The Principle of Biblical Stewardship
Sermon on 12 July 2020
Rev Dr Malcolm Tan, 12 July 2020
Notes by Anita Fam
1 Chronicles 29: 9-14
The concept of Biblical Stewardship comes from the word ‘styward’ ie, the keeper who looked after the cattle for a family. An early word which has since evolved into the word ‘steward’ which now means one who manages on behalf of another.
See v. 9-10
⁃ Starts with the prayer of King David.
⁃ A time of joyful and sacrificial giving.
⁃ The giving was for the building up of the House of the Lord. It was not for the temple of Zechariah or Haggai. This was for the first temple built by King Solomon much later on.
⁃ King David was preparing the ground for the next generation to finish the task. He was building up the resources for the future.
⁃ He began with praise and adoration for the living God. The worship of God preceded the revelation of spiritual truth.
Three things of revelation to note here:
1. The stewardship of life (see v. 11-13)
2. The stewardship of possessions (see v. 14)
3. The stewardship of grace (see v. 17-18)
The stewardship of life under God
⁃ See v. 11-13
There are 4 biblical truths:
1. Everything in heaven and earth belongs to God (see v. 11).
2. Everything that we have comes from God because God rules over all (see v. 12).
3. God controls our lives as He has the strength and power to exalt and give strength to all (see v. 12b).
4. David broke out in praise and worship (see v. 13) because he knew and recognised that God is worthy to look after us.
The stewardship of our possessions
⁃ See v. 14 - 16
⁃ A recognition of our dependence on God. What we give to the Lord actually came from God first.
⁃ See v. 15 where we see our frailty of human life on earth.
⁃ See v. 16 where King David acknowledged two things - ie, God is the source of the abundance that we have and He is the one who enables us to give.
The stewardship of grace
⁃ See v. 17-18
⁃ We must give to God with the right spirit and a right heart.
⁃ See v. 18. God gives us the grace to give generously. In our giving, our hearts should be directed to the Lord.
God opened King David’s eyes to give as he worshiped the Lord.
Application and reflection:
First, the act of giving must be seen from the perspective of stewardship entrusted from the Lord to us.
⁃ There is the stewardship of life. ie, all that we are and have comes from God. He made us and gave us the breath of life. We did not make ourselves. We belong to him first. We need to account to Him first as to how we have lived our lives.
⁃ If God gave us our lives, He also gave us our possessions. They belonged to God first before they belonged to us. This challenges the doctrine of tithing where we are to give 10% to God. Actually all 100% came from God in the first instance and we are accountable to God as to how we use those resources.
⁃ We are accountable to God as to how we live and also how we use His financial resources which He has given to us.
⁃ The ability to do good is given by the grace of God. That is the stewardship of grace. God has given us the resources and grace to bless others.
⁃ God put into our hearts the intent to do good. He gives us the desire and the ability to do good. All we need to do is obey.
⁃ It’s all about being responsible to God for the gifts that He has given to us.
⁃ We need to seek the Lord as to how we can give contributions to Him.
Secondly, the concept of stewardship implies accountability.
⁃ One day we will have to stand before God and answer to Him on how we have lived our lives and used His resources. This is the concept of Judgment Day.
Thirdly, if God has given us the grace, we must give according to the grace that He has given to us.
⁃ By prayer and reflection, we must seek the heart of God and decide what we are able to give according to the grace which He has placed in our hearts.
⁃ We must give as the Lord directs us to give.
We must see the stewardship of our possessions in the larger picture of our stewardship of life and grace. And all this must be see in the face of Jesus Christ who is for us all love divine and all love excelling.