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Life: God's Renewable resource








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one to one: keep it simple


Keith Burden is the executive secretary of the National Association of Free Will Baptists. Email Keith at


To learn more about the National Association of Free Will Baptists, visit

RECENTLY, MY WIFE AND I (aka—Nana and Papa) were caring for our grandsons while our daughter and son-in-law were away celebrating their 10th wedding anniversary. Our daughter left detailed, handwritten instructions for every eventuality known to man. Here is an example (verbatim):

Remote Control

To turn TV on: press red TV button (middle of 2nd row). Next you will need to turn on the satellite: press the clear SAT button (top left) and then the blue select button (very center). Once the satellite is on you can change the channels by either pushing the up and down arrows or by punching in the channel number manually. The television must be on channel 60 (in the living room) and channel 3 (in the master bedroom) in order for the satellite to work. To change something on the television itself you must first press the clear TV button. The yellow button pauses the TV and the double arrows fast forward and rewind programming.

The bedroom TV works a little differently. The living room is controlled by the big gray dish network remote #2 only. The one in the bedroom requires 2 different remotes. To operate the bedroom TV (turn on and off and adjust volume) you use the flat gray remote. To change the satellite channels you use the dish network remote #1.

I don’t consider myself technologically challenged. However, that remote control got the best of me on more than one occasion. Whatever happened to the days when there were only two knobs on the TV set, the on-off/volume control and the channel selector? How did watching television get so complicated?

I’m afraid the same thing has happened in the church when it comes to Christian stewardship. Somehow we’ve taken a simple, biblical concept and made it complex. Please don’t misunderstand—I’m all for innovation. But, if we’re not careful, we can make turn something basic into something very complicated.

Man has failed to improve on God’s simple plan. Scripture gives every believer a starting point for supporting the Lord’s work financially. It’s called the tithe…ten percent…simple. It doesn’t require a degree in math to figure out. Simply divide by ten!

I’m not being overly simplistic or legalistic. God’s Word makes it clear: the Lord honors those who honor Him with their substance. Free Will Baptist churches and ministries would have few financial concerns (perhaps none) if every member practiced tithing.

I didn’t say Christian stewardship was easy. I said it’s simple. There is a difference. Tithing requires discipline, faith, obedience and sacrifice—qualities in short supply today, but highly esteemed by God.

If you are not presently supporting the Lord’s work financially, accept God’s challenge in Malachi 3:10—“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.”

After all—it’s simpler than operating a remote control, and much more rewarding.




©2007 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists