Do We Understand Stewardship 101?

Grasping God’s ownership of everything is the foundation of a biblical theology of money. Faithful money-managing stewards act in the owner’s interests, regularly consulting Him to understand and implement His investment priorities. That’s why when I was asked “What are the most basic principles of stewardship?” my answer begins with God’s ownership.

Here’s what God’s Word says about who owns everything:

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.
    The world and all its people belong to him.” (Psalm 24:1).

Look, the highest heavens and the earth and everything in it all belong to the Lord your God.” (Deuteronomy 10:14).

The land must never be sold on a permanent basis, for the land belongs to me [God]. You are only foreigners and tenant farmers working for me.” (Leviticus 25:23).

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.” (1 Chronicles 29:11‑12).

Who has given me anything that I need to pay back?
    Everything under heaven is mine.” (Job 41:11).

For all the animals of the forest are mine,
    and I own the cattle on a thousand hills.
I know every bird on the mountains,
    and all the animals of the field are mine.
 If I were hungry, I would not tell you,
    for all the world is mine and everything in it.” (Psalm 50:10‑12).

Jesus asked, “If you are untrustworthy with worldly wealth, who will trust you with the true riches of heaven?” (Luke 16:11). He taught more about how we should handle money and possessions than anything because our spiritual condition and service qualifications are inseparable from our attitude and actions concerning material wealth.

Jesus gave the best investment advice: “Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven” (Matthew 6:20). We can’t take our treasures with us, but we can send them on ahead!

Happiness, not mere duty, permeates a God-honoring theology of money. Jesus said: “There is more happiness in giving than in receiving” (Acts 20:35, GNT). When grace-saturated, kingdom-minded, eternity-oriented disciples lovingly utilize God’s money and possessions, we fulfill the first and second greatest commandments. We thereby store up treasures in Heaven and cheerfully “take hold of what is truly life” (see 1 Timothy 6:19, CSB).

So search Scripture, seek God’s wisdom, then give, save, and spend His money well, and thereby love Him, your family, neighbors, and a needy world.

See more resources on money and giving, as well as Randy's related books, including Managing God's Money and Giving Is the Good Life.

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over sixty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries