Phil Scovell

                          Copyright (C) 1997/2003

                            By Phil Scovell

                          All Rights Reserved

          Reproduction of the following is granted by the copyright holder,
          Phil Scovell, if such reproduction is done in the spirit in which
          it was given.   It may not  be reproduced and sold  for financial
          gain without  written permission  of the  copyright holder:  Phil
          Scovell.  Electronic  formats may be distributed  freely but this
          copyright notice must  remain with each copy and  the text cannot
          be  altered  in  any  way.    For  convenience,  this   copyright
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          Phil Scovell
          840 South Sheridan Boulevard
          Denver, Colorado  80226-8017
          Toll Free:  888-936-0001
          Voice:  303-936-2188
          Fax:  303-936-1841
          Email:  Phil@RedWhiteAndBlue.ORG
          Web:  WWW.RedWhiteAndBlue.ORG

                              GIVEN TO GOD


                              Phil Scovell

               Because  of the burden of responsibility placed upon the man
          of God, stewardship is often taught by pastors when the offerings
          have fallen  dramatically.        In such  cases,  men are  often
          tempted to teach on the necessity of  the Believer's faithfulness
          to God in the matter of monies.   Nearly every time this winds up
          being  a sermon  on tithing  (I.E., giving  ten percent  of one's
          income  to the  Lord).   Since I  have written  a booklet  called
          "Robbing God" on the subject  of the unscriptural practice of New
          Testament tithing, I will refrain from touching on that aspect of
          giving/stewardship.  I  will, on the other hand,  share on what I
          believe God has revealed to me on giving.


               Being raised Baptist, I learned  about giving very young.  I
          began  tithing  as  a  youth   because,  I  was  taught,  it  was
          Scriptural.   Additionally, I was  taught God  wouldn't bless  me
          otherwise.  I  never felt cheated, though,  in any way nor  did I
          give  with a poor attitude.   I, in fact, was  happy to do so and
          gave willingly.  Many years later God began to reveal that giving
          was not  a burden  God  levied upon  His  people to  bring  about
          suffering  and consternation  but,  if  handled  properly,    was
          something for personal benefit.

               The first thing I  discovered deals with the  sufficiency of
          God.  That is, God is without need.  As I read the Scriptures one
          day, Psalm 50:12 stood off the page.

               If I were hungry, I would not  tell thee: for the world
               is mine, and the fullness thereof.  

               I was  humbled.   My giving  suddenly became  embarrassingly
          transparent.   If God  didn't need  my money,  why was I  giving?
          Didn't God need my money to operate  His church?  Well, maybe not
          my  money; I  wasn't  a  millionaire.   Surely  God needed  money
          though.  I was back to square #1.  Why was I giving?


               The second  thing God revealed  to me concerning  giving was
          everything I had  belonged to  God.  Well,  shoot, I always  knew
          that intellectually.  I mean, God was the giver of all things and
          whatever I had certainly was of God.   I had no trouble with this
          idea until God asked me to give away something very important.

               For several years I did high speed  cassette duplication for
          churches  and  evangelists.    I  had  a  couple  of  high  speed
          duplicators and  several  cassette recorders  used  to  construct
          master tapes.  Since one of my main mastering recorders was about
          ready to give  up the  ghost, I  looked at some  very nice,  high
          quality, cassette recorders and decided to purchase a machine for
          about  $500.     After  mail  ordering  the  unit,   I  anxiously
          anticipated its arrival.  Upon delivery, I quickly pulled it from
          the  shipping  carton and  installed  it.   The  machine's  usage
          greatly  enhanced  my  capabilities  to  improved  old  and  warn

               One day, while working in my  office, I heard the Lord speak
          to me in my heart.  He told me to give that  new tape recorder to
          an assistant pastor  for whom I had  done some work in  the past.
          I, of  course,  immediately  rebuke  the  evil  spirit  that  was
          afflicting me.   It couldn't have been  God asking me to  do this
          thing since I  had just purchased it.   Besides, I needed  it and
          God wouldn't ask  me to give up  something I needed.   Days past.
          That  still  small  voice  kept  nudging  me...  "Give  that tape
          recorder to..."  It was a  strange feeling of awareness.  I  knew
          it  was  God  and  I  knew what  He  was  saying.    I had  never
          experienced such a clear impression of God before yet I rebelled.
          Why?  I  wanted the recorder.   Besides, I didn't even  like this
          guy; he was rude and inconsiderate.  Furthermore, he was wrong on
          some  of  his preaching.    More than  that,  he was  just  a kid
          preacher, too, and  I didn't even like him.  Finally, after a few
          days, the  pain finally dissipated  and I forgot about  giving my
          precious machine to this knucklehead.

               After only  having the recorder  for a few short  months, it
          broke.   I suddenly remembered how God  had encouraged me to give
          that  machine  away.    I,  however,    had  stedfastly  refused.
          "Shoot,"  I  thought.   "If  I  had obeyed  God,  this dumb  tape
          recorder; this now busted tape recorder, would belong to that guy
          and  would be his problem; not mine."  It still sits on my shelf,
          inoperative;  a silent reminder  of my disobedience.   Sure, I've
          considered getting it repaired - to the tune over more than  $150
          -  and giving  it to him.   I  haven't, though, for  two reasons.
          First, God hasn't  told me to do  so, and second, it  wouldn't be
          the same.

               From this lesson,  I learned that everything I  had belonged
          to God.  This means,  of course, God has the right to  anything I
          have.   Wow!  That's hard.  "What if God asks me to give..."  You
          fill  in the blank.   I agree.   That makes  me a little nervous,


               While trying to  catch your breath, let me  quickly touch on
          the third thing I have learned.  Not only does He not need what I
          have and not  only does everything I  have belong to Him,  but in
          fact everything He has is mine.  Boy, that's something.  In fact,
          I would suggest most people reading this article will immediately
          begin spitting, rending their  cloths, and casting dust into  the
          air over my statement.  These, however, would be those unfamiliar
          with our covenant  relationship with God as Heavenly  Father.  My
          statement, fortunately, is  backed up by the Holy  Spirit when He
          inspired Paul to write Romans 8:16-17.

               The  Spirit Himself  beareth witness  with  our spirit,
               that we are the children  of God: And if children, then
               heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so
               be  that  we suffer  with  him,  that  we may  be  also
               glorified together.

               As joint-heirs  with Christ, we  are possessors of  all that
          God has given His  Son Jesus Christ.   Jesus proclaimed that  all
          power in heaven and on earth had been given unto  Him as He spoke
          with  His disciples  just before  ascending into  Heaven   (Matt.
          28:16-18).  This wasn't simply a  reference to power in the sense
          of  spiritual force;  it was  absolute authority.   In  short, it
          means we have the authority as  heirs to obtain from God what  we
          need on earth.   If you doubt  what I've just said,  explain what
          Jesus really meant  when He told the disciples to ask anything in
          His name and  they would receive it from His  Father (John 16:23-
          24).  Try to explicate, if you can, what Jesus was  talking about
          when he said "Thy will be done on earth as it is  in heaven."  If
          one  will study covenants, especially Biblical covenants, it will
          be  clearly  seen  and  understood that  a  covenant  between two
          parties includes personal  possession of all  things common.   It
          is, in  another words, a living  will...what I have is  yours and
          what  you  have  is  mine.    It  is  indicative  of  a  marriage


               What a  relationship  we are  privileged to  share with  our
          Heavenly Father through  His Son Jesus Christ.   God doesn't need
          any thing we have. Everything  we have belongs to Him; everything
          He  has  belongs  to us.    Somehow,  I have  the  feeling  if we
          understood and embraced these  three aspects of the  character of
          stewardship, we wouldn't have so  much trouble with money; not in
          the  church nor  in our  own personal  lives as  Bible Believers.
          It's  easier, I guess, just to drop ten percent into the offering
          each Sunday because we, in that  way, always know where we  stand
          with God.   Perhaps  we should change  our sermon  on stewardship
          from "Giving To God" to "The Given  To God."  If we are given  to
          Him, we won't  worry about the money.  If God doesn't, why should

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