Saturday, March 18, 2006

A Lesson In Stewardship

We give back to the Lord because He first gave Jesus Christ for us for the Purchase of our Sin so we can have salvation. It’s an honor to give and we should give thankfully and sacrificially and although stewardship is an often-avoided topic we should realize that it’s an important one to study and evaluate in our own lives.

I’m not going to go into much detail regarding Biblical stewardships because we may share more later and honestly there are a lot of great books, devotions, sermons and Biblical passages that you can study if you desire.

My purpose in writing today is that I simply wanted to share something my family and I did for the first time this year from our (my wife and I) desire to help our entire family get involved in something more special and different with funds we designated as an offering from our refund.

Let me be clear, giving should be in secret between the giver and the Lord so I won’t go into detail about the amount but I believe it’s appropriate to share, in general, our experience so it may encourage others to give to God for His Kingdom work and for His glory. Hopefully our experience will help your “creative thinking” on stewardship begin to flow, as there are so many good and honorable ways to specifically give from your finances.

Each tax season if we’re blessed with a refund we designate funds that the Lord puts on our heart in order to give as an offering to our church and other ministries as He directs for His Kingdom work. This year we decided to allot a portion of this to do something different.

We took the portion we allotted for an offering and downloaded a giving catalog form Samaritan’s Purse which included practical things like, providing clean water for families through clean water projects, help towards building a hospital, help build housing, help purchase goats and dairy animals and much much more. We involved the kids by asking them to review the catalog and choose what they would like to give towards. They each chose items where they most wanted to help minister through the offering and then we married this up with the funds we designated.

Once this was finalized we went online to the web site and initiated the giving. We also filled in information so that the ministry would send a card to our kids specifying what was given in God’s and their honor. It didn’t mention amounts but it did list the 7 ways or areas the offering was designated by them and serves as a reminder of the giving they were a specifically a part of. It was great to see them choose things that were so practical and useful to those who are in need!

It was a wonderful experience and prayerfully it made a lasting impact on our family that will stick with us each year and in each new opportunity to give to God.

We also gave to a few other ministries that we felt led to give including missionaries, and other ministries that have blessed us and we’ve seen God working through but this giving experience was the best, the most memorable of them all.

Samaritan’s Purse is just one example of the many organizations that provide giving opportunities like this that you can look into to find ideas where you can put your dollars to work for His Kingdom and Glory.

There are many ministries large and small that really could use your help to make a greater impact for eternity. There are also many people right in your own community that could use a helping hand through your resources, time, and talents.

I’ve shared one example from my families experience and now what about you? Do you make giving a priority either through regular tithing or special offering? Have you had experiences where God led you to give specifically to something or someone? What about in the areas outside of finances, your time and talents? Have you taken inventory of your giving habits? I’d love to hear your experiences so feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail. I’m sure others would love to hear as well. Please be sure to keep any specific amounts between you and the Lord but please share what God brings to mind.

What ever you do, please pray and ask God to help you be a cheerful, regular, and sacrificial giver. Then let me also encourage and challenge you to seek to give of your time, talents, and finances.


God Bless You!

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