Biblical Stewardship Resource Library

A ministry of Taylor University

Psalm 37:25

THE OUTWARD LIFE OF A STEWARD
Dependence

I have been young and now I am old, Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken Or his descendants begging bread.

David encourages the poor in Psalm 37:25 when he says, I have been young and now I am old, Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken Or his descendants begging bread (NASB1995). Here’s a question, “Would you trust God more if He provided you with substantial surplus resources, or if He left you not knowing where your next meal is coming from?” You might think the person who has received an abundance would trust God the more, but often these believers have more trouble trusting in God because they have inadvertently placed their trust in their provisions instead of in their Provider. People with an abundance must ask, “Am I going to trust in God or in my stuff?” One without an abundance can only ask, “Am I going to trust in God?” Where is your trust? Think about it.

Proverbs 11:28

THE INWARD LIFE OF A STEWARD
Viewing & Handling Possessions

He who trusts in his riches will fall.

Too often, we look at what we have accumulated and find a certain level of security in it. Our fallen natures earnestly want to trust in what we can get our hands on — so we save, invest, and accumulate! But Solomon understood the pure folly of this thinking and wisely shared in Proverbs 11:28, He who trusts in his riches will fall (NASB1995). Whenever we put our trust in the provisions instead of the Provider, we are heading into dangerous territory. If you do not believe you struggle with misplaced trust, would you be willing to pray this prayer? “Lord, take anything and everything in my life away from me if it is getting in the way of me wholly trusting in You and You alone.” Think about it.

Psalm 49: 16-17

THE INWARD LIFE OF A STEWARD
Viewing & Handling Possessions

Do not be overawed when others grow rich, when the splendor of their houses increases; for they will take nothing with them when they die, their splendor will not descend with them.

Materialism is alive and well in America. Nothing makes a person more impressive to others than an abundance of riches. Psalm 49:16-17, however, offers us a sobering reminder of the folly of being wowed by wealth. It says, Do not be overawed when others grow rich, when the splendor of their houses increases; for they will take nothing with them when they die, their splendor will not descend with them (NIV). We all exit this life the same way we arrived — with nothing. No matter how much someone accumulates on earth, we all end up with the same balance sheet the day after we finish this life. How can you avoid this overly-impressed-with-wealth temptation? Focus your mind on living in eternity and not this present life. Think about it.

Luke 18:24-25

THE INWARD LIFE OF A STEWARD
Viewing and Handling Possessions

How hard it is for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.

Jesus tells us in Luke 18:24-25, How hard it is for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God (NASB1995). Why is it so hard for those with a surplus to find the Lord? It is not what a man does with his wealth that keeps him from the Lord, it is what his wealth does to him. When you possess abundant surplus, you will put your trust in your provisions and not in the Provider. And you don’t have to be very affluent for this deception to take hold in your life. It’s okay to have possessions, just don’t let your possessions have you. Think about it.

Matthew 19:21

THE INWARD LIFE OF A STEWARD
Viewing and Handling Possessions

If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.

Jesus encountered a rich, young ruler who was seeking eternal life. In Matthew 19:21, Jesus gives him his final directive by saying, If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me (NIV). Notice, Jesus did not ask the young man to give up his possessions forever; He simply told him to send them on ahead, to enjoy later — you will have treasure in heaven. Jesus makes it clear that we need to focus on spiritual matters right now, and the burden of managing your wealth can get in the way of this. Unfortunately, the ruler was unwilling to send his assets on ahead. As a result, he missed an opportunity to walk with Jesus. Has that ever happened to you? Think about it.

Matthew 16:26

THE INWARD LIFE OF A STEWARD
Viewing and Handling Possessions

For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?

We all have read Matthew 16:26 which says, For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul (NASB1995)? We might think how foolish someone would have to be to put material things ahead of a saving relationship with God. But, I have, on occasion, examined my own personal affection for acquiring material things, coupled with my unwillingness to use them to serve and bless others and to advance His Kingdom, and I am not so sure that there isn’t something in me that loves the things of this world more than I love the One who created it. I wonder, in your more honest moments, might this be a bit true of you too? Think about it.

Matthew 26:16

THE INWARD LIFE OF A STEWARD
Viewing and Handling Possessions

He began looking for a good opportunity to betray Jesus.

One of the saddest stories in the entire Bible is Judas’ betrayal of Jesus. Judas’ fallen nature got the best of him and right after Judas left the Passover meal with Jesus and the disciples Matthew 26:16 tells us, He began looking for a good opportunity to betray Jesus (NASB1995). We simply cannot fathom what twisted reasoning Judas must have concocted to conclude that he would be better served by trading his relationship with the Master for a pocket full of silver coins. But here is a sobering question each of us needs to ask, “Could this same kind of warped thinking also be living in me? Have I ever betrayed Jesus for money?” Maybe, just maybe, there is a lot more of Judas in each of us than we would ever like to admit. Think about it.

1 Chronicles 21:24

THE OUTWARD LIFE OF A STEWARD
Giving

But King David said to Ornan, “No, but I will surely buy it for the full price; for I will not take what is yours for the Lord, or offer a burnt offering which costs me nothing.”

King David gives us an inspiring and instructional example of what our attitude toward giving to God should be. In I Chronicles, David wanted to offer a sacrifice to the Lord and Ornan offered to give him everything he needed to make the sacrifice. Listen to how David responds in 21:24, But King David said to Ornan, “No, but I will surely buy it for the full price; for I will not take what is yours for the Lord, or offer a burnt offering which costs me nothing” (NASB1995). One of the things that seems to escape us is what it was called when people came to make a gift to the Lord — it was called a sacrifice. Because in making the gift, there was a sacrifice being made. Is your giving a sacrifice? Think about it.

Matthew 7:11

THE OUTWARD LIFE OF A STEWARD
Giving

You then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children.

Jesus tells us in Matthew 7:11, You then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children (NASB1995). If you are like most believers, giving extravagantly and freely is not a comfortable or easy thing to do. We are anxious about getting too crazy in our giving, fearing we might go broke giving too much away. If this is you, be comforted. You are in good company. Most of us do not have the gift of generosity, but we all have the nature of generosity because it is part of the image of God that is stamped upon us. We just need to exercise our giving to get better at it and get more joy out of it. Know that the more extravagant we get in using God’s resources to bless and encourage others, the easier it becomes. Think about it.

Romans 8:22

THE OUTWARD LIFE OF A STEWARD
Caring For the Earth

For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.

When Adam and Eve fell, it not only spiritually and physically fractured the entire human race; it also fractured all of nature as well. Paul confirms this is in Romans 8:22 when he tells us, For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now (NASB). So, our stewardship directive to have dominion on earth is now more difficult because we are managing a broken world. The good news is that a day is coming when God will finally fix what is broken and bring into existence a new heaven and a new earth. In the meantime, we must still do all we can to care for this planet — not because the earth is our mother, but because God is our Father. Think about it.