October 17 – LD 42, Day 3: Biblical Stewardship (3)
Wednesday the 17th of October
in Heidelberg Catechism Meditations
1 Timothy 6:10 - “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”
The biblical principle of stewardship recognizes God as the owner of all things. But there is a second aspect of this principle of stewardship, namely, that you and I are required to live our whole life in the recognition that all is God’s.
This happens only by our life in Christ and by the work of His Holy Spirit in our hearts. We confessed this when we said in Lord’s Day 1 that “I with body and soul...am not my own, but belong unto my faithful Savior Jesus Christ.” That means that the Lord our Savior cares for us also with respect to our physical needs. So Jesus said in Luke 12: 27-31: “Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith? And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of thesethings. But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
Redemption in Christ, and more particularly the conscious participation in that salvation through faith, frees us from the slavery of the love of money and the bondage of materialism, so that we no longer have the drive to gain the world at the expense of our souls. The work of the Spirit of Christ in us is a work that instills in us a desire to seek the things above, and not the things of this earth. He shows us that the earth is the Lord’s and we are His servants.
But that life of Christ in us always has to fight against the sinful inclinations of our sinful nature, which seeks the things that are below. That also explains the reason for the eighth commandment. In recognition that God sovereignly gives to every man his place and portion, we take that which God has given us and dedicate it to His glory; and we refrain from wrongfully taking to ourselves that which belongs to our neighbour.