“A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven” (John 3:27).
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change” (James 1:17).
“Every faculty you have, your power of thinking or of moving your limbs from moment to moment, is given you by God. If you devoted every moment of your whole life exclusively to His service, you could not give Him anything that was not in a sense His own already” (C.S. Lewis).
How would your mindsets change if you were able to fully believe James 1:17? How would your perspective change if you would believe that “the earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it” (Psalm 24:1)? The adult class that has been taught on Sunday mornings over the last five weeks has encouraged us to see ourselves as handlers of that which God has gifted us with.
The money in our bank accounts is there because God has given us the money. The homes we live in are a fulfillment of God’s promises to us. The friends and family we have been privileged to be surrounded by are blessings of God. The jobs we have the privilege of fulfilling have been given to us by God. Most importantly, the salvation that has been given to us by the grace of God is a gift of God that we do not deserve.
So what would it look like to see our money, and our homes, and our friends and family, and our jobs, and our salvation as being gifts given by God that we have been entrusted to steward well? If we are doing everything for the glory of God, then how should we be using those gifts for the glory of God?
The parable of the talents illustrates this stewardship issue well. A man went on a journey and called three servants to handle his property while he was gone. He gave one servant five talents, another two talents, and then another one talent. He went away, entrusting them to multiply his investment. When he came home later, the man who was given five talents doubled his investment. The same happened with the man who was given two talents. But then the man who was entrusted with one talent confessed that he was fearful of his master, so he buried the talent in the ground so that he would not lose it. He did nothing with it. The master answered this man saying, “You wicked and slothful servant! … For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. Cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place, there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 24:26, 29). What was the problem with this third servant? He failed to steward this gift well.
To steward God’s gifts well means we use them for the glory of God. We use the gifts to point our hearts and others to the giver of those good gifts. Are you using your money and your gifts and your salvation to your own end or to the end for which we were created: The fame and honor of the giver of those good gifts?