Luke 16:10-12—Whoever is faithful in very little is also faithful in much, and whoever is unrighteous in very little is also unrighteous in much. So if you have not been faithful with the unrighteous money, who will trust you with what is genuine? And if you have not been faithful with what belongs to someone else, who will give you what is your own?
According to my online dictionary, stewardship is defined as “a person who manages another's property or financial affairs; one who administers anything as the agent of another or others.” Did you know that we are responsible to God as His stewards? Everything that we have (including our lives), belongs to Him—our time, treasures and talents. Whether we have a lot or a little is irrelevant—what matters is what we are doing with what we have.
I find stewardship to be an incredibly exciting opportunity for several reasons. “A person should consider us in this way: as servants of Christ and managers of God’s mysteries. In this regard, it is expected of managers that each one be found faithful” (1 Corinthians 4:1,2). We get to manage God’s mysteries! By serving the Lord, we participate in and grow to understand His will and work—two areas that make no sense to those who refuse to trust Him.
“We always carry the death of Jesus in our body, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who live are always given over to death because of Jesus, so that Jesus’ life may also be revealed in our mortal flesh”(2 Co. 4:10,11). The world sees the reality of Jesus through you and me when we live dying to ourselves to live for Him as His ambassadors.
It is not a trivial matter to be a steward. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each may be repaid for what he has done in the body, whether good or bad” (2 Co.5:10). God holds us accountable for our actions, our character and our attitudes. But, instead of fearfully living afraid of His judgment, we have the great privilege to reap rewards that are literally out of this world! “And whoever gives just a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is a disciple—I assure you: He will never lose his reward!” (Matthew 10:12). “Look! I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me to repay each person according to what he has done” (Revelation 22:12).
If you spend your money on possessions they will eventually burn. The greatest 401Ks, savings accounts, toys and property are worthless for you upon death. There is no moving van that drives to heaven. If you prayerfully invest as much of God’s money as you can into advancing His kingdom, that investment pays an exponential, eternal dividend. Do the math—do you want to focus on limited investment or eternal investment? Do you want to prepare for good living when you are old or prepare for awesome living when you are eternally young?
You can get to heaven having really never taken the time to tell anyone about Jesus. You can build your career; have lots of charisma and clout focused on trumpeting your glory. When you die, your name fades on earth like a crumpled, fall leaf. Or, you can faithfully tell folks about Jesus, pray for their salvation, and hug in heaven a substantial amount of brothers and sisters God brought into eternity partly as a result of His working through you!
You can devote time for every conceivable amusement but that time once spent is lost forever and you will stand accountable for each hour. Or, you can focus on time fellowshipping with God and investing in serving people. The latter promises promotion and remuneration (reward) that lasts forever!
Stewardship is a privilege and a blessing. God thinks highly enough of you to let you administer what He owns on this planet He created. Have you ever thought of carrying a business card that says, Manager for God? Come on, that’s a lofty title you inherited when you put your trust in the King. Give God the glory He deserves from the time, treasures and talents He invested in you.
Christian stewardship begins not with an inventory of what we have, but from a recognition of whose we are.—Donald Joiner in Creating a Climate for Giving
An annual pledge of ten percent does not make us faithful, healthy stewards unless we discover the joy of managing faithfully the other ninety percent of our possessions as well.—Herb Mather in Don’t Shoot the Horse (‘Til You Know How to Drive the Tractor)
©2008 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)