The Exciting Life of Stewardship
According to God's Word Series
Read Time: 6 Minutes
George Müller (September 27,1805 – March 10, 1898) was a Christian that, after he began to seek the Lord, started a ministry that took care of thousands of orphans. He started institutions that fed, clothed, and taught the orphans about Christ, work, and gainful trades. He did all this by trusting in God. He never asked a single person for money to do the work. His intention was to show people how God could take care of us completely without relying on man at all.
He started taking care of orphans in a few houses that God supplied. The staff and supplies were continually supplied by God and never late. It was then on his heart to build an orphanage that would house 300 orphans. God gave him all the money, plans, and materials to do so and when it was complete it filled within 18 months and had a waiting list. The trials were always present but in everything he sought the Lord. He never let worry and fear discourage him from the abundance that he knew God could supply. Their needs were always met. He went on to start more orphanages and God continually supplied all that he needed for every one of them. It is no difference to God if George was taking care of 50 orphans or 1,000, God sent the money and supplies without fail.
George Müller's life is a living epistle and many books have been written about his life and ministries. He did more than just start orphanages, he started the Scriptural Knowledge Institute for Home and Abroad in order to reach more people with the Word of God. The following excerpt is from "The Autobiography of George Müller, You Too Can Experience Miraculous Answers to Prayer!"* Over the course of his life God taught him His Word and George applied it to the glory of God. The excerpt below is part of a chapter entitled "The Exciting Life of Stewardship" that was written 11 years after God laid on his heart to start the orphanages. George writes the following:
May 1, 1848. Whether we are called as missionaries or another trade or profession, we should carry on our business as stewards of the Lord. The child of God has been bought with the precious blood of the Lord Jesus. All that he possesses -- his bodily strength, his mental strength, his ability of every kind, his trade or business, and his property -- all belong to God. It is written, "Ye are not your own. For ye are bought with a price" (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
The proceeds of our calling are not our own in the sense of having freedom to spend them on the gratification of our pride or our love of pleasure. We have to stand before our Lord and Master as His stewards to seek His will concerning how He will have us use the proceeds of our calling. In 1 Corinthians 16:2, it is written, "Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God has prospered him." A contribution for the poor saints in Judea was to be made, and the brethren at Corinth were exhorted to give every Lord's day according to the measure of success which the Lord had blessed them during the week. Now, shouldn't the saints today also act according to this word? It is altogether in according with our pilgrim character to see how much we can afford to give to the poor or to the work of God every week.
We should also keep in mind the scriptural principle, "He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he that soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully" (2 Corinthians 9:6). We are abundantly blessed in Jesus, and we need no stimulus to do good works. The forgiveness of our sins, having been made forever the children of God, having before us the Father's house as our home these blessings should constrain us to serve God in love and gratitude all the days of our lives.
The verse is true, both in this life and in the life to come. If we have been sparingly using our property for Him, little treasure will be laid up in heaven. But if the love of Christ constrains a brother to sow bountifully, he will, even in this life, reap bountifully, both in blessings for his soul and in temporal things. "There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty. The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself'' (Proverbs 11:24-25).
"Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again" (Luke 6:38). This evidently refers to this life and temporal things.
Let us walk as stewards and not act as owners, keeping for ourselves the means with which the Lord has entrusted us. He has not blessed us that we may gratify our own carnal mind but for the sake of using our money in His service and to His praise.
A brother with small earnings may ask, "Should I also give? My earnings are already so small that my family can barely make ends meet."
My reply is, "Have you ever considered that the very reason your earnings remain so small may be because you spend everything on yourself? lf God gave you more, you would only use it to increase your own comfort instead of looking to see who is sick or who has no work at all that you might help them."
A brother whose earnings are small may be greatly tempted to refuse the responsibility of assisting the needy and sick saints or helping the work of God. He thinks it should be the work of a few rich believers in the fellowship. Thus he robs his own soul!
How much should you give of your income? God lays down no rule concerning this point. We should give cheerfully and not because it is required. But if even Jacob, with the first dawning of spiritual light promised to God the tenth of all, how much should we believers in the Lord Jesus do for Him? (See Genesis 28:22). If the love of Christ causes us to give, we will have this verse fulfilled in our experience. The Lord will abundantly repay us, and in the end we will find that we are not losers even in temporal things. But the moment someone begins to give for the sake of receiving more back from the Lord, or he stops sowing bountifully in order to increase his own possessions, the river of God's bounty will no longer continue to flow.
The child of God must be willing to be a channel through which God's abundant blessings flow. This channel is narrow and shallow at first, yet some of the waters of God's bounty can pass through. If we cheerfully yield ourselves to this purpose, the channel becomes wider and deeper, allowing more of the bounty of God to pass through. We cannot limit the extent to which God may use us as instruments in communicating blessing if we are willing to yield ourselves to Him and are careful to give Him all the glory.
We can be at peace and have confidence that God will always take care of us as we seek Him first and feel free to give. You cannot out give God, it is all His in the first place.
Other books about George Müller are "George Müller: Delighted in God" by Roger Steer and "George Müller of Bristol, His Life of Prayer and Faith" by A. T. Pierson.
* The Autobiography of George Müller, You Too Can Experience Miraculous Answers to Prayer!". Whitaker House, New Kensington, PA, 1985.