The Liberation Of Stewardship
Arthur De Moss was a gifted and godly businessman. He built one of the most successful businesses of its kind in America and in the process accumulated a fortune of an estimated half-billion dollars, which could well exceed a billion or more in today's economy.
Then suddenly, during an economic recession, stock in his company plummeted. He lost $360 million in only four months -- an average of $3 million a day, more than anybody had ever before lost in such a short time.
One would think that he would have been devastated, wanting to cut back on his Christian giving. Instead, Art "increased" his giving. As we talked together during that period, he was rejoicing in the Lord.
"The Lord gave me everything I have," he explained. "It all belongs to Him, and if He wants to take it away that's His business. I don't lose any sleep. I still have a wonderful family and my lifestyle remains unchanged. I will do anything God wants me to do. If He takes away everything He has entrusted to me and calls me to the mission field, I'm ready to go. All He needs to do is tell me."
Art placed his trust completely in his Lord and not in his fortune. God honored his faith and obedience and eventually restored all that he had lost and much more. Art has now gone to be with the Lord, but his fortune is still being used for the glory of God. He was a member of the Campus Crusade for Christ Board of Directors for many years and had a great leadership impact on this worldwide ministry.
Art's story illustrates an amazingly liberating principle of stewardship. If we faithfully use all that God entrusts to us, and if we keep His ownership of everything in our lives clearly in focus, any material loss simply represents His decision to direct to another the stewardship of that possession. This concept removes the burdensome grief associated with losing what we consider our own, since, in fact, it is not our own.
In times of tragedy and disappointment, God never forsakes us. He supplies all our needs. As stewards, our task is to trust Him completely.
Yours for fulfilling the Great Commission each year until our Lord returns,
The late Dr. Bill Bright was Founder and President/Chairman Emeritus of Campus Crusade for Christ, an organization which began as a campus ministry in 1951 and now has more than 27,000 full-time staff and up to 500,000 trained volunteer staff in 196 countries in areas representing 99.6 percent of the world's population. In the past 50 years, Campus Crusade for Christ has seen approximately 6 billion exposures to the gospel worldwide. The film, "JESUS," which Bright conceived and funded through Campus Crusade for Christ, is the most widely translated and viewed film of any type ever produced. Since its use began in 1980, the film has been translated into 839 languages and viewed or listened to by over 5.7 billion people in 228 countries. Dr. Bright was also the author of more than fifty books. Visit campuscrusade.com for more details
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