WHAT IS STEWARDSHIP ?
Stewardship is having the wisdom to understand that everything we have is a gift from God, of which we are to be the absolute best caretakers. It’s a way of life, honoring God in everything we do with all His gifts. It’s living your life in a God-centered way rather than self-centered --- thinking of Him first before our own wants. It’s a way of having a heart to give back out of love a portion of every gift God has given us. In all this we have to remember that someday God will ask each and every one of us what we did with all of His varied gifts.
Stewardship is life altering and its rewards last an eternity.
Principles of Stewardship
1) The Principle of Ownership
The Psalmist begins the 24th Psalm with “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.” In the beginning of Genesis, God creates everything and puts Adams in the Garden to work it and to take care of it. It is clear that man was created to work and that work is the stewardship of all the creation that God has given him. This is the fundamental principle of biblical stewardship. God’s owns everything’s, we are simply managers or administrators acting on his behalf.
2) The Principle of responsibility
In explaining responsibility, Peel writes, although God gives us “all things richly to enjoy,” nothing is ours. /nothing really belongs to us. God owns everything, we’re responsible for how we treat it and what we do with it. While we complain about our rights here on earth, the Bible constantly asks, what about your responsibilities
We are called as God’s stewards to manage that which belongs to God. While God has graciously entrusted us with the care, development, and enjoyment of everything he owns as his stewards, we are responsible to manage his holdings well and according to his desires and purposes.
3) The Principle of Accountability
A steward is one who manages the possessions of another. We are all stewards of the resources, abilities and opportunities that God has entrusted to our care, and one day each one of us will be called to give an account for how we have managed what the Master has given us. This is the maximum taught by the parable of the talents. God has entrusted authority over the creation to us and we are not allowed to rule over it as we see fit. We are called to exercise our dominion under the watchful eye of the creator managing his creation in accord with the principle he has established. We will be called to give an account of how we have administered everything we have been given, including our time, money, abilities, information, wisdom, relationships and authority. We will all give account to the rightful owner as to how well we managed the things he has entrusted to us.
4) The Principle of Reward
In Colossians 3:2-24, Paul writes
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. The Bible shows us in the parables of the Kingdom that faithful stewards who do the master’s will with the master’s resources can expect to be rewarded incompletely in this life, but fully in the next.