Stewardship

We are all stewards of God entrusted with time, resources, abilities and relationships. Stewardship is everything we do as His disciples. We have to work out our faith as we respond to God’s call to be faithful with all His blessings. Stewardship encompasses our entire lives. Stewardship is what we do with all that God gives us. It is a response to His love for us. We first give ourselves before we can give our time, energy, ability and money.

As God’s steward, we are His caretakers, custodians and chosen servants to help Him manage His belongings. 1 Corinthians 4:2 teaches us that God wants us to be faithful. The fact is that everyone is a steward. God has given us time, abilities and possessions and we are responsible for the resources that He has entrusted us.

Stewardship of Money

As God’s bankers, we are to manage the money He has given us. In the parable of the talents, we learn that He wants our resources to grow and we are responsible for whatever He has given us. Of whom much is given, much is expected and the Lord wants us to be faithful whether in the little or much (Luke 12:48). As stewards of His money, we are to embrace the real purpose of money to live out God’s love and power in our lives.

Three Purposes

1)    To provide for our basic needs.

  • Philippians 4:19 – The Lord promises us that He will provide for our needs.
  • 1 Timothy 6:8 – He also teaches us to be content and to enjoy what we’ve been given. Spending money wisely calls for faithful obedience.

2)    To give to others

God has called us to work in the marketplace. Many of us are blessed with financial provisions from Him. In return for His blessings, we share and give to those in need. God has given us freely and in return, we are to be generous and give to others.

3)    To demonstrate His power

Many a time God gives us more than we ever deserve when we are in need. He does miracles. 2 Corinthians 9:11 says: “You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God”.

Transferring Control to God

Letting go is never easy. Transferring control is a faith issue that we need to wrestle with daily. Our aim is to learn to trust God more each day and let God take charge of what we have.

Malachi 3:10 says:“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it”.

Are we prepared to surrender our possessions to Him? Luke 21:1-4 relates to us the story of the widow’s offering:“As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. ‘Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on’”.

Jesus watched what people gave. He is concerned about our attitude of giving. The widow was blessed because she gave out of her poverty. Her giving was made possible by her willingness to sac-rifice. Her two coins were less important than her devotion for God. Are we willing to release something that is dear to us? “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” ~ Matthew 6:21.

In the corporate world, we may sometimes fall into the trap of thinking: “What is yours is mine, and I am going to take it”. So we scheme in order to get what we want. Sometimes we may also live with an attitude: “What is mine is mine and I am going to keep it.” So we hoard and hold back on our giving. We will struggle more with this attitude than with the first one. Sometimes, holding back more than what we should causes us to be oblivious to the needs of others. Sometimes we live with this philosophy that what is mine is mine and I can do as I please. Surely God wants us to enjoy our things but He also desires that we learn to share with others.

The highest attitude that we can live by is: “God, what is mine is Yours and I am going to give it to You Lord.” This is definitely a life-long journey in which I am also learning and growing to allow Him to be Lord of what I have. I am reminded again and again of Matthew 25:40, “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me’”.

May we all continue to learn the spirit of giving and put all our good intentions into action. In the Bible, we are taught to:

Stewardship is simply returning to God what He has given us.

1) Receive all things with a thankful heart ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:18

2) Give regularly to the Lord ~ Proverbs 3:9-10

3) Respond to the needs of others ~ Matthew 25:40

4) Use our resources responsibly ~ Luke 19:16-17

5) Relinquish your control ~ Deuteronomy 8:17-18

6) Trust God to meet all your needs ~ Philippians 4:6

7) Rejoice that our needs are met ~ Philippians 4:19

8) Resist the love of money ~ Luke 12:15

9) Resist hoarding ~ Proverbs 11:26

Stewardship is simply returning to God what He has given us. Ephesians 2:10 says:“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do”.

Stewardship of Time

All of us are given 24 hours in each day, regardless of whether you are a president or an executive. What differentiates people is the way we handle them. One day we will all die. If we are going to achieve our goals, then we need to manage our time and invest in things that are of eternal value. Prioritise spending time with God in prayer and meditation. Let us look at time from an eternal per-spective. Use every opportunity to build His kingdom, including the time when you are working. Record what you do for the day for the next two weeks. Evaluate how much of your time is spent with God, Family, Work, Play. What does your allocation of time suggest about your priorities?

Stewardship of Relationship

Joseph was put in charge of people and resources. We are sometimes placed in a situation where we have to develop the peo-ple under our care. People are a leader’s major stewardship focus. God wants us to develop people to their fullest potential. God brings us people for a purpose. We have to look at everybody through His eyes. Jesus will leave the 99 sheep for one lost sheep. Imagine how precious we are to Him? Therefore we are to treat our colleagues in a manner that is pleasing to Him. Invest in others. Ultimately it is people that remain for eternity. So let us check our appoint-ment books and calculate how much of our time is spent in building relationships.

Stewardship of All Resources

God encourages us to invest our resources in the work of His kingdom. The only way that can happen is if we acknowledge God as the owner of all our resources. Remember that it is the Lord who gives us the power to gain wealth (Deuteronomy 8:17-18). Let us make a list of our resources and assets.

Beside each item in the column ask yourself honestly whether you or God is the owner of your resources. In what way can you relinquish your control? Review your cheque book and cashflow. Can you detect your values and priority? Is your giving based more on faith or fear? List ways that you can channel more of these resources to God and take action to invest in things that last. I can assure you that the Lord will grant you open doors.

Are you a good steward of money, time, relationship and all other resources? What does the way that you handle your possessions tell you about who you believe really owns them?

This is an excerpt from Doris’s book “Multiplying Marketplace Miracles”. The central focus of this book is to answer the question: “what does it look like to serve God in the marketplace, that is, at work?  

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About the author

Doris is a deaconess serving on the church board of Church of Singapore (Bukit Timah). Her passion is to develop existing and emerging leaders. She is a Certified Financial Planner, a Senior Director with a Global Canadian Financial company. She recruits, coaches, trains and develops Financial Planners and Managers to be their best. She is also a certified Professional Coach and Master Trainer (KBI).

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