"Moreover it is required of a steward that a man be found faithful (I Corinthians 4:2)." We are called to be, "Good stewards of the manifold grace of God (I Peter 4:10)." A steward is someone who manages another's property or possessions. Faithful means to be worthy of trust, to be dependable. Are we faithful Christians? Can God depend on us?
We need a paradigm of stewardship versus a paradigm of "It's mine” We possess nothing. We don't even have the right to our own opinion! We are God's stewards, custodians, and caretakers of all of His unlimited provisions for us. "We are bought with a price (His precious, shed Blood (I Corinthians 6:20).”
Have we surrendered our will totally to Him? Are we seeking Him with all of our heart? This is the key to true life, to fulfillment, and to great joy. Jesus said, “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added (Matthew 6:33.”
"Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find (Proverbs 20.6) "Be thou faithful unto death and I will give thee a crown of life (Rev.2:10)."
Some Important Areas of Stewardship
(1) We must be faithful stewards of our relationships. We are not "owners", but are stewards of our relationship with our marriage partner and our children. Our priorities should be: 1) God first 2) Our family next 3) Then our ministry (or work which should be our ministry also). When we are Spirit-led, none of these areas will be neglected. All will prosper.
(2) Proper stewardship of Finances. We are stewards of 100% of our income (and possessions). Proper stewardship includes tithing (10% off the top), giving offerings, and the proper spending of the remainder of our money. All of our money is the Lord's, not just the tithe.
The tithe includes 10% (1%-9% is not tithing!) of our income, and 10% of other financial gains. We must return the tithe to him. It must be the first check we write. It is a first fruits offering. We are only stewards of it! Malachi 3:8‑10.
The purpose of tithes is:
1) It is a seed that will be multiplied back into our lives financially and in other ways. God will "open the windows of heaven, which is not limited to finances!"
2) Because we live on a cursed planet, the absence of God’s blessings from our not tithing (10%) allows a curse to rule instead!
3) It helps us to be freed from a fear of not having.
4) It increases our love for the ministry, or person to whom we give and to God.
5) It increases our faith in the supernatural provision of God.
It is Rare That a Person is Used Greatly By God Who is Not a Large Giver, Usually at Least 5% over Tithes (15%), Often Much More.
Jack Hayford made the statement, “I cannot remember ever hearing a person oppose tithing who was committed to faith in the present stream of the Holy Spirit’s miraculous works.”
God has given "Four heart standards" for this millennium to Mike Bickle, Jim Goll and a number of others. One of these standards is “EXTRAVAGANT GIVING.” Are you and I joyful, hilarious givers, or do we give grudgingly and/or legalistically?
While not a part of our tithe, our giving should include giving to the poor, and joyful Spirit-led generous giving to our spouse and children.
Also let's allow the Holy Spirit to teach us good habits in spending the remainder of our money. Let him dictate all of our spending habits, even each of our purchases. "The Spirit of Truth will guide us into all truth (John 16:13)."
As we learn to be led by the Spirit, we must NEVER use the word, "I can't afford it." We can afford anything the Holy Spirit wants us to spend." However even if we CAN AFFORD IT, we mustn't spend it without permission of the Holy Spirit! Remember we are only stewards of our finances NOT OWNERS!
(3) Stewardship of time. Never say, "I don't have the time!" Our time, the twenty‑four hours in each day, is God's, not ours! Never say, "I don't have the time to read the Word more, to pray more, to spend more time with the children." WE DO HAVE THE TIME FOR EVERYTHING THE LORD DESIRES! Do we make bathing a daily priority? Yes! Is eating a priority? Yes. Is TV or our favorite hobby or sport a priority? Probably! Do we set a priority for much prayer and much study of the word each day? For exercise? The time is there. Let's make the time? Let prayer and bible reading be a priority. Let it come first. Let's become doers of the Word, then everything in our life will prosper (Joshua 1:8. Psalms 1).
(4) Stewardship of our Body. I Corinthians 16:9. Rom 12:1‑2. We have been bought with a price, the precious blood of Jesus. Our body is God's not ours. We are only stewards of it! So as faithful stewards of our body, let's treat it well.
Sins against the Body, Which Hurt Our Health, Include
1. The “sin” of wrong eating habits. Junk and other improper food hurt our health and energy level, and hence our emotional life and spirituality. Also we need to avoid non-medical drugs, alcohol, tobacco products, too many soft drinks or other sugar products. Our time spent studying nutrition will be richly rewarded in better health and energy. "My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6."
2. Lack of aerobic exercise (sin of omission). Aerobic exercise greatly enhances our physical health.
3. The sin of worry and other forms of negativity will hurt our health.
4. Fornication is a sin against the body. Holy sexual relations in marriage are a blessing from God, and good for our spirit, soul, and body, AND FOR OUR MARRIAGE. So make the time!
(5) We are stewards of the words we speak! Let's only speak
words that edify and build up ourselves and the body of
Christ. "There is death and life in the power of the
tongue (Proverbs 18:21)."
(6) We must be faithful stewards of our talents, and abilities (Matt. 25:14‑30). . . We are stewards of the gifts, and the anointing upon our life. Let's use them wisely and humbly. We are called to be servants of others.
The Chappell Ministries, Inc. Tel 863-226-2362 Cell 863-221-1479 www.laughcry.org
PO Box 172 Bartow, FL 33831