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Issues of Christian Stewardship
A series of talks given to Christian Community Church in Murray, KY
by Scott Thile as inspired by the writing of Randy Alcorn of Eternal Perspective Ministries (EPM) http://www.epm.org

Books and articles Cited and Recommenced on Stewardship

Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn (Eternal Perspective Ministries)
In Light of Eternity by Randy Alcorn (Eternal Perspective Ministries)
The Treasure Principal by Randy Alcorn (Eternal Perspective Ministries)
Randy Alcorn's books and articles about money: http://epm.org/money.html
Randy Alcorn's books and articles about eternity: http://epm.org/eternity.html
Randy Alcorn's articles About Missions: http://epm.org/missions.html
Generous Giving: 40 Questions to Ask God By Randy Alcorn

Debt Free Living by Larry Burkett: http://www.crown.org/
Ron Blue books : http://www.ronblue.com/resources_books.html

The Road to Reality by K.P. Yohannan (Gospel For Asia)
Revolution in World Missions by K.P. Yohannan (Gospel For Asia)

Some relevant Bible references on Stewardship (not exhaustive)

God's Exclusive Ownership

"You may say to yourself, 'My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.' But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth." (Deuteronomy 8:17-18)

"The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it, the world and all who live in it." (Psalm 24:1)

"The land is Mine and you are but aliens and My tenants…the silver is Mine and the gold is Mine." (Leviticus 25:23; Haggai 2:8)

"Your plenty will supply what they need…You will be made rich in every way so you can be generous on every occasion." (2 Corinthians 8:14; 9:11)

"God loves a cheerful giver." (2 Corinthians 9:7)

"Do not store up treasures on earth…Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven." (Matthew 6:19-20)

"We will all stand before God's judgment seat. Each of us will given an account of himself to God." (Romans 14:12)

"To whom much is given, of him will much be required" (Luke 12:48)

"It is required of a steward that he be found faithful." (1 Corinthians 4:2)

"But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand." (I Chronicles 29:14)

"To the LORD your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it." (Deut. 10:14)

"The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it." (Ps. 24:1)

"Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, O LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all." (1 Chronicles 29:11-12)

"Who has a claim against me that I must pay? Everything under heaven belongs to me." (Job 41:11)

"Every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. I know every bird in the mountains, and the creatures of the field are mine. If I were hungry I would not tell you, for the world is mine, and all that is in it." (Psalms 50:10-12)

"'The silver is mine and the gold is mine,' declares the LORD Almighty." (Haggai 2:8)

"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body." (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

Financial Problems Due to Wrong Spiritual Priorities

This is what the LORD Almighty says: "These people say, 'The time has not yet come for the Lord's house to be built.'" Then the word of the LORD came through the prophet Haggai: "Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?" Now this is what the LORD Almighty says:

"Give careful thought to your ways. You have planted much, but have harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it."

This is what the LORD Almighty says: "Give careful thought to your ways. Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build the house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored," says the LORD. "You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?" declares the LORD Almighty. "Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with his own house.

"Therefore, because of you the heavens have withheld their dew and the earth its crops. I called for a drought on the fields and the mountains, on the grain, the new wine, the oil and whatever the ground produces, on men and cattle, and on the labor of your hands." Haggai 1:2-11

The Question of Debt

"Owe nothing to anyone." Romans 13:8, NASB

"Let no debt remain outstanding." Romans 13:8, NIV

Is it ever right to borrow?

"The LORD will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty . . . to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none." (Deuteronomy 28:12)

"The wicked borrow and do not repay, but the righteous give generously. . . . They are always generous and lend freely; their children will be blessed." (Psalm 37:21, 26)

"Good will come to him who is generous and lends freely, who conducts his affairs with justice." (Psalm 112:5)

Conclusion: Borrowing is always involved whenever there is lending. Since lending is sometimes permissible, so is borrowing. Still, normally it is the righteous who are lenders rather than borrowers.

The Curse of Debt

"All these blessings will come upon you if you obey the LORD your God:

". . . The LORD will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to . . . bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. The LORD will make you the head, not the tail.

"However, if you do not obey the LORD your God and do not carefully follow all his commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come upon you and overtake you:

". . . The alien who lives among you will rise above you higher and higher, but you will sink lower and lower. He will lend to you, but you will not lend to him. He will be the head, but you will be the tail."

Deuteronomy 28:2,12-13; 15; 43-44

The Desperation of Debt

Some were saying, "We and our sons and daughters are numerous; in order for us to eat and stay alive, we must get grain."

Others were saying, "We are mortgaging our fields, our vineyards and our homes to get grain during the famine."

Still others were saying, "We have had to borrow money to pay the king's tax on our fields and vineyards." Nehemiah 5:2-4

The Danger of Debt

"The rich rule over the poor and the borrower is servant to the lender." Proverbs 22:7

"You were bought at a price. Do not become servants of men." 1 Corinthians 7:23

"No one can serve two masters. . . You cannot serve both God and Money." Matthew 6:24