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This page revised 12 Mar 11
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Stewardship: God's gift to us
In Luke 19, Jesus told of a wealthy man who was going on a trip. He told his stewards 'Look, I'm going away. You take over. You take my place; do what you think I would do.'
He didn't tell his servants, his stewards, what to do or how to do it. He simply said, 'you are in charge of this.' This man gave his stewards the freedom to use their own initiative. In essence, their master was telling them he trusted them to run his affairs with intelligence, judgment, and honesty.
This story gives honor and importance to the position of a steward. Like these servants we are free to choose how to best serve our Lord. There is no compulsion other than a willing and loving loyalty to Jesus Christ. There is nothing legalistic about the arrangement between our Lord and ourselves. This view is a million miles from the narrow notion that stewardship means squeezing a few more dollars out of people in a yearly funds appeal.
The Bible calls us to be stewards of all creation. This idea is set forth from the very beginnings of Scripture. In Genesis we learn how God magnificently created the universe, our planet home and all that exists on it, including mankind who he created in his own image.
In Genesis 1:26 God said, "Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth." From this beginning we have accepted our role as stewards of God's estate.
In the New Testament, the idea of stewardship is enlarged. Paul speaks of the Christian community in I Corinthians 4:1, as "servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of Christ." In I Corinthians 3:9, Paul spoke of Christians as "fellow workmen for God." I Peter 4: 10-11, says "As each has received a gift employ it for one another, as good stewards of Christ's grace: whoever speaks, as one who utters oracles of Christ; whoever renders service, as one who renders it by the strength which Christ supplies."
Stewardship is most meaningful, therefore, when Jesus Christ rules in our lives as our Lord and Savior. Jesus's teachings help us understand the nature and purpose of God and have fellowship with Him.
The Biblical idea of stewardship, therefore, is that a sovereign God created and directs the universe. Everything we have: time, talent, abilities, treasures are to be used to manage His estate.
Now we see the material creation in its proper relationship to man and God. We learn that we can achieve our proper place in creation by becoming honest responsible and faithful managers of God's things for God's ends under the Lordship of Christ.
Stewardship is a believer's response to God's love in creating, preserving, redeeming and sanctifying him. Stewardship is the Christian's management of his redeemed life and possessions to God's glory and man's benefit. Christian Stewardship is the fruit of saving faith.
How do we thank God?
Learn how we thank God for allowing us to be stewards of His Creation.
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