20 “So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’
21 “His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ ~ Matthew 25:20-21 (NKJV)
By Bro. John L. Cash
At some time in your life, you and your Christian friends have had the discussion about what you would do if you suddenly won the lottery. It’s the sort of thing people talk about when they’re on a long car-trip just to pass the time. And everybody I’ve ever talked to has begun their story the same way: “If I won 5 million dollars, the first thing I’d do is donate a tenth of it to the church.”
Now, let me tell you, that’s a noble sentiment. In fact, it’s the same sort of thing I myself have said. But, having studied the Bible, I’m pretty sure it misses the mark.
I don’t think God is all that concerned with the 5 million dollars we might win someday. What He is concerned about is what we do with the 5 dollars we have in our pockets right now. God wants us to be good stewards now of all the things He has entrusted us with.
I’m striving to be a better steward during 2015. Most summers I’m the dean of a week of Bible Camp for children. Tuition for one week of camp for one camper is $120. And every summer we’re in need of scholarships because there are always children who want to learn about Jesus who don’t have the money to attend church camp. I’ve come to realize that every ten dollars I set aside will send a child to camp—if I set it aside every month. And, I’m finding there are a lot of ways to set aside ten dollars, if I just take the time to be a good steward.
Let me give you an example. In our little town, we have a store that gives away coupons every week. (Because of the blogger-advertisement-regulation-thing, I don’t think I’m supposed to tell you the name of the store, but it rhymes with “Collar Mineral.” 🙂 ) On Saturday, if you go there and spend $25 (on stuff you have to buy anyway), the coupon entitles you to a $5 discount. That doesn’t seem like much, but in the course of a year it adds up to $250. That will send two kids to camp, and it didn’t cost me a thing. And, of course, that just scratches the surface of ways to set aside ten dollars.
So let’s strive to improve our stewardship in 2015. What ministry does the Lord want you to support in this coming year? How can you use wisdom, industry, and frugality to free up the resources to fund His work?
Dr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 29 years being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. (On week days has a desk-job at a public school, where he used to teach Latin on closed-circuit-television.) He and his lovely wife, Susan, live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church (where a hundred dollar bill doesn’t look like Ben Franklin anymore, but it does look like a week of church camp instead.) Their kids include Spencer (age 23), his wife Madeline (age 23), and Seth (age 20).