Sundays: 9 & 11am LATEST MESSAGE

Ownership vs Stewardship

Charlie Boyd - 10/29/2023

Scripture: 1 Chronicles 29:1-18


1 Chronicles 29 can be summed up in three short phrases—three short phrases that define who we are as God’s people and who I am as a recipient of God’s grace. Everything belongs to God; everything comes from God, and everything is distributed by God. To understand and embrace those three truths about God is also to understand and embrace our need to move from thinking of ourselves as owners of our stuff to stewards of God’s stuff. That’s what we will talk about this morning as we continue in our five-week study, asking, “God, what would you have me give in order for me to partner with You in Your work of multiplying our community to reach more of our community.  


One thing we all have in common is that we all have lots of stuff, especially when compared to the rest of the world. Over a lifetime, we accumulate stuff, and then we pass it down to the next generation. In other words, we know that we can’t take it with us—we know we will give it to our kids and grandkids–but to give our stuff away now is just plain hard. 1 Chronicles 29 is a story in the OT about a king and his followers who were somehow able to see their money and their stuff in light of the greatness and goodness of God. You could say they saw themselves as stewards rather than owners, and they did something so incredible with their stuff that we are still talking about it 3000 years later. David wants to honor God by building Him a magnificent temple, but God says, “No.” David was a man of war and bloodshed, so God said, “Not you, but your son Solomon can build me a temple later on.” So, David reasons, “If I can’t build God a temple, then I’ll have a capital campaign to raise all the money and materials so when Solomon decides to build the temple, he’ll have everything he needs to do it.” So, David raises lots of money to build a temple that he knows he’ll never see in his lifetime. 

Read 1 Chron 29:1-3 — The key phrase here is v2—“with all my ability.” David has kingly resources and personal resources to give. And David says, “I’m going to give to the maximum of my ability.” He goes “giving” crazy. He says, “I’m going to do all I can in order to give all I can.” And then, in v5, he invites the people to join him in radical generosity—“Who then will offer willingly, consecrating himself today to the Lord?” And then (vv6-9), we see how the people gave with the same heart as David—willingly, freely, joyfully. And there was a great celebration. Clearly, God was far more concerned about building a people who would worship Him with joyful, generous hearts than simply building a place to worship. And what happened was this: They came to understand the difference between ownership and stewardship. Read vv10-13—there are three great truths here that David and the people understand that God’s people today need to understand. Everything belongs to God (v10-11); everything comes from God (v12), and everything is distributed by God (vv12-13). 

So, what exactly is a steward? 

A steward is someone who manages somebody else’s stuff with the goals of the owner in mind.

  1. Stewardship is not simply about money; it’s about your great God who has “graced” you with all you have. 
  2. Stewardship IS the Christian life.
  3. Stewardship is central to your identity; it’s not an activity.
  4. Stewardship is a matter of the heart (Read vv14-18 and underline how many times “heart” is mentioned). So, David’s question is Israel becomes God’s question to us: Will you generously and sacrificially invest some of the “stuff” God has given you to accomplish the work He has set before us here?

*We are a church located in Greenville, South Carolina. Our vision is to see God transform us into a community of grace passionately pursuing life and mission with Jesus.