Stewardship – Spiritual Growth Campaign Week 6
In the final week of our Spiritual Growth Campaign we touched on perhaps the most expansive spiritual discipline: Stewardship. More than simply a discipline or habit to form, Christian stewardship is a posture of the heart which views everything you have – from time, to abilities, to opportunities, to relationships, to money, to even moments – as gifts that God has given us to manage for His glory.
Stewardship is a way of seeing everything in your life in a different light. To that end, here are two essential principles of stewardship for every Christian to cherish.
First, nothing you have is your own
The apostle Paul combats the spirit of pride in the Corinthian church by asking these rhetorical questions: “For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?” (1 Cor. 4:7).
What Paul wants the Corinthians to believe is that everything they possess, including spiritual giftedness, is a gift given to them by God. Whether its ability, social status, money, or opportunities, the correct way to think about these things is not in terms of something you’ve generated from your own creative powers – and therefore something to boast in, but in terms something that has been given to you.
We are all managing the possessions of another. We are all stewards what God has given us.
Second, you can turn anything you have into worship
This past Christmas, my 6 year old son bought me a present from his school store. He wrapped it (with the help of his teacher) and wrote “To Dad” on it. On Christmas day I unwrapped his present to find a simple wooden plaque with the words “Joy to the world” painted on the front.
Two things to notice. First, this plaque was not something I needed at all. Second, I supplied the money that he used to buy it! Why then is this gift precious to me? Because, even though he was acting with the money that really belonged to me – he had me in mind, and used that money to bring me happiness.
That is what Christian stewardship is like. God doesn’t need our stuff, and he supplied your possessions to you anyhow. However, as children of God we can turn anything that God has given us into worship. Every penny you spend, any decision you make can be an act of worship! The essence of stewardship is worship. It is about giving back to God what He has given to you. It is about turning “every blessing that he pours out into praise.”
So, think about what you have been given. God has given us all time, whether life to be lived, or moments to be seized, as something to steward well. God has also given us relationships, money, houses, abilities, and opportunities. It is our joy as Christians to take these blessed things and turning them into “a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God” (Phil. 4:18).
As the Lord would have it, my sermon on stewardship did not record (so much for technology). In any case, may you be encouraged to turn everything you have back into praise!