Stewardship of resources and its relation to our eternal destiny
When no bush of the field was yet in the land and no small plant of the field had yet sprung up—for the LORD God had not caused it to rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground. (Gen 2:5)
In the beginning, the book of Genesis told us that God will not cause anything to “GROW” or “INCREASE” without man, who is to manage God’s creation and resources.
CONCEPTS OF OWNERSHIP AND STEWARDSHIP
Ownership by creation and redemption
A song of David. The earth and everything on it belong to the LORD. The world and all its people belong to him. (Psa 24:1)
By means of creation and by means of redemption, God is the owner of everything on earth including its people.
Including the sun that provides light and energy; the oxygen we breath, the bodies of water like rivers, springs and oceans. The fish in the sea, all the animals in the fields, birds that flies in the sky, all kinds of metals and valuable stones, including the people belongs to the Lord.
Stewardship or Management
Stewardship or Management is the effective, efficient, correct and timely use of another person’s property and resources for the purpose of which they were delegated with a view to producing the expected added value.
Principles of Management
- Effective – use for the original purpose of the owner
- Efficient – applied in most beneficial and cost effective way. Maximize the minimum.
- Correct – for proper purpose and use
- Timely – proper timing and follows right sequence, procedures and method.
All the above principles requires self-discipline, knowledge and wisdom.
Factors affecting Stewardship or Management
- Compliance to the Boundary or limitation set by the owner
The LORD God gave him this command: “You may eat from any tree in the garden. (Gen 2:16)
But you must not eat from the tree that gives knowledge about good and evil. If you eat fruit from that tree, on that day you will certainly die!” (Gen 2:17)
Because of disobedience of first couple, God “sent him out” from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. They were expelled from the garden.
2. Trusting the owner’s Provision (Luke 25: 1-4; Leviticus 25: 18; 2 Chronicles 36:21; Jeremiah 25:11)
The LORD spoke to Moses at Mount Sinai. He said, (Lev 25:1)
“Tell the Israelites: When you enter the land that I am giving to you, you must let the land have a special time of rest. This will be a special time of rest to honor the LORD. (Lev 25:2)
You will plant seed in your field for six years. You will trim your vineyards for six years and bring in its fruits. (Lev 25:3)
But during the seventh year, you will let the land rest. This will be a special time of rest to honor the LORD. You must not plant seed in your field or trim your vineyards. (Lev 25:4)
“Remember my laws and rules. Obey them and you will live safely in your country. (Lev 25:18)
And the land will produce good crops for you. Then you will have plenty of food, and you will live safely on the land. (Lev 25:19)
“But maybe you will say, ‘If we don’t plant seeds or gather our crops, we will not have anything to eat during the seventh year.’ (Lev 25:20)
I will order my blessing to come to you during the sixth year. The land will continue growing crops for three years. (Lev 25:21)
When you plant in the eighth year, you will still be eating from the old crop. You will eat the old crop until the ninth year, when the crop you planted in the eighth year comes in. (Lev 25:22)
The Land of Judah became an empty desert and stayed that way for 70 years. All this time the land rested to make up for the Sabbath rests that the people had not kept. This is just what the Lord said would happen in the warning he gave through the prophet Jeremiah. (2 Ch. 36:21)
The whole area will be an empty desert. All these people will be slaves of the king of Babylon for 70 years. (Jer. 25:11)
The Bible itself describe the horrible conditions of the people of Israel when they did not follow his instructions.
This is also true when we want to do overtime work during the Lord’s Day – special time of rest to honor the Lord.
3. Stewards who claims that he was the owner
Then Jesus used this story: “There was a rich man who had some land. His land grew a very good crop of food. (Luk 12:16)
He thought to himself, ‘What will I do? I have no place to keep all my crops.’ (Luk 12:17)
“Then he said, ‘I know whatI will do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger barns! I will put all my wheat and good things together in my new barns. (Luk 12:18)
Then I can say to myself, I have many good things stored. I have saved enough for many years. Rest, eat, drink, and enjoy life!’ (Luk 12:19)
“But God said to that man, ‘Foolish man! Tonight you will die. So what about the things you prepared for yourself? Who will get those things now?’ (Luk 12:20)
“This is how it will be for anyone who saves thingsonly for himself. To God that person is not rich.” (Luk 12:21)
Himself, my barns, my wheat, myself and for himself are words indicating of your ownership and sign of foolishness and stupidity for God will claim ownership of your soul when you don’t expect it.
4. Who is the Good Steward? The Manager with the right perception
From the Parable of Talents (Matthew 25:14-30)
“At that time God’s kingdom will also be like a man leaving home to travel to another place for a visit. Before he left, he talked with his servants. He told his servants to take care of his things while he was gone. (Mat 25:14)
He decided how much each servant would be able to care for. The man gave one servant five bags of money. He gave another servant two bags. And he gave a third servant one bag. Then he left. (Mat 25:15)
The servant who got five bags went quickly to invest the money. Those five bags of money earned five more. (Mat 25:16)
It was the same with the servant who had two bags. That servant invested the money and earned two more. (Mat 25:17)
But the servant who got one bag of money went away and dug a hole in the ground. Then he hid his master’s money in the hole. (Mat 25:18)
“After a long time the master came home. He asked the servants what they did with his money. (Mat 25:19)
The servant who got five bags brought that amount and five more bags of money to the master. The servant said, ‘Master, you trusted me to care for five bags of money. So I used them to earn five more.’ (Mat 25:20)
“The master answered, ‘You did right. You are a good servant who can be trusted. You did well with that small amount of money. So I will let you care for much greater things. Come and share my happiness with me.’ (Mat 25:21)
“Then the servant who got two bags of money came to the master. The servant said, ‘Master, you gave me two bags of money to care for. So I used your two bags to earn two more.’ (Mat 25:22)
“The master answered, ‘You did right. You are a good servant who can be trusted. You did well with a small amount of money. So I will let you care for much greater things. Come and share my happiness with me.’ (Mat 25:23)
“Then the servant who got one bag of money came to the master. The servant said, ‘Master, I knew you were a very hard man. You harvest what you did not plant. You gather crops where you did not put any seed. (Mat 25:24)
So I was afraid. I went and hid your money in the ground. Here is the one bag of money you gave me.’ (Mat 25:25)
“The master answered, ‘You are a bad and lazy servant! You say you knew that I harvest what I did not plant and that I gather crops where I did not put any seed. (Mat 25:26)
So you should have put my money in the bank. Then, when I came home, I would get my money back. And I would also get the interest that my money earned.’ (Mat 25:27)
“So the master told his other servants, ‘Take the one bag of money from that servant and give it to the servant who has ten bags. (Mat 25:28)
Everyone who uses what they have will get more. They will have much more than they need. But people who do not use what they have will have everything taken away from them.’ (Mat 25:29)
Then the master said, ‘Throw that useless servant outside into the darkness, where people will cry and grind their teeth with pain.’ (Mat 25:30)
- God will not give us what we pray for, but what we can manage.
- Whatever we fail to manage, we will lose.
- If we can be trusted in small things, then God will give us bigger things. His primary measure of trust is good and effective management.
- We need to align ourselves with the policy of God regarding His property in our care.
The cause of “Global Economic Crisis” has been define as “GREED”
GREED is the mismanagement of resources for personal benefit.
Giving- Experiencing the “EXCEEDING, EXCEPTIONAL GRACE OR SURPASSING FAVOR
Remember this: The person who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the person who sows generously will also reap generously. (2Co 9:6)
Each of you must give what you have decided in your heart, not with regret or under compulsion, since God loves a cheerful giver. (2Co 9:7)
Besides, God is able to make every blessing of yours overflow for you, so that in every situation you will always have all you need for any good work. (2Co 9:8)
As it is written, “He scatters everywhere and gives to the poor; his righteousness lasts forever.” (2Co 9:9)
Now he who supplies seed to the farmer and bread to eat will also supply you with seed and multiply it and enlarge the harvest that results from your righteousness. (2Co 9:10)
In every way you will grow richer and become even more generous, and this will cause others to give thanks to God because of us (2Co 9:11)
because this ministry you render is not only fully supplying the needs of the saints, it is also overflowing with more and more prayers of thanksgiving to God. (2Co 9:12)
Because your service in giving proves your love, you will be glorifying God as you obey what your confession of the Messiah’s gospel demands, since you are generous in sharing with them and with everyone else. (2Co 9:13)
And so in their prayers for you they will long for you because of God’s exceptional grace that was shown to you. (2Co 9:14)
Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! (2Co 9:15)