What do you say when the King of the universe who is all powerful, and owns everything on earth, invites you to enter into a life changing relationship with Him. When He says to you, “My child, if you sacrifice your life, I will bless you beyond your wildest dreams,” what do you say?
You say yes!
Most young people I know define stewardship in the narrow sense—from the premise that stewardship just deals with money. Truth be told, in the broad Biblical sense, it’s really about a person’s relationship with God in every area of life.
What I would like to explore here, is the theory that stewardship is indeed more than tithes and offerings; that stewardship is more than only managing money. When we stop to really think about it, we recognize that God really is owner of everything we often claim as ours.
Yes, we struggle applying this to our daily life, but at least we acknowledge the concept. . .right? We talk about working for God and managing His resources. But as stewards we are more than God’s employee—we are partners with Him.
Yes friends, the very God of the universe calls us to “return” to Him to the relationship for which we were created. When we do this, then every part of life becomes an exciting adventure of walking with God."
There are different types of partnership. Normally, partners are two equals who bring something of equal value to the relationship. In some cases, one partner is the investor of money and the other an expert who invests knowledge or know-how.
Sometimes partnership is a reward for a special service or superior performance. Our partnership with God, however, is quite different. After all, what can we bring to this partnership?
God is owner of all. He gives us abilities and talents. He provides all our resources. He gives us our very lives.
We really don’t bring anything of our own to this relationship with God; we merely choose to accept the great privilege of partnering with Him except for a submissive heart. God will not force us into this incredible partnership, He merely calls us. What are we going to say?
What We Can Do
In order to help us answer God’s call, let’s explore the broader sense of biblical stewardship using 4 “T”s.
What better way to illustrate the stewardship of time than to go back to the Bible. More specifically, the Ten Commandments. Look at the Fourth Commandment. It deals with the Sabbath. This commandment gives us two tests; first, that we are to work six days and second, that we are to rest on the seventh day. In other words, the religion we profess makes it as much our duty to engage our time in work (paid or not) for six days, as it is to rest and keep the Sabbath holy on the seventh day!
Believe it or not, our health is also an important aspect of stewardship. We are to balance our lives with regards to labor, rest, recreation, and diet. 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20 says: “Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
Yes indeed, we have all been blessed with special talents and it is up to us to ask God what they are so we can use them to His honor and glory. When Christ was ascending to heaven the Bible tells us in Acts 4 that He “. . .gave gifts to men.” This tells me it is our responsibility to really bless others with the gifts we have been given. This is the essence of the stewardship of our talents.
This is the aspect of stewardship that we are most familiar; the stewardship of money. My favorite verse in this regarding is Malachi 3:10: “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this,” says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such a blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it."
My First Car
I remember that a while back, I really did “try God on this.” I wanted to buy my first car by a certain date. At this point in my life owning my own car was essential. I had just moved back home to Zimbabwe, and had been offered a job as an accountant for the Zimbabwean Union Conference. Public transport was very expensive and unreliable, and owning a car would make the difference between being able to get to work or not.
I was on my own, and had no money of my own. I made a commitment to be faithful in all my tithes and offerings, and prayed that God would bless me as per His promise in Malachi 3:10.
My grandmother could even see how I was struggling, and offered to help me out by lending me her car for a few months! That really put me under pressure to save up. I put God to the test, and to my every need, He was faithful.
I lived on a shoestring budget for about 5 months, making many sacrifices, but God did the rest. He really stretched my savings and came through for me."
I lived on a shoestring budget for about 5 months, making many sacrifices, but God did the rest. He really stretched my savings and came through for me. The result was I got my car with almost a month to spare. On top of that, God brought someone into my life at just that moment an uncle of mine who reminded me that because I was a recently returning resident, I was eligible for a waiver of import duties on an imported car. This reminder saved me about a third of the total cost of purchasing my car.
I know it was the Lord who guided me through this whole process. I am so grateful for His blessing.
The end of this story is remarkable! I got my car with almost a month to spare, and to top it all, I wasn’t required to pay a cent on the import duties I was expecting to have to pay. This saved almost one third of the total cost of the vehicle. What a blessing!
Yes friends, the very God of the universe calls us to “return” to Him to the relationship for which we were created. When we do this, then every part of life becomes an exciting adventure of walking with God. Try saying, “yes” today. Try applying partnership with Him to each moment and each action in every aspect of your life, and feel His blessing.