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Church pastor guide newsletter, Issue #002 -- teaser here
November 28, 2013
Did you know there is more written in the Bible about finances than on heaven and hell, prayer, or faith? Jesus taught more about this subject than any other, so it’s obvious that the stewardship of money is very important to God.
I know that as soon as a minister begins to speak on this subject, it is often met with skepticism, with people wondering about the motives behind the teaching. I understand why, and honestly, there are a lot of other subjects I would rather teach. But, as God’s steward of this ministry, it’s not up to me—it’s up to Him—and God wants His people to understand how to operate in this area.
For those of you who have not followed this ministry long enough to know me, I want to say that I am not writing on this subject in an attempt to motivate you to give so that I can indulge my flesh at your expense. I am teaching this for the same reason I teach on healing, faith, grace, or any other subject.
When I teach on healing, it’s not so I can be healed; I’m already walking in divine health. Likewise, when I teach on financial stewardship, it’s not for my financial benefit but for yours. Jamie and I love you and just want to see you walking in the grace of God, full of faith, healthy, and prosperous.
Financial stewardship is probably one of the most misunderstood subjects in the Bible and yet one of the most important. Jesus Himself said in Luke 16:10-11:
“He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?”
In other words, if you can’t deal with finances and become faithful in that, you can’t be trusted with anything. Finances are just the beginning point.
Many people believe the money they have belongs to them. After all, they earned it. They’ve scrimped, they’ve saved, and they may even be working two jobs to make ends meet. They earned it, so it must be theirs. Right?
Wrong. It may seem that way, but it’s just not true. The first step in becoming financially responsible and blessed is to recognize God as the source of your prosperity. You may have worked a job, but it’s God who gave you your life, your breath, your talents, your abilities, the power to think, and the blessing of living at a time of unparalleled opportunity in one of the most prosperous nations in the world. You didn’t do any of that!
When we understand that God is the source of all our blessing, it’s easy to realize that we are merely the stewards of all that He gives us. The dictionary defines “steward” as a person who manages the affairs, especially the money, of another person. And when we get the mindset of a steward, it totally changes the way we think about and use money.
Abraham is a great example of a man who had the mindset of a steward. He completely understood and acknowledged who his source was, and because of that, God abundantly blessed him. Genesis 12:1-3 says,
“Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”
A lot could be said about this passage, but I want to point out that this wasn’t just some kind of a spiritual promise. This is actually talking about physical, tangible results.
As you read through the story of Abraham, you’ll find that he was blessed, blessed, blessed—even when he didn’t act with integrity. For example, there was a time of famine in the land of Canaan, so Abraham traveled to Egypt. Because of his fear, he lied to the pharaoh about Sarah, his wife. She was very beautiful, and the pharaoh wanted her, so Abraham said she was only his sister.
The pharaoh made her part of his harem, but before any sexual relationship took place, God intervened through a dream and revealed the truth to the pharaoh. Instead of the pharaoh exacting punishment for this lie, the fear of God came upon him because he knew God was with Abraham.
In fact, the fear of God was so strong on the Egyptians, they started giving Abraham their servants, slaves, cattle, sheep, and more. You can’t say that was because of Abraham’s shrewd dealing. And it certainly wasn’t because of his integrity.
God had promised He would bless him, and the blessing was independent of what he deserved, independent of his performance. It was the favor of God on his life that caused him to prosper. Can you connect the dots? Do you realize that it’s not about your work and effort—it’s about the favor of God?
With great love,
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