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Summary: Throughout the bible the Stewardship of money is taught. Jesus had more to say about money than He had to say about heaven. From the Biblical perspective giving is not a duty it is a privilege.

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“Let’s Expect A Miracle of Giving in 2004”

Philippians 4:10-13, 19

A want-to-be truck driver completed an intensive, one-month course leading to being licensed to drive an 18-wheeler. At the end of the course, each candidate was quizzed by a panel of experienced drivers. The questions were grueling. The last question was stated this way: “We are going to describe a specific driving situation, and we want your specific response about what you would do.

Here is the situation. You are driving your fully loaded 18-wheeler down a mountain road. To your right is a 300 foot wall going straight up. To your left is a 1,000 foot drop-off. There is no guardrail, and the space between the road and the drop-off is narrow and covered with gravel. Immediately in front of you is a fully loaded logging truck, traveling very slowly.

“As you pull out to pass, you see a fearful sight. Another 18-wheeler is rounding the curve-coming up the road directly at you. At that instant, a car pulls out to pass the truck coming up the road. You apply your brakes and get no response. You brakes have failed. Four vehicles are now coming together at the same place at the same time. Our question is, "what specifically are you going to do?”

The want-to-be truck driver thought for a few moments and then answered, “I guess I’ll wake up Leroy.” The questioning panel was perplexed, and one of the questioners said, “Who’s Leroy?” “Leroy’s my relief driver, and he’s been sleeping back in the sleeper.”

Now the panel was really confused. One of them asked, “How is waking up your relief driver going to help in any way?”

It’s not really going to help, but you see, Leroy’s from a little town in north Georgia, and he’s never seen a wreck like this one’s going to be.”

This story illustrates the economic times we are living in. The brakes have failed and we’re out of control. Many Americans are living in economic stress with mounting credit card bills and conflict over finances in marriages and no hope seems to be in sight.

Lack of self discipline puts people into crises when they live by spending more than they make. Every week you probably get an opportunity to sign up for another credit card. Advertisers send repeated messages: “You Can’t Live Without It,” “Why Should You Deny Yourself?” “Enjoy Now pay Later.” “There’s little or no cost involved.” “This product or service will meet your real needs.”

In the United States 125 Billion is donated to charities on a yearly basis. George Barna in his research notes that of all people who give donations 3-5% gave a tithe of their income. The average donation by adults per week to a local church is $12.50 or $648.00 a year. Giving this past year in the Willow Vale church was more than twice the national average – 124 different individuals or families gave to the Willow Vale Church with an average yearly giving of $1,400.00.

In Revelation we read about a book that no man could open. Some believe that was the pocketbook.

Throughout the Bible Stewardship of money is taught. Jesus had more to say about money than he had to say about heaven. Stewardship is not about raising money. Fund raising focuses on your obligation to give. Stewardship focuses on the privilege of giving. From the Biblical perspective giving is not a duty it is a privilege.

The Biblical principle for giving is the tithe – ten percent of our income.

Genesis 14:17-24 – Abram’s nephew Lot was taken captive by King Kedorlaomer. When Abram heard about it he took 318 of his trained men and rescued Lot and his family and recovered all their possessions. When they returned from their victory they were met by Melchizedek, king of Salem a priest of the Most High God. He blessed Abram and praised God for giving him the victory over his enemies. “Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.”

I Chronicles 29:14-18 - David gives his son Solomon plans and instructions on building the Temple in Jerusalem. David personally gave 110 tons of gold and silver to help build the temple. The other families in Israel give willingly a total of 5,250 tons of silver, gold, bronze, iron, and precious stones. David praises the Lord publicly before the people and says, “But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand.” V. 14

David stated a Biblical principle: “God owns all and we are His Stewards and Managers of what God has provided.”

David carried that same theme through when he sang out in Psalm 24:1, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.”

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