A Study in Stewardship Devotionals

Discovering God's Design

Stewardship as a Response to Grace

Verse: Exodus 34:1-9

Why did Moses need new stone tablets “like the first ones”? Because Moses smashed to pieces the original tablets (see Ex 32:19). Exodus 32 describes how the people of Israel grew weary of waiting for Moses to come down from Mount Sinai; he had been gone for 40 days and 40 nights, and the people thought that Moses was dead or long gone. So Aaron, Moses’ brother, led the people in idol worship, gluttony and, very likely, sexual immorality. When Moses came down from the mountain and saw what was happening, “his anger burned and he threw the tablets out of his hands, breaking them to pieces” (Ex 32:19). The words of God were destroyed.

But a few chapters later, we find God commanding Moses to make new tablets on which God would write the words that were on the first tablets. Can you imagine a greater act of mercy, love, forgiveness and grace? After all that had happened, God still desired to communicate with the Israelites.

Moses’ response to the Lord’s gracious action was worship (see Ex 34:8). Today our response to God’s salvation should echo that of Moses. Yet when authors John and Sylvia Ronsvalle conducted a three-year study of money dynamics in the American church, they determined a surprising lack of correlation between grace and giving.

This area of theology, attempting to move from the law into a sense of the grace that ought to define financial giving patterns, has apparently been difficult for the church in the United States throughout its history. Robert Wood Lynn commented from his historical studies, “I don’t think American Protestants have come close to a scriptural view of God’s grace in stewardship. We are a law-ridden people, and the law is becoming more and more important as a means to move us. Why haven’t we given more for 140 years? I don’t think the American churches have been able to understand the full meaning of the gospel for this area of stewardship. We’ve been denying this for an awfully long time. It raises the whole fundamental meaning of the gospel. It is not only duties and obligations; it is also grace that can set us free. Then discipline can follow.”

Lynn suggested that it is enormously difficult to talk about grace and the subject of financial stewardship, partly because it is so seldom talked about. “Grace is the central reality out of which we can begin to understand what we are to do with these resources. We have to get a conversation started on faith and money. We must not let this be interpreted as another spiritual assault where people are reminded they are selfish and greedy. We already know that. We need a setting in which we can talk about the meaning of money in our lives and discover how much it dominates our lives. We can use this as an occasion to understand again the whole meaning of the gospel. We cannot use grace in order to raise money. But rather we are going to the topic of grace to use this as an occasion to rethink what is the meaning of the gospel for this time.”

Think About It

•How has God shown grace to you?
•How do you respond to God’s grace?
•What does God’s grace have to do with your giving?

Pray About It

Lord, open my eyes to see your mercy and grace in my life. Then show me my appropriate response.

This devotion is from the NIV Stewardship Study Bible by Zondervan. Used with permission.

About A Study in Stewardship

Learn all about Christianity at Christianity.com with rich, theological articles, video, and audio focused on the life of Jesus Christ, Bible Study, the Christian church, and Christian living for families. Grow in your faith and walk with Christ as you read about the history of Christianity, salvation, evangelism and discipleship. Use free daily devotionals from your favorite pastors, authors, and speakers as a way to spend daily quiet time with God. Discover how devotions can help you make postive changes in your life toward living out the promises of God. Christianity.com also offers free online Bible study tools with over 30 translations and a library of commentaries, concordances, lexicons, and more for you to highlight, take notes in, and bookmark for studying the Word!

  • Editors' Picks

    Happy Reformation Day!
    Happy Reformation Day!
  • 5 Tools for Growing Your Prayer Life
    5 Tools for Growing Your Prayer Life
  • The Connection between Halloween & Reformation Day
    The Connection between Halloween & Reformation Day