Our Unchanging Stewardship

Posted by Site Admin On 12:19 PM

by Samuel D. Geroy

   Basic to the Christian's service for the Lord is the understanding and practice of stewardship.  First, we steward, not owners, and we must be joyful and thank God for it.  Job was a steward for the faith of his children.  He offered sacrifices to God for them (Job 1:4, 5).
   Like him, we give God glory and honor, recognizing His greatness as our Creator, Savior and Lord.  We invest and manage what God established, recognizing their value and His vision for us to see their potential and work to achieve their ultimate goals.  As God's steward, we see His resources as always sufficient and the only to make them plentiful is to surrender them all the Him.  We look at God's assignment and provision as enough, not deficient.  Therefore, we always invest God's resources from the sufficiency perspective, not from the deficiency one and we look at God not from a win-lose perspective but from the win-win view.

   In the parable of the faithful steward (Luke 12:41-48).  Jesus teaches us how to live successfully as this kind of servants, not evil ones.  Then we find the truth and accept it, we find a need and fill it, face a challenge and meet it, lost our lives to find it again, develop a plan and follow it, discover God's will and obey it, find our talents or gifts and share it, be tenacious and finish what we started.  Doing these, we will find that our vision and values will match, our lifestyle and lip service too, our conduct and character, our promises and performance, and our strategies and support.
   We are also stewards of the faith of our children. Faith must always start with fathers - like accepting the Lord Jesus as personal Lord and Savior, Bible reading, attending Church and fellowship with believers, have family devotion, say a prayer before meals, praying for others in all kinds of occasions and problems.
   We are also stewards of love.  David love Absalom despite his rebellion (2 Samuel 18:32-19:4)  and mourned for him deeply.  Best of all, David loved God above all else (Psalm 18:1; 31:23).
   Then we are stewards of consecration.  It is part of Jewish culture for parents to dedicate their children to the Lord (Exodus 13:2).  Joseph and Mary consecrated Jesus at the temple (Luke 2:22-24, 33).

   Believers are (and then) asked in the words of Paul to "give their bodies to a God as a living sacrifice" (Romans 12:1, 2) because it is the only reasonable service they can give Him.  Someone said that a man who fully consecrates his life to God will achieve the fullest accomplishment of his life.
   Next, is our stewardship to our family, being the most important component of our existence.  Without it, we would be very lonely.  Eli was successful as a priest of Israel but he failed as a father because he concentrated on teaching his colleagues and nation but not his children (1 Samuel 2:12-17).  He failed to discipline and build character in the lives of Hophni and Phinehas .  He also failed to discipline himself in little things, like food (he was a fat man) and his sons also abused in the way they took their share from the offerings (1 Samuel 2:15-17).
   Leading our children involves modeling (Proverbs 22:6).  And we start while they are young.  Next step is management basing on our discernment of each child's uniqueness, and teach him according to his temperament.  Finally, we put emphasis on creating wonderful memories for our children as early as possible for they will remember and embrace them as their own in their adulthood.  Like king Jehoshaphat of Judah, who for 25 years was a godly king (2 Chronicles 20:310.  His mother Azubah was an important factor in training him for that role.
   Leading the home means assuming responsibility for the health and development of our relationship as husband, wife and children.  Everything starts with the man in the house who initiates, develops intimacy, gives influence, instills integrity, makes clear the identity and show inner character.

   One more vital aspect of stewardship is giving.  One's use of money is the barometer of giving.  The wonder and amazing result is this - the more you give, the more you become frugal - meaning careful and wise in giving or spending money.
   A model are the Jews who were commanded by God to give tithes and offerings (Numbers 18:26) for sustenance of the priests and Levites (Numbers 18:8-28; Leviticus 22:30-33; Deuteronomy 12:18) for national religious festivals (Deuteronomy 12:6-17; 14:22-27) and for the poor (Deuteronomy 14:28).  The best example was king David who used cedar wood to build his palace, but all his gold and silver (from conquests) that totalled billions of dollars, he gave for building the temple of Jerusalem that was put up by Solomon later.
   True giving comes from a heart of generosity.  Here are some truths about generosity (Ecclesiastes 1:1-9):  Give to God first; givers receive a return; the return may not be immediate; giving does not keep us from misfortune; if you do not give, you cannot expect a return; the return will be proportionate to your giving; and the motive for giving is love.
   Boaz gave kindness and spirituality to Ruth.  He later married here and became the ancestors of Jesus Christ (Ruth 1-4).   A candle loses nothing by lighting another so: Serve others, Solve problems and Save causes.  The true Christian does not keep score with people, they just keep giving.  But a candle cannot give light when its fire dies.  Ananias and Sapphira who pretended to be compassionate were slain by the Spirit (Acts 5:1-11).
   Therefore, one cannot love without giving (2 Corinthians 8:12-15).  Paul encouraged Corinthian believers to be generous be telling about Macedonian churches that gave willingly despite deep poverty.  This teaches us that effective Christians and leaders are generous with themselves and with others.  The more they give, the more fruitful they become.
   All of the above are aspects of Christian stewardship that every believer must practice.