Summary: Eliezer was a good and faithful steward for his master, Abraham. We need to follow his example in being good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
Not many people know Eliezer of Damascus. He is not one of the most prominent of Bible characters. However, this man played a major role in the life of Abraham. In Genesis 15:2, Eliezer is identified as the steward of Abraham.
A steward is a person that is responsible for managing the property and affairs of others. In the case of Eliezer, he had a lot to manage for Abraham because Abraham was rich. Genesis 13:2, “Now Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver and in gold.” Eliezer, himself, mentioned how great a responsibility he had as he spoke of the way in which his master, Abraham, had been blessed by God - Genesis 24:34-35, “’I am Abraham’s servant. And the Lord has greatly blessed my master, so that he has become rich; and He has given him flocks and herds, and silver and gold, and servants and maids, and camels and donkeys.’”
So, Eliezer was responsible to oversee Abraham’s flocks and herds, money, all the other servants plus the camels and donkeys. Eliezer’s job was to make sure that Abraham’s household and business ran smoothly and profitably. As steward, Eliezer always had the task of making sure that he was promting Abraham’s best interests.
Through the years, Abraham found Eliezer to be faithful and dependable….so much so that Abraham chose him to carry-out a most important errand. Abraham, in Genesis 24, sent Eliezer hundreds of miles to find a wife that was spiritually suitable for Isaac. Eliezer had to find a woman who believed in the one true God. Of course, Eliezer succeeded in this task, with God’s help, by finding Rebekah for Isaac.
No matter what Abraham placed into Eliezer’s hands, Eliezer was found to be faithful and dependable in promoting his master’s best interests.
I bring Eliezer to our attention, today, because he is an ideal example for us to imitate.
In 1 Peter 4:10, we are told that we are to be “good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” Now, everything belongs to God. As we read in Deuteronomy 10:14, “Behold, to the Lord your God belong heaven and the highest heavens, the earth and all that is in it.” Even though God owns all things, He entrusts us with a portion of His possessions. In His “manifold grace” He grants to us all that we have and enjoy in this life. We are stewards of what God gives to us. Peter tells us in 1 Peter 4:10, that we are to be “good stewards” of what God gives us. On what basis are we to be judged as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ stewards? Verse 11 tells us that we are good stewards when we use all that we are given to promote God’s best interests - “so that in all things God may be glorified.”
Today, I want to touch upon three areas where we need to be “good stewards” for God. I want to consider three things that God has given to each of us that we need to faithfully and dependably use to glorify our Master.
1. Spiritual Gifts
The first area where we need to demonstrate good stewardship is the use of our spiritual gifts. The truth be told, the primary focus of 1 Peter 4:10-11 is the use of our spiritual gifts. Again, verse 10, “As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”
Please note with me certains truths that are taught in this verse. First, Peter declares that each of us has been given a “special gift.” There is not a single member of the Church who has not received from God a gift.
Secondly, we note that these gifts enable us to ‘serve one another’ in the Church. These gifts grant us the ability to meet the needs of our brothers and sisters. Each gift represents a ministry that God calls us to perform within the congregation.
Thirdly, only as we actively “employ” our “special gift” are we “good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”
The Apostle Paul admonishes us to be faithful in the use of our gifts, in Romans 12:6-8, “And since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let each exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.”
We each have different gifts given by God. Each gift is important. None are more important than any other. Only when each member actively uses their gift can a congregation grow as God intends. Ephesians 4:15-16, “we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by that which every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.”