Did you know money or possessions is mentioned in the Bible over 2000 times? Jesus talks about money or possessions in 17 of his 38 parables. The Bible talks about money or possessions more than love, hope and prayer combined. God must be pretty serious about this subject to talk about it that much. The Bible says in I Corth 4:7 “What do you have that God hasn’t given you”.
Jesus talked about money more than he did heaven and I believe heaven was pretty important to our Lord. In fact, Jesus says in Luke 16:11, “So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?” This verse explains that God uses money as a test of our management and stewardship skills before entrusting us with spiritual things.
In Genesis 14:17-20, the scriptures shows that Abraham tithed over 400 years before the tithe was ever given. Abraham was under no obligation to tithe a dime but he said in Genesis 14:23 that he wouldn’t even withhold a thread or shoe lace of the tithe from God! Abraham didn’t tithe because he had to. He tithed because he knew God was the source of everything he had and he wanted to Honor God First!
Sometimes when we think of giving we think of some law in the Old Testament that we have to do. The Bible tells us in Hebrews 8:6 “But now He (Jesus) has obtained a more excellent ministry, in as much as He (Jesus) is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.” That’s great news. No human can follow the letter of the law so Jesus came to give us a better covenant and a better promise and breaks us from “have to” and leads us into what we “get to” do!
Paul goes on to tell us in 2 Corinthians 9:7-8: “So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.” We give from our heart and as we honor God and follow His principles we will have all sufficiency and abundance in every good work.
The bottom line is that the basis of stewardship is Scripture, not cute marketing or manipulation. We must always keep our eyes focused on why we give. Sometimes we get so focused on the tithe but everything we have belongs to God not just 10% Our constant desire is to Honor God and keep Him in his rightful place which is First in Every area of our lives!