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)
III. The Tithe
Some believe that tithing was only for the dispensation of the law.
It is interesting that Abraham paid tithes 400 years before the law was even given.
Gen. 14:18-20 18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.
19 And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth:
20 And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.
Jacob did as well:
Gen. 28:22 And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God's house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.
10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
11 And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts.