Stewardship

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.

  • Stewardship – The act of being a steward
  • Steward – head, chief, captain, one who is in charge of a particular function, an activity, project or job
  • Faithful and wise steward

Luke 12:41-48 – Then Peter said to Him, “Lord, do You speak this parable only to us, or to all people?”  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?  Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes.  Truly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all that he has.  But if that servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and be drunk, the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.  And that servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.  But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.

What has God given to you?

  • Money
  • Job
  • Land
  • Family
  • Ministry
  • Talent
  • Education

How are you managing those things God has given to you?

  • Are you responsible
  • Are you industrious
  • Are you lazy

Matthew 24:45-46 – Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season?  Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing.

Matthew 25:14-30 – For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them.  And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey.  Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents.  And likewise he who had received two gained two more also.  But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money.  After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them.  “So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’  His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’  He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’  His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’  “Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed.  And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’  “But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed.  So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest.  Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents.  ‘For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away.  And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

God expects us to use all He has given to us to advance, promote, to carry on the Gospel message.

Steward of mysteries

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

In every part of our life we are to:

  • Be faithful
  • Always strive to be the best we possibly can in all areas

2 Corinthians 6:4-10 – But in all things we commend ourselves as ministers of God: in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses,  in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in fastings;  by purity, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by sincere love,  by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,  by honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report; as deceivers, and yet true;  as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold we live; as chastened, and yet not killed;  as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.

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.

Use what you have that God has given you – He will bless you as you bless others. Minister to others with the great grace He has given you

Rules to be a good steward

  • Start where you are
  • Use what you have
  • Do all you can

Parable of faithfulness in a steward

Luke 19:12-27 – Therefore He said: “A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and to return.  So he called ten of his servants, delivered to them ten minas, and said to them, ‘Do business till I come.’  But his citizens hated him, and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We will not have this man to reign over us.’  “And so it was that when he returned, having received the kingdom, he then commanded these servants, to whom he had given the money, to be called to him, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.  Then came the first, saying, ‘Master, your mina has earned ten minas.’  And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant; because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities.’  And the second came, saying, ‘Master, your mina has earned five minas.’  Likewise he said to him, ‘You also be over five cities.’  “Then another came, saying, ‘Master, here is your mina, which I have kept put away in a handkerchief.  For I feared you, because you are an austere man. You collect what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.’  And he said to him, ‘Out of your own mouth I will judge you, you wicked servant. You knew that I was an austere man, collecting what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow.  Why then did you not put my money in the bank, that at my coming I might have collected it with interest?’  “And he said to those who stood by, ‘Take the mina from him, and give it to him who has ten minas.’  (But they said to him, ‘Master, he has ten minas.’)  ‘For I say to you, that to everyone who has will be given; and from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.  But bring here those enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, and slay them before me.’”

We are all stewards of what God has given us.  When He returns will He find us faithful?  Have we used what He has blessed us with to further His kingdom?

In that which has been entrusted to you, be faithful.  Whether it is little or much, whether you are old or young, educated or illiterate, rich or poor, be faithful to God so He can use you, bless you and reward you.

Summary:  God has given all of us who are born again much grace that enables us to give to others of His goodness.  Have we done so?  Have we been faithful?

  • Reach out and touch someone
  • Find a need and fix it
  • Find a hurt and heal it
  • Find a soul and lead them to Jesus Christ
  • S – Sincere
  • T – Trustworthy
  • E – Earnest
  • W – Watchful
  • A – Actively involved
  • R – Responsible
  • D – Diligent

Servant Hood/Stewards of the Mysteries

1 Corinthians 4:1-2

Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.  Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.

  • Servant hood

How many women, when they plan a meal and company is coming, ignore everything about that dinner engagement until the very last minute….They start at the beginning….They start where they are…They tear apart the food pantry or the cupboard where they have stored their food and use what they have….then they do all they can.

How many men plan  project, let us say building on to their house….they plan ahead….they start where they are….they use what they have….and they do all they can.

No one begins in the middle of a meal or in the middle of a project.  You start at the beginning.  God did the very same thing.

Genesis1:1 – In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

We all know the creation story and we know one of the first things God did was to make the heavens and the earth.  What would have happened if He had created man first?  No place to live, eat, sleep.  God is a God of order.

Our spiritual life must be ordered by Him and in Him.  Otherwise, we will have chaos in our life. 

  • Do you want your life to bring glory and honor to the Lord Jesus Christ?

Today is the very first day of the rest of your life.  You probably cannot do anything about most of the things that already have taken place in your life, but you can do something about Now.

Start where you are – use what you have – do all you can.

Mark 9:33-37 – Then He came to Capernaum. And when He was in the house He asked them, “What was it you disputed among yourselves on the road?”  But they kept silent, for on the road they had disputed among themselves who would be the greatest.  And He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.”  Then He took a little child and set him in the midst of them. And when He had taken him in His arms, He said to them, “Whoever receives one of these little children in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me, receives not Me but Him who sent Me.”

This passage deals with the subject “Who is the greatest?”  To be great, we must first be a servant – to all.

  • Stewards of the Mysteries – Administrators of the Gospel Truth of God

Colossians 2:2-3 – I want you woven into a tapestry of love, in touch with everything there is to know of God. Then you will have minds confident and at rest, focused on Christ, God’s great mystery. All the richest treasures of wisdom and knowledge are embedded in that mystery and nowhere else. And we’ve been shown the mystery! I’m telling you this because I don’t want anyone leading you off on some wild-goose chase, after other so-called mysteries, or “the Secret.”  (The Message)

Servant Hood/Stewards of the Mysteries – what does it all mean?  How do we understand this?  First we must know Jesus Christ personally, not just a name in a book, not just a name you hear occasionally as a swear word, not just a good man, not just the leader of one of the world’s religious beliefs.

1 Corinthians 2:14 – But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

To know Him, to have an ongoing minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour, day-by-day, seven days a week, 365 days a year….know Him as your Lord and Savior, your strength, your helper, your comforter, your healer, your provider.

To know Him, eat, work, sleep, dream, breath, be totally absorbed with Him in your life so ultimately nothing else matters.  To be so full of Him that we do not care about anything else but serving Him and doing what He wants.  To be that kind of follower of Jesus is to truly be His disciple.

Philippians 3:10 – that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.

To live this verse we have to totally surrender to Him 100%.  We cannot know Him like this verse says “in the power of His resurrection” unless we first have died to sin, have laid it all down.

When you say, “I can’t do this or I can’t do that,” referring to a habit or a character management issue like temper, patience, lack of control, whatever it might be, you make God and His Word a liar. 

Philippians 4:13 – I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Start where you are – use what you have – do all you can.

You may fall flat on your face the first time you try to determine that you are going to be what God really wants you to be rather than being a false advertisement of what God says you can be.  Get your mind off “I can’t” and on “I can.”  Hold up your hands in front of you and do a ten-finger prayer.  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  When temptation comes and you feel like you cannot…hold up your hands in front of you and say, “With God’s help, I can.”

As you have that close relationship with Him, be the servant of all you come in contact with.  You cannot be thinking about yourself if you are trying to help someone else.  To have this kind of relationship and be a servant – wow!  Live your life and wake up in the morning so full of His love and knowledge of His Word that you pray, “OK God, here I am.”

  • What is your will for me today? 
  • What do you want me to do? 
  • Where do you want me to go? 
  • What do you want me to speak?
  • Who do you want to put in my path?
  • How can I make a difference?
  • How can I stand between eternal punishment for sin and the sinner and point them to You?

All this cannot be done in a moment’ time.  There are the three rules to get to that point.

Start where you are – use what you have – do all you can.

Look again at our text – this time from The Amplified Bible

1 Corinthians 4:1-2 – So then, let us [apostles] be looked upon as ministering servants of Christ and stewards (trustees) of the mysteries (the secret purposes) of God.  Moreover, it is [essentially] required of stewards that a man should be found faithful [proving himself worthy of trust].

  • Faithfulness – this is where we should start. 

It is required in stewards to be faithful, not it is required of stewards to be faithful.  “Of stewards” would indicate something we do.  “In stewards” indicates something internal, inward, an ongoing developing influence of the power of the Holy Spirit in your life.

  • Faithfulness comes by way of a relationship with Christ
  • Faithfulness is not an attribute or character that is learned
  • Faithfulness is not something we put on in the morning like a garment
  • Faithfulness is a life style of one whose heart, mind, soul and body is fixed securely on Jesus Christ.

Start where you are – use what you have – do all you can.

A servant does what his master requires.  Is Christ your Master?  If Christ is truly your Master, your Lord, He has the power of life and death over you.  If He is truly your Master, you will do, go, say and be what He wants you to do, go say and be.

1 Corinthians 6:20 – For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

Romans 6:16 – Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?

We must do what God requires.  We are no longer a free entity.  We belong to Christ.  We are members of His body.  The parts of His body work like the parts of one’s natural body.  He is the head; we are the parts.  He controls our actions.  That is, if we truly are part of His body.

At the same time that we are servants and slaves of Him that redeemed us, we are “free from sin,” “free from the penalty of sin,” free from the final destiny that sin brings upon mankind.  We are free in Christ to live godly or ungodly – our choice.  But as we yield our bodies, lives, hearts, minds, our entire being to Him, we become His.  We become His servants, His slaves out of love, not compulsion.  Love.

When we become truly His servants, we will obey Him, be faithful to Him and serve Him.

James 4:7 – Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

1 Corinthians 13:11 – When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.  Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God

Hebrews 5:13-14; 6:1 – For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe.  But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

Start where you are – use what you have – do all you can.

Philippians 4:13 – I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.