Sunday’s Scripture ~ Luke 22:39-42. Stewardship Focus ~ I Chronicles 29:10-13.
Pastor Andy Stanley says, “Every decision [we] make financially flows from something [we] believe about money – about debt, investing, spending, saving, purchasing.” He also says, “We have a difficult time changing our outcomes because we make the same kind of [financial] decisions because we are not fully aware of what our beliefs around money are.”* Therefore, if we want to experience new outcomes based on our financial decisions, then we must become aware – and possibly change – what our beliefs are around money.
In our Stewardship Focus text for this week the words you, your, and yours are read and said again and again. King David is praising God. With the you, your, and yours David fully acknowledges that greatness, power, glory, victory, majesty, riches, honor, might and strength come from God. “For all that is in the heaves and on the earth is yours; yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all” (v. 11).
Friends, this is our founding belief about money. Holding and being aware of this belief will initiate a wave of change and difference in our lives as this belief shapes our financial decisions that give rise to our lives’ outcomes:
God owns it all!
God owns it all. God distributes as God sees fit, which is not fairly or evenly. This is frustrating to many of us. We can become jealous and resentful, and if we follow that path, then inevitably we will miss out on the blessings that God has gifted to each of us in our desire to have what was blessed to another.
We are not the owners of what God has given; we are managers. We are stewards. Stanley believes that when we realize our role as stewards of God’s wealth – as stewards of the portions God has entrusted to our care individually – that we will quit feeling guilty about money. Stanley offers that money managers never feel guilty about the wealth that they manager; rather, they feel responsible. The more responsible managers are, the more wealth is created. As the people of God, some of this wealth can be monetized, but not all of it. The ‘other wealth’ created is that of trust, of discipleship, of faith. Those are the treasures that we do not leave in this world. They accompany us across the veil of eternity into the next.
This shift in belief is powerful. It is transformative. Making this shift in belief takes courage. Living it out takes even more courage! And friends, we are equal to the task.
“Take my voice, and let me sing always, only, for my King.
Take my lips, and let them be filled with messages from thee.
Take my silver and my gold; not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect, and use every power as thou shalt choose.” **
*Andy Stanley Breakthrough Study Series **“Take My Life and Let It Be,” The United Methodist Hymnal 399.