Posted by: Brad Beaman | July 17, 2009

Stewardship: The Big Picture

Luke 12:42-48

River Crossing Chitwan

I attended a Stewardship conference and noticed that it was like a revival for me. I wondered why? What does stewardship have to do with revival?

Heaven is going to be great, but we don’t go immediately when we come to Christ. We stay here to be totally available to God. We are here on earth that our life will count for Jesus Christ.

If that means we serve the Lord in our business, in ministry, living on a foreign field, or take a swallow, even being a martyr then we must do everything with our whole hearts to glorify God. Stewardship means dying to self and living for Christ.

That is also what revival is, so that is why the stewardship and revival are very similar. In stewardship we say, Lord my life is at your disposal, only give me your direction.

Stewardship should not be limited to the context of financial giving. Christian Stewardship should have an effect over all of our life. When stewardship is limited in understanding only to the financial realm then this can causes the problem of legalism and leads to a loss of joy in living for Christ. Yet, having said that, finances and giving are a major part of what stewardship is. It is just not all of what stewardship is.
The word “steward” is rooted in the idea of a house manager. It literally is one who is over the house, a house-sitter. When the owner was gone on a trip the steward was the one who managed the household and took care of the business affairs. The steward is one who is entrusted with an important responsibility.

Let’s look at the passage where Jesus used the anology of a household manager and brings out important lessons on the big picture of stewardship.

Luke 12:42-48
The Lord answered, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time? 43It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns. 44I tell you the truth, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 45But suppose the servant says to himself, ‘My master is taking a long time in coming,’ and he then begins to beat the menservants and maidservants and to eat and drink and get drunk. 46The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers. 47″That servant who knows his master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what his master wants will be beaten with many blows. 48But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.

The master put a manager or steward in charge of his whole estate including his servants. The master takes a long time in coming and the steward begins to mistreat the servants. There are wise stewards and there are foolish servants. The steward is to distribute food and meet needs.

The master comes when the manager does not expect it. Whom much is given much is expected.

In the Luke 16 Parable of the shrewd manager the foolish steward (manager) is accused of wasting the rich man’s possessions. He then collected debts. He would lose his job. Whoever is trusted with very little can be trusted with very much. You can see this principle applied over and over in every day situations.

There are three elements in Jesus Parables
Master: Owner of Estate
Manager: Accountable, entrusted by the master
Estate: oversight entrusted to manager in Masters absence

Interpreting thisparables theologically.

Master: God the Creator, it is God who owns all the worlds’ resources.

Steward: manager is man- created in God’s image who has been given dominion over the world.

Estate: all facets of life, the world, all creation, man was given dominion over the earth to rule over it.
This is why when we stress the importance of Christian giving; it should be done in the larger context of stewardship in the Broad basis. There is a challenge to the individual to be responsible with all areas of life.
Even as a church you are called to be faithful to what you are entrusted with. With your money, the gospel, the building and your community. You should be wise in giving to the Lord and not wasting the money you have.

A giving God expects a giving people. Every individual is responsible for how he manages every area of his personal life. You have only one life to live and you must live it well.

You can’t be a good steward using the Bibles standards, unless you are first giving to God. That is giving your tithe. But giving ten percent to the Lord first doesn’t mean you have fulfilled your duty as a steward.
You are a steward of Spiritual gifts (1 Peter 4:10), the gospel, paying taxes, voting, getting involved in moral issues, helping people who can’t help themselves.

You are a steward entrusted with the Gospel. God has chosen to use man as the steward of His estate, to expand the Kingdom of God by proclaiming the Gospel. The Great Commission is stewardship at its best.
The first key to stewardship is to know God and to know him intimately. Do you see the revival aspect of stewardship? You must know and love God and to desire to give to him. When you really love God it becomes a joy to give in all areas. Giving to God and to the Lords work is not a legal bondage tied around your neck. It is a privilege and a joy. Stewardship includes upkeep of your own body, the temple of God. In short, bringing glory to God.

We do not have our assets to accumulate wealth, but only to be used to further the kingdom of God. There must be vast expenditures to expand the kingdom of God. The money spent, since the time of the great commission to fulfill the great commission would be staggering. The same is true with the man hours given. Make every decision in light of the great commission. That is good stewardship.

Stewardship involves giving, but it involves giving up too. If we are going to give our finances, then there is another side of stewardship. It means giving up in other areas. It might mean driving a more economical car. It could mean living in a lower priced house. It might mean spending less on entertainment. It takes a willingness to make sacrifices.

Stewardship is a responsibility to live according to God’s will. Ultimately stewardship means dying to self and living to Christ. It means to dedicate yourself completely to Christ. When we grasp the big picture of stewardship we experience a joy in our life, a revival when we are totally committed to God as a truly good steward.

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Responses

  1. Ultimately stewardship means dying to self and living to Christ.

    what hypocrisy. a pastor told me that Self is a sin S I N the middle of sin is I but he has a house & a luxury car. when you deny yourself you won’t be able to be a steward. stewarship involves work, action.

    I wonder how much televangelist pastors are making a month? in christianpost, they posted that televangelist are making $147,000 / year. that more than $10,000 / month. that is why their teachings are stupid. they talk about self denial & all those ‘self=sin’ teachings. but look at their lifestyle. they could not & would not want to get a job. earn minimum wage, deal with politics at work.


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