The Great Purpose of Christian Stewardship
Retired missionary Paul R. Lindholm begins a reflection on what he views as the overriding purpose of Christian stewardship--glorifying God--with a humorous vignette:
A church choir director asked a clerk in a music store for a copy of an anthem with the title, "The Glory of the Lord." The clerk called to the person working in the storage shelves for a copy. Finding none, the clerk called down: "The Glory of the Lord" is out of print.
In print and in thought, the shekinah glory of our Lord does not have the prominence nor attention it should have.
The Westminster Shorter Catechism highlights this subject in its very first question and answer:
Q. 1. What is the chief end of man?
A. Man's chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.
What a mind-boggling thought: God created us for the purpose of glorifying and enjoying him! Are you tempted at first glance to question God's motivation? The fact is that God is a spiritual being who is social. Certainly he enjoys intimacy within the Godhead and among the angels. But beyond that, he desires authentic and voluntary fellowship with the beings he created to be in relationship with him. The enjoyment part is reciprocal (see Zep 3:17). And Psalm 8:4-5 even proclaims that God crowns us with a measure of glory and honor. When we think of stewardship how readily does this aspect occur to us? Lindholm goes on:
Before Solomon built the temple in Jerusalem, his father King David had the Ark of the Covenant that contained the two stone tablets on which were engraved the Ten Commandments brought there.
The Ark was the symbol of the presence of God. When the Ark was first placed in the tabernacle in Jerusalem many offerings were made. Then a long hymn of thanksgiving was sung with the chorus accompanied by a large instrumental band. In the hymn were the lines:
Declare his glory among the nations...Ascribe to the Lord the glory due to his name (1Ch 16:24,29).
The words, "Ascribe to the Lord the glory due to his name" [appear] many times throughout the Psalms.