Benefactor or Beneficiary?

While praying through my stewardship responsibilities and opportunities, my immediate question is, “What is my perspective when I give to the Lord through His church? Am I a benefactor to His Church or am I a beneficiary of God’s gifts from which I am now responding in love, appreciation and anticipation of what He, my Benefactor, will do with what I, a beneficiary, returns to Him?” Every “good gift” has been given to me from the one true and living God by His greatest gift, His “indescribable gift,” Jesus Christ. So, God’s Word creates a significant shift from my normal perspective to giving.

According to God’s Word, I am not a benefactor who is graciously giving to God through His Church. I am a beneficiary who is responding to my gracious Benefactor, the God of Glory, who has given me what I give in praise to Him and far more. He has given His Son to save me from my sins. I needed Him but did not want Him. He wanted me but did not need me. An extraordinary gift, which I desperately needed but stubbornly did not want. He has given me a treasury of “good gifts” – His Holy Spirit, His Word, spiritual gifts, life-changing experiences and even financial resources.

So, as I am praying about my response, I am not a proprietor of my things. I am a steward of His things. I am not a benefactor to His Church. I am a beneficiary responding out of love giving from the gift treasury which my Benefactor has bestowed. All because He has given His Son to make me His child and  my good Father who has given me “good gifts” is allowing me to honor Him by giving.

If I was saved by my religion I might consider what God could ask of me. But I have been saved by His grace so there is nothing my Benefactor cannot ask of me and there is nothing that I withhold from Him.

James 1:17

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