Summary: The steward is not the owner; he is the one responsible for the well being of all that belongs to the Master.
------THE SACRIFICE OF GIVING
A steward is one who is responsible for handling the property of another.
1Co 4:2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.
1Pe 4:10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
Romans 14:12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.
It is not maybe so, but it is definite that we all must give a full account of the goods and the opportunities that are afforded us throughout life.
I. Examples of Bible Figures
A. Abel--brought the firstfruits of his flock (livelyhood) to God as a sacrifice
Gen. 4:4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering:
B. Abraham--obedient and willing to present his only son, Isaac to be sacrificed. Gen. 22:1-24
C. Moses and the Israelites--gave a variety of offerings and sacrifices for the construction of the temple. Ex. 25:1-8
D. Paul--a tentmaker; worked at a trade to give support to the ministry as well as meet his personal needs
Acts 18:3 And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers.
E. Christ--the ultimate example of sacrifice.
Eph. 5:2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.
2 Co. 8:9 For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.
F. Matthew--a tax collector
Mt. 9:9 And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him.
G. Joseph of Arimathaea--gave away his grave site.
Mt. 27:57-60 57 ¶ When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus' disciple:
58 He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered.
59 And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,
60 And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed.
II. Social and Material Purposes
A. Example of Zacchaeus
Lk. 19:8 And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.
--he showed proof of his repentance.
B. Testimony of David
Ps. 37:25 I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.
As christians, our dependency is upon God. He is the One who takes care of us. We should not turn to the government for our financial stability.
C. Spiritual Benefits
-we walk (live) by faith
-we draw near to God
-we find joy and fulfilment by obedience to His Word
- a certain amount of our recompense will be received when we get to the other side (eternal rewards)