Monday, May 23rd, 2016
Proverbs For Performers (Part 14)
Managing God's Stuff
Honor the Lord with your possessions,
And with the firstfruits of all your increase;
So your barns will be filled with plenty,
And your vats will overflow with new wine.
Proverbs 3:9-10 (NKJV)
The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.
Psalm 24:1 (NIV)
I believe MINE is a dirty word.* For my grandsons, it brings a hand slap. If this correction seems harsh to you, consider all the wars of the earth. How many of them did MINE begin? Consider also the Words of Christ regarding riches and their owners: The Parable of the Rich Young Ruler as well as His subsequent Teachings.**
I believe I don't own anything: not my car, house, stuff or family. Not my ideas or my paycheck. Admittedly, I need reminding. Because most of earth's merchandisers (including its media meisters) tempt me to thoughts of entitlement: If I work for it or pay for it... if I fight for it or receive it... if I get it fairly, I own it.
The Lord's Directives about tithing are questioned by modern believers. Like it's just an Old Testament thing. So we offer God our leftovers. After all, what could He need from us? Which brings me to ask two big questions: Do people really own anything?*** Is tithing just a church guilt-trip con? Here are my two answers: No and No.
Tithing is a face-to-the-floor bow, showing the sovereignty of God: an admittance of His Ownership and a denial of selfishness; a way to help others who need it and to further the work of the Lord.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: The Parable of the Talents speaks strongly about managing God's stuff. So, too, His Stories of stewardship.*** Instead of trusting what Christians say, who don't have perfect understanding (because perfection belongs to God)... read what God has to say and then pray.
Because you're stewards of His talents and His examples of how to act.
To Be Continued...
* Previous AMTC Devotion: All Things (Part 10)... Are Meant To Be Shared:
** Short article: What Did Jesus Teach about Wealth? http://www.jesus.org/life-of-jesus/teaching-and-messages/what-did-jesus-teach-about-wealth.html
** The Parable of the Rich, Young Ruler and subsequent Teachings: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+19%3A16-30&version=NKJV
*** The Parable of the Rich Fool: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+12%3A13-21&version=NKJV
**** The Parable of the Talents: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=mat+25%3A14-30&version=NKJV
**** More Parables & Teachings about Stewardship:
1) The Faithful and the Evil Servant: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+12%3A35-48&version=NKJV
2) The Parable of the Unjust Steward: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+16%3A1-13&version=NKJV
3) The Widow's Two Mites: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark+12%3A41-44&version=NKJV
4) The Rich Man and Lazarus: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+16%3A19-31&version=NKJV
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Proverbs for Performers series.