by Dr. Garth Leno
WINDSOR, ONTARIO – Stewardship is not just about money. It involves faithfully managing everything that God has placed in your charge for the advance of the Kingdom. Open-handed giving is a powerful principle of God, designed to be a blessing both to the giver and the recipient of the gift. It is the genuine, supernatural overflow of a generous heart that desires to express the love and glory of God.
Because we love people.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16 NIV). What motivated God to sacrifice His son was not a sense of indebtedness, or obligation. The love He had for us compelled Him to send Jesus in order to meet our most pressing need. If love for others was what prompted God to give, then should it not be our primary motivation for giving as well? With spiritual maturity we should become less attached to our possessions and more concerned with meeting the needs of others and planting churches everywhere for everyone.
So that we can be a blessing to others.
God made a covenant with Abraham in Genesis 12:2. “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.” I will bless you...and you will be a blessing to others. This is our privilege and calling as people of God.
To preach the Gospel.
It takes money to reach lost people with the Gospel. We pay the salaries of pastors and missionaries. Evangelism, church planting, developing residencies, strengthening churches, SEND Relief – it all takes money! If we are committed to spreading the Gospel, then we have no choice but to support it with our finances, and that includes the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering and Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.
It is a biblical principle.
There is a force of financial blessing that is released in our lives by the giving of our money. In 2 Corinthians 9:6 the Bible says, “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.” Our giving is the seed which awaits a harvest at some later date. Our level of harvest through the BSCM and SEND Michigan may be directly related to our level of giving to our local churches, the cooperative program, and the Annie Armstrong offering. The Annie Armstrong Easter Offering is the primary way we support mission efforts in North America.
To fill a void.
As important as money is, it will never fill the void that people have inside them. Ever since Adam fell, and sin entered the world, man has been seeking fulfillment in external things. He has tried to rebuild the Garden of Eden by his efforts, looking to find satisfaction in pleasures, possessions, and status. The void can only be filled with a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Turn to Jesus! Nothing else will satisfy the inward yearnings of our souls. But once our hearts have been filled with the Spirit of God, and Jesus lives in and through our lives, then giving becomes a joyful ministry of obedience to the Word of God. Giving gives meaning to life!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Garth Leno lives in Windsor, Ontario Canada, with his wife and one daughter, Jamie. Two more children, Nathan and Kristin, are married with families of their own. Garth is the senior pastor at The Gathering which he planted with friends in 2014. He is also on the Send Canada Advisory Board. He has a master’s degree in church planting from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and D.Min from Bethel Theological Seminary.