We have been discussing re-thinking Christianity and it’s principles for the last few weeks. We looked at rethinking what it means to be a Christian (a follower of Christ), we looked at re-thinking worship (coming to worship and giving Him our all)…today, we want to look at re-thinking stewardship.
Many will check out because they consider a message about stewardship to be about money. While money is a portion, it is not all of stewardship – not by any means.
Look at what Jesus said about stewardship in Luke 16:1-13.
This can be a confusing scripture, so let’s begin by defining what a steward is. This is not a term we use regularly in our culture.
A steward is one who is entrusted with the management of another person’s property. This person handles all the business of another – property, money, everyday dealings.
In this case, this steward was not doing what he was suppose to and was about to be let go. In order to help himself out, he goes and takes care of the debts others have with his boss by cutting them a deal. This is so they will think highly of him when he needs a job. He is thinking beyond today into the future.
The boss (or master) commends him…not because of his dishonesty, but because he was willing to look beyond today. He was working out a plan for the future. It doesn’t say he didn’t still get let go.
Jesus shows us that people of this world plan for their future better than His followers plan for their future. Of course, a Christian’s future is beyond this world. So, let’s look at couple of lessons for us as stewards.
First, who is your master? If your master is yourself or this world or anyone/anything in this world, then you will take care as such.
If your master is Jesus, then you are serving Him. You are a follower of Christ. You are here because of Him and here to do His will and walk as He instructs. That means that you are not here to satisfy your own desires, but do as you master commands.
Second, if your master is Jesus Christ, then you realize that the things of this world are temporary. If they are temporary, then they are, in a sense, on loan. If they are on loan, then we are to take good care of them as our master would.
So, we are basically given things in this world to do as Jesus would have us to. That means we really have no ownership of things here. If you think you have ownership, check out what people are able to take with them when they leave this world…not the things of this world. They are on loan. That is why we are told to store up our treasures in heaven.
That gives a new perspective…an eternal perspective. If we have an eternal perspective, then we see that so many of the things we want are not worth our time and effort. If we are truly stewards for the Lord, then our time, our talents, and our resources are all to be used for Him…they are all His on loan to us.
Third, when we are given things to manage, we are to do that in a way that is pleasing to the Lord. Does that mean that we don’t enjoy life? That means that we have an eternal perspective of enjoying life. We see that doing things for others in the name of the Lord is joyful. We see that giving is better than receiving. We see that we are blessed so we can help other people. We see that we can support those in the mission field…those serving the Lord and giving of their life.
I wonder what kind of steward we are for the Lord. Will we be trusted with heavenly treasures because we have been faithful with the things of this earth? Do we need a change in our perspective?