Sunday, May 30, 2021

Stewards of His Resources

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What’s our personal view about money? Somebody said, “Money has been defined as that something which buys everything but happiness and takes a man everywhere but to heaven. But money used in the right way confer a great deal of happiness and be the means of starting many on the path to heaven.” Personally, is money a means or an end? Is money a part of your life or your life? These are valid questions needing clarity.


Interestingly, the way we handle personal resources reflects our relationship with God. A.W. Tozer provided four questions on one’s view about treasures:


What do we value most?

What would we most hate to lose?

What do our thoughts turn to most frequently when we are free to think of what we will?

What affords us the greatest pleasure? 


Here’s an interesting tidbit from history: When Saladin died, he left directions that his empty hands should be on view outside his coffin. By this, he meant to teach that, of all his vast wealth and conquests, he could take nothing with him(Source Unknown). How does this story affect our perspective about money and its stewardship?


Let’s begin by defining stewardship as JoHannah Reardon shared:


The word stewardship comes from the Greek word oikenomous, which means somebody who manages a household. A person doesn't own the household but manages it. And stewards in the ancient world, of course, were trusted with everything from seeing that the floors were clean, to the finances, to the public face of that household. Joseph is a good biblical example of that. [1]


From the above definition, key principles arise from a spiritual perspective. Most importantly, stewardship is God’s sole idea. Our role as stewards is systematically instituting God's stewardship idea. It only occurs when biblical stewardship is applied in every aspect of life. Matthew shared, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (6:21). In addition, Scriptures are highlighting its importance for our information:

o   The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. Genesis 2:15

o   John answered, “A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven. John 3:27

o   Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. James 1:17


Next, stewardship is God’s initiative. Therefore, our role is influencing others about it personally. How? By teaching others the means of applying biblical stewardship of God’s resources appropriately. Paul reminded Timothy, “As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy” (1 Timothy 6:17). 


Lastly, stewardship is God’s invitation. Therefore, our role is impacting every generation purposely. It only occurs when people learn about biblical stewardship correctly. Thus, the work of the enemy towards loving and trusting in money is weakened. However, let’s clarify that having money is not the problem but the love of money is. Paul shared this principle to Timothy: “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs (1 Timothy 6:10).


Knowing what we know now, changing our attitude as stewards becomes a priority. Here are Scriptures highlighting the value of having the right attitude that every steward of God must live by:

o   This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy. 1 Corinthians 4:1-2

o   For an overseer, as God's steward, must be above reproach. Titus 1:7-10

o   Serve with goodwill, as to the Lord and not to men. Ephesians 6:7


Harvey Nowland shared this wonderful insight as a summary of God’s expectation from His stewards: 

Christians need to understand that opportunities to achieve God’s agenda in building His kingdom involve not only our material possessions but also our abilities, knowledge, skills and relationships. To make it simple – everything from your backyard and bank accounts to your mind and body - is a resource that you must manage for God. No false humility required here, you are an important member of God’s management team – stewardship. [2]


When we acknowledge God’s role in our lives as the Owner of everything, He is honoured and when He is honoured, He honours those who honour Him. Would you be His steward today?


Let’s talk again!