Bible Finance

Manage Your Money God's Way

Stewardship Principle—God Owns Everything

1. God owns all the money. “‘The silver is mine and the gold is mine,’ declares the LORD Almighty” (Haggai 2:8).

 

At the time this verse was written, silver and gold were used as a means of exchange (i.e., like money), so I believe a modern-day interpretation of this verse would be that God owns all the money.

 

2. God owns all the livestock.

“Hear, O my people, and I will speak, O Israel, and I will testify against you: I am God, your God. I do not rebuke you for your sacrifices or your burnt offerings, which are ever before me. I have no need of a bull from your stall or of goats from your pens, for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills.” (Psalm 50:7–10, emphasis added)

 

At the time this verse was written, many people retained material wealth in their livestock, and this was frequently a measure of one’s material resources.

 

3. God created everything and therefore owns everything:

 “The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters.” (Psalm 24:1, 2)

 

Everything in the heavens and earth is yours O Lord, and this is your kingdom. We adore you as being in control of everything. Riches and honor come from you alone, and you are the Ruler of all mankind; your hand controls power and might, and it is at your discretion that men are made great and given strength. (1 Chronicles 29: 11, 12 tlb)

 

For Christians, I think the most important thing is to acknowledge, in heart and in mind, that God owns everything.

 

In order to do this practically, is important to learn and implement God’s principles as outlined in his Word and utilize the material resources that God has given us according to God’s will and not our own will.

 

Advertisements

June 12, 2008 Posted by | Stewardship | , , , | Leave a comment

Stewardship Principle—God Requires Faithfulness

All of us are responsible to God, regardless of the amount of material wealth that he has entrusted to us. 1 Corinthians 4:2 states, “Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.” Romans 14:12 states, “So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.”

God gives different amounts of money and material wealth to different people. However, individual accountability does not change. Luke 12:48 states, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” In short, those who have been entrusted with larger amounts have greater responsibility than those who have been entrusted with smaller amounts.

As a side point, I would like to point out that this does not mean that a Christian who has limited financial resources has necessarily been an unfaithful or unbiblical steward. In the 21st chapter of Luke, we are told of the widow who gave a few copper coins, which, in terms of monetary value, was insignificant. However, Jesus said that she gave more than all the rest, because they gave out of their great abundance, whereas she gave all that she had to live on. The widow, with her limited amount of material wealth, demonstrated biblical stewardship, while others with significant wealth did not.

In addition, we can think of certain great men of God whom God decided in his sovereignty not to entrust with large amounts of material wealth. One example is the Apostle Paul. Notwithstanding his limited financial resources, Paul was still a tremendously committed Christian and an excellent steward of what God did entrust him with. In short, it’s really God’s sovereign decision as to how much he is going to entrust to each individual. Low income does not imply unfaithful stewardship.

 

In summary, regardless of the amount of money that you have, God requires faithful stewardship of the resources that he has entrusted to you.

 

May 1, 2008 Posted by | Stewardship | , , , | Leave a comment

Stewardship Principle—God Rewards Faithful Stewards

In Matthew 25:14–30, Jesus Christ gives us the Parable of the Talents. In this parable, the master represents God, and the servants represent you and me—that is, the people. The master entrusted different amounts of material wealth to three servants. To one servant, he entrusted five talents of money, to another, two talents, and to another, one talent. This is consistent with real life. Nowhere in scripture does God promise to provide everyone with the same amount of material wealth.

 

When the master returned, he found that the servants with five and two talents had each doubled their money. The servant with one talent had buried his, making no effort to invest his master’s money.

 

It’s interesting to note that the praise God gave the servant who had five talents and earned five more was identical to the praise that he gave to the servant who had two talents and earned two more. That praise was, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” (Matthew 25: 21, 23). As for the servant who was entrusted with one talent, he was lazy, wicked, and unfaithful to God. In short, he was not a good biblical steward.

 

What was God’s decision with regard to the unfaithful servant who was entrusted with one talent? Matthew 25:28 and 29 state, “Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him” (emphasis added).

 

It’s important to understand what this verse means. The words “for everyone who has will be given more” mean that everyone who has been a biblical and faithful steward, God will entrust with more. On the other hand, those have been unfaithful in their stewardship to God will lose even what they have been entrusted with. The servants who were entrusted with five talents and two talents demonstrated faithfulness to God, and thus God entrusted them with more. However, the third servant was not faithful, and therefore even that one talent was taken away from him.

 

I believe that the kind of stewardship that God is looking for could be summarized as follows:

 

Biblical stewardship occurs when a Christian

(1) acknowledges in mind and heart that God owns everything

(2) acts accordingly—that is, learns and implements God’s principles in managing the money and material things that God has entrusted to him or her

(3) utilizes these resources in accordance with God’s will, not one’s own will

April 10, 2008 Posted by | Stewardship | , , , | Leave a comment

Stewardship Principle-God Gives Us the Ability To Earn Income

Deuteronomy 8:17, 18 provides this warning to those who are wealthy:
You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today. (emphasis added)
1 Corinthians 4:7 states, “For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?” (emphasis added).
The key biblical principle provided here is that it is God who gives us the ability to earn money, and as Christians we should acknowledge this by thanking and praising the Lord and utilizing this ability according to his will.
Ephesians 2:10 states, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
Indeed we are “God’s workmanship.” It is God who created us, and it is God who gave us our natural talents and abilities. Clearly, God has a plan for us as his workmanship “to do his work” while we are here on earth.
As Christians, we are to utilize all the resources that God has given us. This includes not only money and material things but also the natural abilities that God has given us. And we are to utilize these resources for his honour and glory.

March 15, 2008 Posted by | Stewardship | , , , | Leave a comment

All Material Wealth Comes From the Lord

The 29th chapter of 1 Chronicles provides us with the account of how the gold, silver, wood, and iron were obtained to build the temple of the Lord. It’s clear that the material wealth invested in that temple was huge. The scriptures also indicate that God worked through the people, and there is no indication of any debt being taken on to build the temple. God simply miraculously provided the resources, because he is God. David’s response to God indicates very clearly where the material wealth came from.
David praised the LORD in the presence of the whole assembly, saying, Praise be to you, O LORD, God of our father Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, O LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name.
“But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand. We are aliens and strangers in your sight, as were all our forefathers. Our days on earth are like a shadow, without hope. O LORD our God, as for all this abundance that we have provided for building you a temple for your Holy Name, it comes from your hand, and all of it belongs to you.” (1 Chronicles 29:10–16, emphasis added)
From Genesis chapter one, we know that God created everything in six days. In Haggai 2:8, God said, “The silver and gold is mine.” In addition, Leviticus 25:23 states, “The land must not be sold permanently, because the land is mine.”
Clearly all material wealth comes from God, and therefore we need to utilize the money that God has entrusted to us according to his will and not our will. You can determine God’s will by learning and implementing his principles from the Bible and through prayer, asking God to give you specific direction in any particular situation.

February 22, 2008 Posted by | Stewardship | , , , | Leave a comment