Stewarding the Blessings of God
Introduction: What is a Steward?
A biblical world view of stewardship can be consciously defined as: “Utilizing and managing all resources God provides for the glory of God and the betterment of His creation.” … “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.” (Psalm 24:1)
Every faculty you have, your power of thinking or of moving your limbs from moment to moment, is given you by God. If you devoted every moment of your whole life exclusively to His service, you could not give Him anything that was not in a sense His own already.
– C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
We are talking this morning about being good stewards (managers of all the things God has blessed us with).
What Has God Blessed You With?
Think about this for a moment…
Psalm 119:1–2: “How blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord. How blessed are those who observe His testimonies, who seek Him with all their heart.
Psalm 119:161, “My heart stands in awe of Your words.”
God’s Word also helps us stay pure. Verse 9 (Psalm 119) is well known: “How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Your Word.” We read in verse 11, “Your word I have treasured in my heart that I may not sin against You.” Do you have any doubt that God’s Word encourages holiness? Look at verse 101: “I have restrained my feet from every evil way, that I may keep Your word.”
Your statutes are my delight;
they are my counselors. (Psalm 119: 24)
We will come back to these blessings, but let’s first look at a parable of Jesus in Matthew’s Gospel that reminds us that…
We Need To Steward God’s Blessings in Three Ways:
Matthews 25: 14-30…
Besides our responsibilities as stewards, there are two other things that stand out to me in this passage:
Three blessings we need to steward:
1 Timothy 6: 17-19…
17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.
How are we managing these thing?
By revelation, I mean the revealed Word of God…For example, Matthew 13: 10-14 says this:
10 The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?”
11 He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12 Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables:
“Though seeing, they do not see;
though hearing, they do not hear or understand.
14 In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:
“‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.
God knows that some who hear the Word, will choose not to receive it. And yet, if we would just grab hold of it and allow Him to sow it into our hearts amazing things can happen.
Illus: 1 kernal of corn will produce a stalk of corn. A stalk of corn typically has two ears. The average ear of corn has 800 kernals. What does that mean? Out of 1 kernal of corn can come 1600 kernals.
When we sow what God has given us…including His Word, God can multiply it beyond our imaginations!
And yet, we so often receive the Word and never do a thing with it…just like the steward who buried the talent he received in the ground. This was what the Hebrew writer was expressing to the Jewish Christians to whom he was writing in chapter 5, verses 11-14…
11 We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. 12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.
A Message to Preachers…1 Corinthians 2: 1-10…
Do you know why I always preach using the Word of God? Because I have a responsibility to do so.
As a pastor/preacher, God has entrusted this gospel mystery (Paul speaks of in 1 Corinthians 2) to our stewardship. I have been given the awesome responsibility of protecting, preserving and promoting the growth of every believer, the only way of salvation for the world.
And what does that trust demand from us? Well, there’s just one absolute requirement for stewards. As the key thing for a servant is obedience, so the supreme need for stewards is faithfulness.
“It is required of a steward that he be found trustworthy or faithful.”
That is at once both comforting and challenging. As a minister of the gospel, I don’t have to be brilliant or original, I don’t have to be impressive, I don’t have to be perfect, I don’t even have to be successful (as the world defines success). But I do have to be faithful.
Something I read this week reminded me there are two things that are required of the those would be trustworthy stewards of God’s mysteries.
The first is to be faithful to the gospel message itself, that is, faithful in our doctrine or teaching of New Testament truth.
There is a second way in which servants of Christ must be faithful, and that is in striving to lead lives that faithfully reflect the gospel values of the message that we proclaim. It’s not enough just to be able to accurately reproduce all the details of New Testament theology in our teaching if we do not also reproduce the details of Jesus’ life in our living. Paul said it this way to Timothy:
But as for you, O man of God, flee these [sins]. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.
My desire is that every time I share God’s Word with you is that you, too, would become stewards of the revelation of God’s Word:
Every time you read God’s Word…every time you hear it preached or shared in a Bible study…how are you stewarding what God reveals (his revelation) to you?
Are you applying into your lives?
Are you standing on His promises?
Are you living the Word in your sphere of influence?
We must be good stewards of our resources, of the revelation of God and also of the responsibilities we have been blessed with.
17 “‘Well done, my good servant!’ his master replied. ‘Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.’
We may not think we have large responsibilities as follower of Jesus, but whatever we are responsible for God wants to bless us with even more. But we must be trustworthy with whatever we have been given.
What things are you responsible for?
Your time, your talents and your treasure?
Faith in Action: Examine your life this week. Are you being a good steward (manager) of all that God has given you? What changes do you need to make to become a better steward of God’s blessings?