Understanding God's Ownership!
Random thought . . .
. . . Everytime I buy anything, I'm spending God's money!
Financial well-being is not the mission of God’s church. However, Ellen White saw that finances play a key role in providing necessary resources for accomplishing the church’s mission. “He (God) has placed in the hands of his servants the means wherewith to carry forward his work in home and foreign missions.” (Review and Herald, December 23, 1890 par. 9). How we receive, protect and use these funds is vital to both corporate and personal stewardship. Poor corporate and personal stewardship will retard God’s work.
He (God) has placed in the hands of his servants the means wherewith to carry forward his work in home and foreign missions.”
The Bible makes it clear that everything belongs to God, because He is the Creator (Ps. 24:1). This idea might be unfamiliar to some. We often like to think of our money and our possessions, because after all we worked for them. While this is true, we often forget that it is God who gives us life in the first place, the strength to work and the ability to think.
If everything belongs to God, however, why is God’s money inside my wallet? The answer is stewardship. Stewardship is the act of being responsible for someone else’s possessions. Our Creator has placed us in charge of some of His belongings! This is the most important principle of stewardship: Everything belongs to God (Ps. 50:10, 12). Daniel chapter 4 tells us how King Nebuchadnezzar had to learn this lesson the hard way. Unable to acknowledge God’s ownership of all he had, God took away his sanity and he lived as an animal, eating grass. Seven years later, when God restored Nebuchadnezzar’s sanity, he acknowledged that God owns everything.
What is God’s treasury? His treasury consists of God’s tithe and free-will offerings which He asks us to return to Him out of love and gratitude (Mk. 12:41-44). The Bible makes it clear that from people who have more, more will be required (Lk. 12:48). As a young or poor person who might have little to give, God still wants everyone to be faithful, even in the small things. God is looking at the faithful, or unfaithful, stewardship of His people in the small things to see if He can trust them with other bigger stewardship responsibilities (Lk. 16:10).
Firstly, we have to calculate our total income received. Secondly, we should return God’s tithe, give free-will offerings to God. God promises that if we put His kingdom first, He will take care of all our needs
Jesus said that it is wise to count the cost before we want to build a tower (Lk. 14:28). Budgeting plays an important role in corporate and personal stewardship. It helps us to be more faithful as stewards of God’s treasury. It reminds me of the proverb which says, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” Firstly, we have to calculate our total income received. Secondly, we should return God’s tithe, give free-will offerings to God. God promises that if we put His kingdom first, He will take care of all our needs (Mat. 6:33). Because of this promise, we can faithfully trust that God will provide in times of need and our bread and water will be sure (Isa. 33:16). The third step is to list all our expenditures. Stewardship is not only about protecting what God has entrusted to us, but also about proper distribution. The last step would be to look at the surplus or deficit. Here we can make some adjustments to our expenditures and also set goals for saving some money.
Let us follow these simple principles that will help us to be faithful stewards of God’s treasury. Understanding God’s ownership changes how we look at money. Stewardship is reflected in the attitude which governs our actions. When God blesses us financially, we shouldn’t raise our standard of living, but raise our standard of giving.