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Welcome to the Pastor's Desk of
Senior Pastor Frank Douglas

Biblical Stewardship (2 Corinthians 8:1- 9:15) ---------------------------- During the month of February we will observe Biblical Stewardship.  In this article, I want remind us of our responsibilities.  If we ascribe to the truth that everything we own belongs to God, then we must also believe:  God loves cheerful givers who demonstrate a willingness to release their financial resources for the assistance of others and to the advancement of His Kingdom on earth.  The view that God does not need money may be true.  But, what is more realistic is that in order for the Body of Christ – the Church, to faithfully execute its role and responsibility around the global, Biblical stewardship must be obeyed and conducted according to Scripture.  Simply put, we must give willingly and consistently to advance God’s Kingdom here on earth.  How does Biblical stewardship advance God’s Kingdom? Giving supports the fulfilment of preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ and ministering to the needs of the poor (Matt. 24:14; Matt. 25:35-46). There are three cogent truths which I will briefly share: (1) Biblical stewardship is mandatory, regardless of our economic conditions (2 Cor. 8: 1-2); (2) Biblical stewardship purposes us to give beyond our ability as an act of faith in God and love for God (2 Cor. 8:3-7) and (3) Biblical stewardship recognizes that cheerful giving glorifies God (2 Cor. 9: 9-15). 1.        Biblical stewardship is mandatory, regardless of our economic conditions (2 Cor. 8: 1-2) At the time of Paul’s writing to the Corinthians, the members in Macedonia had been experiencing severe economic hardships.  The members had been living in abject poverty as a result of a famine that was wreaking havoc in the region.  However, regardless of the economic crisis, God had bestowed a special grace gift of giving upon the churches in Macedonia.  Although the members were facing a great trial of affliction, they were also filled with the joy of giving to others who were experiencing a similar or greater need.  The source of their joy from giving was contained in the riches of their “liberality”.  The word “liberality” used in verse 2 reveals the grace which abounded within the hearts of the Macedonian members which motivated them to give regardless of their economic conditions.  The Macedonian members taught us that we must give regardless of our economic conditions.  The first principle is Biblical Stewardship is mandatory regardless of our economic conditions. 2.        Biblical stewardship purposes us to give beyond our ability as an act of faith in God   and love for God (2 Cori. 8:3-7) Paul was a witness to the Macedonian members’ undeniable and unselfish act of love.  He had first-hand account the Macedonian members gave not only according to their ability, but beyond their ability.  Further to this, Paul observed the Macedonian members were willing and freely gave to this worthy cause.  In other words, the Macedonian members purposed within their heart to give beyond what their economic realities would have dictated.  The economic condition was not an excuse for them to stop giving.  The obvious question is:  What was the motivating factor behind the Macedonian members giving beyond their economic realities?  The answer is clearly evident in verse 5b of Chapter 8.  The Scripture states:  “…but they first gave themselves to the Lord, and then to us by the will of God.”  Biblical stewardship is a surrendering of our will to God concerning our most treasured resource – our money.  Giving our money willingly is an intrinsic act of genuine love for God.  The second principle is:  If we first give ourselves to the Lord, we can purpose to give beyond our economic realities as an act of faith in and love to God.  3.        Biblical stewardship recognizes that cheerful giving glorifies God (2 Cor. 9: 10-15) Biblical stewardship is an act of genuine worship.  Worshipping God through cheerful giving is proof God has provided us with all good gifts (James 1:17).  God owns everything (Psalm 24).  Therefore, when we give, we are glorifying God with what rightfully belongs to Him.  The Scripture is clear that cheerful giving glorifies God.  As we examine 2 Corinthians 9:10-15, we must agree that God supplies the financial resources to us for ministry.  God will supply and increase the fruits of our righteousness.   God will enrich us in everything for all bounty of generous giving, which causes thanksgiving through the giver, to God.  The results of cheerful giving not only supply the needs of the poor, but also multiply through many people, giving thanks to God.  Paul ends the passages by giving thanks to God for His tremendous gift in the person of Jesus Christ, His Son.  The truth is God the ultimate giver, invested in the redemption of humanity by giving us His Son.  Jesus, in life and death glorified God.  We who have been redeemed must ensure that we too become cheerful givers.  The third principle is:  Biblical Stewardship recognizes that cheerful giving glorifies God. How can I become a consistent Biblical steward? How should I give?  We can see from the Scripture that God’s intention is for giving to be done with: 1.  Purpose:  Giving must be done through purpose.  Why I am giving?  The purpose of giving is to fulfill God’s Mission for the Church.  2.  Passion:  Giving must be done with passion.  God wants us to give freely, willingly and with enthusiasm.  This is not based on emotions.  It is not giving to feel better about ourselves.  Passionate giving is to respond to the need of the poor.  The harvest from giving is not to increase to our earthly economic or financial position, but a heavenly reward of souls being won, through our giving.  3. Promise:  God promises to return a good measure when we give.  Luke 6:38 states:  “Give and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” (NKJV) Finally, let me remind us that God loves a cheerful giver who demonstrates a willingness to release their financial resources (money) for the benefit of others and to the advancement of His Kingdom on earth.  Our reward is one of eternal significance. Pastor Frank W. Douglas

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