Now that’s a good question!
As a pastor I cannot tell you how often I hear people tell me about all they have because of all they did to get it. One says, “I worked for years to get to this position in life and I deserve all that I have accumulated.” Another says, “It’s my money, I made it, and I will spend it any way I like.” And then there are those who insist, “It’s my life, I will live it the way I want.” What all of these individuals have forgotten is the fact that everything they have they have because God was so pleased to give it to them.
- Status in life . . . a gift from God
- Success in life . . . a gift from God
- Prosperity in life . . . a gift from God
- Possessions in life . . . a gift from God
- Life itself . . . a gift from God
What do we have that we have not been given? NOTHING! Daniel said succinctly that “God . . . holds your breath in His hand and owns all your ways” (Daniel 5:23 NKJV). Everything we have is a gift, a gracious gift from God, and because it is a gift, we have a responsibility to the Gift Giver in how we steward what we have received. Notice that I used the word steward—not use. A steward is someone who manages the property or affairs of another, and that is what we are. We are stewards of God’s property, not owners, and because of this fact, we need to see all of life as a gift and a trust. God has entrusted everything He has given to us to our care.
So . . . how are you doing in caring for the things God has placed in your care? Because God is the giver of every good gift (James 1:17), we are responsible to manage them for the expansion of His kingdom, not our own. This shatters the misconception that we have done our duty when we give God His small percentage. It is all God—“From him and through him and to him are all things” (Romans 11:36)—and when we see everything in this light, we see more clearly how we are to steward everything we have been given. Whether we are in plenty or in want, it is all God’s and thus we are responsible to Him to take good care of what He has given us.
Let a man regard us in this manner, as servants of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. In this case, moreover, it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy. (1 Corinthians 4:1-2)
If you’re not feeling uncomfortable yet, let me help you! Stewardship transcends money and possessions; it extends to the gifts, talents, and abilities God has given us to put into service for the expansion of the cause of Christ. This stewardship extends to the opportunities God has given us; we are to make the most of them for the glory of the King. It even extends to our families and friends and how we reflect Christ to them and make God attractive. And all of this is preparation for a glorious future, when God will make all of His children stewards of the new heavens and the new earth, for His glory, forever and ever.
What rules our hearts shapes our lives; if stewardship reigns in us we will be doing everything for the glory of God and the good of others. Jesus will be on the throne of our lives—not us or our possessions. Self-rule will be as far from us as the east is from the west when we surrender everything we are and everything we have to proclaim the kingdom of Christ to a fallen and broken world, as fallen and broken people who have been saved by His grace.
The great cry of the steward of the Savior is not, “My will be done,” but “Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven!” May that be the confession of our lives.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!