It has been a few weeks. Easter was a really busy time this year with events and speaking engagements. Today, I want to continue in the series of HABITS with the T which stands for tithing, but I’m not really going to talk about giving but rather challenge you with managing. I know right off the bat that you probably don’t want to continue reading because nobody likes anybody else in the pockets or pocketbooks. I get it. But I want us to look at this from a different perspective today by asking the questions, “Can God Trust Me?”
One of the most important issues in any relationship is trust. We all know that God is trustworthy but the other side of the relationship is where we want to focus today.
Interesting thing about Jesus and money. He talked about money in 16 out of 38 parables; 1 out of 10 verses in the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) has to do with money; the Bible devotes 500 verses to prayer, less than 500 verses on faith but over 2,000 verses on money and possessions.
I think the reason is summed up in the words of Jesus in Luke 12:34 “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also!”
Look at a story Jesus told in Luke 16.
Luke 16:1-2 He also said to the disciples: “There was a rich man who received an accusation that his manager was squandering his possessions. 2 So he called the manager in and asked, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your management, because you can no longer be my manager.’
GOD IS THE OWNER – WE ARE THE MANAGERS
In this parable there are a couple of reasons that his manager was accountable and likewise we are accountable to God for what we do with what He has blessed us with.
We must understand that everything that we have that is good is a gift from God. We don’t own them. We are accountable to the OWNER. Until we settle this issue we are always going to have a problem in the area of stewardship. You see if we believe that “Kevin Crim”(insert your name here) is the owner, then I’m going to be constantly dealing with conflict with God over what I am going to do with what I have. BUT the more I understand that God is the owner and I am the manager, the conflict begins to dissipate because I realize everything that I have – my health, my possessions, my family, EVERYTHING – it is not mine but God’s.
Can we get in this mindset? Here is a quiz for you…
If you made $500 last week and you go to church on Sunday, how much of that $500 belongs to God?
The answer is NOT $50. The answer is $500. ALL OF IT. HE IS THE OWNER. He asks us to give 10% (at a minimum) to the church, to the kingdom work, BUT it is ALL His. If we don’t understand this issue – then we don’t yet understand LORDSHIP. He is the Lord of ALL we are and all we have.
THE OWNER HAS EXPECTATIONS OF THE MANAGER
In this story, the master comes back and wants to know what has been done with his possessions. So what expectation does God have on us?
US – Romans 12:1 “Therefore brothers by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a LIVING SACRIFICE, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship.”
POSSESSIONS – Luke 14:33 “In the same way, therefore, every one of you who does not say good-bye to all his possessions cannot be My disciples!”
TIME –Ephesians 5:15-17 “Pay careful attention, then, to how you walk – not as unwise people but as wise – making the most of the time, because the days are evil. So don’t be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.”
GIFTS AND ABILITIES – 1 Peter 4:10 “Based on the gift each one has received, use it to serve others, as good managers of the varied grace of God.”
GOSPEL – Acts 1:8 “You will be my witnesses…”
There is so much more in this parable that I don’t have time to write about here, but let me challenge you with one thought…
GIVING COMES DOWN TO WORSHIP AND TRUST!
It doesn’t mater what we are talking about giving – money, time, resources, talents – giving is an attitude of the HEART!
Luke 16:13 “No household slave can be the slave of two masters, since either he will hate one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You can’t be slaves to both God and money.”
What are you devoted to?
I’m not writing this to tell you how much to give, but I am writing this to encourage you to WORSHIP GOD WITH YOUR GIVING!
Who do you trust more? God or yourself?
Your relationship with the Master can never be what it is intended to be if you hold back from God and act like the manager in your story. We must be wise stewards with all that we have been give and TRUST the OWNER of all things with our lives.