Stewardship


The Foolish Widow
by Ronald W Robey
(written December 16, 2015)

Luke 20:45 (KJV) 45 Then in the audience of all the people he said unto his disciples,

In the audience of all the people, i.e.; in the hearing of all the people, Jesus spoke. All who were there could hear His words, both the rich who cast in their gifts, and the widow who cast her entire living into the treasury receptacle were within range of His voice.

Luke 20:46 (KJV) 46 Beware of the scribes, which desire to walk in long robes, and love greetings in the markets, and the highest seats in the synagogues, and the chief rooms at feasts;

Luke 20:47 (KJV) 47 Which devour widows’ houses, and for a shew make long prayers: the same shall receive greater damnation.

The people in attendance heard the warning Jesus had just delivered to the disciples. They were made aware that the scribes were thieves, preying on widows. They were made aware that the scribes were a condemned lot.

The word “devour” means “forcibly appropriate.” The scribes, who were interpreters of the Law, (today’s equivalent would be our Supreme Court Justices) were forcibly putting widows on the street… taking their homes away from them.

Luke 21:1 (KJV) 1 And he looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury.

There is no great time frame indicated between the delivery of His warning and His looking up and seeing the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury. He spoke, He sat down, (Mark 12:41) He looked up.

Luke 21:2 (KJV) 2 And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites.

Here was a poor widow who had just heard Jesus’ warning that scribes were robbing widows houses. (and no doubt, may have been made poor by the scribes that Jesus was warning of)

And yet, she chose to ignore Jesus’ warning. She rejected the words of the One who would soon put an end to all sacrifice for sin. She instead gave her last two coins into the very treasury of the men that Jesus was warning of just moments earlier.

Sounds cultic, to some degree. Cult followers will ignore any warnings from outsiders who are trying to rescue them from danger. This widow chose to continue to give to the corrupt system despite the fact that she would be losing her home to the leaders of that system.

Luke 21:3 (KJV) 3 And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all:

Luke 21:4 (KJV) 4 For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had.

According to Mark 12:43, Jesus spoke this to His disciples. Did the rest of those in the Temple hear these words as they had the warning? We are not told. The text in Mark states that Jesus called the disciples unto Himself, so it is possible that these words were spoken privately, i.e.; only the disciples hearing.

Many sermons have been built upon the event of Luke 21:1-4 over the years. Sermons constructed to boost Church funds by convincing people that it is good to give much to the Church. Sermons which paint the widow’s actions that day as bein good and commendable.

However, there is no commendation of the widow in the text at all. It cannot be possible that Jesus Christ would first expose the corrupt religious system and its thieving Staff, and then turn around and praise a widow who chose to ignore His warning and instead foolishly put all her living into the coffers of that corrupt system.

Seeing the seeming cultic behavior of the widow, (ignoring the warnings from outsiders) I am once again reminded of a woe levied upon the scribes and Pharisees by Jesus that day,…

Matthew 23:15 (KJV) 15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.

The widow had been made a proselyte of the religious leaders. She chose to ignore Jesus’ warning. The corrupt religious system had her fully brainwashed into believing she was giving into the offerings of God, when in reality, they were robbing her of all her living.

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Stewardship
by Ronald W Robey
(written December 12, 2018)
 
Stewardship is important in the life of a Christian.
 
God gives us the ability to make money, and expects us to handle that money wisely. First and foremost, if we have bills, we should endeavor to pay those bills prior to doing anything else with the money. The borrower is a servant to the lender. Get those bills out of the way.
 
From the money left after bills are paid, family needs should be taken care of; i.e food, clothing, medical, etc. If any provide not for his own he is worse than an infidel.
 
It is good to give to the local church body one attends or is a member of. However, it is better to give directly to those in the body who have needs rather than just drop the money in a collection plate as it passes under our noses on Sunday mornings. Ofttimes, money is collected for the needs of the church facilities while the body inside is in need of the money more. The righteous considereth the cause of the poor: but the wicked regardeth not to know it.
 
When money was laid at the feet of the apostles in the early stages of church history, the money was distributed to those who lacked. It was not used to pad the pockets of the apostles. Nor was it used to build bigger buildings.. If you enter the building and see Brother Sam and know that he has been laid off of work and has need of groceries or medicine, or even rent and utility money, God will be more pleased with you if you take that money you were going to drop in the collection plate and give it to Brother Sam than if you had dropped it in the collection plate.

The Faithful Steward
by Ronald W Robey
(written November 01, 2017)

1 Corinthians 4:2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.

The etymology of the word “steward reveals that the word is from the Old English stiward, stigweard “house guardian, housekeeper,” from stig “hall, pen for cattle, part of a house” (see sty (n.1)) + weard “guard” (from Proto-Germanic *wardaz “guard,” from PIE root *wer- (3) “perceive, watch out for”).

Which is the more faithful steward?

a) The man who commits to giving ten percent of his employment wages to the local religious institution he attends before meeting his family’s physical needs

b) The man who commits to meeting his family’s physical needs before giving any money to the local religious institution he attends

The Staff of the religious institution are exhorted to be “faithful stewards” over that Office that they have been appointed to.

The man who is only a member of the congregation has a greater responsibility to be a faithful steward at home.

The Faith Promise Deception
by Ronald Ward Robey
(written October 26, 2016)

In many church assemblies, members are given a “Pledge Card” which they are encouraged to sign with a vow to donate “x” amount of their monetary income to missions over the next twelve months. They call this, “The Faith Promise Campaign.”

The problem? It’s not Biblical.

In 2 Corinthians 8, we read,…

2 Corinthians 8:12 For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.

1. Paul said giving should be of a “willing mind.” Many feel pressured to sign the Faith Promise card they have received. This is not a “willing mind,” but rather, “a forced mind.”

2. Giving should be according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have. Not one of us know what will happen from one day to the next. According to James, our life itself is “but a vapour, and we aren’t even promised that we will be alive the next day.”. We don’t know if some medical need will take a good portion of our future monetary income. or a lay-off from work, or even inflation will cause us to need more for food on our tables and household bills. Faith Promise has us vowing to give money that we don’t have yet, nor really know if we will have. Yet, as stated, our giving is supposed to be “according to what we have,” not according to what we think we will have. Nor according to what we hope to have.

The Faith Promise Campaign is in total contradiction to 2 Corinthians 8:12.

The Proper Attitude of Giving
by Ronald W Robey
(written October 19, 2018)
The proper attitude of giving can be seen in Acts 4:32-37…
Acts 4:32 And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.
Acts 4:33 And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.
Acts 4:34 Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold,
Acts 4:35 And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.
Acts 4:36 And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus,
Acts 4:37 Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
Notice that the community of Believers who had land and property did not hear a sermon telling them they must sell their lands and properties. Nor were they told they must give of their money to the newly converted Believers in Christ Jesus.
No…they saw a need and voluntarily sold land and property to help meet that need. No dictated percentage. No coercion from the apostles. No guilt or fear tactics employed whatsoever.
When one allows the Spirit of God to rule one’s heart, he will give simply out of love for those who lack; wanting to see those who lack or are in poverty to thrive.
The apostle Paul encouraged the faithful brethren at Corinth to have that same attitude in their giving, when he wrote:
2 Corinthians 9:6 But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.
2 Corinthians 9:7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

The Self-Serving Church
by Ronald W Robey

Many received their paychecks today, and are sitting at their tables and desks and filling out their check for Sunday Morning’s “tithe” to their local assembly. Many may be doing so from their easy chair.

Many of these same people have heard a knock on their door this past week, or will hear one within the next several hours as the day progresses. Upon answering the door, they find it is a neighbor in need; maybe of a couple eggs, or a cup of sugar, a stick of butter, or some other food item… which you may gladly give if you have it.

But pause and think for a moment? Is the item asked for the only need my neighbor may have? Two eggs will not go very far, especially if there is more than one person in the household of that neighbor. A cup of flour will be spent fairly easy as well.

Matthew 25:41 (KJV) Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
Matthew 25:42 (KJV) For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
Matthew 25:43 (KJV) I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
Matthew 25:44 (KJV) Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
Matthew 25:45 (KJV) Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
Matthew 25:46 (KJV) And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

1 John 3:17 (KJV) But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?

If there is a need for butter, for milk, for eggs, then chances are there is a much greater need for groceries. Consider taking your neighbor to the store, or going to the store by yourself, and purchasing groceries for your neighbor… using that check you were going to give to the local assembly tomorrow.

Matthew 25:34 (KJV) Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
Matthew 25:35 (KJV) For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
Matthew 25:36 (KJV) Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
Matthew 25:37 (KJV) Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
Matthew 25:38 (KJV) When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
Matthew 25:39 (KJV) Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
Matthew 25:40 (KJV) And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

The Church today has lost its focus. They have become self-centered and self-serving, neglecting the poor and needy of the community that they are supposed to be a light of truth and compassion in.

“Give God’s tithe to a person that doesn’t even attend my Church? How preposterous!” Suppose God had the same attitude toward us when we were lost and without God? “Give my Son for a people that don’t even know me? How preposterous!”

Brethren, let us stop this foolishness of thinking we please God by giving a tenth of our money to our local assembly, when we can’t even bring ourselves to show compassion and concern for those around us.

Yes, give your check that you wrote out as tithe to that person in need. Apart from the fact that God’s tithe in the Bible was never of one’s monetary income, in giving it to your neighbor in need, you are giving it to God. Moreso than if you were to drop it into a collection plate in that four-walled brick and mortar edifice that you so lovingly call “church.”

Proverbs 19:17 He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.

Proverbs 29:7 The righteous considereth the cause of the poor: but the wicked regardeth not to know it.

Giving to the Lord
by Ronald W Robey

It is strange how so many relate the giving ten percent of their money to their local church as “giving to God,” when nowhere in the Bible does it say that giving to your local church is giving to God.

The wise king Solomon said

Proverbs 19:17 He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.

Jesus said

Matthew 25:24 Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed:

25 And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.

26 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:

27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.

28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.

29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.

30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:

32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:

33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Sadly, many with money in their pockets will pass a poor beggar on the street.as they are on the way to Sunday Morning Worship Services and they will drop that money in a collection basket…thinking they are giving to the Lord.

They had an opportunity to give to the Lord…but dismissed it.

Proverbs 29:7 The righteous considereth the cause of the poor: but the wicked regardeth not to know it.

God sees you more righteous when you stop to assist the poor, than when you drop money in a collection basket at a religious institution.

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