Dr. Elmer Towns is a pastor, author, and Christian leader who co-founded Liberty University, the largest private non-profit university in the world. He asks a very interesting question that points out the value of stewardship.
A steward is like a manager of a local McDonald’s Restaurant who carries out the aims of the owners, maximizes profits, while handling all the problems. Dr. Towns teaches a stewardship lesson in the Pastor’s Bible Class at Thomas Road Baptist Church which is the most requested lesson of all he has taught: “Who Owns Your French Fries?”
It is the story of a man who buys his little boy some french fries. Then the father does what all fathers do; he reaches over and takes one french fry to taste it. The little boy slaps his father’s hand and says, “Don’t touch my french fries.” The father thinks that his son is selfish. The father knows that he bought the french fries and they belong to him. The father knows that his son belongs to him. The father could get angry and never buy his son another french fry again to teach his son a lesson, or the father could “bury” his son in french fries. The father thinks, “Why is my son selfish? I have given him a whole package of french fries. I just want one french fry.”
God has given us money. When He asks for a tithe, people figuratively slap His hand and say, “Keep Your hands off my money.” God owns everything we have. He wants us: 1. To manage what we have for His glory. God expects us to manage our time, talent, temple, testimony and treasures. 2. To give back a portion of what He has given us.
It is tempting for us to think that, since we worked hard to earn our money, that it is ours to do with as we please. But God gives us life and health and strength and opportunities. Everything you have is From Him and Belongs to Him.
Thankfully the Father is a generous giver. We especially see this in the area of Salvation. The Father sent His only Son to pay the penalty for sin that you and I could never pay. The Apostle Paul points out in Romans 8:32, “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” If the Father was willing to give His Son for us for salvation, is there anything that He would withhold from us? He has already proven His generosity by giving us His most precious treasure.
Stewardship is acknowledging that I am not an owner but rather a steward of what the Lord has graciously given to me. It is a matter of using what He has given to me for my needs but also understanding that what I have is also to be used for His purpose. Stewardship has been defined as “the proper Management of my Assets in order to build God’s Kingdom.” God entrusts resources to us. Why? To Bless us and to help Build His Kingdom. I am not the final destination for the resources the Lord has entrusted to me. Instead, as a steward, I am a channel for His blessings and resources. I can use some of it for my own needs but I must also invest some of it for His purposes.
It is exciting to not only be a Receiver but also a Giver. It is exciting to invest in the Kingdom of God and know that I am a partner in making an eternal difference in someone’s life. As Corrie ten Boom observed, “I’ve learned that I must hold everything loosely, because when I grip it tightly, it hurts when the Father pries my fingers loose and takes it from me!” So true!
This Sunday, March 5, we begin a new teaching series entitled Money Matters! with the question, “Who’s in Charge?” Am I in charge of my money and possessions and owe nothing to anyone else? Or do I acknowledge that Everything I have is a gift from God? Your answer to these questions will make a Huge difference in your life. Please invite someone to join you at 10:35am either in the building or online for the Live broadcast on Facebook (Honolulu AG) or our YouTube channel (Honolulu Assembly of God). We Livestream every Sunday morning at 10:35am to both locations. Note: We will share in Holy Communion this Sunday.
This month’s Drive-Thru Prayer outreach is this Saturday, March 4, from 11am-1pm. Please join me as a prayer partner for it and please let others know about it. There are some divine appointments waiting to happen!
Aloha ke Akua!