“Mine!” Did you teach your child to feel like certain things belonged to them? We may think that we didn’t actually teach them that word and maybe we didn’t purposefully. But, children learn by what we model. How often do you refer to things as “yours”? My house, my car, my children, my money…my, my, mine! Yep, they learned it from us.
We may not intentionally feel entitled to possessions, but just think about the way we view “our stuff”. Really, nothing belongs to us. When we get a sermon about money, it’s often about tithing or how much we give to the church. Our preacher, Jon Porter, didn’t do that in today’s sermon. Giving is between us and God, but we must come to the realization that everything is God’s anyway. He’s just letting us manage it for him while we’re here on earth. We can’t take it with us when we go, so why not be generous while we’re here. And not just our money, be generous with our time and our support as well.
“But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.” – Deuteronomy 8:18
Treasure Principle #1: God owns everything. I’m His money manager.
God allows us to manage our own money, our name’s on His account, and we have unlimited access to it. That makes it easy to abuse it. Thinking of it as God’s money may make me think twice before I spend it. So obviously, there are some things that are more important than others. You know, things like food, shelter, something to wear. It doesn’t have to be designer brand clothing or the fanciest car or the biggest house.
I guess we all have different expectations, but Jon’s message centers around our job as stewards of what belongs to God. Shouldn’t we find out from the owner what He wants done with his assets? How do we do this? Give cheerfully. The more we give, the more we delight in our giving, the more God delights in us.
“Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” – 2 Cor. 9:7.
The cheerfulness often comes during or after the obedience…not before it. Give and watch joy follow is Jon’s advice to us. Give gracefully. Giving is referred to the “act of grace” in 2 Cor. 8:6. God’s grace defines, motivates, and puts in perspective our giving. We give because he first gave to us.
Give worshipfully. Giving is an act of worship. By giving, we open our fists to give and this allows us to receive what God has for us.
Give freely. Another benefit of giving is freedom. Jon describes this as the more things we own, the greater their total mass, the more they grip us. We become a slave to our possessions. But if we view it all as God’s, we’ll be more thoughtful how we manage what he’s entrusted us with them, not given them to us. Our giving brings us joy, but more importantly, it pleases God.
Are you managing God’s assets as he wants you to? Ask God about it so you’re sure. Be faithful in your giving and you’ll reap benefits that you wouldn’t have expected. Trust that God gets joy when we give cheerfully and that’s a beautiful thought…to think that we can make God smile!