Everything in this life is given to us by God as a stewardship. We are first caused to be evil stewards before we are judged and made into good stewards.
In the beginning God gave man the charge to subdue all that was in the earth and he also gave a command about how he was to conduct himself while subduing the earth.
Gen 1:28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
This is part 2.
See a list of all the studies in this series
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Principal #3: Count the Cost
Once we are laboring for ourselves both physically and spiritually, we have
to learn to stay on a budget. Children cannot properly estimate how much
anything cost, nor do they have an accurate assessment of their own
abilities. Learning to count the cost and have a realistic view of our own
abilities is a learning process that takes time.
Rom 12:3 NKJV For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who
is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think,
but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.
We need to be sober minded when it comes to both our spiritual maturity
and our financial situation. There is a narrow path that leads to life which
has two sides of the road in which to fall. We tend to either have too
much caution and fear, which leads us not to share our talents and extra
financial means, or we are over estimate our ability and commit to things we
cannot complete, both physically and spiritually. It all comes down to
properly counting the cost.
Luk 14:28 NKJV For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it—
Luk 14:29 lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him,
Luk 14:30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’
One error is to underestimate how much something is going to cost or how difficult it is going to be. At first we simply do not have enough experience to properly assess how much money or resources are needed to complete a given task or meet our needs. This is where we need wise counsel.
We should talk with others that make wise financial decisions and have experience in how to handle this type of situation. They will be able to help us make good decisions.
Pro 11:14 Where there is no counsel, the people fall; But in the multitude of counselors there is safety.
Pro 15:22 Without counsel, plans go awry, But in the multitude of counselors they are established.
The same is true for spiritual matters. I’ve learned a lot about what is
required to prepare a study or lead a group meeting. At first I drastically
underestimated the amount of time and labor required, so I would commit to
tasks that were very stressful or impossible to do.
It’s also good to get wise counsel as we assess how God has gifted us.
When someone sings badly or can’t play an instrument well, they should not
be trying to provide music for the body of Christ. The same goes for any gift.
We need to honestly assess what God has given us and act accordingly.
1Co 12:20 But now indeed there are many members, yet one body.
1Co 12:21 And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”;
nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.”
1Co 12:22 No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be
weaker are necessary.
1Co 12:27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.
1Co 12:28 And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles,
second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings,
helps, administrations, varieties of tongues.
1Co 12:29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all
workers of miracles?
1Co 12:30 Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all
1Co 12:31 But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more
This study series by Larry Groenewald will explain all the various functions in
the Body: http://tryingthespirits.com/gifts-ministries-and-operations/
The Lord will manifest your function in due time.
2Co 8:12 For if there is first a willing mind, it is accepted according to what
one has, and not according to what he does not have.
2Co 8:13 For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened;
2Co 8:14 but by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may
supply their lack, that their abundance also may supply your lack—that
there may be equality.
2Co 8:15 As it is written, “HE WHO GATHERED MUCH HAD NOTHING
LEFT OVER, AND HE WHO GATHERED LITTLE HAD NO LACK.”
Verse 15 above is a quote from Exodus 16:18.
If God wants us to share something with others, then he will give us more
than what we need for ourselves. Some have families that simply
require more physical and spiritual resources in their care. That is
to be their first priority before they share anything with the Body of Christ.
1Ti 5:8 But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those
of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
This is a part of bearing our own burden. We can’t be giving money to others
when we cannot pay our own bills. In the same way we can’t be
trying to serve the Body of Christ, if our wives and children are being
neglected or own spiritual house is a mess. We cannot help someone
spiritually if our own spiritual life is not in order. Bear your own burden then
Also, if the Lord is not providing you enough to share with anyone else,
physically or spiritually, don’t worry. Focus on plowing your own field
and God will give you something to share in due time. For some it will be a
little and some it will be a lot. The quantity does not matter, it’s the
condition of our heart.
Luk 21:1 And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the
Luk 21:2 and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites.
Luk 21:3 So He said, “Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in
more than all;
Luk 21:4 for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God,
but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had.”
The Lord will provide each of us both a physical and spiritual stewardship. All
he requires is that we be faithful with what we are given.
Pro 12:11 (ESV) Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he
who follows worthless pursuits lacks sense.
We need to be realistic and not big dreamers. Faithfulness and
consistency will be blessed.
Principal #4: Avoid Debt
We have been trained by society that debt is no big deal because everyone has it, car payments, house payments, credit cards, etc. The truth is that debt is likened to slavery.
Pro 22:7 NKJV The rich rules over the poor, And the borrower is servant to the lender.
One of the major reasons that we go into debt is that we are not content with what we have at the moment.
1Ti 6:6 Now godliness with contentment is great gain.
1Ti 6:7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
1Ti 6:8 And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.
I remember learning this years ago… if you can’t buy it in cash twice over and still be comfortable, don’t buy it. As wealthy as my Dad was, he rarely had the newest or best of anything. He had nice things, but he waited until he could pay cash and bought things that were quality and typically used. He valued financial security for himself and our family over having any possession. My dad is not a Godly man, but he sure got this right.
1Ti 5:8 NKJV But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
We are bombarded every day with advertisements designed to excite our
lust and make us want something new. The lie is that having this particular
item will make us happier in some way.
Mat 13:22 NKJV Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who
hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches
choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.
Any riches of the world, whether it be the lust of the eyes, the lust of the
flesh, or the pride of life are ALL deceitful. They do not give us what we think
Ecc 1:8 NKJV All things are full of labor; Man cannot express it. The eye is
not satisfied with seeing, Nor the ear filled with hearing.
The book of Ecclesiastes makes it so clear that the pursuit of carnal riches
and pleasure do not satisfy longer than a fleeting season. Sin certainly
does have pleasure for a season, but when it grows and bears fruit it is
terrible to behold.
Heb 11:24 By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the
son of Pharaoh’s daughter,
Heb 11:25 choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to
enjoy the passing pleasures of sin,
Heb 11:26 esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the
treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.
We often get into debt because we love the things of the world more than
the things of God.
1Jn 2:15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves
the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
1Jn 2:16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the
eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.
Some people go into debt physically because God gives them over to their
lusts. Others pursue their lusts and develop great wealth physically. They
build bigger and bigger barns to store their riches and are not rich towards
God. This leads to spiritual poverty and debt. Both the rich and the poor can
be destitute and in debt spiritually speaking.
The solution is godliness with contentment, which only God can work in our
1Ti 6:6 NKJV Now godliness with contentment is great gain.
1Ti 6:7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can
carry nothing out.
1Ti 6:8 And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.
1Ti 6:9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and
into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and
1Ti 6:10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some
have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves
through with many sorrows.
1Ti 6:11 But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue
righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.
The Lord can give us abundance or poverty in anything at any time and we
must learn to be content with either state. Paul sums this up so well in
Php 4:11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever
state I am, to be content:
Php 4:12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere
and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to
abound and to suffer need.
Php 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
If we are poor, praise the Lord for food and clothing that he provides and be
content. If he gives us abundance to share, praise the Lord and share. If we
only have the wealth to barely care for ourselves, let us be content and
praise the Lord. If we have the strength to serve others, let us praise the
Lord and be content. To be content in all situations is truly a miracle.
Regardless of how much or what we are given, it is for the purpose of
sowing to the spirit.
Gal 6:7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows,
that he will also reap.
Gal 6:8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but
he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.