Many years ago, I read this story of a man who just gave his life to Christ and went for water baptism. It was his turn to be baptised and as he walked into the water, he remembered something, held the back of his pocket and turned. He pulled out his purse and was going to give it to his friend.
The pastor said, “Stop! It’s either I baptise you and your money or I don’t baptise you today. Some people are born again but their money is not. Once the discussion goes to this money issue some people go very quiet in church. They say, “Pastor preach on another thing. Preach on heaven, preach on hell but don’t touch money.”
Well, Christ spoke more about money than about any other subject. In fact he spoke more about money than he did about heaven and hell combined. Very interesting! And we’ll explore why. Let’s start from here: The secret of the increase or decrease in the volume of money that people ever get to handle is in stewardship.
In the Parable of Talents (Matthew 25:14-29), it was simply faithfulness that qualified the profitable guy for increase. Talent in those days was a unit of currency. The servant that had one talent and did nothing with it had his talent collected and given to the one that had five. So you find that over time, some people get to handle more. You must be conscious of the fact that stewardship can be terminated (Luke 16:1-3).
The choice of where to stand is ours, either to be in the place where money is increasing or to be in the place where money is decreasing. But one thing that is certain is that redistribution is always taking place. Money will always flow from those who are not managing it well to those who are managing it well. Money is always flowing, that’s why it’s called currency.Money always flows from those who are not managing it well to those managing it well. -@sam_adeyemi Click To Tweet
Many financial problems are rooted in stewardship issues (Luke 16:11). Everything else that God will give us is tied to how we handle money. The true riches are spiritual. But what qualifies us to handle the spiritual riches is how we manage money. The true riches of God come in form of revelation. That’s the main thing God translates to us because it is convertible. (1Corinthians 4:1-2)
Some people are not getting job, husband, wife and other things they’re expecting because of what they are doing with money. Ultimately, God owns everything; He only commits financial resources to our trust. If you do your part God will do His part – the opening of doors, your connection to the people that matter to your destiny, God will take care of that (Genesis 31:38-42).What qualifies us to handle true (spiritual) riches is how we manage money. -@sam_adeyemi Click To Tweet
If God has decided to prosper you no devil can impoverish you. If you play your part God will play His part. Jacob demonstrated first class stewardship. God did his part and ensured that his boss could not impoverish him. You have to trust God. If you don’t you will cut corners and eventually box yourself into a corner. Joseph also demonstrated first class stewardship as a prisoner and then as a slave. Joseph did not use his position as a slave as an excuse for cheating.
Lessons in Stewardship
1. Learn contentment
Don’t hold on too much to material things. Define your basic needs. Don’t tie your value/self-esteem to material needs. Once your basic needs are met you are on solid ground. There are too many pretenders in town. In the bid to impress people they are depressed. They smile but they are not happy.Define your basic needs. Don't build your esteem on anything more than that. -@sam_adeyemi Click To Tweet
When it comes to your basic needs, as a citizen of God’s kingdom, God guarantees it. Define your basic needs. Don’t build your esteem on anything more than that. My challenge today is to help create a system to ensure that the basic needs are met. Nobody should go to bed hungry. The instinct for survival is the greatest in man. A man who is struggling to survive is not likely to recognise the difference between right and wrong.
2. Prioritise God over money
You cannot serve God and mammon. Let your relationship with God shape your perspective to money. Don’t let money take God’s place in your life.
3. Manage your appetite for money
Money is not bad but remember, it is only committed to your trust. If God witholds anything from you, it’s for your sake. There are sins you have not committed not because you are very righteous but because you cannot afford to. There are temptations that don’t even cross your mind because you cannot afford them. Get only what God gives you per time.
4. Obey God in the use of money
How does God want you to use money? Here’s a simple guide:
a. Sustain his work Haggai 1
b. Take care of your family 1Timothy 5:8
c. Pay your workers well. Don’t owe people money. If you can’t pay your workers, let them go. James 5:8
d. Take care of your parents.
e. Give to people that are in need around you.
f. Leave a legacy.
5. Kill greed
When money comes into your life, you had better understand that it is a spiritual force. Satan wants your worship in exchange for wealth. Kill greed through giving. Tell money, you will not control my life. You can’t solve all my problems. God will remain my God. (1Timothy 6:17-19)Money is a spiritual force. Satan wants your worship in exchange for wealth. -@sam_adeyemi Click To Tweet
These days, I hear lots of people concerned about what the church does with all the money. I understand their concerns, that there are greedy leaders in church with large appetite for money because it makes you feel powerful. But it’s not new. If you study the Bible you’ll find that we’ve always had dishonest religious leaders (Luke 16:14). They criticised Jesus not because his doctrine was wrong but because he was about to block the flow. Check the revelations that the Pharisees brought. All their revelations had to do with money. They brought out this powerful revelation; the money you’re supposed to give to your parents, if you bring it to church and label it Corban, a gift to God, it is sanctified! (LOL). See Mark 7:11
But what I want to say to those that are concerned about how the church manages money is: don’t cry more than the bereaved. God has His way of managing things. He can terminate anybody’s stewardship at any time. He cares more about His sheep than you do. He will redirect them elsewhere.
Should we be very honest? Many of those that are shouting are greedy people who don’t understand why people should give in church. It’s our God that we’re worshipping. When we come to church it’s not pastor that we came to worship, we’re in an agreement with God.
I’ll end with Mark 10:29-31: Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, there is no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for my sake and for the sake of the gospel who will not receive in this age a hundred times as much – homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, fields, all with persecutions – and in the age to come, eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”
Question: What have you learnt about stewardship of finances and how are you incorporating the lessons into your life? Share with us in the comments