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Pastor's Notes from The Scribe (September 2015)

posted Sep 8, 2015, 12:36 PM by Russell D. Hampton

In the book, Giving to God: The Bible’s Good News about Living a Generous Life, Mark Allen Powell focuses on the totality of stewardship.  According to Powell, stewardship is not just about what we give to the church (time, talents, and treasures) but how we give 100% of our lives back to God and God’s creation (not to be confused with works righteousness).  We give back to God by living God-pleasing ways that will glorify God and further spread the kingdom.  It is a response to the great gift of grace God gave to us. 

To explain how stewardship is 100% of our lives, Powell uses the acronym ARMS.  Faithful stewardship is about how we 1) Acquire, 2) Regard, 3) Manage, and 4) Spend our wealth/money in God-pleasing ways.  Let’s reflect upon these four concepts:

  1. Acquire – Christians are responsible stewards when they live out their vocations (whether religious or not, whether employed or retired).  Our vocations should never cause hardship to another or prevent us from enjoying what we have.  To be a good steward means to pursue occupations that our worthwhile and useful.
  2. Regard – The Scriptures do not condemn wealth and money.  The problem found in Scriptures with material abundance is that it often leads to a spiritual amnesia.  When we have enough or too much, we often times forget to thank God and place our trust in materials over God.  To be a good steward means to always turn to God in gratitude for our abilities to earn an income or acquire wealth.  To be a good steward means we should not place our trust in wealth/money/possessions over trust in God.
  3. Manage – We do not want to hoard, but we also do not want to squander.  Faithful stewardship calls all of God’s people to think about spending habits, develop reasonable budgets, and learning to invest/save wisely.
  4. Spend – As Christians, we don’t simply have a responsibility to God; we also are responsible to God’s people.  We live in a country where we have this independent mentality of “I earned it; I can do what I want with it.”  However, as Christians, we have a responsibility to others.  If we see someone hungry and do not feed that person, or if we see someone without proper clothes and do not help clothe the person, our faith is not living within us.

Stewardship is not simply designating a portion of what we have earned to give to church and charity (although that is part of it).  Good stewardship is how we live out our whole lives in relation to God and God’s creation.  As we journey into the Fall (and then into the seasons that call us to generous giving, like Thanksgiving and Christmas), I encourage you to reflect upon being a steward of God’s creation and how you steward your whole life.

In Christ, 

Pastor Maureen Seifried

Prayer: God of abundance, you have created this world and entrusted us to be your stewards of it.  You have bestowed upon us many blessings.  Grant us the ability to share with one another what you have first given to us.  May we be good stewards of all things, trusting that you will always provide for our needs.  Amen.