Summary: Our money really belongs to God and is only a test of our character, in preparation for greater responsibilites during the 1,000 Reign and in Eternity.
THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO YOUR CHECK BOOK
A. HUMOR: PRAY BEFORE EATING
1. Everyone was seated around the table as the food was being served. When little Logan received his plate, he started eating right away.
2. "Logan, wait until we say our prayer," his mother reminded him. "I don't have to," the little boy replied.
3. "Of course you do," his mother insisted, "we say a prayer before eating at our house."
4. "That's at our house," Logan explained, "but this is Grandma's house and she knows how to cook."
B. TEXT & THESIS
1. We can talk about what God means to our lives all we want, but the real proof is found in Jesus’ Lordship over our finances.
2. The Rich Young Ruler kept all the commandments, but walked away from Jesus when the Lord asked him to give his money away for God.
3. I want to unveil to you 7 principles that can set you free from greed. Title: “The Gospel According to Your Check book.”
I. PRIN. #1: GOD’S RIGHTFUL OWNERSHIP
“The earth is the LORD‘S, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it…the land is mine and you are but aliens and my tenants.” Ps. 24:1; Lev.25:23
B. ULTIMATELY, GOD GAVE US OUR WEALTH
1. Our cars, houses, bank accounts, etc., don’t belong to us, but to God. He’s let you have them. “But Pastor! I’ve worked for years to earn these things. Aren’t they rightly mine?”
2. Who caused you to be born in the USA? Who gave you the opportunities you got? You could have been born in Ethiopia in poverty and been illiterate all your life.
3. God didn’t give your assets solely for your own enjoyment. He has other purposes – so that you can be a blessing to others!
4. “God…gives you the ability to produce wealth” Deut. 8:18.
II. PRIN. #2: PURPOSE YOU HAVE POSSESSIONS
A. WE’RE STEWARDS OF WHAT WE HAVE
1. “minister…to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 1 Pet. 4:10
2. Steward – “One employed to oversee resources or people in a large estate.”
3. “Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.” 1 Cor. 4:2. Purpose? To bless you/ church/ world.
4. Often when we think of Stewardship, we only think of money. BUT giving money is merely part of stewardship. It is also our time and talents.
B. ATTITUDE IS ALL-IMPORTANT
1. Stewardship is about having the HEART OF STEWARDSHIP. In other words, good stewardship is a matter of ATTITUDE that stands behind your giving and your service. It’s not what you give or what you do for God, it’s WHY you do it.
2. The Pharisee’s prayers and/or giving weren’t acceptable to God (Parable of the Publican & Pharisee who went to the Temple to pray, Lk. 18:14) because they were done with hypocrisy.
3. If you give money/ resources to God – wrong attitude… we’re not being good stewards. If we do ministry (serve the church) with the wrong attitude… we’re not being good stewards.
C. HOW ARE WE TO GIVE?
1. JOYOUSLY—“The Lord loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Cor. 9:7.
a. A mother wanted to teach her daughter a moral lesson. She gave the little girl a quarter and a dollar for church.
b. “Put whichever one you want in the collection plate and keep the other for yourself,” she told the girl. When they were coming out of church, the mother asked her daughter which amount she had given.
c. “Well,” said the little girl, “I was going to give the dollar, but just before the collection the man in the pulpit said that we should all be cheerful givers. I knew I’d be a lot more cheerful if I gave the quarter, so I did.”
2. LIBERALLY— If you must err, err on the side of generosity.
3. AS TO THE LORD, NOT MEN— It doesn’t matter if you don’t like something about the person at the top. You be faithful to God, and they will give an account for what they do.
4. SACRIFICIALLY— God doesn’t want us to stop with comfortable giving.
III. PRIN. #3: PROPORTIONATE PARTICIPATION
A. EVERYONE “OWES” THE TITHE
1. " 'A tithe (tenth) of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the LORD; it is holy to the LORD.”Lev. 27:30.
2. Proverbs 3:9-10, "Honor the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine."
3. All are called to give the same %, minimum.
B. WHERE DO YOU PAY YOUR TITHE?
1. “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house.” Mal. 3:10.