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Text-Driven Discipleship: Biblical Stewardship



To conclude our Text-Driven Discipleship series, we'll discuss biblical stewardship. Let me ask you three questions: Who owns your belongings? Who will you answer to for how you use them? How will you answer about the use of your belongings? These three questions are the guiding questions of biblical stewardship.


Who Owns Your Belongings?

This question is syntactically strange. The third word seems to answer the question. The second person possessive means that it belongs to you. In a legal sense, your possessions belong to you. The government taxes you, not someone else, for what you own. The Fifth Amendment protects you from the government taking your property without fair compensation. Legally, your possessions belong to you. In a biblical sense, your possessions also belong to you. The eighth commandment, the prohibition of stealing, means that there are things that belong to you that another person is not allowed to steal. The tenth commandment, likewise, implies that you own your possessions. Biblically, your possessions belong to you. Yet, there's a deeper reality of everything you possess: God ultimately owns everything. Psalm 24:1 says that the whole earth, and everything that dwells in it, belongs to the Lord. Deuteronomy 10:14 says that the heaven, the highest heavens, the earth, and everything in it belongs to the Lord. There is nothing that God does not ultimately own. What this means for biblical stewardship is that our possessions are gifts from God that we get to possess temporarily, as 1 Timothy 6:17 says. God created every subatomic particle and retains ultimate ownership of them. The answer to the first question: God owns your belongings.


Who Will You Answer to for How You Use Them?

The manner in which a belonging can be used is determined by the owner of it. Everyone has gone to a house and realized there are two kinds of people: Those who take their shoes off and those who don't. The guest does not decide this, but the owner of the house determines if you take your shoes off. The owner of a belonging gets to choose how it's used. If God owns all things, as we've seen, He gets to decide how we use what we temporarily possess. We must give God an account of how we use them. In Luke 19:11-27, Jesus tells a parable of a nobleman who gives a certain amount of money to three servants as the nobleman goes away. The servants are expected to use the money they receive wisely and then return it to their master with a profit. When the master returns, he rewards the ones who made a profit but punishes the one who misused what the master gave him and does not return a profit. The parable symbolizes a future judgment where God will call everyone to account for what they did, which includes how they used their possessions. What this means for biblical stewardship is that God will scrutinize every decision you make with your finances and possessions. God will determine if those decisions were for His glory and aligned with His word. The answer to the second question: You will answer to God for how you use your possessions.


How Will You Answer About the Use of Your Belongings?

The last question is the most difficult to answer. If you were to have to stand before God, could you say that your possessions were used for His glory? You're reading this on a computer, phone, or tablet. Can you say you've used those devices for the glory of God? God's judgment of how you use your possessions goes beyond the external action; rather, He examines the heart. When you give your tithe, do you do it with a cheerful heart? Do you try to use your finances to lord over your pastors? These are only some of the questions that you must ask yourself. There will be a day when you will answer for how you use your possessions, and you don't know when that day will be. You can't decide to start tithing when you're financially stable, but there's no guarantee you'll see that day. You can start today, though. You can decide today to use all of your possessions for the glory of God and change how you will answer to God.


Biblical stewardship is relatively simple. Everything belongs to God, so everything should be used for God. There are no other factors that matter.

Biblical stewardship is relatively simple. Everything belongs to God, so everything should be used for God. There are no other factors that matter. The only factor that matters is if what you're doing is honoring God. That's not easy. Giving 10% of your income will not naturally feel good. Deciding to give above and beyond that instead of going on a fancy will feel like you're wasting your money. Thinking of every possession, down to your shoes, as items that must be used for the glory of God will, at times, feel tedious. Yet, if it means honoring and obeying God, it's worth it. So, what's the answer to the third question?





Written by Klayton Carson


The "Text-Driven Discipleship" series is also on the Text-Driven Podcast. You can listen to the Text-Driven Podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or at www.textdriven.org/podcasts. New episodes are released every Monday, just in time for your morning commute.


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