FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
FREE, GENEROUS, JOYFUL
February 28, 2017
Today’s reading: Sirach 35:1-12
Everything belongs to God, and we are just stewards of what we ordinarily call “ours”–our time, our talent, our treasure. Thus we are to use these for His purposes, to advance His Kingdom on earth. Being stewards of finances is what we call financial stewardship. This includes tithes (10% of income by definition) and monetary gifts.
Unfortunately, many Christians do not understand such stewardship of funds. There are those who think “their” money totally belongs just to them. There are those who give but give just a pittance. There are those who give more but grudgingly. That should not be the case. When we do give, such should be free, generous and joyful.
What we give should be “freewill gifts.” (v.10b). God does not coerce us, and we are not being forced. Rather, we need to see the bountiful blessings God has bestowed on us, and we need to realize the wide work needed to be done that requires funds. As such, we must not just be willing but eager to give back to God.
When we give, we give “with a generous spirit” (v.10a). God is generous to us. Are we in turn generous to Him? And mind you, what we give back to Him is actually His! And consider how He allows us to keep 90% of what belongs to Him. “Give to the Most High as he has given to you, generously, according to your means.” (v.12).
When we give, we should be joyful. It is such a privilege to give back to God, to be able to help out with His work. “With each contribution show a cheerful countenance, and pay your tithes in a spirit of joy.” (v.11). We must rejoice that we can give back to God. And the bigger our tithe is, that just means that we have received so much more from Him.
We as Christians pray, worship, go to Church. We continuously receive His grace and blessing. We must give back to God. “Do not appear before the Lord empty-handed” (v.6).
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