Unwavering Conformity: A 21 Day Study in Stewardship


Keep me safe, my God,
for in you I take refuge.
I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord;
apart from you I have no good thing.”
I say of the holy people who are in the land,
“They are the noble ones in whom is all my delight.”
Those who run after other gods will suffer more and more.
I will not pour out libations of blood to such gods
or take up their names on my lips.
LORD, you alone are my portion and my cup;
you make my lot secure.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance.
I will praise the LORD, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me.
I keep my eyes always on the LORD.
With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest secure,
because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
nor will you let your faithful one see decay.
You make known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

Psalm 16:1-11 NIV

David aspired to live by a simple but solid equation: seeking God single-mindedly = security and satisfaction. Roughly speaking, verses 1-7 of this Psalm describe what it means to seek God first, and verses 9-22 unfold the benefits we derive from doing just that.

David could confidently list the primary benefits of his devotion to God: divine guidance, peace of mind, joy and bodily security. But we as new covenant believers are intimate with a truth of which David had only an inkling. Because the body of Jesus Christ, the ‘Holy One’ of verse 10, was not abandoned by God but raised from the dead, we who are ‘in Christ’ also will rise when He comes again. When our lives revolve around such a reality, what other earthly safeguards could we possibly need? By pursuing God alone we can, like David, take hold of that which is truly life (cf. 1 Ti 6:19). 
Christian financial stewardship leader Howard Dayton recounts a poignant story from the first half of the twentieth century:

“A young Roger Morgan came out of the Appalachian Mountains with the sole purpose of making a fortune. Money became his god, and he became worth millions. Then the stock market crash of 1929 and the Great Depression reduced him to utter poverty. Penniless, he took to the road. One day a friend found him on the Golden Gate Bridge staring down into the waters of the San Francisco Bay, and he suggested they move on. ‘Leave me alone,’ Roger replied. ‘I’m trying to think. There is something more important than money, but I’ve forgotten what it is.’”

The time and place has changed, but evangelical leader Charles Colson has found that ‘something’ for which Roger Morgan had been groping:

“Modern pluralistic society provides a smorgasbord of worldviews and belief systems, all clamoring for our allegiance. And whether their trappings are secular or religious, all are in essence offering means of salvation – attempts to solve the human dilemma and give hope for renewing the world. Today’s most fashionable answers presume there is no kingdom of God on which to fasten our eschatological hopes, and therefore, they promise to create heaven here on earth – the Escalator Myth in its various forms. Alongside these are messages of heroic despair, challenging us to be courageous in facing life’s meaninglessness!”

Yet a careful examination of competing worldviews can actually lead to the opposite effect: By lining up the Christian faith against other worldviews and religions, we see with astonishing clarity that Christianity offers the only real answers to the most basic questions of life and the best understanding of how we can be saved.

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