Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required in stewards that one be found faithful. 1 Corinthians 4:1-2 (NKJV)
The Precept of Rightful Ownership:
Nothing really belongs to us; everything belongs to God.
1 Chronicles 29:11-12(NLT) Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty. Everything in the heavens and on earth is yours, O Lord, and this is your kingdom. We adore you as the one who is over all things. Wealth and honor come from you alone, for you rule over everything. Power and might are in your hand, and at your discretion people are made great and given strength. (Psalm 50:12 & Colossians 1:16-17)
The Precept of Purposeful Possessions:
Wise stewards are guided by richness towards God; not enriching themselves.
1 Timothy 6:17-19 (NIV) Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life. (Luke 12:13-21 NIV)
The Precept of Proportionate Participation:
God’s provision dictates the believers’ contribution.
Deuteronomy 14:22-23 (TLB) You must tithe all of your crops every year……. The purpose of tithing is to teach you always to put God first in your lives.
Proverbs 3:9 (TLB) Honor the Lord by giving him the first part of all your income.
2 Corinthians 8:1-7 (NIV) …. They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us…. (Genesis 14 & Hebrews 7:1-10)
The Precept of Paradoxical Participation:
The richest generosity can come out of the deepest poverty.
2 Corinthians 8:1-4 (NIV) And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people.
(1 Kings 17:7-16 NLT)
The Precept of Consistent Collection:
Regular giving allows consistent ministry.
1 Corinthians 16:1-2 (NIV) Now about the collection for the Lord’s people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income….
The Precept of Pastoral Provision:
God’s people are to take care of God’s servants.
1 Timothy 5:18 (NKJV) For the Scripture says, you shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain, and, the laborer is worthy of his wages.
Philippians 4:15 (ESV) And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only.
The Precept of Absolute Harvest:
Plant sparingly, harvest sparingly; Plant generously, harvest generously.
(2 Corinthians 9:6-15 NLT)
Galatians 6:7-9 (NLT)…. You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. So, let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.
The Precept of Unconditional Contentment:
The steward’s contentment is not based upon the steward’s circumstances.
Philippians 4:11-13 (TLB) Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to get along happily whether I have much or little. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of contentment in every situation, whether it be a full stomach or hunger, plenty or want; for I can do everything God asks me to with the help of Christ who gives me the strength and power.