Intro - 

  1. We are the owners of NOTHING - 
    • We’ve earned / deserve nothing….good
    • God Owns it all -
      • 1 Cor 10:26 - a quotation of Psalm 24:1
      • What you have in your hands and even the breath that you breathe is a gift from him to us that we are given to steward
    • Because God owns it all we never need to be afraid!  
      • God is our supply and he never runs out
      • God is our Father and he always gives to his kids - trust his heart!
    • Understanding God’s ownership brings a balance
      • When you don’t have a lot in your hands (your income is lower) - you can trust him because HE is the source he has it all and he can give some to you
      • When you DO have a lot in your hands (your income is higher) - you can know that it didn’t come from you and that it isn’t in your hands to serve YOUR purposes.
    • Understanding God’s ownership keeps materialism in check
      • When this isn’t YOUR money all of a sudden it really matters how you manage it - because you WILL be held accountable for how it is spent
      • Debt and overspending have been damaging to so many in our age
      • One of the things God wants us to do with our money is ENJOY IT - 1 Tim 6:17
      • When thinking about a purchase we need to ask the question - is this how God would have me spend HIS money???
        • WE NEED TO ASK HIM! - every larger purchase should be a matter for prayer
  2. It might not be ours but it IS in our hands - 
    • Right thinking leads to right behavior! - once we are thinking like a servant of God, a steward of HIS resource, we will act like a trusted manager.
    • It is our JOB to steward God’s varied Grace - 1 Peter 4:10
      • it is our job to manage the financial blessings God puts in our hands
      • He gives it to us to distribute it in such a way that the things God cares about are being taken care of appropriately
    • 2 Cor 9:10 
      • Seed to the sower bread to the eater
      • We are Funnels of blessing that the Lord Pours INTO so WE can pour OUT
      • The more we pour OUT the more he can pour IN 
      • We can be cheerful, happy, excited, that resource going out from us MEANS even MORE resource will flow in
      • God delights in using us this way - he delights to supply us liberally and to see us pour out WITHOUT FEAR or feeling of obligation
  3. Feel like a precious heir
    • Giving is about your joy - God is teaching us how to live the most rewarding life possible
      • Every time a preacher starts talking about money the eye rolls begin - the gossip starts up - here we go the church is talking about money again
      • Neither God NOR the church NEED your money! - He owns it all anyway and He will make it happen 
      • Giving is built into the human DNA as a joyful thing - there is a REASON we celebrate birthdays and Christmas with gifts - human beings LOVE to give 
      • God desires us to achieve our highest joy through a lifestyle of generosity 
  4. 1 Cor 16:1-2 is God’s practical plan for this kind of living
    • Give regularly “on there first day of every week" - chose a frequency for your giving that make sense with your life - “every week”, “every pay day”, “the first week of the month” etc.
    • Give Personally “every one of you” - that means the kids too.  make this a life long personal habit - to be a continual funnel of God’s blessing every day.
    • Give systematically “set aside” - this isn’t about how generous you do or do not feel in a specific moment - be methodical and intentional about giving in the lean times and the times of plenty
    • Give proportionally “in keeping with his income” - Let your outflow reflect your inflow