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Grounded in the Bible

By Michele Hermansen, 11/14/12, 4:15PM CST


The second characteristic of Vibrant Stewards is to “Ground ourselves in biblical and theological principles. We believe in God as creator and Jesus as role model and redeemer. We listen to and interpret all of scripture with an ear for stewardship themes.”  

Being grounded in something means to supply with essential information or instruct in fundamentals. I turn to Trinity’s statement about the Bible developed through The Theology Project, to understand how the Bible provides us with the fundamentals of stewardship:

“The Bible’s core message is one of love and compassion. In the Bible we discover who God is and how we can live in relationship with God and the world ….Jesus’ teaching of the greatest commandment, to love God with all our heart, soul and mind, and to love our neighbors as ourselves is the primary lens through which we understand the biblical message.”

If we truly lived that great commandment, we wouldn’t need
much more guidance to be the caretakers that God envisioned for the great gifts God has entrusted to us.
We would manifest the heart of Jesus every day.  – Matthew 22:37-40

But being human, we tend to need a bit more direction than just one over-arching principle. We need the reference of generations of interactions between God and people that we find in the Bible. The great pattern of Scripture revolves around God’s generosity and human stewardship of the gifts God has given.

In the Old Testament God’s generosity was poured upon Abraham and Sarah as God promised to make of them a great nation, give them a land and bless them (Genesis 15:5). They were then called by God to be stewards of these promises by living in faithfulness to God’s Word and obedience to the covenant.

In Exodus, God’s generosity took the form of deliverance of the Israelites from their bondage in Egypt. The stories about their wandering in the wilderness can be understood as learning what it meant for them to live as stewards accountable to God for the gift of liberation. The giving of the commandments at Sinai established the framework for what God expected of them as stewards.  – Deuteronomy 5

With the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus, God has given to all humanity the forgiveness of sins, mercy and eternal life. God’s generosity has been revealed as exceedingly loving and kind, beyond all imagination. The New Testament is about the infinite blessings of God which we receive as stewards and share with others.  

The Bible shows us over and over that stewardship is a way of life, a way of living in gratitude for God’s generosity and remaining accountable to God for how we use our time, spiritual gifts and possessions.  I encourage us all to read and study the Bible to better understand the story of God’s generosity and God’s call to us to be stewards of that grace.  

Characteristics of Vibrant Stewards

1.     Trust God’s abundance

  • a. We embody an attitude of gratitude and generosity.
  • b. We believe we are called and freed to be caretakers of all that we are and have.

2.    Ground ourselves in biblical and theological principles

  • a. We believe in God as creator, and Jesus as role model and redeemer.
  • b. We listen to and interpret all of scripture with an ear for stewardship themes.

3.    Hold a holistic perspective

  • a. We steward our whole lives including our time, energy, wisdom, bodies, money and other resources.
  • b. We integrate our faith into our whole life.

4.    Accept interdependence

  • a. We ground ourselves in God’s presence.
  • b. We nurture an attitude of loving kindness toward all of God’s creation.

5.    Promote justice

  • a. We seek to understand the impact of social systems and structures.
  • b. We align our decisions and actions to work toward universal peace and justice.

6.    Embrace financial health as an expression of faith

  • a. We allow money to flow to and through our lives in ways that nourish us and our world.
  • b. We recognize that our capacity to give is defined by our heart, not our pocketbook.