It is revealing that an increasingly materialistic society is also a society with an increasingly distant awareness of God and God’s ownership of all life. As we push God to the fringes of life we become more possessive about money and things. Humans take center stage, acting as though we own the world and the creation is here to serve our ends and selves.
- Jesus says, “one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions” (Luke 12:15).
- Paul names three things as most precious of all: faith, hope, and love (1 Corinthians 13:13). These cannot be bought with money and they are no less obtainable in times of financial want than in times of plenty (Philippians 4:12-13). The value of our lives is also enhanced by a sense of purpose — living as agents of God’s mission in this world: the salt of the earth and the light of the world (Matthew 5:13-14).
- So, if we trust and serve our one true master, we can have abundant lives (John 10:10), lives that matter not only to us but to those we love and to the world at large.
Christian stewards are people who realize that God blesses them in many ways. Realizing how blessed they are, stewards want to be a blessing to others.
In the First Letter of John we read, “We love because God first loved us.” This is the core truth of all truths. Our love and our sharing are motivated by the awareness that others have loved us.
This says something about the importance of being loved and of love in our human families. It also says something about the importance of realizing how much God loved us. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son to die for it” (John 3:16). That’s how much God loves you. Jesus Christ died for you. There is no greater love.
As stewards we know that greatest love, and, as a result, we want to love others in word and deed. Sharing of our time, our talents, and our treasures are all ways of expressing that love. That little envelope we put in the plate, in many ways, says, “God loves me, and I love you.”
Based on material from Mark Allan Powell and Gary F. Anderson.