Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Life Shape Prayer & Discipleship Module 3 – New Creation Responsibilities Block 2 – Stewardship


“Steward” means: Manager; superintendent; overseer; (In the sense of one who assists the owner of a farm to manage the household or oversee the fields, and to deal out the proper portion to servants and even children of the owner who are not yet of age.)

From the time we are born to the time we die, each one of us is but a pilgrim traveler on a journey through this world which God created and still owns. Every person comes into this world naked and powerless over their tomorrows. As it is with birth so shall it be with death, each one of us finds ourselves at the mercy of things beyond our control. It is strikingly evident that we are only passing through this world and in need to borrow from the owner of this world everything necessary to this life.

When considering the rich, King Solomon said:

Ecclesiastes 5:15  As he came from his mother’s womb, naked shall he return, To go as he came; And he shall take nothing from his labor which he may carry away in his hand.

In Job’s most difficult days, having gone from great wealth to deep poverty, he considered:

Job 1:21  And he said: "Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD."

You see, God owns everything and He lends each person the use of things they need to accomplish the work to which God has designed them. From the days we spend on earth to the goods we might store up in hopes to pass them on to others, everything belongs to the Lord. In fact, God owns our very life. He is the owner and we are His stewards. How we manage what He lends us seems to be of great importance to Him.

Key Scripture: 1 Corinthians 4:2  Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.

Faithfulness is the single character quality most necessary for stewards. (Faithful to represent the owner’s wishes and not follow the goals or desires of the steward)

Jesus gives insight concerning the rewards of our stewardship responsibilities in the account of Matthew 25 and Luke 12. To some God will say:

Matthew 25:21 “… Well done, good and faithful servant …”

While to others God will say:

Matthew 25:26 “… You wicked and lazy servant …”

Luke 12
20  "But God said to him, ’Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’
21  "So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God."

Luke 12:42 And the Lord said, "Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his master will make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of food in due season?

It is required of a steward that a man be found faithful to the owner’s wishes and the owner’s goals and not to just their own enrichment. Everything over which we have control belongs to God. God allows us their use and enjoyment but certainly has a multipurpose plan which He intends we follow. Each one of us are stewards of this manifold grace of God.

What we do with what we have reveals who we are and what we believe.

We often think of stewardship in terms of managing someone else’s money. Although the Bible does speak plainly to us about how God wants us to manage the money He lets us oversee for Him while on planet earth, God also has other valuables which are worth far more than His money.

1 Corinthians 4:1  Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.

We are the assistants of Christ and managers of the mysteries of God which have been hidden from others. We are stewards of truth.
God has supplied each one of His Children with enough salt and light to supply the world in their generation. It is our responsibility as Born Again Believers in Jesus to be good stewards of this grace. We have been given the keys to the Kingdom of God and have free access to the manifold blessings of God and because of this, it is our New Creation Responsibility to take what we have received and represent God to others.

1 Peter 4:10 As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

Important Points
1.   We came to this life with nothing and so shall we depart.
2.   Everything belongs to God, we are stewards of His grace.
3.   What we do with what we have reveals who we are and what we believe.
4.   We will give an account to God for how we use the Time, the Talent, and the Treasury He has lent to us.
5.   It is required of a steward that one be found faithful.

Supporting Scriptures
Galatians 4
1  Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all,
2  but is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father.
Titus 1

7 For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money.