Posted by: rhenderson8110 | January 10, 2013

Stewardship 101

What does the Bible have to say about money anyways? Are we, as Christians, held to some higher standard? Are there practical tips in scripture that we can use today with regards to our own budgets? I believe the answer to those questions is a resounding, ‘Yes!’ In this post I will go over some basic attitudes that we must have when handling our finances. Remember these principles and we will go from there on to how to create a budget that works for you, how to save, tithing, getting rid of debt and other practical investment practices. But for now, let’s begin where all things begin- with the matters of the heart.

I believe a discussion of Christian finances should start with this scripture: “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein.” Psa. 24:1 ESV In short, everything we have is from Him- we are simply loaning from God. It’s easy to forget this when we get up and go to work each day. We bring home a paycheck that we think is somehow ‘ours….’ And I suppose in some ways it is. But who gave us our jobs…and our health so we can perform that job…and our  life?! He did! So let’s begin with the correct financial perspective. All that we have is given to us by God and it does matter to Him how we use it. Now, let’s delve into some practical principles and actions that we can use when we try to balance our own budgets. So, what are some of the basic responsibilities that we have?

Responsibility to be Hard-Working: First of all we are required to work hard and work well. As Christians our lights are always shining- either for God’s glory or His shame. Our example in the workplace (in or out of the home) is extremely important and God has something to say about that: “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.” Col. 3:23 ESV If we follow this principle we will be blessed. It is important that we remind ourselves that God has placed us exactly where we are. Therefore, it is important that we work where we are as if God was our employer- because He is! He put us there and He is watching over us to see how we will handle ourselves. Work as if unto the Lord and remember that He is our Real Boss!

Responsibility to be Fruitful: God gives us a lot. Regardless of how much money you have, we are extremely enriched by Him. We are to be thankful but He requires more than that. We are to be fruitful. Remember the parable of the talents? Let’s take a look…”And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ What praise he received! It is obvious here that God expects us and takes joy in seeing us be fruitful with what He has given to us. Whether it is diligently saving, making sound investments or creating wealth by creating jobs God wants us to be fruitful! How fruitful are you with what God has given you?

Responsibility to Give: “When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, neither shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. And you shall not strip your vineyard bare, neither shall you gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the Lord your God.” -Lev. 9: 9-10 ESV What is the principle here? God has a deep care and loving compassion for the less fortunate… and so should we. We must cultivate a heart of giving. God has even created a built-in blessing to those who give willingly. Ever noticed how when you give you tend to get back more than you gave? That is part of God’s design- “One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want.” Proverbs 11:24 ESV. God wants us to be a giving and generous people. This, along with so many things is a heart issue. Cultivate a heart for giving and while you are blessing others, He will bless you too!

Finally, we have to maintain the proper perspective on the place that money has in our lives. Remember this warning? “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have….” Heb. 13:5 ESV We are to appreciate abundance and at the same time not be defined by it. The Father enriches our lives with many things, sometimes monetarily and we must be forever grateful and content with what He gives us. I am constantly reminding myself to love my God and not what He provides for us. There is a big difference there and I am continually challenged with remembering that difference.

Well, that’s Stewardship 101… stay tuned for more practical advice along with spiritual insights tied to how we handle what God has given us!

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Responses

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