Summary: First things First it more important to care for you spiritual life than the amount of money you give. www.preaching.co.nr
Another Thing many Christians Find Hard to do is to give.
In this life we have be blessed with Time, Talents, Possessions and Money, of course some more than others.
Many have worked hard to develop skills and talents that have enabled them to earn the money to buy possessions and have the time to enjoy them.
For many people the sticking point or stumbling bock to living a committed Christian life comes when the Church or Pastor begins to talk about Giving. Responding by saying something like; “you mean you want me to GIVE my money, GIVE my time, GIVE my skill, and just GIVE it, for free?”
Giving where Do you Begin?
When it comes to giving preachers often begin with what you have got to give rather than with;
1. what you have been given to give, 2. why you should give, and 3. how you should give.
When a preacher begins with what you have got to give he is in danger of becoming legalistic, manipulative and condemning over the lives of God’s people, his focus is often on what he can get out of people rather than God’s intention which is to fill His people or put into His people.
Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Colossians 1:9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.
God Owns Everything so he can give Everything
Ps 24:1 The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it, (see also Ps 50, Ps 68:19, Ps 89:11 Haggai 2:8) Your name may be on the Deeds to your house, or the Registration document of your car but it belongs to the Lord.
The Lord’s relationship with man begins by giving; He gave us the breath of life, the garden of Eden and God gave us authority over it. Repeatedly God’s people testify, ‘The Lord has Given us; provision, skills, abilities, wisdom, protection, Land, Children, Victory, His commandments, His Spirit, His Word’ and of course because God loved this world so much He give His one and only Son Jesus, John 3:16.
Peter says “his divine power has given us everything we need for life…” 1Pet 1:3
Paul says Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 1 Timothy 6:17
Caring For What we have been Given
There is a danger of coming to God for selfish gain, thinking “if God is giving stuff away I’ll have some.” Treat God like Santa.
There is a danger in our efforts to get, that we often forget we are accountable for what we are given.
But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 1 Peter 4:5
If the Gifts you have given for Christmas, are abused, neglected or forgotten you may feel grieved and influenced to perhaps withhold or not give gifts in the future.
In the same way God expects us to use carefully and wisely everything he has given to us, otherwise we may find ourselves saying as Job “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away,” lets hope we can also say like Job when we don’t get or lose what we want “Blessed be the name of the Lord” Job 1:20
Jesus tells a story about Stewardship in Luke 16:1-13. This story communicates to us that we will all be asked “What have we done with what we have been given?” can I encourage you not to wait until Judgement Day to answer that question, but today ask “what can I do with what I have been given?”
First things First
When talking about giving, rather than begin with the money you have been given, I feel it’s more important for us to focus on how we care for the New Life we have been given in Jesus.
We are Stewards over our spiritual life, as you seek to care for your physical body we should care for our spiritual life. The Condition of your spiritual Life will influence how you handle everything that God has given to you.
Foundation to caring for your spiritual life; Prayer, talk to God, Word, listen to God & Fellowship, meet to worship God.
When born again we began a new life, one that puts God first and lives according to the values of the Word of God. That means if what the Word says is contrary to the world’s values, then we do what the Word says.