“Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it:
except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.”
-Psalm 127:1 KJV
Lord, the earth and everything in it is yours! (Psalm 24:1) Everything comes from you, and I have given you only what comes from your hand (1 Chronicles 29:14). You send poverty and wealth (1 Samuel 2:7). Have you not put a hedge around me and my household and everything I have? (Job 1:10)
Father, in your Word you said it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful (1 Corinthians 4:2). And so Lord, I want to honor you with my wealth (Proverbs 3:9). I know that faith, if not accompanied by action, is dead (James 2:17). But unless I respond in love, I gain nothing (1 Corinthians 13:3). I am willing and my heart is moved to bring an offering to you Lord (Exodus 35:21).
Lord, you’ve called me to provide for my family (1 Timothy 5:8). And to provide for those who have instructed me in your Word (Galatians 6:6). And to share with your people who are in need (Romans 12:13). And to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19). And so may my service of giving to you – during and after my lifetime – supply the needs of your people and overflow in many expressions of thanks to you (2 Corinthians 9:12), so that one day I’ll hear you say to me, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25:23). For it’s in the mighty name of Jesus I pray. Amen.
• Make provision for your loved ones. “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” (1 Timothy 5:8)
• Take steps to avoid interpersonal conflicts. “He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind: and the fool shall be servant to the wise of heart.” (Proverbs 11:29)
• Be cautious about leaving large inheritances to children. “An inheritance may be gotten hastily at the beginning; but the end thereof shall not be blessed.” (Proverbs 20:21)
• Don’t store up excess resources you don’t need. “And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.” (Luke 12:18)
• Use family resources to reach people for Christ. “Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness.” (2 Corinthians 9:10)
Habit 1: Be Thankful. “In everything give thanks…” (I Thessalonians 5:18 ). A steward’s heart begins with an attitude of gratitude.
Habit 2: Trust God to Provide. “Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, but on God…” (1 Timothy 6:17).
Habit 3: Be Content. “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have…” (Hebrews 13:5). Contentment isn’t “getting what you want – it’s wanting what you’ve got.”
Habit 4: Be a Faithful Example. “And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children…” (Deuteronomy 6: 6-7). Our children may fail to listen, but they seldom fail to imitate us.
Habit 5: Live Within Your Means. “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:12-13). We can live on less than we make in the power of God’s Holy Spirit.
Habit 6: Give Time and Talent. “As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” (1 Peter 4:10 ). Highly effective stewards use their time and talents to honor God.
Habit 7: Give Treasure. “Honour the Lord with thy substance…” (Proverbs 3:9). Our giving shows our loyalty to Christ – during and after our lifetimes
1. Get a Will. When people start adding up the value of their home, life insurance, retirement accounts, and other property, they begin to see that even with a modest middle class estate, a plan is needed that provides for their families and the charities they love.
2. Reduce (or eliminate) unnecessary taxes and court costs. A Will can help you reduce probate hassles and costs, avoid certain taxes, and decrease other administrative expenses – freeing up more resources to your heirs and charitable work.
3. Decide who will manage your stuff after you die. Without a Will, a court decides how to distribute your estate. On the other hand, when you name your own representative in your Will, you decide who will distribute the money and things entrusted to you.
4. Decide who will take care of your kids. If you have minor children, a Will allows you to name the guardian of your children and a Trustee of the assets to provide for the children. If a court is left to make these decisions for you, your spiritual values may be disregarded.
5. Include “ministry” in your family. Your Will can be powerful a testimony to family and friends. Including your extended “family” in your Will – namely your church and favorite charities – is a wonderful way to express your values for generations to come.
If you do not have a Will, the State actually has one for you. Unfortunately, that means state law would determine (without your input):
• Who will be the next steward of the resources entrusted to you
• Who will care for your young children
• Who will administer your estate
With a Will, you get to decide these things. In addition to making sure your immediate family is provided for in your Will, you can also bless your extended “family” – including your church and favorite charitable organizations.
These 10 life events may signal it’s time for an up-to-date Will:
1. Marriage or Divorce
2. New baby, adopted children, or stepchildren
3. Moving to another state
4. Changing your mind about heirs
5. Major changes in property ownership or financial assets
6. Changes in estate planning and estate tax law.
7. Death or disability of someone named in your Will
8. Children have reached the age of 18
9. You would like to provide for a ministry organization
10. It has been three years or more since you have reviewed your Will.
The material on this website has been prepared to provide general information regarding planned giving. It is not intended to serve as legal, tax, or other financial advice.
You should consult with your own attorney, CPA, or other advisor regarding your specific circumstance.
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