It Makes FAITH!
Faith is a requirement for the Christian life. Hebrews 11:6 begins, “Now without faith it is impossible to please God …” Never forget that! If we can fully see it; if we know that we can do it; if we are sure we can achieve it; we are not fully living by faith.
It is when God asks us to do something, and we don’t believe we can do it. But we stretch out anyway just because God said so, and we achieve the impossible knowing that it was by God’s grace—then God is pleased because we are truly walking by faith.
Some people believe that talking about money is not spiritual and has nothing to do with faith. Actually, it has everything to do with faith. Jesus spoke more about money and its effects on the human spirit than any other person in the Bible. “Sixteen of the thirty-eight parables were concerned with how to handle money and possessions. In the gospels, an amazing one out of ten verses (288 in all) deal directly with the subject of money. The Bible offers 500 verses on prayer, less than 500 verses on faith, but more than 2,000 verses on money and possessions.”
In Philippians 4:8-9, Paul writes a beautiful passage reminding us to keep our minds on nobler things. He says, ” Finally[c] brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is anything praiseworthy—dwell on these things.9 … and the God of peace will be with you.“ Then immediately in closing this letter, Paul uses the last eleven verses from verse 10-20 talking about MONEY!
It doesn’t make SENSE that I should give 10 percent or more away and still be able to handle my bills. If I have less it just makes sense that I can do less—but hold on! Remember the widow in 1 Kings 17. She gave away her last cake and because she did, her oil and flour lasted throughout the time of drought. God wants us to live by faith, confidently knowing—”And my God will SUPPLY… according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:19).
What makes sense is that God is our endless supply.
- Haggai 2:8 – “The silver and gold belong to me— this is the declaration of the Lord of Armies.”
- Psalm 24:1-2 – “The earth and everything in it, the world and its inhabitants, belong to the Lord.”
- 1 Chronicles 29:14 – “But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? For everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your own hand.”
- 2 Corinthians 9:8 – “And God is able† to make every grace overflow to you, so that in every way, always having everything you need, you may excel in every good work.”
Remember that possession and ownership are not the same. We are tenants, aliens, managers, stewards. We possess, but God, our endless and all sufficient Supply, provides for us out of all He owns. Biblical stewardship is not supposed to make sense. It is God’s plan to help us live by faith with daily dependence on him.
Biblical stewardship is also not designed to make CENTS (money). Often, we hear someone talk about sowing a seed and reaping a harvest, suggesting that the goal of giving is so God will reward us with lots and lots of stuff—a bigger house, a better car, a bustling bank account. If that were true, we would not need to teach about stewardship. People would be giving so much we would have to ask them to stop. That’s because biblical stewardship does not make cents. There is no promise that God will make us rich if we give. In fact, what Philippians 4:19 actually says is, “And my God will supply all your needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Not our GREEDS, but our NEEDS.
God is not broke. He is not incapable of managing his resources, nor is he in any way needy. He has given us the task of being biblical stewards to develop us into the faith-FULL people He wants us to be.