April 10, 2014
Over the last several weeks, we have been looking at the topic of stewardship. The concept of stewardship is rooted in God’s ownership. Without acknowledging an owner, there is no stewardship.
Slavery in any form and in any time of history is an affront to the fundamental concept of freedom of man. However, God chose to use the metaphor of slavery in the Bible to challenge us to understand what it means to follow him with our whole hearts and with our entire lives. A steward in the Bible was more often than not a slave. This enables us to draw some conclusions about how we should live our lives as stewards.
First, God is my owner and master. He owns everything including my life. I was bought with the blood of Christ. In 1 Corinthians 6:20 Paul says “for you were bought with a price.” As we begin to recognize God’s ownership of all things, which includes my own life, we will begin to see everything in a different light.
Second, I am God’s slave. He is a benevolent master and loves me more than I know. He wants what is best for his slaves. Jeremiah 31:3 says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.” We need to see ourselves as slaves of a loving Father and God who always has our best interests in mind, no matter how difficult life may get.
Third, my master has chosen to entrust money and possessions to me as his slave. I am called a steward. This money and these possessions are not mine. I have no right to claim any of it as my own. It all belongs to God. 1 Corinthians 4:2 says, “Moreover, it is required in a steward that a man be found faithful.”
Fourth, Jesus clearly communicated an important message to me about my view of money as a slave. He said, “No one can be a slave to two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot be a slave to both God and money.” (Matthew 6:24) I am either a slave to God or a slave to money. It is impossible to be both.
Fifth, since this is not my money, I need to go to the Owner (God) and ask him what he wants me to do with his money. God has provided his Word (the Bible), his Holy Spirit, and prayer in order to discover his will regarding financial decisions. Larry Burkett once said, “When we acknowledge God’s ownership, every spending decision becomes a spiritual decision. No longer do we ask, ‘Lord, what do you want me to do with my money?’ The question is restated, ‘Lord, what do you want me to do with your money?’”
Finally, as a steward/slave, I must submit to his will regarding finances if I want to be a fully devoted follower of Christ. Jesus himself demonstrated this for us in John 6:38 when he said, “For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.”
These are six truths that can set us on the path of discovering a greater sense of what it means to be a steward of Christ. Consider meditating on these truths every morning for a week and begin to draw in deeper communion and friendship with Jesus Christ.
William “Carey” Northington of One Master Ministries in Xenia may be contacted at www.OneMaster.org.