The word psalms means “praises,” and so it seems fitting that the Psalter culminates with the words “Let everything that has breath praise the LORD” (Ps 150:6). The call is for comprehensive—even cosmic—worship; everything he has created must be put to the use of God’s praise.
The following reflections from pastor C. Neil Strait catch the vision of stewardship as praise to and in celebration of the Giver:
[T]he Creator God has entrusted the care—the stewardship—of His creation to people, people like you and me. God has assigned each of us to be stewards over some part of His creation. What an awesome thought! God has given His best into our care. It is frightening at first, but upon reflection one remembers that God always gives grace, strength, and wisdom to accomplish the tasks He assigns. He does not promiscuously delegate care of His creation.
Stewardship, in its broadest and most biblical perspective, is seeing the issues and potentials of life and its resources as gifts from our Creator God. As such, they are to be used to enrich life and to glorify Him. A good steward sees responsibility and accountability as natural responses where love and obedience are factors of relationship, rather than restraints. Because the steward loves God, treasures that relationship, and values the resources entrusted to him, the result brings honor both to the treasure and to Him.
Proper stewardship begins with a deep sense of the authority of God. He is Creator. He is sovereign. And He is Judge. All of this must be taken into account when we write our agenda concerning our trust. Not only is God the Giver of every gift, but also He maintains sovereign authority over each gift. Joseph F. Jones has said, “The steward does not give back to God a ‘portion’ of what the steward owns, for God has never relinquished ownership.”
Recently, the youth of our church were challenged with these words: “The call to commitment is a call not to add something more to your already busy schedule, but to let go of some things that prevent you from experiencing the joy of the Lord in service.”
This is the new agenda for stewardship—to let go of all that keeps one from experiencing the joy of the Lord! It is the celebration and maintenance of relationship—a relationship with the eternal God.
Stewardship, then, is a follow-through of our love for God. It is putting into life our commitment to Christ. It is putting into a life-style what we believe in our hearts and verbalize with our lips. Someone wisely stated: “Stewardship is everything we do after we say, I believe.”
Think About It
How can everything praise God?
In what ways does stewardship relate to praise?
What keeps you from experiencing the joy of the Lord? How can you let go of it?
Pray About It
Lord, I want to praise you. Show me what is holding me back from true joy. Then let me burst forth in praise!