Purpose to be a Good Steward Part One
This article is from a message to Victory Outreach La Puente by Pastor Sonny Arguinzoni
Okay, praise God. I am going to ask you this morning, open up your Bibles to Luke chapter 6. And we are going to be reading in verse 38 of Luke chapter 6, “Give and it shall be given unto you good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over shall men give them unto your bosom. For with the same measure that you give, it shall be measured to you again.” Now, also turn in your Bibles, if you will, to 2 Corinthians. 2 Corinthians. Chapter 9 of 2 Corinthians. And instead of just reading verse 7, let us begin by reading verse 6 of 2 Corinthians chapter 9, beginning in verse 6. When you have it, say, “Amen.”
“But this I say, he which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly, and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he has purposed in his heart, so let him give not grudgingly, or of necessity, for God loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound towards you, that ye always having all sufficiency in all things, may have abound to every good work.”
Every head bowed, every eye closed. Lord, we come before You this morning. We thank You for the beautiful presence of Your Holy Spirit, that we are able to feel and sense in this service. Lord, this is our last Sunday of stewardship, and I just pray that Your Word may register not only in the minds of the hearers, but also in their hearts as well. Move by Your Holy Spirit and bring the Word home to them this morning. Oh God, I just pray that You will elevate us and establish us so that we could be the people that You want us to be. Help us to be faithful, help us to be consistent, I pray. We ask it all in Jesus’ name. Amen.
You may be seated. Now, this morning, I want to speak to you on the subject, Purpose in Your Heart. Purpose in Your Heart to Be A Good Steward. Do you notice what it says in 2 Corinthians 9:7? “Every man according as he purposes in his heart.” And throughout the Bible, we read, and we are able to see that God is always bringing out the importance of purposing within one’s heart. It is impossible to give when it’s pleasing to God without purposing in one’s heart. You purpose in your heart whether to give, or you purpose in your heart whether or not to give. Now, the word “purpose”, what it means is to resolve or to decide to do something. That is what purpose actually means. And this morning is the last morning of Stewardship Month. We have been teaching on stewardship for the last three weeks; we have been ministering in the area of stewardship.
I just pray that this morning we’ll clinch it, that this morning you will resolve and decide within your heart that you are going to be a good steward and that you’re going to be faithful unto God. I pray to God that today; you will resolve it. Today, you will make a decision that will totally revolutionize and transform your life. Do you know that biblical principles transform us, when we take a hold of the biblical principles that are within the Word of God? And there are people that are suffering. There are people that are living a life of poverty. There are people that are hurting, hurting really bad because they have not really learned the principles that are within the Word of God. This is why we bring out these principles. This is why we have Stewardship Month, so that you could learn these principles and they could become part of your lifestyle, they could become part of your life. And when that begins to happen, there is a transformation, you will never again be the same. There is a transformation that takes place in your life.
Do you notice there is a Scripture that says,
“Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” You know that scripture, right? And we quote it so many times, but it is not just enough knowing the truth. When it says, “You shall know the truth.” It means that you have experienced that truth. Not only having mental knowledge of the truth, not only memorizing a Scripture, or memorizing a verse. So, knowing the truth is to experience it. To step out on that truth, to act upon the Word of God. That is what I have been trying to bring you to this place. As your pastor, I want the very best for you. We are trying to bring you to that place, that you will be able to step out on God’s Word and begin to trust Him. And as you do that, all of a sudden things will begin to happen in your life like you have never experienced before. There’s a principles, there’s a divine law that is in motion that as you believe God, as you trust God, as you prove God, it moves the hand of God in your behalf.
I just pray that this morning, you’ll be able to make the most important decision that your lifestyle will change from this very day, and that there will be a transformation in your life that you will never again be the same after this month of stewardship. Now, here we find that Paul, in writing to the Corinthians, he is dealing with them. He is telling them that it is their responsibility to purpose in their heart to give. They are the ones responsible before God. They are the ones that if they are going to be faithful, then they need to do something about it. They must purpose not only here, but purpose also within their hearts. They must resolve, they must decide that they are going to be faithful unto God in the area of their finances. Paul is trying to bring the Corinthians from an emotional experience or just emotional people into people that will be consistent and systematic givers. Not just operating and responding to an emotional appeal, not up one day and down the next day. But that their relationships with Jesus Christ would be a solid relationship, a stable relationship, a consistent relationship with Jesus Christ.
He was trying to bring them from that level of emotionalism into that level of faith and consistency. So, He’s dealing with them in this particular area, as far as being consistent, as far as making giving part of their Christian experience. Now, we see this throughout the Bible, because they are the same problems that many of us have. Many of us are emotional and will respond to emotional appeals. When you feel good, you give. When you do not feel good, you do not give. Because many times, we follow the dictates of our emotions. This is not the way we are to live a Christian life. But we are not the only ones, so I do not want you to feel too bad about it. We find throughout the Word of God, that some of the greatest giants have faith in the Word of God, there were times where they were disillusioned, there were times that they had faith, they lost out on faith, and their faith ran out.
We find this the life of Elijah, we are able the failure of Elijah’s faith that is recorded within the Word of God. I want you to turn with me to 1 Kings chapter 19. 1 Kings chapter 19 and beginning in verse 1. Now, I want you to take notice how God dealt with Elijah. Now, Elijah was a powerful man. Elijah was a man that did tremendous exploits. Just before this chapter 19, you find Elijah having a showdown with all the prophets of Baal. He is on a mountaintop, and he is challenging all the prophets of Baal, and he calls fire from heaven. And then after that, he shows that his God is the real God, a tremendous show that he had with the prophets of Baal. He was in a mountaintop experience. And then he orders all the prophets of Baal to be killed. You see him operating with so much faith and power. He was enthused, he was excited. There was no doubt within his mind as he called upon his God.
But all of a sudden, after this tremendous mountaintop experience, you see him fall into the valley of the depression and enter into a valley and desert experience, and you’re able to see the contrast between a mountaintop experience and also a valley experience. You can tell that he was an emotional person. Now, the valley experience, we find in chapter 19 and beginning in verse 1. It says, “And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, how he had slain all the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel sent messages unto Elijah saying, ‘So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time.'” She threatened Elijah. She said, “You killed the prophets of Baal, and I’ll guarantee you that by tomorrow this time, you shall be dead.” And when he saw that, Elijah, he arose. And what did he do? Here he defeats all these prophets of Baal … This is why you got to be careful about women. An angry woman. And he begins to run for his life.
Here he is, he fired all the prophets of Baal. And all of a sudden … And we saw that he arose and went for his life and came to Beersheba which belonged to Judah and left his servant there. But he himself went a day’s journey to the wilderness and came and sat down on a juniper tree, and he requested for himself that he might die and said, “It is enough now, Lord. Take away my life for I am not better than my fathers.” You notice how he fell into a state of depression? One moment, he was in a mountaintop experience, and the next moment, he fell into a state of depression. You know that people that experience the anointing of God, we have to be very, very careful because there’s a tendency sometimes when you’re in the presence of God, the anointing of God, when you come out of that anointing, there’s a tendency sometimes to fall into depression. So, we must have control and learn how to take control of our emotions. This happens to many preachers, to all the preachers. It happens to me.
Sometimes I could be in a cloud nine experience, and as soon as I walked out of the church who is waiting for me there? The devil. I have to learn to cope with the mountaintop experiences, and I have to learn to cope also with my desert experiences. I need to be stable; I need to be consistent. I need to not look on the outward appearance of things and on the circumstances, but I need to focus my eyes on Jesus Christ who says, “I Am the same yesterday, today and forever.” He changes not. Circumstances may change, but Jesus never changes. This is what He was trying to teach Elijah. Elijah fell into a depression. So, what does he do? Let us take a look. It says over here and in the same chapter, it says that he goes on and he says in verse 10 … And verse 9, and God says to him, “What doest thou hear, Elijah?”
And he says, “I’ve been …” In verse 10, “I have been very jealous for the Lord God of hosts, for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant thrown down thine altars and slain thy prophets with the sword. And I, even I only am left, and they seek my life to take it away.” That is complaining before God. And he said, “Go forth and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And behold, the Lord passed by.” Now, notice how God deals with him. “The Lord …” It says, He passed by, “And the Lord passed by and there was a great strong wind that rent the mountains, and broke in pieces the rock before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind.” You see, his concept of the experience of God and the presence of God was in the supernatural all the time. In the storm, in the wind. But it says, here came a wind, and the Lord was not in the wind.
And it says, “And after that, came an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake, a fire and even the fire the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire, there was a …” What? “A still small voice.” You see, God was teaching him, “Listen, not only could I be in the fire. In a moment of tremendous earthquake when I Am moving and I rent the mountains and strong winds, strong manifestations. But also, when everything is quiet, I Am still in that quietness. My presence is just as real as any outward manifestation. Even in the moments when you are in a mountaintop experience, and you know that I am there, and you feel Me. Also, when you do not feel Me, when you are in the valley experience, I Am just as real.” He was trying to bring the Prophet into a consistency with the presence of God, recognizing that God is always there. No matter what the outward circumstances may be in your life, He was trying to bring the prophet to understand, “Listen to Me, you could put your trust in God.
Not only trust Me when you feel good, but also trust Me when you do not feel good. Not only trust Me when things are going good for you, but also when things are falling apart, put your trust and confidence in Me.” And this is where we fail many times. Now, there are some of you here this morning that may be on the mountaintop experience, while there are some of you that may be going through some very heavy circumstances. But I want to encourage you this morning, put your trust and confidence in God. God changes not. God is faithful. He was having a pity party about himself and he even sat like this. And he says, “I’m the only one that is left.” And then in verse 18, then all of a sudden God tells him, “Yet I have left 7,000 in Israel, all their knees, which have not bowed on to Baal, and every mouth which has not kissed him.” In other words, “You’re not the only prophet left, Elijah. You are having a pity party about yourself.
Everything that the outward experience and the outward circumstances that you are looking at, you are making them bigger than what they really are. You are not the only one left, but I have 7,000s who have not bowed their knees to Baal. I have 7,000 who are still faithful and serving Me faithfully.” So, He was bringing him from that experience of just emotions into a consistency with God. And this is the way God works with us. Now, that was just my introduction. So, we will move quickly into the message. There are three points that I want to bring out this morning. This is what I am trying to see God do in you. You hear me? Get you out of that emotion, and bring you into a consistency and stabilize you, that no matter what has happened, you are going to be able to trust God. And especially in the area of finances. Trust Him even when things are falling apart, that you can put your confidence and trust in God. Now, there are three things that I want to bring out that are very important for us to be able to understand. There are three things.
First of all, we have to determine. And it is very important for us to determine in our giving. Whether we give of our time, whether we give of our talent, whether we give of our finances, we need to determine this … And this is where we fail so many times and this is why we have a problem, is that we need to determine … I need to determine who my source is. So first, we need to determine who our source is. Then secondly, once we determine our source, then we need to make a decision and determine how much do we want to sacrifice to that person? And then thirdly, after we determine how much you want to sacrifice, then the size of God giving to us, and the size of our return will be dependent upon the sacrifice and how much you have sacrificed of yourself and how much you have sacrificed to Him. These are principles that are very important for us to determine within our hearts this morning. So, the size of our return hinges upon our sacrifice and how much we have sacrificed unto God. Let us take first of all the source.
Now, the source … It is very important to understand when you begin to tithe, when you begin to give, that the source is God that you give to. But not only do you give to Him, but He is the source of everything that you receive. This is why we are to thank God. When we eat food, before we eat the food, what do we do? We pray. Why do we pray? Because it is a ritual? The reason why we pray is we can say, “Thank You, Lord. This has come from You.” You say, “Well, I’ve worked for it.” Yeah, but who gave me the strength to work for it? So, we must understand that not only are we giving to God what we give of our finances and of our tithes, were giving to God, but also that He is the giver. He is the source of everything that we receive. We got to get this principle right within our minds, or we will never be a good steward unless we get this thing right. The problem why some people are not good stewards is because they have not really gotten this biblical principle right within their minds.
Now, listen to what the Bible says in Haggai 2 verse … You just have to listen. If you want to write down, you can write, “‘The silver is Mine. And the gold is mine.’ Saith the LORD of hosts.” In Psalms 24:1, he says, “The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof, and the world, and they that well therein.” That includes not only the world, but includes you and I. In Psalms 50:10, it says, “For every beast of the forest is Mine, and the cattle upon 1,000 hills is Mine.” I can give you Scripture after Scripture that deals with the ownership of God. God is owner of all. And then in the New Testament, it says that, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of the Holy Ghost?” That even your body and everything you have, everything you have belongs to God. He is the owner of all. You receive from Him and He is also the source of your giving.