Stewardship is managing what the Lord has given us in use for His good purposes. After all, all we have is actually His (Psa 89:11). As believers, we ought to desire to be good stewards of all the Lord has given us by looking at what it really means to do everything as unto Him (Col 3:23). One such area we have to steward is time. I don’t want to get into the weeds, but I want to lay a solid biblical foundation for our stewardship in general and time specifically by sharing four truths about stewardship and time.
As Bible believing Christians, we believe that all of life is sacred. The term “Imago Dei,” which comes from the Latin version of the Bible, meaning “image of God,” is at the center of this belief. The Bible teaches that human beings are made in the image of God; we are His metaphysical expression. The phrase “Imago Dei” originates in Genesis 1:27, “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” Therefore, humans reflect God’s divine nature in their ability to achieve the unique characteristics with which they have been endowed. Here’s the first truth. Being image bearers of God is foundational to Christian stewardship.
We read our origin story in Genesis 2:7, “The Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.” We are told that man did not have life until God “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life.” God takes dust from the ground and forms it into a human being. We can picture Adam (the first man) with hair, skin, organs, and the sort. He had practically all he needed, but he was not yet living. Then, God literally breathed life into him, and he became a living being. Adam was not a living being until God breathed life into him. Here’s the second truth. God breathing life into us is foundational to Christian stewardship.
Ruach is a Hebrew word for breath, which also means Spirit. It’s the breath that moves through everything. Throughout the Old Testament, we read of the distinct and creative agency of the Spirit of God over all things, including humankind. The Ruach was active in the creation of the world (Gen 1:2; Psa 104:29; Job 33:4), along with being the agent of recreation after the flood (Gen 8:1). Further, the Rauch created God’s people of Israel (Exo 14:19-20; 15:10), along with the New Testament account of His creation of the Church (Acts 2:1-4).
It’s the Ruach that gives life. Again, without the divine breath, nothing would exist. The Spirit creates and sustains all things. We are image bearers of God, whom God has breathed life into. We have been created to live in relationship with God. Not only am I a living being through the life-giving breath of God, but as a follower of Christ, I have His very Spirit indwelling me. The Spirit of God sets me free, empowering me to live as an image bearer of the Lord, reflecting His love and character, and being on mission with Him. This leads me to the third truth. God’s life-giving Spirit residing in the believer is foundational to Christian stewardship.
Our origin, created by God, is the same whether we accept it as truth or not. For those who do, the only obvious choice is to receive Christ as Lord and Savior and walk with Him. Knowing where I come from, God presents me with the only right path to understanding why I am here. As His created beloved being, I must listen to Him, my Creator, following the way He has in store for me. This is true for all of us image-bearers of our loving and magnificent Creator. Every day, we determine how to invest our time. Even our best-made plans are speculative. “We plan the way we want to live, but only God makes us able to live it” (Prov 16:9).
Our plans won’t be fruitful without the life-giving breath of God, His Spirit giving, leading, and empowering us to fulfill them. As Dave Adamson states, “If you want your plans to succeed, you need to ask God to breathe life into them.” Allow the Ruach of God to breathe into you, your plans, and all your doings. Here’s the fourth truth. Since we are image bearers of God, whom God breathed life into and whom, as believers, His Spirit resides, we ought to steward our time directed by Him.
The psalmist proclaims, “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12). We are to make the most of our days. The “heart of wisdom” enables us to faithfully live by the right priorities. Each day there are 24 hours, 1,440 minutes, and 86,400 seconds-and every one of them is a precious gift from God. Time is something we feel we never have enough of, yet we give it away so easily. It’s been said, “Time is free, but it’s priceless. You can’t own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep it, but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it, you can never get it back.” Let’s steward our time wisely for God’s glory. Soli Deo Gloria (Glory to God Alone)!