Three Principles of Biblical Stewardship

How Do We Take Care of God's Cattle?

Cattle On Hill

God has entrusted you with a leadership role in a ministry. Your role, your funds, your life is His. The question is: How can we steward what God has given us well? Let’s explore a few principles that can help us keep truth in perspective as we lead our ministries in a way that honors what God has entrusted to us: It's All God's: God Owns The Cattle, God Provides: When We Really Need A Cow, Abundant Resources: Flowing River, Not a Stagnant Pond.

  • Principle One:
    It's All God's
  • Principle Two:
    God Provides
  • Principle Three:
    Abundant Resources
  • Scripture
    On Stewardship
  • Resources
    On Stewardship

It's All God'sCow

God Owns the Cattle

There’s this idea that we all mentally understand, but find hard to grasp in the way that we handle our personal and professional finances. This idea says that God owns everything and that He can use His possessions in whatever way He sees fit. He owns “the cattle on a thousand hills,” Bill Gates’ bank account, the millions of dollars that Hollywood movies brings in each year, etc. We have the opportunity to manage the resources He has given us to further His Kingdom.

There are numerous passages in Scripture that address this principle. Psalm 24:1 says, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.” That one couldn’t be clearer, could it?

Genesis 2:15 tells us, “The Lord God took the man (Adam) and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” After creating the whole earth, God created Adam and put him in charge of taking care of it. This passage shows us that man was created to work and that work is the stewardship of all the creation that God has given him.

How easy is it for us to forget that God gave us the job that we have, the money that we spend and save and the vision that we pursue? We tend to think like Deuteronomy 8:17, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” Quickly following that we must remember what the very next verse, Deuteronomy 8:18 says, “Remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth.”

God ProvidesCow

When We Really Need a Cow

God is not some all-powerful dictator that hoards His possessions and scorns those who ask for a cow to feed their family. The truth is quite the opposite. His desire is to put His people in charge of all of it. He WANTS to provide all you need for your ministry. Sometimes it’s just a question of asking fellow stewards. (God also wants us to work together.)

Philippians 4:19 tells us plainly, “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” In this particular passage, Paul reminds the Philippian believers of all that He has endured for the Kingdom—and more importantly, how God has provided for Him. It may not always be easy, Paul’s journey sure wasn’t, but Let us remember that our God will provide all we need.

We find another example of God’s provision in the book of Nehemiah. When Nehemiah felt called to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem, he couldn’t have done it on his own. He needed resources from others who had been entrusted with more. Because of God’s favor, King Artaxerxes provided all of the timber to rebuild the wall and the house where Nehemiah would stay. Nehemiah 2:8b says, “And the king granted me what I asked, for the good hand of my God was upon me.”

Abundant Resources

Flowing River, Not A Stagnant Pond

Often we find ourselves in this scarcity mentality, having convinced ourselves that there are not enough resources. We consider the rate of Christianity’s growth divided by the fact that millennials are just not coming to Christ quickly enough. And in our minds, this equals only a stagnant pond full of resources left to procure to save our ministry.Boat

However, God does not promise us a stagnant pond, but instead a flowing river! We can see this idea played out in the Parable of the Talents. The Master gives each resources according to what they are able to manage. Of those who steward those talents well, He gives even more. He doesn’t take back what they have worked hard to multiply, but instead rewards them with other resources they didn’t even know would be available to them. Matthew 25:23 tells us, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much.”

Scripture on Biblical StewardshipBible

1 Peter 4:10 “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace.”

Genesis 1:28 “God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

2 Corinthians 9:6-7 “The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

Colossians 3:23 “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men…”

Luke 16:11 “If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches?”

Matthew 25:14-30 “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master's money. ...”

Genesis 2:15, “The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it."

Proverbs 16:3, “Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.”

Titus 1:7, “For an overseer, as God's steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain.”

John 3:27, ”John answered, 'A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven.'”

Luke 14:28, “For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?”

1 Timothy 6:17-19, “As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.”

Proverbs 13:22, “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children, but the sinner's wealth is laid up for the righteous.”

Malachi 3:10, “Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.”

Books on Biblical StewardshipBooks

  • • Giving and Getting in the Kingdom by Mark Dillon
  • • It's Not About the Money by Terry Munday
  • • The Treasure Principle by Randy Alcorn
  • • How to Be Rich by Andy Stanley
  • • A Spirituality of Fund Raising by Henri Nouwen
  • • EntreLeadership by Dave Ramsey