READ Matthew 25:14-30. Consider for a moment that everyone on earth has the same amount of time in every day. President or paper boy, housewife or executive, farmer or financier–they all have exactly twenty-four hours in each day.
What differentiates people isn’t the amount of time available to them but the manner in which they exercise their gifts and talents within the available time. That’s what stewardship is about: faithfully developing and using our gifts, talents and resources within the amount of time God has allotted to us.
Within every stewardship relationship there are two parties involved: the master who hands out the resources and will one day ask for an accounting; and the steward who is entrusted with the resources and must eventually answer for how they were invested. When Jesus taught about his second coming, he drove home one important lesson: Only faithful stewards will be prepared for his return.
The parable he used to make this point involved three servants who each received a sum of money from his master before that master departed on a long journey. Upon his return the master discovered that two of the servants had invested the money and that one had buried it. When the servant who had buried the money began offering excuses, the master refused to accept them. Instead, he rebuked the lazy servant and punished him severely. Meanwhile, the faithful servants enjoyed the rewards they had received for their diligent labor.
Leaders are stewards. They manage multiple resources because they direct others in using their own resources. Reread Matthew 25:14-30 and consider ways of investing the multiple resources God has placed under your trust.
Stewardship and Who God Is
God has no needs, and he did not create the cosmos because he was lonely or bored. Instead, the created order is the overflow of the fountain of love that has always existed within the triune Godhead. As stewards, we participate in a world that derives its being and sustenance from the infinite, personal Creator. Read Psalm 104:1-35 for an inspired poetic meditation on the wonders of God’s world.
Stewardship and Who I Am
God has entrusted to us the dignity and responsibility of being stewards of the resources and creatures of this planet. When we shape, refine and creatively utilize the minerals, plants and animals that God has placed at our disposal, we are accountable for the results. Read Genesis 1:28-30 to review the mandate that was originally given to the man and woman before their fall.
Stewardship and How It Works
Stewards are expected to realize the maximum possible return on the resources which the master has entrusted to their care. In preparing his followers to be steward-leaders, Jesus told a parable that really caught their attention. It appeared to some that the great ethical teacher was promoting dishonesty! Read Luke 16:1-9 and reflect on the implications of this passage for our leadership roles as God’s stewards.
Stewardship and What I Do
In Genesis 39:1-41:57 Joseph provides us with a classic example of stewardship. Regardless of his circumstances, he utilized the resources available to him for great good. But which resource is most important to a steward?
Passage to Memorize this Week
2 Chronicles 1:8-10 Solomon answered God, ‘You have shown great kindness to David my father and have made me king in his place. Now, LORD God, let your promise to my father David be confirmed, for you have made me king over a people who are as numerous as the dust of the earth. Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?’
– Bible Gateway.Com