Jay Link says he can think of no better way to define what stewardship is than with this phrase – keeping the heart of God at the heart of living. Stewardship is all about carrying out the wishes of the Owner and the owner is God. We are nothing more than caretakers. In 101 we discovered in Psalm 24:1: “The earth is the Lord’s and all it contains, the world and all who live in it.”
Which of the following questions should each of us be asking in regards to our material possession?
- What do I want to do with my possessions?
- What do I want to do with God’s possessions?
- What does God want me to do with His possessions?
Most people answer Number 3 because their minds tell them that it all belongs to God but this is not the way that most people live. Do we ever seek guidance or direction from the Owner?
- When you bought your last car, did you ask God if this was the car He wanted you to buy with His money.
- The last time you went shopping for clothes, did you ask your Father if these were the clothes He wanted you to wear?
We are all intellectually acknowledging that God owns everything, while we live, spend, and invest like it is our own. The cornerstone of stewardship is full acknowledgement and practice of allowing God to direct what he wants done with what He has entrusted us to manage.
The reality of sin is the result of personal selfishness. We are our own worst enemies. Our life of devoted stewardship is just another example of how “self” gets in the way of God’s best for us. We want to be in charge. We want to make decisions. We want to be the one to get things done. We are nothing more than low-level managers and our will and wishes are irrelevant.
Someone once noted that the center of SIN is the letter, ”I.” We will always find “I”- self, ego, always looking out for number one – at the center of sin.
Matthew 16:25 says, “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for me will find it.” Matthew 20:16 says, “The last will be first, and the first last”. Matthew 20:26-27 says, “Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave.” Philippians 2:3 says, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.”
The reason stewardship is so challenging is that we must get “self” out of the way. Remember: “If you want to be a good steward – you must keep the heart of God at the heart of living.”