Good day! About a month ago Bob Roberts introduced us GlocalNet guys to Brian Kluth and some fantastic resources on generosity. The timing was perfect because its been an issue on my heart as we are trying to emphasize and teach our sons about giving generously and the biblical principle of sowing and reaping.
On the linked website above you can find “Experiencing God As Your Provider” and “40 Day Spiritual Journey To A More Generous Life”. I’d suggest you go and get those resources.
Here, for some weeks I’d like to share some of that with you. Why?
First, giving is a biblical command. It’s not optional.
Second, God has wired his universe with the spiritual law of sowing and reaping. False teaching abound that totally rip that general revelation from its biblical roots. One is karma, another is prosperity theology and another is poverty theology. Karma says, “what goes around comes around.” Prosperity theology says that if we give to God he will give us financial and health benefits in riches and super human power. Poverty theology is the opposite of prosperity theology, and it says that being poor and having less is more holy and we should never see abundance and a blessing from God. All that is garbage.
Third, I have noticed that there are covenant members who never give. For whatever reason, that’s sin on two levels. One, they agreed to give with their word and covenant promise. Two, never giving has as its root the belief that resources belong to the person not God.
Fourth, lack of generosity in finances, time and skills will result in a lack of power to overcome sin. In a chapter on cheerful giving, Paul says this, 2 Corinthians 9:10 (ESV) “He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.” So, God gives, increases giving to us and we are to turn and give it away and the direct result of harvest is righteousness. Not first finances or health but holiness.
Finally, giving is an act of worship. In the Old Testament, part of the worship liturgy for the people was bringing their tithes and offerings to God. By the way the tithe was 10% of everything not merely 10%. So, it worked out to around 25% +. So, if you want to have the tithe as the standard, then get after it!
So, I’d like to simply place some Scripture passages here that match the title of this post, “God is the owner of everything”.
NOTE: I’m taking this title and Scripture passages from Brian’s work “40 Day Spiritual Journey to a More Generous Life”. The above points are my own work. Any applications are my work. Please go to the link above to purchase this fantastic devotional guide.
Psalms 50:10-12 (ESV) For every beast of the forest is mine,
the cattle on a thousand hills.
11 I know all the birds of the hills,
and all that moves in the field is mine.
12 “If I were hungry, I would not tell you,
for the world and its fullness are mine.
Haggai 2:8 (ESV) The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, declares the Lord of hosts.
1 Chronicles 29:11-12 (ESV) Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all. 12 Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all.
Leviticus 25:23 (ESV) The land shall not be sold in perpetuity, for the land is mine. For you are strangers and sojourners with me.
1 Chronicles 29:14 (ESV) But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able thus to offer willingly? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you.
Psalms 24:1 (ESV) The earth is the LORD’S and the fullness thereof,
the world and those who dwell therein,
Wow! If Jesus owns everything, then who am I?
- I’m a manager not an owner. If I change my vocabulary, that means the resources entrusted to me are to be handled differently. How does a manager differ from an owner with finances, time and skill?
- I should be known for being generous with money, time and skill. There is no one who is a follower of Jesus who should not be giving, serving and applying their ability to the local church. For another post later, but the local church is the locus for all the Christian’s giving and other worthy causes should come after that. Paul set that standard in his teaching in the New Testament. Generosity is not just with money. It’s not just with time. It’s not just with skill. Generosity is with everything. Just like the tithe applied to spices, gold, silver, cattle, grain etc. so giving for the Christian applies to everything.
- I should be a servant of others with willing and joyful generosity. Don’t walk in sour like you woke yourself up. Jesus did that for you (See Psalm 3:5). He entrusted to you life, so manage it with precision, delight and a servant to others attitude. Sour people are not fun, and they are misers with all things that belong to God.
- No ministry of the church should ever lack in bodies and effort. Children’s ministry, student ministry, RL-Group hosting, engaging one’s domain with the gospel of the kingdom, corporate worship attendance, etc. I’m so proud of my wife. Although we have students now, she still serves in children’s ministry. My sons give their time to work in children’s ministry, and they love it. John Mark has the ability to make little toddlers having separation anxiety relax. They’ll sit in his lap as he reads a book to them as they settle in, and that’s a stewardship of his time and ability. Generosity. There are many more who do such in our church. Mike week in and week out gets the monitors set up for the mother’s room, and no one usually notices. But Mike just does it. Generosity.
You see? If it’s all God’s then that changes how I manage all things. If I approach them as an owner, I can sparingly give money, time and skill based on the perceived value of products received. If I don’t perceive it as being worth my whatever, then I’ll withhold it. If I see those things as entrusted by God to me, then I’ll gladly do whatever because even my breath is not my own. I’ve been bought with a price, so I’m to glorify God with even my body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (ESV) Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
May the Lord make us a generous people who pour themselves out for King and kingdom.