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A person’s priorities are clearly identified by the entries in their calendar and their checkbook. Last week’s podcast episode covered the calendar – steward of time. This week, we will examine the stewardship of money.
In today’s podcast episode I will continue the book review series of Spiritual Disciplines For The Christian Life by Donald Whitney. As a result of overwhelming response to my 2014 reader survey, I want to focus on the challenges of personal spiritual growth. Literally, 100% of those that participated in my readers survey selected personal spiritual growth as a challenge in their life. With that, I’m diving into a very influential book that offers practical application.
Spiritual Disciplines For The Christian Life by Donald Whitney has been powerfully impactful on my personal spiritual growth. I’m convinced it will help you as well. I encourage you to get a copy, read it, and begin to discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness (1 Timothy 4:7).
- The Disciplined Use of Money
- “The disciplined use of money requires that we manage it in such a way that our needs and those of our family are met.”
- 1 Timothy 5:8 – 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.
- “So how we us money for ourselves, for others, and especially for the sake of God’s Kingdom is from first to last a spiritual issue.”
- “A surprisingly large amount of Scripture deals with the use of wealth and possessions.”
- “How we use [money] expresses who we are, what our priorities are, and what’s in our hearts.”
- Matthew 6:21 – Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.
- “Growth in Godliness will express itself in a growing understanding of these ten New Testament principles of giving.”
- 1) God Owns Everything You Own
- 1 Corinthians 10:26 / Psalm 24:1 – The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.
- Exodus 19:5 – The whole earth is mine
- Job 41:11 – Everything under heaven belongs to me.
- “We are managers or, to use a biblical word, stewards of the things God has given us.”
- “We don’t own anything. God owns everything and we are His managers.”
- 2) Giving Is an Act of Worship
- Philippians 4:18 – I have received full payment and even more; I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, and acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God.
- Deuteronomy 16:16 – Do not appear before Me empty-handed.
- “Giving is much more than a duty or an obligation, it is an act of worshiping the Lord.”
- 3) Giving Reflects Faith in God’s Provision
- Mark 12:41-44 – Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything – all she had to live on.”
- “We will give to the extent that we believe God will provide for us.”
- “Your giving can be and is a tangible indication of how much faith you have that God will provide for your needs.”
- 4) Giving Should be Sacrificial and Generous
- 2 Corinthians 8:1-5 – 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.
- “Giving isn’t sacrificial unless it’s a sacrifice.”
- “A Gallup Poll from October 1988 shows that the more money Americans make, the less sacrificial our giving becomes.”
- 5) Giving Reflects Spiritual Trustworthiness
- Luke 16:10-13 – “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own? No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and dispose the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”
- “If we are not faithful with the use of our money, and certainly that includes the giving of our money for Christ’s Kingdom, the Bible says God will determine that we are untrustworthy to handle spiritual riches.”
- “If you love Christ with all your heart, your giving will reflect that.”
- “If you love Christ and the work of His Kingdom more than anything else, your giving will show that.”
- “If you are truly submitted to the lordship of Christ, if you are willing to obey Him completely in every area of your life, your giving will reveal it.”
- 6) Giving – Love, Not Legalism
- “Your giving should be motivated by your love to God. How much you give of what you have should be a reflection of how much you love God.”
- 2 Corinthians 8:8 – I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others”
- 2 Corinthians 9:7 – Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give.
- 7) Give Willingly, Thankfully, and Cheerfully
- 2 Corintians 9:7 – Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
- “Grudge giving says, ‘I have to’; duty giving says, ‘I ought to’; thanksgiving says, ‘I want to.’”
- “God wants you to enjoy giving.”
- “You don’t give grudgingly or under compulsion when you realize you’re giving to God. Instead you give willingly, thankfully, and cheerfully.”
- 8) Giving – An Appropriate Response to Real Needs
- Acts 2:43-45 – Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. And the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.
- Acts 4:32-35 – All believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions were his own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostle’s feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.
- “It was an appropriate response for the people of the Church to give to meet these real needs.”
- “As legitimate as such spontaneous giving is, most of our giving should probably not be of this type.”
- 9) Giving Should Be Planned and Systematic
- 1 Corinthians 16:1-2 – Now about the collection for God’s people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.
- 10) Generous Giving Results in Bountiful Blessings
- Luke 6:38 – 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.
- “I think the ‘prosperity theology’ popular today is heresy.”
- “God tells us how to manage His money in ways that will ultimately benefit us most and bring us greater joy than using our money our way.”
- 1) God Owns Everything You Own
Question: More Application: Are you prepared for the end of time? Are you using your time as God would have you use it? Are you willing to accept God’s principles for giving? Are you giving like you mean it? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
Links to resources mentioned in today’s podcasts: