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How much money does God expect me to give?

Christ on the cross is a picture of the ultimate in giving. God is a giver by nature. Christ’s sacrifice is a picture of this. God owns everything. You and I do not even own our toenail trimmings. Owners have rights, but stewards have a responsibility, the responsibility to handle the owner’s property according to His will. You and I are stewards.

Since God owns the entire universe and can do with it whatever He wills, it follows that He doesn’t need what many Christians refer to as “my money.” It’s His money in the first place. Our job is to use His money which He entrusts into our stewardship according to His directive. He could raise up stones to do His work. But, He gives us the opportunity to share in it with Him by learning how to serve instead of how to survive.

It also follows that the idea of a tithe falls far short of God’s ideal. Teach a man to tithe and he’ll stop right there if he ever reaches the goal. He’ll begin to take a secret pride that he has attained or lived up to this standard (law). The tithe is law and we are free from the law of the letter. The letter kills and giving under the law of the tithe is death in that it will snuff out giving in the freedom of love.

We now have His law (agape), the law of life, written on our hearts and minds. So we are now free. Free to what? Free to “life out” (keep) the law of agape. That means expending all the resources which God has placed under my stewardship according to the law of love.

So how much of “my money” belongs to God? All of it! What do I own? Nothing! What about my time? Whose time? God owns it all and that includes time. We are but stewards. How much of my money does He need for His work to go forward? None of it! But, won’t His work fail if we don’t support it? Hold it. A man has to be kidding who thinks God’s work is built upon us. All the work that we build will be just so much kindling for that great bonfire in the sky at the Judgment Seat of Christ. The only thing which will survive that fire is His work.

But, He gives me one opportunity, and only one, to practice stewardship by becoming a cheerful giver…my tenure on earth. I’ll never, ever, get a second chance. It’s now or never. I get the opportunity to give Him everything that I am steward over, money, family, house, jewels, cars, boats, kids, time, myself, everything. It’s all His anyway. Even me. I “have been bought with a price.” I would be wise to simply acknowledge Him as the Owner He is and stop trying to hoard it to feed my flesh. Like I said, I only get one shot at it.