If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. — Romans 10:9
Biblical Stewardship & Christian Financial Planning
Biblical stewardship affirms God's ownership and Christ-followers’ oversight of things we use. Bible truths are its essence, not the latest fads. God’s manager or steward carries out this vital role each day. Its focus is money, time, talent, other resources, and the environment. Christian Financial Planning is central to biblical stewardship because it puts God at the center of plans. Further, it provides a formal path to set and monitor goals.
Stewardship is not a Christian term. Good stewardship looks after people’s property for them. But it failed and the Great Recession resulted. Greed and negligence became rampant. Wall Street and financial sector folks abused people’s trust; they lied, stole, cheated. Consumers, too, used poor stewardship. They assumed too much consumer loans and bought homes they could not afford.
By contrast, biblical stewardship admits you work for the Lord always. You account to Him. Colossians 3:23-24 is biblical stewardship’s source. So, do stewardship and biblical stewardship differ? Only in the accounting; the essence is the same. Christians know we look after God's property. And non-Christians should manage property other people entrust to them for those folks’ best interest.
Since the Great Recession, firms see the need for proper stewardship. And several authors have written on this topic. They insist financial services firms treat clients right. This should have happened before, but it is never too late to start. John Taft et al in their book, Stewardship: Lessons Learned from the Lost Culture of Wall Street Stewardship (John Wiley & Sons, 2012) defined stewardship as serving others. They argue that financial services companies must do right for their customers. Later, in 2014, Joon Yun, M.D., writing in Forbes.com defined stewardship as the responsibility to shepherd and safeguard the interests of others.
The need for active stewardship in business is more obvious daily. Non-Christian leaders focus on sustainability. They agree it must permeate products and activities. So, they must leave resources at least the same or better than when they met and used them.
Each Christ follower must look beyond sustainability. Colossians 3:23-24 is his and her mantra—work unto the Lord always. Believers must recall biblical stewardship’s wide coverage. It encompasses time, talents, money, other resources, everything he and she uses. So, he and she must stay alert to God’s presence always.
Biblical Stewardship Key to Managing God's Money
Stewardship is not a term followers of Jesus use often. Indeed, we use biblical stewardship even less. Christians use the term money management instead of biblical stewardship when discussing proper handling of money. However, money isn't manageable. The better reference is biblical stewardship. People decide to spend—people choose to spend. That's why the reality is money management is lifestyle management. Because nobody can mange money, as Christians, we must make spending choices in line with biblical principles. That's how we practice biblical stewardship as we spend money. It's important Christians apply biblical stewardship as we decide how to allocate God's resources. Mull over this interesting article titled: Does Your Spending Reflect Your Values? Are you prepared to spend more on an item with a supplier who believes as you do, instead of spending less with a firm with opposite values? Think about this.
Biblical stewardship is central to Managing God's Money mission. We teach it and we preach it because it shows hearts surrendered to Jesus, ready to do as He asks. It starts in this mission by us submitting to Jesus and committing to be good stewards of His resources. We recall biblical stewardship daily as we teach, preach, counsel, and present God's word on money, time, and other resources. Please pray we remain faithful to Jesus.
God's Stewards Carry Out Christian Financial Planning
Who is a steward? A steward is someone who gets responsibility and authority from an owner to look after the owner’s property in the owner’s best interest. A steward must agree to account to the owner regularly for his or her performance compared with the owner’s standards. God’s steward needs to know Him, know His Word, obey Him, obey His Word, and understand he will account for her use of all resources. The essence of biblical stewardship is follow God's guidance always.
Stewards must accept their roles. They must accept they own nothing and so, they should let Jesus guide their spending. Besides, stewards must count the cost before spending, listen for His voice, and He will lead them to His will, and away from their wishes. Are you ready for this? Am I? It is not easy, but God is faithful, kind, compassionate, and He will not leave you or me.
Christians have the Good news. The Bible shows Jesus' messages about money, wealth, and possessions. The Bible has answers to our stewardship questions. It shows Christians how to be good stewards of God's money, time, and talent. To access this wisdom we must spend quantity time and quality time reading the Bible. By God's grace, we will learn and practice biblical stewardship
The GAS Principle, three key biblical truths about money, is the foundation for everything we do at Managing God's Money. It's the essence of our mission. It is how we apply biblical stewardship of God's resources. Let's look at the GAS Principle and its implications.
G od owns everything - (Psalm 24:1-2, Colossians 1:16)
A ccept what you have - (Hebrews 13:5, 1 Timothy 6:7-8)
S eek first His Kingdom, and submit your requests to Him - (Matthew 6:33, Proverbs 19:21)
Key Biblical Truth # 1: God Owns Everything
You are God’s manager or steward, and so, it is essential you recall continually, the earlier definition of a steward. The GAS Principle highlights the need to present all to God and let Him guide your giving. Since God owns 100%, we own nothing. Therefore, tithing, giving 10% to God, though popular does not fit this principle. Besides, the Bible shows clearly that tithing is not today's giving standard. Still, some folks will point to studies showing tithers have healtier finances than non tithers. But this misses the point. We should aim to do what's right, not what's expedient. Therefore, it's essential you study Bible teachings on tithing.
Key Biblical Truth #2: Accept Who You Are
Start by accepting whom you are—fearfully and wonderfully made. Next, accept where you are, and what you have. Don’t try to take money management ideas from others, or look at folks on TV with so called perfect bodies and start beating up yourself. You are who you are. You are where you are. If you need to change your lifestyle, God can handle that. Ask Him to show you what to do with money, talents, and everything you have.
Accepting what you have means living in your circumstances but not allowing them to take your eyes off God. Recall the widow in 2 Kings 4:1-7; she had a little oil only, but with Elisha’s guidance, she saw she had more than enough. As well, so preoccupied was Elisha’s servant with his circumstance, He could not see the victory God prepared until Elisha prayed to open his eyes.
Each believer in Messiah should understand that God is faithful, keeps His Word, and His divine power has granted everything the believer needs for life and godliness. A believer can do God’s wishes because God’s Spirit lives in him. Do you believe this?
Key Biblical Truth # 3: Seek First His Kingdom
Do you believe Jesus' claims? Do you believe He will do what He promised? Are you ready to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness? When you seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, you must seek second, third, fourth ... your wants. He will provide your needs. Did you get that? Have you ever seen a sparrow begging for food? He has not promised to shower you with money. Then again, His word says if you can handle a little you can't handle much.
These three key biblical truths are not subjective, changing principles, but eternal. Seek continually to understand them. Find what pleases God by studying the Bible to become like Jesus. In the Bible, you will uncover lasting guidelines for daily living. God, the creator of the universe, owns everything. The Bible shows this clearly in the verses that explain the GAS Principle, and elsewhere. Accepting the GAS Principle will change your life, change your views, and change your role about stuff you own as His manager. It will cancel the need to borrow, except to buy a home, and you will be able to do the following:
Be more alert making lifestyle choice with money implications--more precisely, with spending decisions.
You will allow Him to lead you.
You will accept you own nothing but you are responsible to God as His manager or steward of everything He allows you to have while you are here on earth.
You will realize that later you will account to the Owner, Jesus, of money and everything. Accountability is a key part of stewardship