How much do you value your stuff? This reveals much about our hearts and our openness to God. In this parable of Luke 12, Jesus tells the story of two different servants, one that does what hes supposed to do with his masters possessions and one that acts as though he is the master himself, mistreating the servants and using the masters belongings for his own pleasure.
|Its my stuff.||Its Gods stuff.|
|I have wants.||God has works.|
|I earned it.||He loaned it.|
|Its for my pleasure.||Its for His purposes.|
The Bible is very clear about Gods authority over possessions:
The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine, says the LORD of hosts. Haggai 2:8
Remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth. Deuteronomy 8:18
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. James 1:17
God owns everything, so we can own nothing! God owns your clothes, your car, and even your job or ability to earn money. If we dont really own anything, then that Ownership box is an illusion, and all were left with is stewardship.
Understanding our stewardship responsibilities is crucial! There are three main things over which God gives us stewardship.
1. Time: You cant save time; you can only spend it.
The days of our lives are seventy years so teach us to number our days that we may earn a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:10-12
Why is how we spend our time important? God gives us time to acquire eternity.
According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. 11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 3:10-11
Take a good look at your life today and understand Gods will for your time. Are you spending any time on eternity? The world wants to take your time for evil things instead of eternal things, but you are the one who has the power to spend time on these eternal things that God desires for you:
- Read your Bible. Gods Word is eternal!
- Pray. Talking with God is eternal!
- Share encouragement with someone. Invest in eternal relationships! (Hebrews 10:24)
- Worship God. God is eternal and worthy of our time and praise!
2. Treasure: You cant keep it; you can only return it.
But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:6-7
We cant give God anything. We can only return to Him that which He has given us. The Apostle Paul instructs us to return to God purposefully, not just impulsively. In this, we must plan and purpose to spend our money for the kingdom of God. He also tells us to give cheerfully, adding a measure of enthusiasm into your giving just as we do to our spending!
God gives us money like seeds, but if we buy seeds and never plant them, we miss their purpose: to yield a plant, the beauty of flowers, or fruit for harvesting. Seeds dont belong in our hands; they are to be sown and grown into something much more glorious. The Bible says that if we return to God bountifully, He will always give us an abundance for every good work.
God gives us money to check our hearts. (Luke 12:34, Matthew 6:24) He wants to increase our standard of giving, not our standard of living. What would happen if God gave you a huge wad of cash tonight? Would you invest it in the kingdom or blow it on earthly things? As a nation, we spend more money insuring our stuff than investing in the kingdom! But life isnt about getting stuffits about getting saved and sharing eternal life with God. Are you giving your money to further others coming to know Jesus?
For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Matthew 16:26
Talent: You cant choose it; you can only use it.
As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.1 Peter 4:10
Our culture often sends us an errant message: you can be anything you want to be! If you work hard enough you can accomplish all your dreams! But this is a lie. The great task of being young is finding out who you are and what God gave you, while the great task of adulthood is using your gifts as God deemed.
God gives us talent not to show off, but to show His grace. Our TV culture says that if youve got talent, you should show it off to become rich and famous! But Peter says that we are good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
What are your gifts? How can you use them to bless others and show Gods grace?
Are you a hard worker? Get out and build some homes in Tijuana!
Are you a doctor? Minister to people who cant afford health care!
Are you a musician? Reach out with music therapy for kids with autism!
If youve been living in the Ownership box, todays the day to move over to the Stewardship box. Spend some time in worship today and tell God you love Him and appreciate all He has given you. Make yourself ready and available to use His possessions for His purposes.