What should we do with what we are given? It’s a question Christians ask. Given, that is, by God who is the author of life, and time, and talent, and all creation. Life is God’s gift. So is time, the form in which life passes from cradle to grave, from birth to judgment. How shall we use life and time through the fleeting hours that we have them? What will we do with the talents implanted in each of us by God? Why has He given each of us just that unique combination of skills and potential which makes every human being different from every other? How should we use the goods our efforts acquire? Is all that we earn ours to use as we please? If not, how much may we keep for ourselves? What do we owe the Lord, and our neighbor?
These and similar questions come to focus in the term “stewardship.” We invite you to explore with us the meaning of stewardship as taught by the Scriptures. We urge you to react to what is said, and to search the Bible for yourself to see if what we urge upon you is true. And we suggest that you discuss stewardship with friends, in Bible study groups, and church societies.All because we believe that stewardship is what the Christian life is all about.“Stewardship is the primary human activity that reveals God’s image within us. Stewardship is an activity that leads us to an identity. We do what God wants us to do so that we can become who he wants us to be. As we journey with him, using his gifts according to his intentions, he changes us and the world around us to more perfectly reflect his grace, justice, and truth.
In Faithful in All God’s House, Lester DeKoster and Gerard Berghoef define stewardship as ‘willed acts of service that, not only make and sustain the fabric of civilization and culture, but also develop the soul.’ The authors contend that ‘while the object of work is destined to perish, the soul formed by daily decision to do work carries over into eternity.’ As we allow God to use us to change the world, he is quietly but continually conforming us to his likeness.
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Gerard Berghoef (1926-2007) was the President of Widdicomb Furniture Company and a longtime elder in the Christian Reformed Church. In collaboration with Lester DeKoster and his family, Berghoef also launched the Christian’s Library Press, a publishing endeavor intended to provide timely resources both for the church’s laity and its leadership.
Lester DeKoster (1916–2009) became director of the library at Calvin College and Seminary, affiliated with the Christian Reformed Church in North America, in 1951. He earned his doctorate from the University of Michigan in 1964, after completing a dissertation on “Living Themes in the Thought of John Calvin: A Bibliographical Study.”
"God is bringing redemption to all of creation, and he has invited us—his stewards—to bring that about with him. That’s an invitation I want to accept, and I hope you will, too.” -- From the introduction by Jim Liske, CEO, Prison Fellowship Ministries
“‘Christian stewards, sacrificing themselves for the welfare of others, make visible individually the power of their faith.’ This is how Berghoef and DeKoster summarize their wonderful book that deals with issues that all Christians have questions about: wealth, poverty, giving, the welfare state, and how much to give, to name but a few. Faithful in All God’s House is a highly relevant book that should be on the shelf of every Christian leader and on the reading list of every theological course.” -- Dr. Sas Conradie, Coordinator of the Lausanne/World Evangelical Alliance Global Generosity Network