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Friday, April 16, 2010

Genuine Godly Stewardship

Stewardship of Money

Godly stewardship of money is often thought of as something like what we would do with our bank money--save it. There would be lots of accounting and red-tape. The pastor cannot just decide where the church money goes. Everything should be agreed upon in a church board meeting. To denominations, this is proper and godly stewardship of money and possessions. 

Genuine godly stewardship of money, or any possession for that matter, is really to spend all of it, even nearly reach zero balance. Churches are never God-designed to be like banks--keeping money and getting so strict with its use to make it grow. Many churches fear getting zero balance because to them that is wrong stewardship. They relax when they see there's big money in their bank accounts. They feel they're being good and faithful servants. 

There's no sin like staying in your comfort zones and not trying anything radical--especially with money. Jesus loved seeing those who dared spend all for his glory--like the poor widow who gave her last penny or cent. He was not impressed with those who gave huge amounts but kept a much bigger amount in their pockets and bank accounts. To Jesus, keeping more than enough money is BAD STEWARDSHIP. Sometimes, he even desires having zero balance.

If Jesus were a pastor today, he'd be often accused of church money mismanagement, abuse, and BAD, BAD stewardship of money and possessions. One time he asked how much food was available. His disciples worried; not even several months' wages would feed the crowd that was with them. At the time, all they had were a few food items. He said, in effect, "Spend them all!" Nothing was kept back. And he did not need any church board meeting for its approval. The result? Some 4000 men well fed (not numbering the women and kids) and a thousand times ROI. There were several basketfuls of food the remained. Lesson? Good stewardship is when you "sell your possessions and give to the poor."

A repentant woman once suddenly came running in and weeping at Jesus' feet. The she poured terribly expensive perfume oil on his head and feet. While some disciples vehemently disagreed (especially Judas), my Jesus agreed. He wanted radical "waste" of precious resources in something "trifling" like God's glory. NO, this does not mean you waste money to improve your church building or buy expensive flowers to put on your altar or buy expensive sound system to "worship" God with. These are nothing but garbage! Jesus wants lives glorified with the power of the Jesus LIFE. And this often involves real money expenses. What temple God wants beautified is the temple of the Holy Spirit--our lives.

Good stewardship of money or any possessions is when you "waste" them by spending them all for God's glory (not the denomination's glory). It is something that NO CHURCH today is doing. What churches do today is go with the world--churches operating like commercial banks, with lots of accounting and auditing. 

My Jesus NEVER audited Judas. The Lord knew he was robbing the Jesus church treasury, yet he never audited him. Today, denominations call that bad money stewardship. In the Kingdom, that is called wisdom. Thus, denominations will never enter the Kingdom, because they are too engrossed with their riches and income, they hang on to them. It is impossible for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God.

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