Abuse of Stewardship
In His Presence: Matthew 19:23-25
We are living in a day of the commercialization of God, where people go to church to find out what God will do for them. Instead of focusing on the goodness of giving to God, some focus on receiving blessing from God. These people have betrayed God for a price, expecting Him to act like Santa Claus, dispensing blessing because of their giving. There are many names for this—prosperity theology, name-it-and-claim-it theology—but it's all the same in that people relate to God simply because of the goodies He provides.
In Acts 8:14-24, me meet possibly the first prosperity gospel preacher, Simon. According to verse 13, Simon believed and was baptized, so we know he was a believer. But he brought with him into the church the materialistic mentality of the culture. Through this passage, we can examine some of the problems of materialism that can infiltrate our church today.
First, Simon brought the crisis of materialism, which was idolatry. When Simon saw Christianity, he saw dollar signs. He worshiped the almighty dollar. "When Simon saw that the Spirit was bestowed through the laying on of the apostles' hands, he offered them money" (v. 18). Simon wanted the power, prestige, and income that could come from Christianity; he wanted to make his own profit from God's work.
At the heart of materialism is greed. There is nothing wrong with having or wanting things, but when those things take precedence in your life over invisible things, like your relationship with God, you have become greedy.
One Minute Please
If your financial life is going up and your spiritual life is going down, you are probably greedy.
Rather than viewing the cross as an historical event that will take us to heaven, we ought to view it as a current event containing everything we need to bring heaven to bear on earth.
In The Power of the Cross, Tony Evans carefully and pastorally applies the cross of Christ to life today. In three parts, he considers:
• What makes Christ unique; how Old Testament prophecy and typology looked ahead to Him; and how His humiliation, death and resurrection sets Him apart as Lord
• What was accomplished on the cross for us, how it is to be the centerpiece of our lives, and how it's a source of authority for us
• What is the power of the cross and the stability it provides, deliverance it offers, the power of its ongoing remembrance, and more
The cross is the hinge of history. How much more, then, is it the hinge of your life? It gained more for you than you may realize; do not make the grave error of overlooking it. As a thank you for your gift of any amount, we’ll get this brand new book, The Power of the Cross, out to you right away.