Summary: What is stewardship and why should I give?
Stewardship: A Matter of Choice
Illustration: A wealthy Texan was in the habit of giving his dad unique gifts on Father’s Day. One year it was lessons on hang-gliding. The year before that it was the entire record collection of Slim Whitman’s hits. But this past year he felt he had outdone himself. He purchased a rare kind of talking bird that could speak five languages and sing “The Yellow Rose of Texas” while standing on one foot. The talented bird cost ten thousand dollars, but he felt it was worth every penny. This would be a Father’s Day gift his dad would never forget.
A week after Father’s Day he called his father. “Dad, how did you like the bird?” His father responded, “It was delicious!”
Question: What do you do with the gifts that have been given to you?
II. A Matter of Defining
A. Stewardship: Webster – a man entrusted with the management of the household or estate of another. The word actually comes from the two root words: ‘sty’ meaning a pen for cattle and ‘ward’ meaning a keeper. In other words, a keeper of the cattle pen. A servant.
B. Stewardship - the management of another person’s property, finances, or household affairs. As far as Christians are concerned, stewardship involves the responsibility of managing God’s work through the church. God has appointed all Christians to be His stewards on earth. Stewardship is not an option, as Paul points out about his own call. Being a steward is a necessary part of believing the gospel, even if it involves sacrificing personal rewards (1 Cor 9:17). As the parable of the talents (Matt 25:14-30) shows, Christians will be held accountable for the way in which they manage God’s affairs as stewards. These matters include extending the church’s ministry through the preaching of the gospel (Col 1:24-28), supporting the church financially (Acts 4:32-37), and ministering to the sick and needy (Matt 25:31-46). (from Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Copyright (c)1986, Thomas Nelson Publishers)
C. Illustration: 1 Corinthians 4:1 tells us to be “stewards of the mysteries of God.” If you have ever been on a ship, you know what a ship’s steward is. Or if you have ever been on an airplane, you know what a steward or stewardess is. That person does not own the airplane or anything on the plane. The company owns everything, but he or she is entrusted with its care. That steward has been given the responsibility of taking the goods that belong to a higher authority and dispensing it to the people for their benefit. That is a steward – on an airplane or ship – and in the spiritual realm as well.
D. What are we stewards of? All that has been given to us. What has been given to us? EVERYTHING.
III. A Matter of Determining
A. We must determine what is required of us. Many people feel that if I don’t get too involved in church or get too involved in doing things for Christ, that He won’t ask too much.
B. Notice the text: vs. 2. That a steward “be found trustworthy.” KJV says, “faithful”