W. Austin Gardner
The Stewardship of a Deacon
The basic Bible truth is that God owns everything
The earth and everything in it belong to Him Psalm 24:1 The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof; The world, and they that dwell therein. I Corinthians 10:26 For the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof.
He is the possessor and owner Genesis 14:19 And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth:
The silver and gold is His Haggai 2:8 The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the Lord of hosts.
Everything under Heaven is His Job 41:11 Who hath prevented me, that I should repay him? Whatsoever is under the whole heaven is mine.
All the animals are His Psalm 50:10 For every beast of the forest is mine, And the cattle upon a thousand hills. 11 I know all the fowls of the mountains: And the wild beasts of the field are mine. 12 If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: For the world is mine, and the fulness thereof.
All souls, people, belong to Him Ezekiel 18:4 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.
Even life is owned by Him Psalm 36:9 For with thee is the fountain of life: In thy light shall we see light. Psalm 104:29 Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: Thou takest away their breath, they die, And return to their dust. Daniel 5:23 But hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of his house before thee, and thou, and thy lords, thy wives, and thy concubines, have drunk wine in them; and thou hast praised the gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know: and the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified: Acts 17:25 Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; 26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; 27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: 28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. Job 12:10 In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, And the breath of all mankind.
It all belongs to Him I Chronicles 29:11 Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all. 12 Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all. 13 Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name. 14 But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee. 15 For we are strangers before thee, and sojourners, as were all our fathers: our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding. 16 O Lord our God, all this store that we have prepared to build thee an house for thine holy name cometh of thine hand, and is all thine own.
Adam was simply placed in charge of God’s creation Colossians 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
He becomes a manager or administrator acting on God’s behalf Daniel 4:25 That they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and they shall wet thee with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.
In stewardship we commit ourselves and possessions to God’s service and acknowledge that we do not have the right to control ourselves or our property Psalm 89:11 The heavens are thine, the earth also is thine: As for the world and the fulness thereof, thou hast founded them.
We deceive ourselves when we think that we produced our own wealth Deuteronomy 8:17 And thou say in thine heart, My power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth. 18 But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.
The real question is one of responsibility about how we treat God’s possessions and what we do with them. Since we are not owners we have no rights. Someone tell the story of the talents.
As deacons and pastoral staff we must recognize that we are examples of the truth
An example in our giving and service
We cannot be covetous
God not only owns our resources but our time as well so we need to live with the idea of completing His will for our lives Hebrews 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Ephesians 5:15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, 16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
Are you responsible before God for how you use your time? Are you using your time like God wants you to use it?
Are you managing your money according to Scriptural principles? Are you worshiping God with your time and money?