A summation and a review of the stewardship resources contained in the NIV Stewardship Study Bible.
NIV Stewardship Study Bible: Discover God's Design for Life, the Environment, Finances, Generosity and Eternity
Summary and Review
By Jerry Hoffman
In the Introduction to the The Stewardship Bible it states that this publication "was created to inspire Christians with the broader, holistic vision of Biblical stewardship as well as to be a practical guide for pilgrim-stewards who want to become more effective managers of all God has placed into their care. A fundamental goal in producing this study Bible has been to show that despite deep and enduring divisions within the Body of Christ there is also profound agreement on the basic points of Biblical stewardship among Christian authors."
The editors state that to become a good steward of the resources entrusted to our care we begin with a fundamental theme - God's owners of and dominion of over all. We manage God's stuff. This a profound privilege. "God is the Who of stewardship . . . Our primary responsibility is to the One who entrusted all things into our care."
They further claim that the Bible is "filled with examples of various kinds of stewards: effective and ineffective, faithful and unfaithful, wise and unwise. it conveys the mercy, grace and justice of God . . . (and) points to both the privilege and responsibility of stewardship . . . Stewardship is a central theme throughout Scripture . . . God has called you to be a steward. You have been commissioned as a manager in trust over God's estate."
The editors organize material according to seven "revealed" purposes of stewardship that reflect God's desires to develop within each of us: Unique Calling, Unquestionable Character,Unquenchable Compassion, Undying Commitment, Unending Celebration, Unparalleled Commission and Unwavering Conformity.
Articles throughout the Bible reflect on these themes. The determination to help readers incorporate this understanding is evident in a section titled: "God's Design for Effective Living: A Year-Long Journey to Becoming Mature Stewards." The reading plan proposes a biblical text to be read each day related to the seven purposes. For instance, every Monday there is a reading that reflects Calling. Every Wednesday it is Compassion and so it continues. The selection of texts (From Genesis To Revelations) further demonstrates how "stewardship" serves as a central theme as it purports to grow "mature stewards.
There are other prominent features that capture the imagination. Every book in the Bible contains a one page synopsis of the basic stewardship principles, key features and practical applications of the principles found in that book or letter.
To illustrate I found a perspective of stewardship in Ezra. The book of Ezra introduces characters and concepts that illustrate stewardship themes, sometimes through illuminations. Features include our responsibility to steward hope, the principles of giving in proportion to our ability, our responsibility to be stewards of God's "living" house. God's sovereignty over the world "economy and the importance of accountability."
Throughout the Stewardship Bible there are many "Exploring Stewardship articles that appear in relation to a particular text. One example is connected with a passage from Joshua 6:17-20. The article pick up the theme of "character." It titled, "Covetousness by Any Other Name." The article reflects on a writing by Pope John Paul II's encyclical letter. Here is a thoughtful quote from that article: "given culture reveals its overall understanding of life through the choices it makes in production and consumption."
There are "Profiles" about Biblical people who serve as examples of effective and ineffective stewards. A profile on "Elisha: Steward of Creation" examines Elisha's story and how his "ministry was a call to redemption of all God had lavishly created - our hearts, minds, bodies and the material world."
Stewardship Challenges identify obstacles which serve as stumbling blocks for the life's stewardship journey. There are 49 "Challenge" topics including impatience, grumbling, defrauding, idolatry, ingratitude, fear and dangers of wealth and satisfaction. Each challenge is connected with a text and in a variety of literary styles. An example regards a reflection on Leviticus 26:19, 30 on idolatry.
The Tears of an Idolater
Our tears tell more truth than the words that we say
The tears of a child demanding its way
The tears of a rebel slamming a door
The tears of a miser lusting for more
The tears of a beggar seeing only his need
The tears of a glutton blind to his greed
Invisibly tracing the lines of our heart
Devotion's blood sacrifice, idolatry's start
The flash of the knife in the gleam of the light
The whispers of lies in the darkness of night
Tear-stains lie pooled in the shadow of curse
Redemption submerged beneath schemes and blood thirst.
There are Illumination Quotes such as a quote from Gordon MacDonald: "God does not ask of us anything that he has not first done for us."
Additional resources include Crown Financial Ministries Biblical Index on Money and Possessions, Additional Reading Plans, Topical Index, Customized NV Concordance that ensure the most significant Biblical words and terms related to stewardship are available and Contributor Resources.
When I heard about this Bible I was hesitant about purchasing it. I have enough Bibles and a goodly number of stewardship books. I was suspicious that it would particularly prone to being utilized for proof texting purposes.
What I found was a remarkable resource that leads one to see how strong the stewardship thread exists throughout scripture. Every book has a stewardship theme. Most passages do as well.
I anticipate using this resource in my writing, preaching and teaching. In preparation for a forthcoming meeting or class, I am considering loaning the book to someone asking them to and come to the next meeting ready to share a portion of what at they discovered and what difference this could make by taking it seriously.
This comprehensive source opens the door for a year-round study that can lead to more maturity among all stewardship leaders. This includes a perspective that looks at stewardship as a major life theme for those who are faithful disciples.
This resource has an enduring capacity that makes it well worth the investment.
To purchase this book, contact the
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For a helpful video overview go to http://vimeo.com/9215333 NIV Stewardship Study Bible Guided Tour.
This NIV Stewardship Study Bible trailer provides a 30,000 foot view of the rich resources found within this study Bible. Whether you are pastor, deacon, elder, financial planner, development director, ministry leader, fund-raising consultant ... or simply someone interested in becoming a better steward of the resources entrusted to you by God, you might want to check out this video!"
General Editor - Stephen J. Grabill, Senior Research Scholar, Action Institute. This Bible has been developed in partnership between Zondervan, the Stewardship Council and the Action Institute.