Summary: Everyone is given Time, Talent, and Treasure. How shall we invest each of these? God owns us, and he definitely has priorities for us to follow in these matters.
Looking at Stewardship
Pastor Eric J. Hanson
October 1, 2006
What is Stewardship Which Honors God?
Let’s define some terms and frame an understanding now.
Steward: one who manages property belonging to another
Stewardship: the office (that is to say “function”) of performing management
“Let a man regard us in this manner, as servants of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. In this case, moreover, it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy.” -I Corinthians 4:1-2
The overriding requirement and qualification for correct stewardship is trustworthiness.
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the sky, and over the cattle, and over all the Earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the Earth.” And God created man in His own image. In the image of God He created him; male and female he created them. –Genesis 1:26-27
Read the parable of the Talents using dollars. (Matthew 25:14-30)
Note: Each talent of silver is worth about $10,000 dollars today.
Romans 14:10b –13: We shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, “As I live says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall give praise to God.” So then, each one shall give account of himself to God.
The whole concept of Stewardship goes all the way back to the plan God laid out for mankind in Genesis Chapter one. We human beings are called, under God, to govern this planet. Because of sin, we have usually done so very poorly across the millennia, relying mostly on our own motives and opinions to guide us, as nations, as families, and as individuals.
This limited message can not deal with the largest issues of caring for the entire planet and everyone and everything on it. Instead it will focus in on how proper stewardship which honors God, relates to the local church congregation, and to the families and homes which make up any congregation.
Major Elements of Christian Stewardship
The Bible has a lot to say about the responsibilities of Godly people in regard to the three areas that we have stewardship choices in. To make these easy to remember, I’m borrowing a series of terms that others have used, which sums the matter up nicely. Here are the three:
These are what God puts into our hands. He calls us to make wise choices about how we invest each of these. The overriding question for each Christian, when thinking about the future account that he or she will give before God, is this: How shall I best use the time God has given to me? How shall I best develop and use the talents that God has built into me? How shall I wisely and properly spend, invest, and give of the financial treasure that passes through my hands in this lifetime?
Every man, woman, and child needs to consider these huge, life directing questions. Each of us needs to bear in mind the fact that our time, our talent, and our treasure, are sacred trusts from God.
Every believer is called to consider these matters in light of eternity. We will give an account of our life to God. As one of our opening scriptures states, “We shall all stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ.”
Every member of the family of God; that is to say, every person who has been born into the Kingdom of God through saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, should weigh this great and overriding matter whenever they make personal plans and choices.
The materials we use to build our life story will be tested on a future day at the Judgment seat of Christ. These building materials will undergo some fiery testing. Listen to this Bible passage now and put yourself into the scene it creates. (Read I Corinthians 3:11-15) Ask yourself this question: How will your choices concerning the use of your time, the development and use of your abilities, and your financial prioritizing, stack up on that day?
Remember this: There is a reason that these choices are so important to God. That reason goes all the way back to Genesis Chapter one and God’s overall plan and purposes for the human race to rule over this planet as wise stewards who honor God and who carry out his will in the Earth.
Looking Briefly at Each Major Element of Stewardship
“You have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.”
“You were bought with a price; do not become the slaves of men.”
As we consider today, the importance of our stewardship choices; we would do well to bear in mind the Bible passages we have just read. We are never independent of God. Each of is, in fact, a part of the Body of Christ here on Earth. We are all vitally connected to Jesus himself, who is the head of His body. We are also all vitally connected to each other as fellow parts; fellow living cells in the Body of Christ. Therefore, every choice we make impacts the work of the Lord, and impacts the lives of our fellow believers. Even our passive choices to let things slide rather than to actively pursue excellence in our choices and in our church life involvement, impacts the Lord’s Church and his work in the Earth.