase, substance, weath, money. Your faithfulness will never be an issue of percentage it will
Intro: Why should we spend time studying what the Bible says about finances? Because the way we handle our resources is one of if not the clearest indicators of our hearts spiritual condition. Of the 38 parables that Jesus taught 16 are about how we handle our money. So why should we study about finances and money? Because our finances can either be a sign of surrender to God or slavery to this world system. Our resources are not simply a physical matter they are a spiritual mater.
We need to know the faith principles for our finances to guard against the following.
1) If we are not careful our finance can become a stronghold for the enemy and a barrier to our relationship with God
2) If you are in bondage financially you will miss out on the blessing God intends for His children. The hand of blessing comes to the heart of obedience.
3) If you are not following God’s principles for your finances you will miss great freedom and peace by not allowing God to direct your finances.
There is much more to stewardship but we are going to focus clearly on finances but from a focal point of a relationship with God. Once again these principles mean nothing for someone who has not been saved from their sins and sealed by the Holy Spirit.
Becky Schwartzentraub Afire with God --
“Stewardship is a continuous cycle that begins with God’s initiative and gifts and continues with our receiving, managing, and distributing all hat God has entrusted to us.”
You have a choice in the application of these principles in your relationship with God. You can obey them and be blessed or disobey them and miss the blessing and receive discipline.
Here in proverbs the context of wealth, or substance, or increase is trusting God with all our heart or our entire person. Proverbs 3.5-6 Trust the living and Active God with all your heart and don’t lean to your own understanding in all you ways acknowledge Him.
How should we acknowledge this living and active God? As Lord, master, and owner of all we are and all we have.
I. Faith Principle number 1: Honor the Lord with your finances
God’s Word translation Proverbs 3.9, 10 “Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the first and best part of all your income. Then your barns will be full, and your vats will overflow with fresh wine.”
A) Recognize God’s ownership
Psalm 24.1 “The earth is the Lord's, with all its wealth; the world and all the people living in it.”
Haggai 2.8 “The silver and gold belong to Me"—the declaration of the LORD of Hosts.”
1Corinthians 6:19, 20 “Don’t you know that your body is a temple that belongs to the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit, whom you received from God, lives in you. You don’t belong to yourselves. 20You were bought for a price. So bring glory to God in the way you use your body.
Why should we give financially? Because we are simply returning to God what rightfully belongs to Him. The breath in our lungs belongs to Him, the chemicals in our bodies belong to Him, the money we earn belongs to Him. It is not about a percentage but about a relationship. If He is Lord then the only thing to do is Honor Him with the first and best of all your income.
I have to ask this question again, if we can trust God with our eternity and salvation why can’t we trust him with our money? That is what is at issue here. It is not about the money as much as about trusting God.
The question at hand is, is God able to take care of us? Does God really care more for us than for the sparrows who he feeds every day? All you have to do is look to the cross to find out yes He does!!
So if God does care then what is a proper response to His ownership and authority? It is to honor God with all our income with the first and the best. A little later we will talk about where to give.
B) Release your resources
It is not enough to know that it belongs to God. The demons believe and shudder. What do you do in response to the reality of God’s principles? If you really believe that all you are and all you have belong to Jesus you will turn it over. Turn control over to the all knowing ever trustworthy God!
To release your resources to God means no more excuses. How has this worked itself out in my life? My wife and I are led by God to tithe. Technically that means we give 10% of all our income to God. It is actually more than that and we have covenanted with God to increase it every year. That is not the end though we allow God to determine what is done with the remainder of our financial resources. We give of the first and the best because it honors God. More than that He is the owner and director of our resources.