When you hear the word stewardship, what is the first thing that pops into your mind? Is it money? Tithing and giving? The church has historically done a pretty good job of making us aware of the principles of biblical stewardship when it comes to finances. But Dave Ramsey has already written several incredible books on the matter. If you are a believer and you want your financial house in order in accordance with the principles of stewardship, I strongly recommend that you and your spouse go through Financial Peace University. It will be one of the best things you ever did. (Dave did not pay me to say that- my audience isn’t big enough!)
If it’s not all about money, what is it about?
The principle of stewardship in scripture is something that we are introduced to early in Genesis and can see run straight through all the way to Revelation. God created us, man and woman, in His image, and gave us dominion over creation (Genesis 1:26). His creation. Meaning we are to care for it and be responsible for it, not just use it to meet our needs and satisfy our whims in whatever manner we see fit. We are meant to bring forth flourishing and thriving as we care for what He has entrusted to us. We are welcome to use these gifts for our own provision and pleasure, but are to always remember that we are not the owners, and must care for them as such.
Our basic stewardship model comes from the parable of the talents, or minas (Matthew 25:14-30; Luke 19:12-27). The master in this parable entrusted varying amounts to each of his servants. They understood clearly that it was expected that they would take what they had been given and increase it prior to their master’s return. Both servants that received the greater amounts took what they had been given and multiplied it several times over. Their reward was that they were put in charge of greater things, given more responsibility- kind of like a promotion. They had been faithful with little, so their master knew they would be faithful with much. But the servant who had been given only one talent buried it and did nothing with it, returning only exactly what he had been given. He told his master he was scared to risk the talent, for he knew his master was harsh and had high expectations. His master scolded him, saying that knowing this was true, he should have at least placed the talent in the bank where it would have gathered interest. The servant was cast out after what little had been entrusted to him was taken away and given to the servant who had doubled the five talents.
Time is short
We have a short amount of time here, this side of eternity. We do not know when that time will come to an end. It could be tomorrow. It could be 20 years from now. But we are tasked to take what time we do have and what has been entrusted to us and increase it, multiply it. What exactly has He entrusted to us? Resources, both natural and man-made. Time. Talent. Spouses. Children. Relationships. Community, both in and outside the church. Our physical bodies, including our minds. The Gospel message and the Truth of His Word. His image, meaning we should reflect Him and bring Him glory in the things that we do (Colossians 3:23). So, what does it look like to be a good steward of all these things?
Over the next 8 weeks, we are going to look closely at each of these areas and examine scriptures related to each one. If you will hang in there with me, you will walk away with a solid understanding of what we must do to one day hear “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
Are you on board?
Get ready, next week we will be launching the 7 Day Stewardship Challenge. I hope you will join us!