February 24, 2009
We’ve been discussing Biblical stewardship. There are many examples of stewardship throughout the Bible. Most of the great figures of the Old Testament were called to steward for God’s purposes. Moses (Hebrews 3:1-6), Joshua, the Judges, and the Kings were all called to steward God’s people Israel. Some did pretty well – some horribly. Daniel and Joseph are excellent examples of stewards for our purposes because they were called to do God’s work in a foreign land. They had to serve the secular powers while first and foremost serving God. And they both did it extraordinarily well. They sought God and He blessed them.
Let’s look at Joseph’s life. Joseph was given dreams from God of the amazing life ahead. But instead of having a nice, easy, “blessed” life, he was sold into slavery by his brothers, unjustly accused of raping his new master’s wife, and thrown in prison for years. What a blessing! Yet all the while, Joseph sought the heart of God and was faithful in the small things that were given to him in his life. As a slave, his work was blessed by God and so he rose to be Potiphar’s household steward. Read the rest of this entry »
February 23, 2009
God’s original plan was to build a beautiful garden and to put mankind in it. We were to control it, manage it, expand it, and multiply ourselves throughout the earth utilizing his bounty – all in perfect harmony with our God.
“Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
27 So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.” (Genesis 1:26-30)
Adam was the first one who was entrusted with stewardship – in the Garden of Eden, which is a picture of God’s original design of man’s stewardship. Man was to take care of everything for him and enjoy the fruitfulness of what has been freely given him only with the condition not to touch the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Yet this easy yoke, Adam and Eve failed to carry. Read the rest of this entry »
February 20, 2009
Being rich in the world is of no consequence when compared to being rich in communion with God: “that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man” (Ephesians 3:16).
“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints” (Ephesians 1:18).
Worldly wealth should always take a back seat to growing in Christ. “For the sun rises with a scorching wind and withers the grass; and its flower falls off and the beauty of its appearance is destroyed; so too the rich man in the midst of his pursuits will fade away” (James 1:11)
Paul says it like this, “Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy” (1 Tim 6:17).
But if that perspective is clear, the wealth of this world can and should become a tool for us to serve in the calling that He has for you. Read the rest of this entry »
February 19, 2009
It’s important to read this earlier post to understand that I am not blasting a particular ministry here, but am making a more
Money falling from sky
abstract point (continued from here). A newer philosophy that has sprung up in the last few decades is the “prosperity” teaching. The idea is that God wants all Believers in Christ to be rich and to have every luxury material good he or she desires. Often this comes with a fantastical sort of fairy godmother praying that one day a magical money will fall from the sky needing little to no work on one’s own part, but instead being the pure miraculous work of God.
There are many scriptures where God tells us that He wants us to prosper and so it is easy to selectively “prove” this. When Jesus is teaching the parable of talents, he is clearly showing us that we are responsible to be productive stewards of what we have been given materially. It is possible to over-spiritualize and say that He is talking about spiritual assets and gifts, but this is breaking the first rule of reading scripture which is to read exactly what the author is saying. While this principle does apply to all the assets in our life (material, physical, spiritual, mental, & social), you cannot ignore the stated meaning of what Jesus was teaching.
Later, John says: “Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers” (3 John 1:2:NASB). He is clearly praying a general blessing of prosperity in all areas of life outside of the most important spiritual area. Read the rest of this entry »
February 18, 2009
Several hundred years after Christ, a monastic movement emerged and many of those who most devoutly followed Christ chose to pull out of society and took vows of chastity and poverty. Incredible fruit was born from some of those communities and the world was very different then, so I am not saying whether or not what they did was wrong. However, since that time most of the Church has come to agree with the idea that, “we should be in the world, but not of it” (John 17:13-19) shows that it is God’s desire that we be part of the community around us so that we can be salt and light to those who don’t know the love of God.
We’ve also come to agree that although Paul did say that it is best for a man to stay single and purely devoted to God (1 Cor 7:33-34), God’s original plan was for a man to leave his parents and be united together with his wife as one and that in doing so could be a living example of the love of Christ to those around them. (Gen.2:24; Matt. 19:4-6; Eph. 5:29-32).
But this third area has held sway in the hearts of many to this day. This belief is rooted in a couple scriptures such as, “…For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. (1 Tim 6:10),” and, “Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” (Matt 19:24), and, “give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. (Prov. 30:8)”
Let’s examine these. Read the rest of this entry »
February 17, 2009
Monetary wealth is an enormously popular topic in the Church. It has very real power to change this world and affect people and wealth is one of the most popular topics in the Bible.
There are two very prevalent extreme views on whether or not God desires for His children to be wealthy. I think it’s a good idea to spend a few days, and a few posts on just this subject.
Let’s examine both of them and look closely at the scriptures that lead to these philosophies. Read the rest of this entry »
February 13, 2009
There are two roads to walk down in the daily decisions that we make. We are constantly confronted with option of taking
Suprise: The future's hard after a lifetime of making the easy choice
the easy way, which requires less of us at that time. Or we can take the more challenging route when confronting the decision ahead.
Most people go about life choosing the easy way. Which is understandable. In the moment when they make the choice, they do not want to make the decision that will require more effort on their part. This typically leads to a much harder life for them in the end. Because they were never willing to choose the hard path that would have meant immediate pain, they will face a lifetime of ever increasing pain. Read the rest of this entry »