This portion of Acts & Facts is dedicated to challenging all of us to be faithful as "stewards" (I Corinthians 4:2) of what God has allowed us to use. Let us review the foundational principles upon which the Bible builds the responsibility of stewardship.
Foundational Principle #1: God is the Creator and Owner of all things.
The teaching of God's creative ownership is absolutely clear in Scripture. Psalm 24:1 claims the Lord's ownership of the earth "and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein." Psalm 50:10 is the famous verse about God owning "the cattle upon a thousand hills." "All things," Paul says, "were created by Him, and for Him" (Colossians 1:16).
Foundational Principle #2: God is the Source and Foundation of all wealth and power. "Both riches and honor come of thee . . ." (I Chronicles 29:12), and "The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the Lord of hosts" (Haggai 2:8). Indeed, ". . . He giveth to all life, and breath, and all things" (Acts 17:25), as well as "Every good gift and every perfect gift" (James 1:17).
Foundational Principle #3: God is the Ruler and Sovereign over all authority. Christ's commission to His disciples was based on Him having "all power" (Matthew 28:18). I Chronicles 29:11 and 12 say in part: "Thine, O Lord, is the greatness . . . for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; . . . 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." He is the "King of Kings and Lord of Lords" (Revelation 19:16).
Foundational Principle #4: God delegates authority and we are to manage His resources. The initial authorization was given to Adam and Eve (Genesis 1:18) and later to Noah (Genesis 9:1-7). The parables of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30) and the Pounds (Luke 19:11-27) reinforce our responsibility to "steward" God's resources for His glory.
It is easy to forget our "stewardship" responsibilities in a world that lauds monetary success and accumulation. Our goal should be to build "treasures in heaven" (Matthew 6:20) through our good stewardship on this earth. There are only two things now present in this earth that are eternal: the souls of men and the word of God. How have we used our resources to invest in these eternal things?
Happy New Year!
If you are led to make a year-end gift to ICR of something other than cash (stocks/bonds/real estate/a vehicle, etc.), please know that I will be in the office to assist you. Keep in mind that, to qualify for a 2001 receipt, we must take delivery of your gift by December 31.