Generous Living …..The eternal side of stewardship

Luke 15: The prodigal son….
What’s your story, what’s your legacy.

I doubt many of us have written a will, and even for those who do have you considered if your will, will outlast you?

In today’s times  we have a market mentality that defines the values in our society. We have become what we have? It is common that if you ask who is this, the answer is often what we have.

John Kavanaugh puts this way

We are what we possess….I want therefore I am
More is better….you are what you eat
Your car defines you….I shop therefore I am

He went on to say…we are consequently possessed by our possessions, produced by our products, remade in the image and likeness of our own handiwork. So what will happen to all the things we have, we ate and we bought?

But as Africans have a very different view of possessing wealth…we say it is for the next generation. Let’s look into this, what will happen to those you leave behind and what you leave behind?

Have you ever considered that there is more to the blessings God has given you than you? Our stewardship (financial and resources) have a future and indeed eternal effect on generations after us?

In your finances and resources how would you want to be remembered…..

Our African stories are rather embarrassing….usually after death, there is more quarell and scatter for resources. Can we change this story?

Our financial plans reveal our real values for life and the future…they reveal what we will be because they affect our choices? How should we go about our wills as believers? With open hands.

Here are a few questions to consider,

1. Once your children have finished college and are working on their own, would them inheriting my wealth, help them be more Godly people or would it corrupt their character, lifestyle, work or marriage? Is our wealth creating insecure children?

2. Are we investing for our Children or are we investing in our children, Are we investing for the future or in the future. Sadly the big houses we have may become lonely and empty, because they eventually grow and go, the best we can do is kingdom investment in our parenting?

3. If we gave our children all or wealth now,  How many of us are sure they will remain Godly?

4. What is the real value of ‘plus one’…will any additional title, car, income really add value…really.Think this carefully, Usually big and more is not necessarily a sign of happiness. Think about it, if I bought one more car, it will be really a convenience, but it will cost me many good hours I would have spent with my wife. I have come to appreciate that long hours in traffic actually is a blessing to my marriage.

I challenge you this month to consider the minus  one challenge. … use one less car,rental or income this month and save that to invest in God’s Work here, lets see the quality of your marriage, family at the end…..test me in this and you will see.

How will all I have earned serve God  after my death….would my children resent me if I gave it all away for God’s kingdom. Consider 20 years from now, my greatest joy will be to see my son’s come to church and loving and worshipping the Lord in a sanctuary with my unwritten names on these walls.

Remember all that we are and have has been given to us to the extension of God’s kingdom and therein find our enjoyment, what will your story be like?

When all is said and done, and my kin receive the appropriate SEED to start them off into God’s Kingdom, the rest belongs to God through the stewardship of the church.

Consider the story of the prodigal  son, what direction will the future take with the wealth they inherit from us?

Reflect/ listen on the words of this song by Steve Green, Find us faithful

We’re pilgrims on the journey
Of the narrow road
And those who’ve gone before us line the way
Cheering on the faithful, encouraging the weary
Their lives a stirring testament to God’s sustaining grace

Surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses
Let us run the race not only for the prize
But as those who’ve gone before us
Let us leave to those behind us
The heritage of faithfulness passed on through godly lives

CHORUS:
Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful
May the fire of our devotion light their way
May the footprints that we leave
Lead them to believe
And the lives we live inspire them to obey

Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful

After all our hopes and dreams have come and gone
And our children sift through all we’ve left behind
May the clues that they discover and the memories they uncover
Become the light that leads them to the road we each must find

Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful
Oh may all who come behind us find   us faithful

For study guide this week
1. Share your blessing story. …What blessing/resources/opportunities has God placed before you psalm. 103 (count your blessings)

2. Reflect again on the questions above and share with your Life group or accountability

3. Consider the minus one challenge, what is it that you may need to do without to release more for kingdom investment. Have you made your facilities pledge.

4. In reflection of above, How different will you go about writing your will, who can keep you accountable.

Pray the Generous Living Prayer
I am blessed of the Lord to be a blessing to the Nations. God’s LIFE is my all sufficient resource. All that I am and have, I give for the extension of God’s kingdom, with open hands i receive from the Lord and with open hands, I give to the Lord. Be it unto me according to your word. Amen.

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