"Well Done Thou Good and Faithful Servant!" (Part 3) -- The Rewards of Stewardship

A REMINDER: God Made Everything and Everything Belongs to Him!

"The earth is the LORD's, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods. Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation." (Psalm 24:1 KJV)

WE DO NOT OWN ANYTHING
(We just think we do)!

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Are You Preparing for the Lord's Coming Kingdom Financially?

Many churches and ministries are under increasing financial pressure. Giving to the work of the Lord as a percentage of income has decreased almost every year for the past several decades (currently the average Christian household gives roughly 2 percent of their income to the work of the Lord and less than that to other charitable causes), and the percentage is now lower than it was in 1933, at the depth of the Great Depression. Giving by Christians plummeted more than 16 percent in the year 2000 alone and now, ten years or so later, it has gotten even worse!

Don't blame your lack of prosperity on the current downspin of the economy. It's not the fault of world affairs or rampant terrorist attacks. It's not the fault of the President's personal political agenda. It's neither a Democratic nor a Republican issue and it's not because of corporate downsizing or unemployment either. These facts are not the result of economic factors at all but instead have been compounded by poor financial education and planning, along with bad stewardship practices on behalf of both individual Christians and the businesses they are associated with, as well as the churches for not preparing their congregations better!

Frugality: "Make no Expense but to do good to others or yourself";  i.e. Waste nothing. (Benjamin Franklin)

The bottom line is that most people refuse to live within their means. They refuse to spend thriftily or save and invest their money but instead operate solely on lines of credit which are a never ending spiral of indebtedness. They then rely on their faith and God to "fix things" for them instead of using their faith and observing what the Word of God and scripture can teach us about proper financial living. Most people would rather gripe and complain about all their problems or lack of funds that they have, instead of doing anything positive (or biblical) about it. Ouch!... that had to hit a nerve somewhere out there.

If all these above issues are what plagues our daily lives, then we cannot hope to ever have enough means to help properly build for the Lord's coming Kingdom - and thus reap the benefits thereof in the process.

The Argument of PROSPERITY versus POVERTY Theology

There are two schools of teaching (preaching) and religious thought here. There are "pieces" of scripture that support both "Prosperity Theology" and "Poverty Theology", whereas the righteous are intended to prosper and conversely the righteous should be humble and accept a more meager style of living. Unfortunately, this is what happens when we take only portions of scripture and use it out of context. This is thinking in a way that is worldly, not thinking in a way that is financially and biblically wise. The financial wisdom in scripture can only be found when viewed collectively with all the "pieces" put together.

There are four categories of wealth mentioned in scripture:

  1. Righteous Rich = works hard and smart; they are godly in their spending habits and charitable giving.
  2. Unrighteous Rich = dishonest and manipulating in their business practices; selfish in their spending habits with no regard for others and a lack of charity.
  3. Righteous Poor = honest and humble in their means; compassionate and caring for others but just lacking in financial wealth because of the limitations in their surrounding environment.
  4. Unrighteous Poor = does not work hard (or at all) and does not invest well or gambles (wastes money on schemes); haphazard spending habits and doesn't care about giving or never has anything left over for charity.

Scripture defines why and how these categories of people are in the position that they are. How we obtain things and then act as stewards over the resources that the Lord God places in our care, directly determines how we progress with stewardship and the rewards in our lives.

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BEING CONTENT vs. WANTING (Coveting)

People just do not realize that biblical living also includes proper biblical principles of finance and stewardship. Teaching people to handle money biblically is one of the most crucial elements to learning proper discipleship and stewardship in Christ. People also do not realize that these principles can have a profound effect on their entire financial state of being (whether in abundance or devastation).

"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing."
(1 Corinthians 13:1-3 KJV)

Do we covet the things that we do not have OR are we content with the things that we have to work with? We must submit ourselves to God in order to succeed as stewards.

What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. (James 4:1-3 NIV)

When we are "greedy" (covetousness) and desire what we do not have, we have actually broken two commandments at once (idol worship and coveting). Desire is a form of worshiping items from afar, just as hoarding is worshipping what we already have. The Lord wants us to act the opposite of these sins and become virtuous, to give freely and from the heart.

"Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience." (Colossians 3:5-6 KJV)

The VIRTUE of CHARITY

Then he said unto them, "Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared." (Nehemiah 8:10 KJV)

The Apostle Paul talks about living a virtuous "Life in the Spirit" to the Galatians
(Galatians 5:13-26):

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh... But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

In Latin, the phrase "Deus caritas est" = "God is love". In the King James Version of the Bible, it uses both the words charity and love to translate the idea of "caritas" for the same concept.

In Christian theology charity, or love (agapē), is the greatest of the three theological virtues (Faith-Hope-Love). Charity in this sense is an unlimited loving-kindness towards all others and held to be the ultimate perfection of the human spirit, because it is said to both glorify and reflect the nature of God. Charity is comprised two parts, love of God and love of man, which includes both love of one's neighbor and one's self.

The Apostle Paul also describes this in his First Letter to the Corinthians
(1 Corinthians 13:4-13 KJV):

Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

"Alms for the Poor" by Jacques-Louis David (1878) at the Lille Palace of Fine Arts - France
"Alms for the Poor" by Jacques-Louis David (1878) at the Lille Palace of Fine Arts - France

ALMS, TITHING and PHILANTHROPY

In Judaism, "tzedakah" is the Hebrew word commonly translated as charity. Tzedakah refers to the religious obligation to perform charity and philanthropic acts, which Judaism emphasizes as the more important elements of living a proper spiritual life. In practice, most Jews carry out tzedakah by donating a portion of their income to charitable institutions, or to needy people that they may encounter; the perception among many modern day Jews is that if donation of this form is not possible, the obligation of tzedakah still requires that something is given. Traditional Jews commonly practice "ma'aser kesafim", tithing 10% of their income in support of those who are in need.

From apostolic times, the practice of giving alms was urged upon Christians. The offertory is the traditional moment in every Roman Catholic Mass, Anglican Eucharist, and Lutheran Divine Service when alms are collected. In the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Eastern Catholic Churches the collection of alms and tithes has not been formally united to the offertory in any liturgical action. However, either having a collection plate in the narthex or passing it unobtrusively during the service is not uncommon.

In Orthodox theology, almsgiving is an important part of the spiritual life, and fasting should always be accompanied by increased prayer and almsgiving. Almsgiving in the name of a deceased patron also frequently accompanies the prayer for the dead. Those whose financial circumstances do not permit the giving of monetary alms may give alms in other ways, such as intercessory prayer and acts of mercy.

In most Christian forms of worship, a collection is made of "tithes and offerings" given for the support of the church and for the relief of the poor, as an important act of Christian charity, united to communal prayer. In some churches the "offering plate" or "offering basket" is placed upon the altar, as a sign that the offering is made to God, and a sign of the bond of Christian love.

Jesus also placed the primary focus on the motives behind the outward and inward giving of alms, which with such acts should primarily be love (charity).

"Rather, give as alms what is inside, and then everything will be clean for you!"
(Luke 11:41 KJV)

Christians should understand and believe in generous giving, from the heart, and that the requirement to tithe ended at the cross along with all the other Mosaic laws. However, those who disagree and believe that tithing is still required, need to understand first of all that God required tithing of crops and animals, and never on a man's income. God said the tithe belonged to Him, and He gave the tithe to the Levites to build supply for times of need.

For More on Old Testament TITHING - See: (Leviticus 23:10-11; Malachi 3:10; Hebrews 7:1-8)

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TITHING vs. "GIFTING" or CHARITY Towards Others

The Lord God moves in ways we cannot always see or always necessarily understand. He has instructed us many times over throughout the Bible in ways to manage our property and finances in accordance with faithful living and to better serve His will. The most basic of these principles, which is the main foundation for Kingdom building and effective stewardship, is Charity or "Gifting".

The biblical Old Testament tithe was always based on assets that came from God; never on income or anything that came from man's labor. A study of Christian history will show that at some point after the early Council of Nicaea (325 AD), where many of the church practices were established, the churches also brought back the teaching of "tithing" (originally a Jewish practice and custom). This was originally established as voluntary giving or "alms" and it was not initially taught as a "biblical tithe" at that time. However, as the church evolved, tithing came to reflect a change of the Old Testament rules, making it fit the needs of the church where it was used primarily for fund raising purposes or when the office of the church needed money. Quite often throughout medieval times and well into the renaissance period, the tithe was levied like taxes and was frequently enforced as papal policy and was used as a guarantee of absolution.

For those interested in the history of the Christian church, you may want to read the book, HISTORY OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH by Philip Schaff.

Tithing was first taught and collected by churches in the United States during the second half of the 1800s but the teaching of tithing was not consistent between churches. It wasn't until recent years that churches started teaching that you tithe on your income, or gross income. During the late 1800s tithing was based on the value of property owned and those who didn't own property didn't tithe, they gave "freewill offerings" instead. The problem is, all of these practices were being taught as "biblical law".

In most cases, today's tithing is being taught merely by reinforcing what has been handed down from these earlier teachings. Many Christians who later have done their own in-depth research have repented and no longer teach that "tithing" is required today in accordance with what scripture actually says.

First of all, nowhere in the Bible are there any examples of anyone tithing on wages or any other type of income. Nowhere is there an example of any occupations paying a tithe. There are no examples of Jesus tithing on his wages as a carpenter, or Paul tithing on his wages as a tent maker, or even Peter tithing on the fish he caught. ONLY farmers (land owners) who held crops and/or animals in herds and flocks tithed in accordance with the Levitical Law established in the Books of Moses.

SEE: TITHING TODAY by Gary J. Arnold - for more details and reference in scripture.

TITHING was Never Brought into the New Testament Covenant

Today, the biblical law to tithe is a misconception. If you believe the law is still valid when you pay a tithe to your local church, then you are not properly observing the basis of your faith and the fact that when Christ established the New Covenant, this removed the Old Testament law and its requirements.

Also as it applies to the New Covenant or Christian Church, when we look at the Gospel of Matthew, another point is made referring to the law. The phrase "pay tithe" comes from the Greek word and definition. In Matthew 23:23 Jesus is talking to the scribes and Pharisees regarding the Levitical tithe, or the command to tithe; thus, this tithe was required by law. Notice that Jesus says ye "PAY" tithe, not "GIVE" tithe. By definition this establishes the tithe as a debtor-creditor relationship; in this case, you pay as the debtor. This is in sharp contrast to Abraham's tithe, and Jacob's vow to tithe, which were given (gifts), not paid.

To properly interpret these scriptures, we must pay strict attention to the chosen word "give" versus the word "pay". We must honor the choice of words used by the Kings James Version of the Holy Bible (most accurate English translation from the original Greek) if we are going to use it as the authoritative translation of the scriptures. We can't substitute give for pay, or pay for give. It's imperative that we interpret the scriptures as written, not as we think they should have been written.

In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.
(2 Timothy 4:1-4 NIV)

Scripture is given by God and IS NOT to be changed by man (especially for the intention of suiting their purpose). When man changes scripture, it is no longer the direct Word of God. Christians are not to adapt the Bible to suit the times. Christians are supposed to adapt their lives to be in accordance with the Bible and the Word of God.

Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the LORD your God that I give you. (Deuteronomy 4:2 NIV)

The choice is yours in how you wish to observe this practice. You can follow the traditions that the church has established, or follow the Word of God as it is actually written. We are not saying to withhold your charitable contributions and not to pay anything at all to the church, but just to be mindful of what scripture actually says and prayerful in your intent and disposition in the giving of alms. Do not let any institution "gilt" you into thinking that you need to "donate" to them.

But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them - bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping. (2 Peter 2:1-3 NIV)

Just keep in mind that the Old Testament tithes were the "bare minimums" required by God under those covenants and the example of various gift offerings given by Abraham and other biblical figures were just that, but are not required under the New Covenant of Christ. They are still however good examples none-the-less as guidelines if you should so choose to observe them in your own gifting practices. They are just NOT MANDATORY as originally required by the Old Testament laws. However, this also doesn't mean that you should not give generously more than those amounts (as minimum examples) to the church (the body of Christ), to charity or other benevolent causes if you are abundantly blessed in being able to do so.

SEE: NEW TESTAMENT GIVING by Gary J. Arnold for more details and reference in scripture.

"Charity with Orphans" by William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1878)
"Charity with Orphans" by William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1878)

Joyful GIVING, CHARITY and BENEVOLENT ACTS

"Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver." (2 Corinthians 9:7 KJV)

We should always be "rich" towards God and proper in our stewardship, whether we are rich or poor in our own actual life status. In the eyes of our Lord, giving from our excess goods out of reflex or as a more nonchalant invloluntary action, is not viewed as highly as someone who gives purposely out of caring for others and from the main portion of what has been allotted to them.

While Jesus was in the Temple, he watched the rich people dropping their gifts in the collection box. Then a poor widow came by and dropped in two small coins. “I tell you the truth,” Jesus said, “this poor widow has given more than all the rest of them. For they have given a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she has.” (Luke 21:1-4 NLT)

The Bible gives us many good examples of proper charity and benevolence. It is to be understood as a voluntary practice of giving above and beyond the standard of things that the Lord requires of us.

“With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.” (Ephesians 6:7-8 KJV)

Charity and Generosity

  • Friend in Need - (Luke 11:5-8)
  • The Good Samaritan - (Luke 10:30–37)
  • Moneylender - (Luke 7:41–43)
  • The Owner of a House - (Matthew 13:52)
  • Prodigal Son - (Luke 15:11–32)
  • The Son’s Request - (Matthew 7:9-11; Luke 11:11-13)

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BUSINESS GIFTING

Charitable gifting is not just meant to be practiced by people. A business entity (which under corporate law is legally treated as an individual in itself) should likewise also follow the same practices as individual people in giving to charities. Christian businesses and business owners are typically stewards over the Lord’s resources at a much larger scale than individuals and have a greater responsibility as a result in contributing to Kingdom building efforts. The impact a business can have financially is substantial but the strength of their overall resources and extent of their efforts can have an even an greater impact.

Can you imagine the effect it would have if more businesses would think this way in their service to the Lord and in providing for His people. Businesses that assist charities and help build for the coming Kingdom can achieve monumental results in stewardship, not to mention the rewards and blessings that a business can experience as they work towards their own commercial success in the process as well.

One of the better examples of this relationship is the story of Joseph in Egypt from the Book of Genesis. Because he faithfully loved the Lord, and was a virtuous and righteous man, Joseph was given charge over all of Pharaoh's business dealings. Joseph interpreted the Lord's will to save a certain amount of Egypt's grain harvests in reserve each year. Then a following season came where famine struck their land. There was enough grain stored in this reserve however, to not only make a profit but also to feed the people so that everyone could survive.

"Let Pharaoh appoint commissioners over the land to take a fifth of the harvest of Egypt during the seven years of abundance. They should collect all the food of these good years that are coming and store up the grain under the authority of Pharaoh, to be kept in the cities for food. This food should be held in reserve for the country, to be used during the seven years of famine that will come upon Egypt, so that the country may not be ruined by the famine.”
(Genesis 41:34-36 NIV)

This proves that we cannot question the reasons for following the Lord’s will because He has knowledge of things that are yet unforeseen by us. It is all done in accordance with serving His Word while we become effective stewards over Kingdom resources and provide for the Lord's will in the future.

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The ROLE and REWARDS of the GOOD STEWARD ("CHEERFUL GIVER")

In "I am Third", the 1971 autobiography of the American football Hall of Famer, Gale Sayers, he puts it quite nicely by stating: "God is first, my family is second, and I am third".

The key to proper Biblical Stewardship then, is to put God first in all aspects of our lives:

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:33 NIV)

And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints. And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God's will. (2 Corinthians 8:1-5 NIV)

God does love a "Cheerful Giver" and will reward our generosity accordingly, but in kind - He despises those who are greedy or do not share what has been entrusted to them.

Do not covet the silver and gold on them, and do not take it for yourselves, or you will be ensnared by it, for it is detestable to the LORD your God. (Deuteronomy 7:25 NIV)

A GREEDY man stirs up dissension, but he who trusts in the LORD will prosper.
(Proverbs 28:25 NIV)

Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor THIEVES nor the GREEDY nor drunkards nor slanderers nor SWINDLERS will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10 NIV)

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
(2 Corinthians 9:6-7 NIV)

Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, serving as overseers - not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; NOT GREEDY for money, but eager to serve... (1 Peter 5:2 NIV)

The EXAMPLES shown in the Old Testament law give us a foundation by which we can enjoy God's blessings through increase and prosperity in our lives:

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 forefathers, as it is today.
(Deuteronomy 8:18 NIV)

Honour the LORD with thy possessions, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase; So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall overflow with new wine. (Proverbs 3:9-10 KJV)

Then by giving out of love and not out of duty, we follow the practices as taught by Jesus Christ - That those who have an abundance should share with those who do not.

John answered, "The man with two tunics should share with him who has none, and the one who has food should do the same." (Luke 3:11 NIV)

The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me. (Matthew 25:40 KJV)

In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: "It is more blessed to give than to receive." (ACTS 20:35 NIV)

By learning to manage what has first been given to us and properly caring for our own, we can then be given increase to care for others through charitable giving. . . and are thus honoring the Lord.

If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. (1 Timothy 5:8 NIV)

Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. (2 Corinthians 9:10-11 NIV)

We should also give to our churches, temples, preachers, and the places where we receive our spiritual inspiration, sheerly out of our hearts with free-will gifts BUT NOT UNDER OBLIGATION OR COMPULSION OF THE LAW as in a tithe. We do have a moral obligation however to pay our share according to our means, for without generous givers the local churches and temples would have to close.

"I am to be the only inheritance the priests have. You are to give them no possession in Israel; I will be their possession. They will eat the grain offerings, the sin offerings and the guilt offerings; and everything in Israel devoted to the LORD will belong to them. The best of all the firstfruits and of all your special gifts will belong to the priests. You are to give them the first portion of your ground meal so that a blessing may rest on your household." (Ezekiel 44:28-30)

Don't you know that those who work in the temple get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in what is offered on the altar? In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.
(1 Corinthians 9:13-14 NIV)

Anyone who receives instruction in the word must share all good things with his instructor. (Galatians 6:6 NIV)

God does not guarantee what our blessings will be but God does know what we need. We should trust Him to give us just what we need at the time that He knows is best.

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6 KJV)

"Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." (Luke 6:38 NIV)

And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written: “They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.” (2 Corinthians 9:8-9 NIV)

With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free. (Ephesians 6:7-8 KJV)

It all boils down to GREED vs. GENEROSITY when considering proper Biblical Stewardship, its potential relevance in our daily affairs, and how it ultimately effects the outcome of our lives. We should consider gifting or charitable giving as a privilege which is measured by how well we distribute the portions that God has given to us. Giving shows our appreciation to the Lord for His generosity and gifts to us. Scripture seems to reflect more about the pitfalls in how much we keep for ourselves versus the amount that we give out to others. That should be the primary point to keep in mind with proper Biblical Stewardship. It is in the degree to which we care for others and how we love our neighbors versus ourselves.

This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! (2 Corinthians 9:12-15 NIV)

"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." (Matthew 6:19-21 KJV)

“And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. (1 Peter 5:4 KJV)

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Having (or "living as") Christ Year Round?

In not forgetting that the love of God and Jesus Christ is the "Reason for the Season" during the winter holidays, let's imagine what it would be like if we observed these practices and were good stewards in this same spirit all year long.

See our recent article: "'Tis the Season. . ."

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Useful Guides for Advancing Proper Biblical Stewardship

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