If a pastor had told you that, as a condition of you accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you needed to sign a document that turned all of your assets and your income over to God with you named as steward of those items, would you have done it? This isn’t the normal teaching of churches in America, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t biblically sound. In Matthew 13, Jesus uses two parables – one about a man who finds a treasure in a field and the other about a man who locates a pearl of enormous value – to show that it is worth selling everything that you have to obtain a place in God’s heavenly kingdom.
Part of repenting of our sins is turning away from the way that we used to look at the world and everything in it, and embracing the way that God views His creation. When we look at the world through our human eyes, we see assets and income that are ours that we are free to use however we want. When we look at those same things from God’s perspective, we see that they are God’s and He has blessed us with the privilege of being a steward over them. This is clearly an end result of submitting to the lordship of Jesus, as we totally surrender ourselves at the foot of the cross.
Everything that we have is God’s, and He has entrusted us to use His things to further His kingdom. The Christian isn’t required to give 10% of their income to the church. Rather, the Christian is asked to order their life so that they are living on no more than 90% of what God has entrusted them with. And as for how that 90% is used, the Christian should be looking at every expenditure to see if it is pleasing to God and representing faithful stewardship.
How we view money and material possessions reveals the true condition of our soul. Jesus proclaimed “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light.” Healthy eyes see the world from God’s perspective, and understand that our only mission is to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a fallen world in an effort to make disciples throughout all the nations. The income and assets that God has entrusted to you are meant to be used for those purposes. If you are using them to further your own desires instead of God’s, who are you really serving?
Peace and blessings – Pastor Aaron