Great Plains Daily Devotional for 8/11/2023: Matthew 6:21

Today please be in prayer for

El Dorado Trinity UMC
Wichita East District
Furley UMC
Wichita East District
Derby Madison Avenue UMC
Greenwich UMC
Wichita East District
Kechi UMC
Wichita East District

Today's Lectionary Text

Matthew 6:21

"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

Today's Devotional

Remember when Jesus talks about tithing? Do you recall the book, chapter, and verse where Jesus commands his disciples to tithe? How many times have you come across those red letters inside your Bible saying we are to give 10% of our income to the church? 
If you have, then your Bible is different than mine. 
The Bible talks about money. A lot. The Bible mentions money over 800 times, and half of Jesus’s parables are on the topic of money. 
But Jesus never mentions tithing. 
Jesus never tells us tithing is the “right amount” to give. Jesus never tells us God wants 10%. Jesus doesn’t reduce our giving to a specific percentage of our income, neither net nor gross. 
Rather, Jesus talks about the concepts of stewardship and generosity. Jesus reminds us that God is the owner and we are the stewards. God owns it all, and we are temporary stewards of the gifts and resources God has blessed us with in this life. 
Jesus tells stories about people who have done everything “right” -- people who have followed all the rules. He then tells them to give away their money. Why? Because Jesus knows the one thing those people haven’t surrendered is their money. More specifically, Jesus knows their love of money -- and perhaps the belief they are the owners and not the stewards of their resources -- is keeping them from being in full relationship with God. 
While the Old Testament does refer to the tithe, Jesus does not. Rather, Jesus talks about how stewards should relate to money and how stewards should approach giving. Jesus and his disciples teach giving principles such as: 

  • Intentionality (2 Corinthians 9:7); 
  • Regularity (1 Corinthians 16:2); 
  • Generosity (Luke 12:34; 2 Corinthians 8:1-2; 9:8); and
  • Cheerfulness (2 Corinthians 9:6-8). 

Speaking of Bible verses, do you recall John 3:16 where it says, “For God so loved the world he gave 10% of his son?” Probably not. God didn’t give us part of Jesus; Jesus didn't give us a portion of himself. Rather, Jesus. Gave. All. Jesus surrendered all. As such, we are also to completely surrender ourselves.

-- Tyler Curtis, chief development officer
Kansas Methodist Foundation

Prayer for Reflection

Dear Lord, we remember that we are just stewards of all that you have given to us. Amen.


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