Life as a River
Thoughts on Ownership - Stewardship & Giving
There are three points I want to make. These do not come from me, but from three who have added to my understanding of Stewardship – Ownership & Giving.
1. A River 'roots' from their heart all sense of possessing
“The way to deeper knowledge of God is through the lonely valleys of soul poverty and abnegation of all things. The blessed ones who possess the Kingdom are they who have repudiated every external thing and have rooted from their hearts all sense of possessing... Though free from all sense of possessing, they yet possess all things. Theirs is the kingdom of heaven.".
Rev. A.W. Tozer In Pursuit of God. From Chapter 2, “The Blessedness of Possessing Nothing.”
2. A River is a channel through whom flow the gifts of God
"To the extent that we are channels of these ‘gifts’ (from God), we can’t just do with them as we please. They come to us with an ultimate name and address other than our own.... If I block the flow of God’s gifts, I haven’t just failed the giving of God; I’ve failed the intended recipients.”
Dr. Miraslov Volf Free of Charge: Giving & Forgiving in a Culture Stripped of Grace.
- 3. A River is more than a trustee or servant, they are a joint heir – the obedient child of the Father
“If God is God, then man can actually never own anything.... The creator God is also our Father. There are two Stewardship implications of this truth. (1) In the light of God’s fatherhood, the relation to God upon which stewardship rests is far more than trusteeship or vocational service. We are sons and heirs, not merely trustees and servants. Ownership is not the relationship between master and slave. It is the deeper personal relation whereby a father calls his children his own. (2) Our giving is patterned after God Himself. ‘God so loved the world that he gave’. To give and keep on giving is the essential nature of God who is love. Christian giving can therefore never be an occasional performance or a special ceremony. It is the normal, steady, and increasing outflow of life in God.”
T.A. Kantonen A Theology of Christian Stewardship – Chapter 3
“Lord, today I affirm anew that all I have and am comes from you. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for showing me the way. Forgive me for thinking that I own anything, and let all of the time, talents and treasures that come from you flow to others as I act in obedience to your will”.
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