Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Stewardship: The Treasure Principle

Another great book that is challenging me in the area of stewardship and caring for others.

Stewardship: Managing your time, talent, and treasure.

As you know by now, the LORD has been stirring in my heart A LOT on the issue of stewardship. We've gotten so used to consuming more than we need in almost every area of our life, we don't even see where our materialism and spending are out of control anymore. We're so used to using our time unwisely, that we don't even stop to sit with the LORD and seek Him. We are so busy using our talents for our own kingdom, that we don't offer them for His kingdom.

So when will all of the madness stop? How can we reject materialism & consumerism to give more? Start living on only what we truly need, to be able to provide for the truly needy? To hurt a little, to help those hurting a lot?

God's economy is all about giving. Generosity, stewardship, loving others as yourself. This quick little book tells us that true joy is not found in consuming more, but in giving away!

It's based on Matthew 6:19-21 " “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

He says (because Jesus said) there is joy in "surrendering lesser treasures to find greater ones" (p.8) and "there is a fundamental connection between our spiritual lives & how we think about and handle money" (p.9)

Some other great quotes from the book:
If we give instead of keep, if we invest in the eternal instead of in the temporal, we store up treasures in heaven that will never stop paying dividends. (p.18)

A steward manages assets for the owner's benefit. The steward carries no sense of entitlement to the assets he manages. It's his job to find out what the owner wants done with his assets, then carry out his will. (p.25) Whenever we think like owners, it's a red flag. We should be thinking like stewards, investment managers. (p.27)

One of our central spiritual decisions is determining what is a reasonable amount to live on. Whatever that amount is, we shouldn't hoard or spend the excess. (p.27)

Cheerful giving, doesn't mean we always feel cheerful when giving. Cheerfulness often comes during & after the act of obedience, not before it. (p.28)

Giving isn't a luxury of the rich. It's a privilege of the poor. Gaze upon Christ long enough and you'll become more like Christ. Tthe same Greek word is used for Christian giving as for Gods grace. Our giving is a reflexive response to the grace of God in our lives. It doesn't come out of our altruism or philanthropy, it comes out of the transforming work of Christ. (p.31)

God wants your heart. He isn't looking just for 'donors' for His kingdom, those who stand outside the cause and dispassionately consider acts of philanthropy. He's looking for disciples immersed in the causes they give to. He wants people so filled with a vision for eternity that they wouldn't dream of not investing their money, time, and prayers where they will matter most. (p.45)

The time I devote to my TV and its accessories means less time for communicating with my family, reading the Word, praying, opening our home, or ministering to the needy. (p.54)

He asks . . .
What are your roadblocks to giving?

When you leave this world, will you be known as one who accumulated treasures on earth that you couldn't keep? Or will you be recognized as one who invested treasures in heaven that you couldn't lose? (p.81)

What are we doing with the wealth He's entrusted to us to reach the lost and help the suffering? (p.83)

How can we start being better stewards of our time, talent, and treasure?

How can we live on less to be able to give away more?

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