PERSPECTIVE

Honoring God WIth Our Possessions

by Wilfredo L. Sumagaysay

The stewardship of treasure is understood by many church members to mean the wise management of material resources such as money, goods or possessions. Proverbs 3:9 and 10 says, “Honor the Lord with your possessions, and with the first fruits of all your increase; So your barns will be filled with plenty, And your vats will overflow with new wine” (NKJV).



A key object of the foregoing command is that we put God first and always in our thinking and in our planning concerning our property. This instruction helps us to recognize God as the Source of our material acquisitions, thank Him for them, and serve Him with them. When the Lord is thus honored, the promise of blessings flow to the obedient child of God: of barns “filled with plenty” and of vats or presses that “overflow with new wine” (ibid.).



"Honor the Lord with your possessions, and with the first fruits of all your increase; So your barns will be filled with plenty, And your vats will overflow with new wine"

1. Taking care of our possessions:

Right after man was created, the first work God gave him in the Garden of Eden was to “work it” and “take care” of it (Gen. 2:15). The designations as “worker” and “caretaker” have never been changed. Today, man is still expected to honor the Lord with his possessions, that is, his respective portion of God’s created world. That duty includes preserving the things that belong to Him and protecting them from loss of value. Man’s faithful adherence to that work pleases God and honors Him.



2. Growing our possessions:

In the Parable of the Talents (Matt. 25:14-30), Jesus tells of three servants who received varying talents of goods from their master before he left for a far country. The servants were to grow or improve what they received, which was exactly what the first two servants did. They doubled their talents and were thus addressed as “good” and “faithful” by their master upon his return. The third servant, on the other hand, had buried his one talent and gave to the master, the same amount—with no improvement or increase whatsoever. The master was angry and called this servant “wicked” and “lazy” and ordered that what was given him to be taken from him and that he be thrown into a place where there is darkness, weeping and gnashing of teeth. The lesson from this parable is that the Lord is honored by our faithfulness in growing the gifts He has given to us.



"The lesson from this parable is that the Lord is honored by our faithfulness in growing the gifts He has given to us."

3. Using our possessions in harmony with God’s purposes:

Stewardship of wealth or goods also includes making them available for the benefit of our families (1 Tim. 5:8); the poor or the needy (Deut. 15:7; Ps. 9:18; Prov. 19:17; Matt. 19:21; Lk. 6:20; 19:8); and God’s kingdom. The preaching of the gospel throughout the world, based on the commission of Jesus to make disciples of all nations (Matt. 28:19 and 20; Mk. 24:14) requires financial support (1 Cor. 9:13, 14), and those whom God has blessed materially may avail themselves of the privilege of partnering with Him, by using such blessings in winning souls for the kingdom. It is submitted that a person who gives from his accumulated goods to bless his family, the needy and/or God’s cause through a deed of donation, or by writing a Will, among the many other ways of giving, likewise honors the Lord with his possessions.



Wilfredo L. Sumagaysay
Willy Sumagaysay, Associate Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, is a pastor and a lawyer. He prefers to be called “Pastor Willy” or “Pastor Will” because that is both a clue and a reminder concerning a major work he does, which is to encourage those who love Jesus Christ to write a will in which His cause is also remembered when their estate is finally distributed. In his present position, he travels the world to inform and inspire church leaders and members concerning the “faithful stewardship of our possessions” by having an up-to-date estate plan intended to benefit and support the gospel work.

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