Stewardship CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
A steward is an individual who is a supervisor over another person’s stuff – in our lives we are stewards over some things that the Lord has given us. And in order to properly handle our stewardship we need certain qualities and we need to know for what we are responsible.
Here are the qualities and the areas of our stewardship. A steward needs to be:
Faithful – 1 Cor 4:1-2 – faithfulness involves carrying out your stewardship just like Jesus would do if he were here – faithfulness is one of the prerequisites to being given a stewardship in the first place – supervisors aren’t slackers first and then supervisors second – the Lord has to be able to count on you – you have to be faithful and then God will give you something over which to be faithful.
Now, the faithful preacher is steward of the mysteries of Christ – 1 Tim 3:16, the mystery of godliness, dealing with the deity of Christ – Col 1:27, the mystery of the indwelling of Christ – Eph 5:30-32, the mystery of the body of Christ – 1 Cor 15:51, the mystery of the Rapture – 2 Thes 2:7, the mystery of iniquity, dealing with the coming antichrist – Rev 17:5, mystery Babylon, dealing with the devil’s headquarters during the Tribulation – Rom 11:25-26, the mystery of Israel, dealing with her partial blindness now and her eventual salvation later.
These mysteries have been so perverted and corrupted by those professing to be the ministers of Christ that most church going people don’t even know these mysteries and certainly don’t know the truth of them – that’s because the ministers are not faithful stewards of the Lord. Moses was faithful [Num 12:7] – he did all that the Lord commanded him.
When you want to do something for the Lord, start by being faithful – don’t get the idea that you become faithful once you are given a stewardship – you start by being faithful in services and then in small things assigned to you and so forth.
Good – 1 Pet 4:10 – you have to be good at what you do – to ensure that, the Lord gives you a gift – and you are to minister that gift to others – that gift is the result of the manifold grace of God – otherwise you wouldn’t have anything to minister to others. This is a gift of the grace of God just like salvation is a gift of the grace of God.
Now a steward is good when he ministers rather than neglects his gift – he’s good when he ministers rather than promotes himself or his gift – when he ministers rather than uses his gift for himself or his personal gain – when he ministers rather than draws attention to himself – he gives God the glory because he is nothing apart from the grace of God and the gift of God.
Many a preacher failed to be a good steward because he used his gift to build his bank account rather than to build up and edify the saints entrusted to him – many a gifted singer failed to be a good steward because they used their gift for fame and fortune and popularity rather than to glorify God and help others sing his praises – many a gifted teacher failed to be a good steward because they relied upon man and man’s understanding of scripture rather than on the Holy Spirit for doctrine and instruction in the words of God!
Be a good steward by not neglecting the gift God has given you and by simply ministering that gift to one another regardless of how you may benefit.
Just – Lk 16:1-8 – this steward was unjust – he wasted the rich man’s goods – we need to be just and not waste the goods entrusted to us – we need to handle our Lord’s goods justly. There are many verses in the Bible that show you how to handle what the Lord has given you. And we need to follow those verses because God said that one day we will have to give account of our stewardship.
- A man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth
- 1 Tim 6:6-19
- 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
- He that trusteth in his riches shall fall; but the righteous shall flourish as a branch
- Matt 6:19-21
A budget helps in two areas – it allows you to spend less than your income and this allows you to give more – I have learned, “You can’t out give God but you can out spend him!” – What the world calls waste is often gain to God [Mary’s alabaster box of spikenard] and what the world calls gain is often waste to God [the prodigal son “wasted his substance with riotous living”].
Wise – Lk 12:42-44 – a steward must not only be faithful, good and just but he must also be wise – Pharaoh said about Joseph, “there is none so discreet and wise as thou art” – of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego the Bible says, “in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm” – Solomon prayed for wisdom and understanding.
You need wisdom in your stewardship and God will give it to you liberally – wisdom is in the fear of the Lord – wisdom is in the words of God – wisdom is in wise counsel – wisdom allows you to increase in responsibility in your stewardship and to not mess up like the servant in Lk 22:45. Wisdom will direct you to understand that good stewardship here has a major effect on you in eternity – in v.44 the wise steward will be made ruler over all that he hath – Peter and the apostles will be given 12 thrones – the men who increase the Lord’s pound will be given authority over a commensurate number of cities.
Conclusion: So stewards must be faithful, good, just and wise – and when you are, you will be well rewarded for how you handle your master’s goods!