God owns it all! When this statement becomes our slogan, personal principles and attitudes align with
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Here’s a great illustration from Lloyd Stilley describing what stewardship is all about:
When you go to a hotel, you might give your bags to a steward who takes them to your room, but they are not his bags. You entrust your bags and their safekeeping to him for a short period of time. The foundational principle of stewardship is that God is the owner of all.
Most importantly, the Scriptures stated in Deuteronomy 10:14, “Behold, to the LORD your God belong heaven and the heaven of heavens, the earth with all that is in it” (ESV). The whole premise of this declaration is ascribing to God ownership of everything known and unknown. In the Old Testament, the book of Genesis began with this statement, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). Even Abraham declined the offer from the king of Sodom and recognized God’s authority, “Abram said to the king of Sodom, "I have sworn to the LORD God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth” (Genesis 14:22). King David also exclaimed, “A Psalm of David. The earth is the LORD'S, and all it contains, The world, and those who dwell in it” (Psalm 24:1). Even the prophet Isaiah marveled at God’s sovereign power:
Lift up your eyes on high And see who has created these stars, The One who leads forth their host by number, He calls them all by name; Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power, Not one of them is missing (Isaiah 40:26).
In the New Testament, the apostle Paul declared, "The earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof" (1 Corinthians 10:26). No matter what unbelieving men and science present against this absolute truth, the evidence in the creation and human anatomy prove without a doubt of God’s ownership of everything. Allow me to share some principles of God's ownership and stewardship to live by today. First, accepting God’s ownership of everything provides responsibilities as stewards. John Wesley said, “When the Possessor of heaven and earth brought you into being, and placed you in this world, he placed you here not as a proprietor, but a steward.” Next, God’s ownership included procedures to follow and when followed yields reward for his stewards. Therefore, our attitude as stewards matters the most in discharging our duties. As a steward, the apostle Paul encouraged,
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs, and there is no favoritism (Colossians 3:23-25).
Lastly, God’s ownership included responsibilities. Therefore, as stewards, we are accountable as Hugh Whelchel explained,
Like the servants in the Parable of the Talents, we will be called to give an account of how we have administered everything we have been given, including our time, money, abilities, information, wisdom, relationships, and authority. We will all give account to the rightful owner as to how well we managed the things he has entrusted to us.
During our lifetime, keeping these principles in mind assists us in becoming better stewards of God’s resources. Simply put, it is living with God’s resources daily and having a clear focus on pleasing God when the time of accounting arrives. In the end, the resources God entrusted to our care, whether small or large, produces responsible stewards or wild ones. Let’s keep in mind the encouraging message shared by Charles R. Swindoll to all stewards: “Trust Him. Let it go. You’ve been given one main task: to be a good steward of what He has entrusted to you. Nothing less. Nothing more. God owns it all.”
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