Summary: Part 4 of 4. We have leaned well how to Lean Against God. But we hestitate to Lean on Him. Tithing is the principle of Learning To Lean on God!
Learning to Lean
Stewardship: Trusting Enough to Tithe
Text: Judges 7:9-22
This morning I would like to finish our series on Stewardship that I have entitled Learning to Lean.
Eric Hulstrand writes in Leadership magazine: "While I was preaching one Sunday, an elderly woman, Mary, fainted and struck her head on the end of the pew. Immediately, an EMT in the congregation called an ambulance. s they strapped her to a stretcher and got ready to head out the door, Mary regained consciousness. She motioned for her daughter to come near. Everyone thought she was summoning her strength to convey what could be her final words.
The daughter leaned over until her ear was at her mother’s mouth.
’My offering is in my purse,’ she whispered."
This morning I would like to bring you a message entitled Trusting Enough To Tithe.
A priest once asked one of his parishioners to serve as financial chairman of his parish. The man, manager of a grain elevator, agreed on two conditions: No report would be due for a year, and no one would ask any questions during the year.
At the end of the year he made his report. He had paid off the church debt of
$200,000. He had redecorated the church. He had sent $1,000 to missions. He had $5,000 in the bank.
"How did you do all this?" asked the priest and the shocked congregation.
Quietly he answered, "You people bring your grain to my elevator. As you did business with me, I simply withheld 10 percent and gave it to the church. You never missed it." --James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers,
Inc, 1988), p. 460.
The past three weeks we have looked extensively at the three foundations of Stewardship:
Lordship, Trust, and God’s Provision.
We have also looked at the definition of a Steward…
This definition is really key.If we do not consider ourselves stewards of the Kingdom of God, we
are going to have problems with Lordship, and we are going to have big problems when it comes to the area of Tithing.
Defintion: “Someone who is responsible for another man’s property.”
We are in such a key position as stewards.
John Wesley once said…
"When the Possessor of heaven and earth brought you into being and placed you in this world, He placed you here not as an owner but as a steward--as such He entrusted you for a season with goods of various kinds--but the sole property of these still rests in Him, nor can ever be alienated from Him. As you are not your own but His, such is likewise all you enjoy. "
One of the barometers we can use as to the health of this area of Stewardship in our life, is our attitude concerning giving to the work of the Lord. Notice I said it is our attitude towards giving, not the amount of our giving that is the barometer. The enemy comes in and says that it is the amount…this is not so.There are times in our lives when God blesses us by putting us in the place of the giver, and then there are times in our lives when God blesses us by putting us in the place of the receiver.
It is not the amount, but the attitude that is important.
"Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD thy God which he hath given thee. "
I read of one pastor who perceived the whole concept of encouragement from a financial point of view. He announced one Sunday that he had made a new offering box for the weekly collection of the tithes and offerings. He claimed that it was designed to encourage people to become better stewards of their money.
"This new box," he explained, "has some interesting features. When you drop in a check or paper money in large amounts, the box makes no sound at all. Put a quarter in and it tinkles like a bell. A dime blows a whistle, and a penny fires a shot. When you put in nothing, the box takes your picture."
The Need or Use of Finances can be one of the most divisive issues within a church. I am so thankful for attitude that many of you have when it comes to this area within this body of believers.
"God judges what we give by what we keep."
- G. Mueller
"I have tried to keep things in my hands and lost them all, but what I have given into God’s hands I still possess." – Martin Luther
J. D. Rockefeller said, “I never would have been able to tithe the first million dollars I ever made if I had not tithed my first salary, which was $1.50 per week.”