Week 16: Monday

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Psalm 24:1
“The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.”
 
Do you want to know something interesting? When you turn to the New Testament, you will see that Jesus Christ talked more about the stewardship of earthly possessions than he did about prayer or heaven and hell. Of course prayer and heaven and hell are very important issues, but how come He spent much time dealing with earthly things? Perhaps Jesus Christ is trying to remind us of a very important truth in life. God says, “There is a huge connection between your spirituality and the material things of this world.” Either these material things will enhance your walk with God or take away your desire to follow God.
 
In the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30), the master represents God and the servants represent us. There was no doubt in the minds of these servants that the property and money still belonged to the master. In other words, they were the stewards, but not the owners! Their job was to manage what they were given. Likewise, we must remember that everything we have has been given to us and is not really ours anyway.
 
David clearly understood this when he wrote:
 
1 Chronicles 29:14
Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand.
 
There’s this story in the life of George Muller taken from the book “God Built” by Steve Farrar:
On one occasion, George Muller received a letter from a couple who had sustained a significant financial loss. The vast majority of their assets and cash was gone. They asked Muller for his wisdom on how they should respond to this great burden, which had really set them back on their heels financially.
Muller provided a very unusual diagnosis of their situation. But his “cure” was even more astonishing than his diagnosis. (Watch Muller’s diagnosis) Muller commented that…
“A heavy [financial] loss should lead us to pause and ponder, and consider what the Lord’s voice to us is in it. Perhaps the reason is, that we lived too much as owners and possessors, instead of stewards for the Lord, and that, therefore, He was obliged to take part of that, which we posses, from us. If so, let us be benefited by the loss. But suppose this is not the reason; suppose the Lord allowed the loss only to take place for the trial of our faith and patience, yet we should (while meekly bowing, under the hand of God) say to ourselves that the Lord might have taken all, instead of part, and that, therefore, we ought to make good use of our stewardship respecting the means which are still left to us.”
 
What, then, should this couple do as a result of their loss? How should they respond?
(Watch the cure)
George Muller answered that if it were he, he would give a thanks offering to the Lord because the Lord had not taken everything. God was very gracious in that He had only taken a part of their finances when He could have taken everything.”
 
(Source: God Built by Steve Farrar. Emphasis and italics added.) 
 
This exposes a fundamental flaw in the worldview of most people – including many Christians. It shows us that our possessions and our money really belong to God and not to us. And since it doesn’t belong to us in the first place, we have no right to hoard it for ourselves.
 
REMEMBER ALEXANDER THE GREAT?
On his death bed, Alexander summoned his generals and told them his three ultimate wishes:
1. The best doctors should carry his coffin
2. The wealth he has accumulated (money, gold, precious stones, etc) should be scattered along the procession to the cemetery, and
3. His hands should be let loose, hanging outside the coffin for all to see.
One of his general who was surprised by these unusual requests asked Alexander to explain. Here is what Alexander the Great had to say:
1. I want the best doctors to carry my coffin to demonstrate that, in the face of death, even the best doctors in the world have no power to heal
2. I want the road to be covered with my treasure so that everybody sees that material wealth acquired on earth, stays on earth.
3. I want my hands to swing in the wind, so that people understand that we come to this world empty handed and we leave this world empty handed.
 
(source: https://sites.google.com/site/positivethinkingclub/the-three-last-wishes-of-alexander-the-great)
 
The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 5:15
 
“Naked a man comes form his mother’s womb, and as he comes, so he departs. He takes nothing from his labor that he can carry in his hand.”
 
In ending, I’d like to leave you with a few thoughts:
You are a steward managing His resources.
He has the rights; you have the responsibility.
He is the Master; you are the manager.
He is Sovereign; you are the servant.

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