Saturday’s Post: Learning From Lehman

Dave Eubank

We live in the most prosperous and wealthy nation that has ever been. I would say this is one of the most relevant spiritual topics both on a macro and micro level to the Church.  It also doesn’t hurt that this topic is right up my alley given my profession.  In my profession I have seen all kinds of examples of stewardship where money is treated as the master and how people are consumed with making and acquiring the next dollar as well as the avenues and lengths they have gone to get it.

Do you realize that money/stewardship is one of the most frequent topics in all of scripture?  Did you also realize that in the 89 Chapters of the gospel accounts (Matt, Mark,Luke, and John) that money/stewardship is discussed approximately 123 times.  Further more one half of all of Jesus’ parables discuss money/stewardship in some aspect? And lastly some of the most harsh warnings in scripture are in regards to money/stewardship.

So what is stewardship? I define stewardship in very simple terms…. Stewardship is the management of an asset that is from or belongs to another.  With that definition in mind it brings me to what must be the first principle in Christian stewardship. EVERYTHING BELONGS TO GOD!!! See Deuteronomy 10:14 and Psalm 89:11.  With that definition of Stewardship and the first principle in mind we need to ensure that we give equal significance, effort, and focus in acquiring assets and proper handling of these assets.  It has to be a balance or we run the risk of stepping into the many harsh warnings that we see in scripture.

A few of these warnings are found in 1 Timothy 6:9-10, Matthew 19:24, and Matthew 6:24. As you can see, it is very clear the warnings that scripture lays out for us in our pursuit of possessions and money and how easy it is to be overtaken by those desires.  However, if we go back to the first principle that EVERYTHING BELONGS TO GOD, we are merely stewards of his assets that he created and gave to us, and we realize that we only have possession for a short period of time 

Next let’s take a look at what the wisdom writer of Ecclesiastes has to say in regards to this topic.  The writer brings out the meaningless cycle and toil, the burden of trying to keep up with others, and the effects of never being satisfied.  However, he also points out that we can have satisfaction as we see in chapter 2:24-25.

So as we are going about living in a world that views Stewardship in basically an opposite way that we strive to as Christians, let’s remember the words of Jesus in Acts 20:35:  IT IS MORE BLESSED TO GIVE THAN TO RECEIVE!

What Generous Giving Shows

What Generous Giving Shows

Monday’s Column: Neal At The Cross

Neal Pollard

After praising the Corinthians in the midst of his second letter to them, Paul challenges their growth in a specific area of their Christianity. It is an area where several need to be challenged. Jesus urges us to have proper hearts by laying up treasure in heaven (Mat. 6:19-21) and Paul spends time showing what a proper heart looks like. Notice what he says on this subject in 2 Corinthians 8. 


Paul holds up the impoverished churches of Macedonia and the Lord Jesus Christ as examples of grace for the Corinthians. The poor saints of Macedonia, in a great ordeal of affliction, had abundant joy and a wealth of liberality to give generously despite that poverty. Who does that look like? The Lord Jesus Christ, who, though rich, for our sakes became poor that we through His poverty might become rich. Do you want to look like Jesus? Give generously and abundantly.


What kind of hearts did the Macedonians have? They had willing hearts, which caused them to give “beyond their ability” (3). They had begging hearts, which considered being allowed to give a favor (4). They had giving hearts, which prompted a financial generosity out of their first giving themselves to God (5). How is my giving? Let me first ask how my heart is, when it comes to “my” money. Paul uses Macedonia’s example to spur on Corinth.


Paul credits Corinth for their faith, utterance, knowledge, earnestness, love, and sincerity. The first three seem to be alluding to their spiritual gifts (cf. 1 Cor. 12-14), necessary to grow the church. The last three are attitudes Christians must possess. Yet, Paul tosses generosity right onto that figurative pile. He calls for them to abound in this gracious work, too. It proved the sincerity of their love. Later, Paul urges them to “show them the proof of your love and of our reason for boasting about you” (24). It’s not generous giving or these other qualities, or vice versa. God wants all of us. 


Paul calls for them to finish what they intended to do in this matter. Intentions, as great as they may be, cannot be spent or used to meet the various needs Paul is concerned about. The completion of it was as vital as the readiness to do it. God sees giving as the great equalizer between those with abundance and those with need. He’s not talking about redistribution of wealth. He’s talking about a healthy attitude toward one’s wealth that leads to God supplying all that’s needed through our generosity. Don’t just intend or desire to give. Do it!


This is a matter of practicality. Real needs in spreading the gospel existed, requiring monetary aid to accomplish. Titus brought it to their attention. Paul is reminding them of it. As they participated in this gracious work, they were helping the church. 

Do you find it interesting that for the inspired Paul, the subject of giving was not off-limits whether he was talking about the rich or the poor or the weak or the strong? Giving is a fundamental aspect and expression of our faith. It is not a substitute for good works. It is a specific example, one of many good works. We need to excel in this gracious work also!

A Small Portion Does Not Mean Small Proportion

A Small Portion Does Not Mean Small Proportion

Neal Pollard

Those who address us prior to our giving often make a statement like this, that we are giving back but a small portion of what God has blessed us with. In other words, if you could owned and could contribute all the world’s wealth, week after week, how would that compare to the sacrificial gift of Christ (cf. Mat. 16:26)? In fact, how could it compare with the many additional blessings besides atonement—a body equipped with the ability to perform involuntary actions (breathing, blood flow, cell regeneration, etc.), an environment conducive to life (air to breathe, photosynthesis, etc.), a planet in harmony with sun and moon making life possible, and the list is endless. It is not only impossible to out-give God, it is impossible to come anywhere close.

The Bible does not dictate a percentage for the New Testament Christian giver. The inferior covenant (cf. Heb. 8:7-8) required a tenth of all (Heb. 7:5), a pretty good benchmark for those of us having access to the better covenant established upon better promises. It is impossible to know what anyone might be thinking who hears the well-intended, if well-worn, statement, “We have the opportunity to give back a small portion of the many blessings we have received…” It does not mean, “A small proportion.” Nowhere does the Bible sanction stingy, leftover-style giving. In fact, it condemns such (read Malachi). Instead, Paul writes, “Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor. 9:6-7).

Giving involves a monetary, financial exercise, but it is a distinctly spiritual activity. It is an act of trust, a faith that the God who has provided will continue to provide and bless the one who bountifully shares what he has been given. When we, like the Macedonians, give beyond what we believe is beyond our ability (2 Cor. 8:1-5), we open up an exciting door in our walk with Christ.

If you are one who gives a small proportion of your income, may I challenge you to increase it? See what happens in your life. You are not giving to manipulate or coerce God, but you will experience a growth not possible on the “small proportion” side of generous giving. Trust Him! He has never broken a promise yet (read Mal. 3:10 and Luke 6:38).