Wealth With Purpose

How God’s Stewards Get Ahead (Part 2)

This is part 2 of our series on how God’s stewards get ahead.  We’ll continue to explore the characteristics that represent great stewardship.

Stewards are Sacrificially Generous

“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.”
Luke 21:1-14

I don’t think the point here is that you must put every penny you have into the church offering. Rather, we are called to be sacrificial and to trust God irrespective of our circumstances.

Here is a woman who understood what she was doing; she knew that her money would go into extending God’s kingdom and that God was the source of all provision. Clearly, she had no fear about her future, whether lack of food on the table or her other needs being met.

She may have been a widow, but she knew that she was not alone, with God at her side.

I love this next passage, because it demonstrates the power of Generosity:

“All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”
Acts 2: 44-47

Stewards are generous on purpose. They know the power of generosity. As the Book of Acts demonstrates with the early Church, our communities should not have anyone in need. It also demonstrates the power of Generosity. The witness of true generosity leads to people being saved.

Stewards understand why God has blessed them and what they are to do with it:

“God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”
2 Corinthians 9:8

God, by his very nature, is generous to us. Please note some interesting points in the above quote:

➢ The word “all” is used four times, to emphasise that God has no limits to his generosity.
➢ It also illustrates that as Christians we are to have an
abundance, so that our needs are met with a surplus that we are able to do good works.
➢ As Christians, we are called upon to live fruitful lives of good deeds. These works probably will not save us, but reflect the life of a good Steward.

Help the Poor

Stewards help lift people out of poverty:

“The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor”
Proverbs 22:9

God loves the poor. There are hundreds of passages in the Bible that illustrate the command for Christians to help those in need.

Enjoy Life More

“And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labour, for these are gifts from God”
Ecclesiastes 3:13

God wants you to enjoy what he has given you. He wants you to use your money to bless your family and your friends. The only caveat is that you live beneath your means and don’t forget the calling to put him first and live a generous life.

Integrity

One of the most upsetting events in my adult Christian life has been watching so many Christian people live as Christians on Sundays and then go to work on Monday and behave like Sharks.
A Steward is someone who lives with integrity.

“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. 11 So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? 12 And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?” Luke 16:10-12

Stewards Shun Debt

The Western World has become a culture saturated in debt. The problem is:

“The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower becomes the lender’s slave.”
Proverbs 22:7

Stewards Plan Ahead

Nobody knows the future, but often there are warning signs of things to come and ‘unexpected events’ happen with extraordinary regularity. As Stewards, we must prepare for potential problems.

“A sensible man watches for problems ahead and prepares to meet them. The simpleton never looks, and suffers the consequences”.
Proverbs 22:3

How can you plan ahead?

Exercise Self-Control

If you walk into your local supermarket these days, you will see products carefully placed in strategic locations, designed to persuade you to buy on impulse. As you approach the cash register, you will see those tempting chocolates or there will be a ‘2 for the price of 1’ offer. You only really need one, but hey, it’s a bargain you tell yourself, so you buy one more than you need.

The Bible tells us:

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
Galatians 5:22-23

Good management of money, and indeed any resource, requires self-control. The options for spending money are endless, but the effect on your finances can be painful unless we learn self-control. Often, this is something which we can’t do with our own resources, so ask God for his help.

Live for Eternity

The older I get the more conscious I become of just how short my time here is on earth. In fact, I could be called home any minute now, I just don’t know when. In the daily grind of life we often forget of how fleeting life is.

“Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.”
Matthew 19: 29-30

God promises to reward his stewards for their faithful service on earth. I think if we truly grasped just how amazing heaven is going to be, we’d live radically different lives.

Will you join me in trading the temporal for the eternal?

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