When we think “stewardship,” our minds usually go
directly to “money.” Money does play a big part,
because it goes right to the heart of what is important
to us, what we think helps us be independent and
successful. Actually, money is only one side of the
many-sided subject of stewardship.
Since it is such an important part, let’s just begin
with “spendable” resources God has put at our disposal.
First, let us establish that all we have
in this life (and the life to come) belongs to God.
review of God’s dealings with His people, Israel, as He was
grooming them to become a nation shows clearly it was
God who provided their resources. The land, for
instance, was God’s; and that was why they could not
sell it. It was to stay in the tribe to which it had
been assigned. They could lease or rent its use for a
limited time. The price was determined by how many
years were left until Jubilee Year (50th
Year). At Jubilee, accounts were cancelled and the land
automatically reverted back to the tribe of the original
assignment. God’s purpose seemed to have been to remind
Israel that the “earth and all that is in it” was His,
and their dependency was on Him, not on their ingenuity
Then, as we look closer at early Israel, they were
instructed to bring to God’s house ten percent of their
increase; and it was to come “off the top” before
spoilage, misuse or greed could affect it. All He asked
for was a token of the whole. When they gave the token
of 10 percent—“first fruits”—it represented the whole,
and it was as if they had returned all that God had
given them. The blessing on the token amount rested on
the ninety percent they still held for their use.
Time and space do not allow for the other offerings of
penitence, thanksgiving, etc., that they brought to
God’s house. When they were mindful of God’s
providential care, blessings flowed in abundance as God
fulfilled His promises for their obedience. (See
Deuteronomy 28). Having said that, the same principle
and resultant blessings are still in effect. God has
not changed! He is still looking expectantly to us for
requested tithes and offerings, and He wants the best
that we have. Quality is more important than quantity.
“Then there shall be a place which the LORD your God
shall choose to cause his name to dwell there; thither
shall ye bring all that I command you; your burnt
offerings, and your sacrifices, your tithes, and the
heave offering of your hand, and all your choice vows
which ye vow unto the LORD” (Deuteronomy 12:11).
When parents have a responsible treatment of finances,
the whole family benefits, and they also suffer results
of the curse of mismanagement of their blessings.
(Again, see Deuteronomy 28). Handling and discussions
of money can be a “touchy” subject, but God was not at
all backward about expressing His will concerning our
stewardship—and it is for our benefit that we establish
good stewardship. Someone went to the trouble of
counting Jesus’ parables about money and come up with
“16 of 38 parables Jesus taught dealt with money.”
Guess what else they discovered: There is more said in
the New Testament about money than there is about Heaven
and hell combined!
Nehemiah told Israel to remember what they had forgotten
about obeying “all the commandments of the Lord our God”
and to enter into a curse and an oath to walk in God’s
law (Nehemiah 10:29). Oaths contained a blessing for
keeping and a curse for breaking. The rest of that
chapter goes into detail of the fiscal responsibilities
to receive the blessings and was a reminder of the curse
if they failed to obey.
“Someone who’s obsessed with making money to the
exclusion of other goals in life has likely foregone the
possibility of the acceptance in God’s kingdom.”
…..Jimmy Carter (Quoted in Evangelical Sunday School
Lesson Commentary, 2007-2008)
It seems that our obedience to God’s command about
handling money was a basis for other areas of our lives.
God truly wants to bless us and just asks for our
obedience. It is NOT money itself that brings
blessings or a curse; it is our attitude toward it.
It is our emotional response toward money, not money itself; and the power
of the blessing or curse rests solely in our hands.
It’s simple math: Obey, be blessed; Disobey, live under
a curse. An important choice that we must make.
“If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to
heart, to give glory unto my name, saith the LORD of
hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will
curse your blessings:...” (Malachi 2:2).
To further emphasize His expectations of stewardship,
God added, “Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me.
But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and
offerings” (Malachi 3:8). Wow! Who has the audacity to
recall hearing a newly baptized Christian relate that he
left his wallet in his pocket so it would be baptized
and a part of his new life in Christ. That is humorous,
but it packs a wallop to positive action toward total
commitment to God.
good steward sows good seed, waters, nurtures and
cultivates it to gain the most increase it is capable
of. Then he is careful to set aside the best seeds from
the crop for his next harvest. If he eats all his seed,
he has destroyed his next year’s harvest. Our tithes
are like the reserved seed; they guarantee God’s
blessings on the remainder of the harvest and preserves
the future ones.
The blessings of stewardship are the result of
obedience, not the cause.
“Money reveals where our interests lie; it can direct
our attitudes; it ever exposes us to the danger of
worshiping it; and it represents value. Money not only
talks, it ‘screams.’ ”
(Leslie Rynn, quoted in Evangelical Sunday School
Lesson Commentary, 2007-2008)
Be a good and faithful steward of all God has entrused
you with. It won’t make Him love you any more than He
already does, with His unconditional love; but it will
open the windows of heaven and pour you out a blessing
that you won’t have room enough to receive! (Malachi
(This is Part 1 of a 2-part series. Part 2 will be