Become An Active Learner

How To Mature in Christ

1st Stage Spiritual Infancy – Babes



Another item of spiritual growth to which careful attention must be given early in the new life of Christ is the management of the trust God has given to you. The Scriptures use the term “stewardship”.

Webster’s Dictionary defines stewardship as “…the individual’s responsibility to manage his life and property with proper regard to the rights of others.”

We must give attention to how we manage our lives and affairs because we must all some day appear before God’s Judgement Bar ang give an account of ourselves and our stewardship to Him. The Righteous Judge will reward or punish according to what we have done, whether good, bad, or worthless.

NKJV: 2 Corinthians 5:9-11, “Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him.10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.11 Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences.”

NKJV: 1 Corinthians 4:7, “For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?”

NKJV: 1 Corinthians 16:1-2, “Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also:On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come.”

NKJV: 2 Corinthians 9:6-13, “But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.As it is written:”

“He has dispersed abroad,
 He has given to the poor;
His righteousness endures forever.”

Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness, while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God. For the administration of this service not only supplies the needs of the saints, but also is abounding through many thanksgivings to God, while, through the proof of this ministry, they glorify God for the obedience of your confession to the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal sharing with them and all men,”


How To Give and How To Buy

Jesus taught that it is more blessed to give than to receive. Within our government there are provisions made for charity, to religion and to God for which we can receive a tax deduction.

Because there are so many demands and cries for our money it is essential that we know what God’s Word says about giving, the method to give, and the manner to give.

NKJV: 1 Corinthians 4:1-2, “Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.”

NKJV: Matthew 23:23, Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.

NKJV: 1 Corinthians 16:1-2, “Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also:On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come.”

A. How to Give

With some many charities, churches and foundations, how do you know or choose which ones to select. God has given us clear instructions on this matter.

A.1. Where to Begin:

The Lord Jesus Christ taught that the place to begin is with the responsibility we have toward government and toward God.

NKJV: Matthew 22:15-21, “Then the Pharisees went and plotted how they might entangle Him in His talk.16 And they sent to Him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that You are true, and teach the way of God in truth; nor do You care about anyone, for You do not regard the person of men.17 Tell us, therefore, what do You think? Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?”18 But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, “Why do you test Me, you hypocrites?19 Show Me the tax money.”

So they brought Him a denarius.20 And He said to them, “Whose image and inscription is this?”21 They said to Him, “Caesar’s.” And He said to them, “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”

There is no problem today in the matter of paying income taxes. But, when it comes to giving God His portion, many want to calculate the portion on the net after “Ceasar” has taken its portion rather than on the total amount received.

Thus, God is short-changed and considered less important than man or God. Since proper stewardship begins with fulfilling our responsibility both to the government and to God, it is necessary to:

(i) Recognize three vital truths
(ii) Reckon what God claims to be God’s
(iii) Render to God that which is His

(i) Recognize Three Vital Truths. If we are to render to God what things are His, then we must begin to recognize three things: what is God’s; what is yours; and what God claims.

(1) What is God’s: To know this we have to know what God says about our lives and our possessions.

First of all, everything we have has been given to us by God. Therefore, He has all the rights to all that we have. Job recognized that all he had accumulated was given to him by the Lord and therefore the Lord had the right to it or the right to take it away.

NKJV: Job 1:21, “And he said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord”

At the end of his life, David amassed a great treasure of materials in preparation for Solomon to build the temple. He also knew that: “Both riches and honor come from You”: NKJV: 1 Chronicles 29:12.

Then he humbly acknowledged God’s goodness to him to enable him to give so abundantly: “But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly as this? For all things come from You, And of Your own we have given You.”: NKJV: 1 Chronicles 29:14.

Paul taught Timothy, “For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.” NKJV: 1 Timothy 6:7

Some people say, “I worked for it. I labored hard for everything I have.” Yes, but where did you get the strength from, or your health or the food you eat, the water you drink and where did the rain and sun come from?

When it is finally analyzed, we must say, God, the Creator and Maker of the universe made it possible! And He gave it to you. Everything that you have therefore is a trust from God.

(2) What is Yours: The Scriptures emphasize what is not yours. When what is not yours is once determined then it will be easy to determine what is yours.

Paul asked the Corinthians, “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” NKJV: 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.

The price Jesus had to pay for your redemption was to shed His own blood in death. He saved you from eternal destruction. He purchased you back to God from slavery to sin and serving Satan. You no longer belong to yourself, nor to the devil. You now belong to God. Therefore, everything you receive is His and is not yours to do with as you want or as you please. You have been entrusted with all that you have to use for Him and His glory.

(3) What God Claims: Once you recognize that all is God’s and nothing is yours, then you must recognize what God claims.

Moses wrote the words of the Lord God, “And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord’s: it is holy unto the Lord.”, NKJV: Leviticus 27:30.

The tithe is 10%of all the income you receive. God claims that 10%of all you have or will receive belongs to Him, to be used to care for His servants.

Solomon exhorted his sons to, “Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the first fruits of all thine increase”, NKJV: Proverbs 3:9.

The first fruits are the very best crops that ripen before the whole crop. These were given to the Lord.

Then the Lord God asked, Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.
10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
11 And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts.”
NKJV:Malachi 3:8-11.

God cursed Israel because they robbed Him. The reason the work of the Lord suffers today is because believers will not obey the Lord and recognize what God claims.

Giving tithes is also taught by Paul in Hebrews, To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace;Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils.” NKJV: Hebrews 7:2-4.

b. Reckon What God Claims, To Be God’s: Count 10% of your income to be God’s. Consider in your mind how much belongs to God and determine that you are going to take that amount to His house on the Lord’s Day and see that He gets it.

c. Render To God, What Is God’s: Paul gave orders to the Corinthian Church as well as the other churches, Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also:On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come.” NKJV: 1 Corinthians 16:1-2.

We are to render to God that which belongs to Him on the first day of the week which is the Lord’s Day or Sunday.

2. The Way To Give:

What attitude does God expect us to have toward giving? Scriptures say that we are to give: Cheerfully; Abundantly; and Freely.

a. Cheerfully: Here is what God says about how to give to Him: But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.” NKJV: 2 Corinthians 9:6-7.

b. Abundantly: God expects that His children will, out of love and cheerfulness give abundantly.

Paul likened giving to sowing seed in a field: “But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.”  NKJV: 2 Corinthians 9:6.

The Churches of Macedonia gave out of their poverty and they gave abundantly.

NKJV: Corinthians 8:1-4, Moreover, brethren, we make known to you the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia:that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded in the riches of their liberality.For I bear witness that according to their ability, yes, and beyond their ability, they were freely willing,imploring us with much urgency that we would receive the gift and the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.”

We can never out give God. But we can give to God in like manner as He gave to us, abundantly.

c. Freely: Because we have freely received undeservedly, unreservedly, and without cost or obligation.

NKJV: Matthew 10:8, “…. Freely you have received, freely give.”

NKJV: Luke 21:1-4, And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury,and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mitesSo He said, “Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all;for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had.”

Will you follow her example to give freely out of however little or much you have? How will you give to God? Cheerfully, abundantly, and freely as God prospers you? Or sparingly, reluctantly, and grudgingly?


If you want to grow spiritually to maturity and be approved for your stewardship by the Lord Jesus Christ when you stand before Him at the Bema or tribunal judgment seat of God, you must learn to give faithfully, gratefully, generously, and freely.

Recognize what is God’s and what is yours, remembering that all you have is a gift from God. The more you give the more He will bless you.