The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.
Psalm 24: 1
The practice of Christian stewardship is won or lost over this question: Whose is it? Is what you have yours or God’s? The Bible gives a clear answer: It’s the Lord’s. Read the first line of Psalm 24 again.
Author Hugh Whelchel helpfully lays out this biblical truth when he writes:
In the beginning of Genesis, God creates everything and puts Adam in the Garden to work it and to take care of it. It is clear that man was created to work and that work is the stewardship of all of the creation that God has given him.
This is the fundamental principle of biblical stewardship. God owns everything; we are simply managers or administrators acting on his behalf.
Therefore, stewardship expresses our obedience regarding the administration of everything God has placed under our control, which is all encompassing. Stewardship is the commitment of one’s self and possessions to God’s service, recognizing that we do not have the right of control over our property or ourselves.
Echoing Deuteronomy 8:17, we might say: “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” But Deuteronomy 8:18 counsels us to think otherwise:“Remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth.”
Are you ready to give of the talents, time and treasure God has entrusted to your care? If the answer is “Yes”, then you’re ready to go. If your answer is “No” or “Not Certain”, then it’s time for some deep thinking and honest praying. What makes you believe you own what you have been given? What is keeping you from recognizing God’s loving claim on every inch or your life? Are you afraid? Are you proud? Remember this: if you are living as caretaker rather than as owner of your life then that also means that your worries, fears, and burdens are God’s, and yours. Biblical stewardship frees us.
I hope you are ready to give in this season when we emphasis stewardship. Starting Sunday you’ll be hearing a lot about a special Sunday in November. It’s Consecration Sunday and the date is November 12th. Our session has selected the Consecration Sunday Stewardship Program as a way to teach the biblical and spiritual principles of generous giving in our stewardship education emphasis this year.
Consecration Sunday is based on the biblical philosophy of the need of the giver to give for his or her own spiritual development, rather than on the need of the church to receive. Instead of treating people like members of a social club who should pay dues, we will treat people like followers of Jesus Christ who want to give unselfishly as an act of discipleship. Consecration Sunday encourages people toward proportionate and systematic giving in response to the question, “What percentage of the Lord’s income is God calling me to give?”