As followers of Jesus, what we do with money and possessions really matters. If we accept what the Bible teaches, we are NEVER owners – we merely have custody of money and possessions – to use the Biblical term we are “stewards” (managers of what belongs to another – to God)! Psalm 24:1 is one of the clearest statements on this issue: “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof – the world and those who dwell therein.” The self-assertive, independent idea of human ownership is really a “pagan” concept. He, the Lord, owns – we merely possess (and are expected to manage or steward) what is His!
The passage I read this morning during “coffee with the Lord” reminded me of that truth!
First of all, it begins with a parable – the parable of the “shrewd manager.” Cryptically it challenges “disciples” to use “unrighteous wealth” and possessions with a “shrewdness” at least equivalent to worldly managers… To “make friends by means of unrighteous wealth, so that when it fails they may be received into the eternal dwellings.” Wise stewardship is expected is the message!
Then the passage continues: “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own? No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. YOU CANNOT SERVE GOD AND MONEY!” (From Luke 16:1-13 ESV)
Oh, I want to remember who really is the Owner of everything! I never want to forget that I am a steward (someone that manages wisely for another)! I never want money or possessions to be the big thing in my life! I want God to be the most important thing in my life – my prime priority! Help me Lord – there are so many messages and forces culturally that tug at my heart and that seek to distort that truth! Help me to be faithful and accountable in the management of what is Your’s! I want to USE money and possessions for the glory of God – I don’t want to abuse them or let them own me! Deliver me from the “Scrooge McDuck” spirit! “I cannot serve God and money!”