Here are some thoughts on giving and stewardship from From The Evangelist, Newsletter-letter of St. Mark’s Cathedral Shreveport, Louisiana, Nov. 2021
- God owns everything. Everything means everything. The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world and all who live in it (Ps. 24:1) The Genesis creation record makes it clear that God is the sovereign Creator who owns and reigns over the earth. It is also clear that God appointed man to manage this creation (Gen. 2:15).
- The people of God are God’s management company. If you are a Christian, remember that being part of God’s household gives you responsibilities to work for the house of God. You enter into a contract with God that requires you to be a steward of your part of his creation. It is a further obligation that although you are free to make your own choices, the choices you make must give God glory.
- Stewardship is responsibility with accountability. God did not create a people to be servants but to be relatives, sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth (Is. 43:6). He receives little glory from having slaves; he receives tremendous glory from people who willingly serve him as a manifestation of their relationship to him. God wants to know if you truly love him, and he intends to test that love by seeing how you respond to the temptation of money.
- Stewardship demands a commitment to others. It is a response to God’s goodness to you. Stewardship is not doing something for God with your money, but doing something for others with his money. You act on God’s behalf and in his name. The apostle Paul described himself as a slave to everyone (1 Car. 9:19) and always seeking the good of them. (1 Car. 10:24, 33). Further he told us to look not only to our own interest, but also the interests of others (Phil. 2:4). Your attitude, Paul wrote, should be the same as that of Christ Jesus, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness (Phil. 2:5-7). Stewardship is both an expression of your love for God and the realization of that love in your relationships to others.
- Stewardship has eternal consequences. Underlying most of Jesus’ instruction is the assumption that your life on earth will prepare you for your future in heaven. Paul explained to the Philippian believers, I am [not] looking for a gift, but I am looking for what may be credited to your [future, heavenly] account (Phil. 4:17). Stewardship builds heavenly treasure by transferring wealth from your bank account to your heavenly account. Because God is eternal, he operates in an eternal time frame. Likewise, the actions of God’s stewards will have eternal consequences