The Stewardship of Money-1
Three Key Principles of Money and The Stewardship of It
Pastor David L. Brown, Ph.D.
In this current message series, our focus has been on stewardship. Paul reminded the Corinthian believers, "Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful." 1 Corinthians 4:2
As I begin, I would like to remind you of the definitions of a steward and stewardship are. A steward is a person who manages and administrates what has been entrusted to him by another. In this case, a steward is a person who manages what has been entrusted to him/her by God. God has entrusted us with our lives, our talents, our time, and our money. Therefore, stewardship is the careful and responsible management of the things God has entrusted to your care.
Today’s message focuses on the final aspect of stewardship that we will be studying – The Stewardship of Money.
It is hard for Americans to appreciate the abundance we all
have. The poorest person in this congregation has more money and possessions
than most of the common people in third world countries. Linda and I were
missionaries in Haiti in the early 70’s. Haiti was, and I believe still is, the
poorest country in this hemisphere. Today, the average annual income is $250.
That works out to an income 68¢ per day or a little less $5.00 per week. In this
country, the average annual income is $37,800. That works out to $103.56 per day
or about $730 per week. I don’t know about you, but I thank the Lord that I was
born in America. Indeed, God has blessed this nation. However, remember "unto
whomsoever much is given…much [is] required." With that thought in mind, Let’s
look at the…
Three Key Principles That Must Be Remembered When It Comes
To Money And The Stewardship of It…
Three Key Principles That Must Be Remembered When It Comes To Money And The Stewardship of It…
Turn in your Bible to 1 Timothy 6:6-10 "But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. 9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows."
The word "contentment" in verse 6 is a translation of the Greek word autarkeia-autarkeia (ow-tar’-ki-ah). The word means a mind that is content with its lot. Vincent’s Word Studies says, contentment is an inward self-sufficiency, as opposed to the lack or the desire of outward things. I like the way William Tyndale put it -- "Godliness is great riches, if a man be content with that he hath."
Verse 7 gives us a clear perspective on the temporary nature of money and possessions – "For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out."
Verse 8 gives us a realistic perspective on what we should be satisfied with…food and raiment. We know what food is. Raiment is a translation of the Greek word skepasma-skepasma (skep’-as-mah), which, according to some includes a roof to cover us, that is, a dwelling, as well as clothing.
In Verse 9 the phrase "they that will be rich" is an emphatic construction in the Greek and "refer to persons who are determined to get riches; who make this their object and aim in life; who live to get money; who get all they can." (Clark Commentary). But, there is a problem with making money the top priority in your life. First, we are told by our Lord, "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." Matthew 6:33.
Now, back to the context of verse 9. This verse points
out two of the evils that the desire to be rich will bring.
Temptation and Snare –
Temptation and Snare –
Foolish and Hurtful Lusts – First, consider the word lusts. It means craving and desires. The desire to be rich leads to foolish cravings and desires. Foolish is a translation of the Greek word anohtov-anoetos (an-o’-ay-tos), which means unwise, want of understanding, silly, senseless. The whole conduct of such a person is unwise. Further, it is hurtful or injurious, to relationships, the body and the soul. They are caught up in the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye and the pride of life, and negligent of the things that matter, such as relationships with family and God. Our Lord said, "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? 37 Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" Mark 8:36-37. Those that make being rich their top priority can expect to drown…"in destruction (ruin) and perdition (destruction of the soul)."
Look at verse 10 – "For the love of money is the root of all evil…" Note that it does not say money is the root of all evil. Money itself is not evil, but the immoderate love of it, or an excessive delight in it, is the cause of much evil. Look at the phrase "the love of money…" This phrase is a translation of one Greek word - filarguria - philarguria (fil-ar-goo-ree’-ah), which means avarice. Now we do not use the word avarice. Avarice simply means greediness or insatiable desire of gain.
Before I move on I need to mention the phrase the root of all evil. Barnes say the phrase is to be understood as all kinds of evil. All sorts of evils grow out of the love of money. Surely we need no proof of the fact that men and women will commit any sin or crime for money.
Verse 10 concludes, "which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows."
The first principle that must be remembered when it come to money and the stewardship if us is this -- Be Cautious That You Do Not Love Money.
Let’s move on to the second principle.
Psalms 24:1 "The earth is the LORD'S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein."
There is another passage that is even more "money" specific. Turn to Haggai 2:7-8 "And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the LORD of hosts. 8 The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the LORD of hosts."
I like to begin with the phrase "the desire of all nations." While some would disagree with me, it is my judgment that the phrase refers to wealth, "the silver" and "the gold." I like what J. Vernon McGee has to say about these verses.
My point is simply this, all wealth belongs to God!
Turn in your Bibles to Deuteronomy 8:18 "But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day."
Next, turn to 1 Chronicles 29:12-13 "Both riches and honour come of thee, 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. 13 Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name."
Job of old put it this way: "And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD." Job 1:21
Here’s my point. It is foolish to trust in our wealth. It can
be here today and gone tomorrow. One day Nebuchadnezzar was the richest man in
the world. The next day and for the next seven years he was eating grass and
living like an animal. Paul exhorted young Timothy to "Charge them that are rich
in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but
in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;" 1
Trust in God, not you money! It is God who gives us the power to get wealth.
Enjoy what he has given you and use it to His glory.