A steward is a person responsible for. . . maybe that is a little vague. In our families what are we responsible for? At our workplace what are we responsible for? In our school day what are we responsible for? This may still be a little too vague for most folks. What I mean is we can name numerous things in each of those questions that we may feel responsible for day in and day out. Just because we are responsible for many things, does that mean we are good stewards of those things? Well, what if I have a different opinion than you do of how that responsibility should be carried out?
Now, let’s put this idea on a needle’s point. As a Christian, how are you at being a steward of God’s possessions? As His steward you must come to the conclusion that everything is God’s! (Luke 16:1-15, 1 Corinthians 10:26, Acts 4:32) What I own is mine in relation to you, but anything and everything I and you see, hear, taste, touch and smell is God’s. If that is not specific enough let’s look at our lives, our abilities, our time, and our money.
Our lives when we dedicate them to our Savior are not our own anymore. Paul beseeches, begs those in Rome “by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” (Romans 12:1) We have stepped from the worldly realm into the spiritual realm as becoming a Christian.
We are no longer just concerned about ourselves, but we are in the position to give of ourselves as Christ gave for all. As Christ gave example through His life He also told His disciples, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:24-26) We search and study the scriptures to keep our disposition focused on those things above where Christ sits at the right hand of God.
Our abilities should be a blessing to us and in that we should return that blessing to others. How can our abilities bear fruit if we shut them up where no one can see or use them? There are abilities that each of us as Christians have that others do not. When we focus on ourselves, whether it be selfish or prideful, we take away the ability to share in those abilities that God has given us. In the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30 the two servants were rewarded even before the master came back. The one with “five talents went and traded with the same and made them other five talents. And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.” With each of them their lord said, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” Notice what was said about the servant with one talent: he was unprofitable. “And cast ye the unprofitable servant unto outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” We must be good stewards of our lives and also of our abilities to be pleasing unto God.
Our time is very valuable in our service to God. Why? We only have so much of it and that so much is so little compared to eternity. In our youth, time can be spent so foolishly, but the older we get the more wisely our time should be invested. “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:15-16) So precious is every minute of our life, one careless choice could cost one a lifetime of sorrow or regret. Needless to say we could meet eternity head on in a split second, never knowing when that second could occur. If we spend our time wisely whether it be in study, in service to God, or as an example to others, we can be assured we are moving forward being pleasing to God. We must be good stewards of our time, our abilities and our lives as we press on to the goal.
Our money is another marker for looking at how well we are at being stewards of those things which God has given us. This is another area where we need to invest wisdom. Christians are just like anyone else in having wants and preferences when it comes to money. But what sets the children of God apart from everyone else is giving to God on the first day of the week as He has commanded us. (1 Corinthians 16:1-2) Our attitude in how we give sets the stage for how we deem ourselves as stewards. In 2 Corinthians 8 the main point is the ministering to the saints. (The gift – money) But notice when attitude is right ,all is right. The churches of Macedonia gave in a great trial of affliction through the abundance of their joy and in deep poverty. They not only gave of their means but of themselves first. They set the mark, a high mark indeed! In verse 7 Paul stated that those at Corinth already abounded in everything: in faith, in utterance, in knowledge, in all diligence and in their love to Paul and his fellow labourers. Yet they had one more oath to fulfill. Paul writes in verse 11 – “Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of that which you have.” Being a steward of one’s money one must first have a willing mind to give of what he has.
In 2 Corinthians 9 again the ministering to the saints is mentioned, but verse 6 sums it up; “But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.”
The main point or word that keeps coming up in surrounding verses is grace. God bestowed His grace upon us so shouldn’t we give Him our lives, our abilities, our time and our money? After all, they are His to begin with and God loves a cheerful giver! As stewards we want to please our God. In pleasing Him we must become more and more like Him each day. No matter how much we give, we can never out give God! In anything! “Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift.” (2 Corinthians 9:15)