Updated: Sep 24, 2020
Pastor Dominic Cardamone
In Part 1 of this series (here), I stated that before we can discover more about biblical stewardship, we must first understand and embrace the principle of ownership. The way we handle money, possessions, and the resources available to us demonstrates who we really believe is their true owner—God or self. Making a conscious choice to acknowledge God as the owner of all our possessions signifies to us that He is a generous provider. Everything I have is His and He, as a good Father, has graciously provided it for me. Consider the following passages that demonstrate this provision principle:
And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.
The eyes of all wait upon thee; and thou givest them their meat in due season.
O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him. The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing. (The word “want” in this passage means lack.)
I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.
2 Peter 1:2-4
Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
Seeing that God is creation’s great provider and is especially so for man’s physical and spiritual needs, what other helpful truths can we extrapolate from this principle?
1. God is fully aware of our needs.
As a loving father and provider, God is engaged in the details of our lives and sees the needs that we have.
Matthew 6:31-32 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
2. God is able to meet our needs.
My son often asks me how I can lift certain items that are heavy or do certain tasks so quickly that normally would be too heavy for him to lift or take him a long time to do. I joke with him and say, “It’s magic!” But in actuality, it’s because I am more able. God is infinitely more able to supply not only our physical needs (we often go to him most often for these), but also for our emotional, relational, financial, mental, spiritual, etc. needs. He has provided us with food, health, home, wealth, family, friends, church, salvation, protection, healing, deliverance, rest, peace, purpose, and the list could go on.
Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 3:20-21 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
Read Job 38-39 to see great examples of God’s awareness and ability to provide for all of creation.
3. God invites us to ask when we are in need.
We can and should go to Him in need. Not only is God aware and able to meet our needs, He wants to meet our needs too. So, go ahead, ask away!
Matthew 7:7-8 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: 8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
4. God’s provision is ample.
Our tendency can be to want more. Is it ever enough? We must learn to focus on the sufficiency of God’s provision. In so doing, we will be less prone to complain about what we don’t have and be more grateful for and content with what we do have. Complaining about what we lack, having an ungrateful attitude toward what we have been given, or harboring a spirit of jealousy at what others around us possess, is a direct affront to the provision of God in our lives. Paul learned, as he stated in Philippians 4, to be content in whatever state he found himself. His confidence in God’s ability (see verse 19) was part of why he could be content. He knew God was able to take care of him regardless of the circumstances in which he found himself.
Philippians 4:11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
1 Timothy 6:6-8 But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
5. God’s provision should be appreciated.
When we harbor a complaining attitude concerning the provision of God in our lives, we are standing outside of the will of God. Praise the Lord for all that He has provided to you!
1 Thessalonians 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.