When your budget won't let you give gifts to everyone in the world—which is always, by the way—who should you give...
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"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot
The American Church is $33 billion in debt.
Think about that for a second. The Church could easily extend relief to Africa, Katrina victims, and even our inner-city homeless with that kind of money. But with that overwhelming debt (that some consider manageable), our hands are tied. If we're going to be the hands and feet of God, we must begin managing God's resources better.
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After all, that's what stewardship is all about.
We're Not Owners
Sometimes, it's hard to remember that we're just managers - not owners - of all our stuff. Our credit-crazy culture tells us the opposite, but throughout the Bible, God tells us that we don't own anything. We are managers of the resources He has generously given us. It's still hard to see ourselves as stewards. If we put our 10% in the offering plate on Sunday morning, isn't that enough? Isn't the rest of our money ours?
God calls us to more than a Sunday morning tip. He even calls us to more than a tithe. He calls us to give our lives away so that He can give us something we cannot lose. That's why He calls us to spend and save the remaining 90% of our income in a way that honors him.
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- Living debt-free so that we are not servants to our lenders (Proverbs 22:7).
- Saving our money and leaving an inheritance to our children (Proverbs 13:22).
- Giving generously from a glad heart (2 Corinthians 9:6-7).
When we steward God's money in a wise way, not only do we become free, but we are equipped to lay hold of the vision God gives us for touching His Kingdom.
Once we're free to give generously, then we can truly ask ourselves, "What could the people of God do for the kingdom of God if they were debt-free?" And the answer is even more exciting than the question. We could change the world!