DAY 35: Good stewards

Reading: 1 Peter 4:7-11
‘Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.’ v10
The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

Being a good steward is not just about money. It is about our whole
life: time, talents and treasure. God has gifted us with time (though
with all the demands upon it there may only be a small part for specific

DAY 34: A godly life

Reading: Hebrews 13:5-6, 15-16
‘Keep your lives free from the love of money’ v5 ‘Do not neglect to do good’ v16 (NRSV)
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,
“Never will I leave you;
    never will I forsake you.”

So we say with confidence,
“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
    What can mere mortals do to me?”

Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.

We share a common heritage with the first century world in which this
letter is set. No doubt the message has been true in every generation,
how can we remain pure in a materialistic world? It is easy to say ‘let
us sit light to our possessions’. It is always harder to do. The writer to
the Hebrews encourages his listeners to keep themselves free from the
love of money. Even in the first centu…

DAY 33: Saving for the future

Reading: Proverbs 21:1-8
‘The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.’ v5
In the Lord’s hand the king’s heart is a stream of water
    that he channels toward all who please him.

A person may think their own ways are right,
    but the Lord weighs the heart.

To do what is right and just
    is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.

Haughty eyes and a proud heart—
    the unplowed field of the wicked—produce sin.

The plans of the diligent lead to profit
    as surely as haste leads to poverty.

A fortune made by a lying tongue
    is a fleeting vapor and a deadly snare.

The violence of the wicked will drag them away,
    for they refuse to do what is right.

The way of the guilty is devious,
    but the conduct of the innocent is upright.

Here is the contrast between those who take the long-term view
and those who look for ‘get rich quick schemes’. The saying goes
that ‘if a scheme looks too good to be true, then it probably is’, so
beware. As Christians, it is right to …

DAY 32: Generous giving

Reading: Acts 4:32-37
‘All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had.’ v32
All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.

Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means “son of encouragement”), sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.

Whenever we hear the cry ‘we must return to New Testament
Christianity’, does the speaker include this passage? The early
believers were so caught…

DAY 31: Citizens of heaven and earth

Reading: Matthew 22:15-22
‘Give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.’ v21
Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him in his words. They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. “Teacher,” they said, “we know that you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are. Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay the imperial tax to Caesar or not?”

But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? Show me the coin used for paying the tax.” They brought him a denarius, and he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?”
“Caesar’s,” they replied.
Then he said to them, “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”
When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away.

Taxation is always a contentious …

DAY 30: Spending priorities

Reading: Luke 12:16-21
‘So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not
rich toward God.’ v21

And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’

“Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’

“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’

“This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”

What a contrast between the farmer and the birds of the air. In itself
the famer’s desire to have big barns and to store his crop was not
wrong. He was taking thought for and providing for the future. But
it was his desire to sit back an…

DAY 29: How shall I earn my money?

Reading: Luke 16:1-14
‘whoever is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much’ v10
Jesus told his disciples: “There was a rich man whose manager was accused of wasting his possessions. So he called him in and asked him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your management, because you cannot be manager any longer.’

“The manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do now? My master is taking away my job. I’m not strong enough to dig, and I’m ashamed to beg— I know what I’ll do so that, when I lose my job here, people will welcome me into their houses.’

“So he called in each one of his master’s debtors. He asked the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’

“‘Nine hundred gallons[a] of olive oil,’ he replied.

“The manager told him, ‘Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it four hundred and fifty.’

“Then he asked the second, ‘And how much do you owe?’

“‘A thousand bushels[b] of wheat,’ he replied.

“He told him, ‘Take your bill and make it eight hundred.’

“The master commended th…