“Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.” – 1 Corinthians 4:1-2
We are appointed by God to experience over, above and beyond what we have known, particularly in finances. It is therefore imperative that we understand the crucial concept of stewardship. Stewards are trustees responsible for the things of God. God has committed sacred things to our trust and He observes how we choose to administrate. The prime prerequisite of a steward is faithfulness.
A steward is one chosen and appointed, as a result of trust, for the management of affairs and the estates of another. Not only are we sons of God, but in God’s household economy, He has chosen certain sons to manage certain affairs. The measure of trust and entrustment differs in degree with each person. Stewardship entails the position, the duties and the services of a steward. We have been entrusted with the stewardship of the mysteries of Christ. In this age in which we live, what God once held secret, in His own confidentiality, has been disclosed – the message concerning Christ whom Paul preached; our union with the resurrected Jesus, our placement in His office. In the administration of making Christ known, there are different affairs given to each son of God to manage in the body of Christ for the furtherance of the Gospel. Whether they are aware of it or not, they have been given charge and are held responsible on how they manage what has been entrusted to them.
Stewardship relates with our walk with Christ. There is a walk of faith beyond mere profession of Christ. It speaks of us being brought to full stature, equipped for the work of ministry. We are collaborators with God. In other words, He depends on us to give coordination to Christ in the earth. Whatever God is to do in the earth today will be done through us. Stewardship implies that God bestows responsibilities to His sons. If you are born into a household of power yet are not given any responsibility, it implies that you are not received as a member of that household. One of the signs of your acceptance is that you are given charge over the affairs of your father’s house. Jesus was aware of His stewardship at the age of twelve (Luke 2:42-49).
We are given responsibility for the use of everything entrusted to us. Whatever it is you have is a gift of trust: life, physical being, your intellectual property, your skill, time, abilities, material possessions, the opportunity of service to others, your knowledge of the Gospel and your participation in its furtherance. These details are all included in stewardship. You are to serve as a manager of God’s possessions. You are to view life as a divine opportunity and seek to exercise faithfulness in what is entrusted to you in your sphere of influence so as to qualify for higher responsibilities. Promotion comes in your life as a result of exhibiting faithfulness.
Stewardship, simply described, is wisdom for the unselfish use of life. Selfishness is the most destructive force on earth. If you are the only beneficiary of what you have, it is a clear indication that your days will not be long. You have been placed on earth to be the extension of the hands of love of our heavenly Father. There is no executive rulership without faithful stewardship (Luke 12:42-44). To have reigning capacity, you must first of all be found a faithful steward. When a servant fulfils their task, it is considered a duty. But when a son fulfils a charge given to him by his father, it is called honour because he is not required to do it by obligation. When the son despises the charge given to him by his father, it is called dishonour. Jesus says the faithful steward will be made ruler over the household of God (Luke 12:44).
This stewardship involves multiple aspects of our lives but the basic, most fundamental aspect of our stewardship as taught by the Lord Jesus Christ, has to do with money.
“If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?” Luke 16:11
The Lord Jesus says that the least domain where we are to exercise faithfulness in stewardship is with “unrighteous mammon”, that is, material wealth. Unless you are faithful in this domain, greater riches will not be entrusted to you. How do you use money? How do you consider your possession of it? What is your disposition about money relating to God, yourself and others? Many have come to the erroneous conclusion that God does not want us to have things. No, on the contrary, God does not want things to have us. He wants to entrust you with true riches and for true riches to be entrusted to you, you must first be found faithful in the least domain of stewardship – money.
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