Thursday, September 27, 2007

Stewardship Thought from Quentin Whitwell

Getting in the habit of taking a portion of our income and placing those funds in an envelope to drop in the offering plate on a regular basis is an important step toward spiritual maturity. This exercise produces a freedom in living for Christ that can feel as if we are “wildly” giving to God money that He can use and we have no control over. What an amazing feeling to give away without any ability to direct that money to our own self-motivated plans. Of course, the funds our church receives are wisely spent by our church elders who fervently pray for the wisdom to distribute those tithes for God’s glory. But, for us as individuals, an even greater conviction on our heart should not be what has happened to the money we have offered but what we have done with everything else we have.

In this passage (I Chronicles 29:11-12) we learn that everything is the Lord’s. Clearly, we realize that no matter how much or how little money we actually place in the offering plate at the Sunday service, God has control and dominion over every single item that we call “ours”. Digging deeper, we learn in verse 14 that all things actually come to us straight from God. Our “things” were sent from Him. Further, in verse 15 we learn more. The blessings of God to us were given to us as “pilgrims” or “temporary residents”. In heaven we will be gifted with eternal prizes as we stand before Him who we served while on earth. At FPC Jackson we all are being given a chance to prove our self worthy of having served Christ with all our heart. We are not to horde up a stash of goods for our own pleasure but to serve God and others in love without regard for the cost. Instead, we should commit our resources to advance God’s kingdom through our gifts, our service and our witness.

As we set our financial priorities, we should always include our tithe to the Lord in our household budget. Everyone’s circumstances are different, and for many folks their financial status tends to vary from year to year. In tough times, tithing is important because we are demonstrating our faith in the Lord that He will continue to provide for us even when our revenues seem lean to us. But good times can be even more difficult in some ways. Is it not true that there are times when our clothing allowance or golf expense account can put us to shame? Serving Christ by asking “How would you have me use my car(s), my home, my clothes, my life and all I have to better serve you, as those things are Yours already, O Lord?” would be a good first question for us all to ponder. We are pilgrims and God has provided us gifts which are really His, and we should let go of them more often. This week, take some time to reflect on the many ways God has used your generosity for the advancement of His kingdom. Give more and watch God bless the gift and the giver in ways we never imagined!

Quentin Whitwell

1 comment:

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