Wednesday, November 26, 2008

33 Laws of Stewardship part 1

I've started another book called the 33 Laws of Stewardship by Dave Sutherland and Kirk Nowery. To be honest, I wasn't sure about it when I first picked it up - it looked kind of slick, and I was afraid I'd picked up one of those "name it and claim it" books. Well, the old adage to not judge a book by its cover applies here. It's been a good book.

I'm going to go through it very quickly, in just three posts.

1. Rightful Ownership.

This is probably the most important thing any follower of Christ should remember: none of it is really ours. It all belongs to God.

“When we are blessed with money and material things, and when we receive acclaim for any accomplishment, we’re getting not what we deserve but what God in His grace lovingly allows us to enjoy and to care for. The essence of life is not ownership but stewardship – the faithful management of all that God entrusts to us” (10).

2. Purposeful Possession

Whatever God gives us, He gives with a purpose, and we are to use it in service to Him. A good steward doesn’t hoard those things God entrusts to her.

3. Miraculous Multiplication

God can make a lot out of a little. A few loaves and fishes fed a crowd of over 5,000, and there were leftovers.

“Trusting Him explicitly, He provides for us absolutely; and we mustn’t be limited by what we see because His ways transcend human understanding” (23).

4. Guaranteed Return

While I don’t believe in karma, this is a principle that is very similar to the concept of karma. What you give will be given back to you.

“If you give, it will be given back to you. And not just an equal exchange. The return will be overflowing, super-abundant, bigger, and better” (30).

5. Hilarious Generosity

God really does love a cheerful giver. Give because God asks you to give, but do it with the right attitude, that of one who is grateful to be able to give.

6. Faithful Dependability

A true steward is trustworthy. She is faithful in small things and can therefore be trusted with large things.

7. Paradoxical Participation

Generosity is measured by the attitude of the giver, and the biggest gifts can come from those who have given very little.

8. Supernatural Supply

We can give beyond our ability through God’s power.

“The power which God gives the believer is not natural power but supernatural power. The provision He makes is not natural but supernatural. This is an absolute law in the economy of stewardship, and it must not escape our attention” (53).

9. Eager Willingness

Good stewards choose to give, and they do so with willing and eager hearts.

10. Reciprocal Supply

When we meet others’ needs, we meet our own needs as well.

“The importance of spiritual gifts must not be underestimated because without them we cannot function properly in Christ’s body” (65).

11. Constructive Contribution

The smallest job still serves God, and is as great as the greatest job.

“Sir, we are building God’s temple. Go now and read the third chapter of Nehemiah and learn that he who repaired the dung gate was counted of as much honor as he who worked on the gate of the fountain. All did their bit; you and I can do no more” (69, attributed to John Wesley).

“The work of God is to be done by the people of God according to the will of God” (69).

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