The Bible teaches us that God is the owner of all things.
- “Yours, O LORD, is the greatness, the power and the glory, the victory and the majesty; for all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and You are exalted as head over all.” (1 Chronicles 29:11, NKJV)
- “The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein.” (Psalms 24:1, NKJV)
- The Lord’s ownership includes all financial resources (Haggai 2:8; Psalms 50:9-10).
Therefore, as Christians, we understand we are not the owners of our resources, but the manager, or steward, of God’s resources entrusted with us. The goal of the steward is to faithfully execute the management of those resources (1 Corinthians 4:2). These resources include financial assets.
The Bible outlines clear principles for faithful stewardship of financial resources. Below is an abbreviated list of these Biblical principles.
Give to God first:
Since all of our resources belong to God, the Prophet Malachi makes it clear that to withhold our tithe is the equivalent of robbing God (Malachi 3:8). However, we should also recognize that giving to God is one way we honor Him. Proverbs 3: 9 tells us to “honor God with our wealth and the firstfruits of all our crops” (NIV).
Save for the future:
In the book of Genesis, once God had revealed the upcoming famine to Joseph and Pharaoh, we find Joseph saving food during the plentiful years for preparation during the famine. In addition, Solomon points to the ant and the wisdom they have in storing food during the summer months (Proverbs 30:24-25). Even if you don’t have a lot to save, wisdom dictates we save on a consistent basis.
The Bible encourages generosity throughout its entirety. The Apostle Paul challenges us to be “ready to give, willing to share” (1 Timothy 6:17-19 NKJV). Proper stewardship of financial assets allows us the opportunity to generously give whenever the Lord calls upon us to do so.
“The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty…” (Proverbs 21:5, NKJV). “Without counsel, plans go awry, but in the multitude of counselors they are established.” (Proverbs 15:22, NKJV). Both of these Proverbs point to the wisdom of planning ahead. Preparing a financial plan is both prudent and foundational to proper stewardship.
Put your money to work – Invest:
In the parable of the talents (Matthew 25), Christ teaches us a lesson on investing. He contrasts three men who were entrusted with the assets of another man. Two men invested the assets entrusted to them and were commended for a job well done. The third man did not invest the assets, choosing to bury the assets instead. This man was held accountable for not investing the owner’s resources. In addition, Proverbs 28:20 tells us not to strive to amass wealth quickly, and by contrast Proverbs 13:11 reiterates that those “who gather money little by little makes it grow” (NIV). Proper investing is a key component to managing the assets entrusted to you.
The Law of Sowing and Reaping:
God has established the law of sowing and reaping. Agricultural societies understand this concept well. In order to have a crop at harvest time, one has to sow, or plant seed, at the beginning of the season. This law applies to all areas of our life including financial resources.
Accumulating assets for a period of financial hardship, the opportunity to generously give when called upon or for funding your ministry during your retirement years starts with sowing financial ‘seed’ today. Faithfully saving, investing and planning, no matter the amount of the financial ‘seed’, will produce a ‘harvest’ later on. “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.” (Galatians 6:18; NKJV)