In this series, we’ve talked about how God owns it all, and how God gives it all to us to use according to His purposes. That’s an exciting truth to grasp, but also a sobering one. If every cent I earn is God’s money, that He has chosen to give me, don’t I have an obligation to use it in a way that is honoring to Him?
I do. God expects us to be good and fruitful managers of His wealth. It’s a concept that we often call stewardship. What it means is that He wants us to make wise choices with His money. He wants us to make it grow. And He wants us to use it in the advancement of His kingdom.
We’re going to study a lot about this in the coming weeks. One of the most useful passages for learning about biblical stewardship is Matthew 25:14-30. Let’s take a look at what it says:
14 “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. 15 To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag,[a]each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16 The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. 17 So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. 18 But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.
19 “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20 The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’
21 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
22 “The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’
23 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
24 “Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’
26 “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.
28 “‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. 29 For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
There’s a whole lot here, and we’ll dig deeper into some of these concepts in upcoming articles. For now, though, we want to emphasize the main point of the passage: Everything we have really belongs to the Master, and He has high expectations for what we do with it.
We are in charge of God’s wealth while we have it on this Earth. But the day is coming when He is going to call us into account. He is going to ask us how we spent our lives, how we spent our time, how we spent our talents and how we spent our treasure. If we have invested those things well, we will share in the Master’s happiness. If we have not, we will long regret it.
I’m not trying to scare you into doing specific things with your money. What I am trying to get across is that God has high expectations for what you do with it. And we owe it to Him to do the very best that we can with the things that He has given us. That means working hard, budgeting well, tithing faithfully, giving generously and saving wisely.
You see, it’s not just a matter of figuring out a good system or developing a good financial strategy. The way that we handle our money is indicative of the way we handle everything that God has given us. God owns our hearts entirely — He paid dearly for them with the blood of His son. It’s time that we give Him access to every part of us.
If God has true access to every part of my life, it means that I must make Jesus the lord of my finances. And when I use His money the way that He wants me to, everyone prospers.
Photo by Morgan. Used under Creative Commons License.