As the new year unfolds, let us consider stewardship. The Bible has much to say about it. 1 Corinthians 4: 1-2 declares, “Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful”.
When we enter into salvation the Lord Jesus becomes our Saviour. As we journey on with Him, He requires that we make Him Lord of everything in our lives.
A steward does not own anything for His personal gain. Everything he has comes from the Father’s bountiful provision: possessions, health, gift and ability, finance, time, relationships. The list is endless. It all comes from God, belongs to Him and is entrusted to the steward. God blesses and shares these benefits of His love and grace with us, but, as stewards of such, God reminds us: 1 Corinthians 4:7 “For who makes you to differ from another? What do you have that you did not receive….?”
So then, as stewards, everything we are, and have, completely belongs to God. We have all fallen short at times when we think our possessions are our own, to either withhold or share at our discretion. That is not the duty of a steward. He is permitted to enjoy the benefits of stewardship, but the faithful steward must surrender his will to the Lord as He teaches him how, and when, to open his hand.
A faithful steward is always conscious of his Master’s will. Our rebel hearts may condemn us that we fall far short in many areas of stewardship. Be encouraged, a conviction by the Holy Ghost of our short comings is the first step. As we embrace our lack and repent, asking the Lord to enable us to be faithful, His guiding light will show us the areas where we need to surrender. As we humble and surrender, the divine exchange replaces my weakness and lack with Christ’s ability to fulfil all the criteria of a faithful steward. God does the work, He gets all the credit……..and I receive all the benefits of obedience: joy, peace and a worshipping, thankful heart! Why hang on to the right to yourself and forfeit such a blessing?
A faithful steward lives his life “to an audience of One”, and not to an audience of many. He will be required to make choices at times to please God that will not sit well with men, but the benefits of obedience to God far outweigh men’s approval.
We cannot hide from God. Psalm 139 defines the all-seeing eye of God. The Psalm reveals our Father’s knowledge of everything about us, even our very thoughts. We may hide our thoughts from others, but in God is no darkness at all. Verse 12 declares, “The darkness hides not from Thee, but the night shines as the day, the darkness and the light are both alike to Thee”. The Lord hears my every thought and spoken word. The Lord Jesus warned us that men would be held accountable in the day of judgement for “every idle word”, Matthew 12: 36.
If I allow the Lord to captivate my heart, (allow Him to reign supreme), He will work with me to captivate every stray thought, irritation that seeks to usurp His rule there. No thought escapes Him. When negative thoughts come, I can immediately reject them and disown them. If I give them room in my heart, my self rule removes His reign there and the peace of His presence is noticeable by it’s absence. The devil loves it when I complain and murmur!!
2 Corinthians 10:5 “Casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ“. We are a work in progress, but we have a wonderful Teacher in the Holy Spirit…...”little by little, line upon line, precept upon precept”.
As the new year unfolds, we commit our way to the Lord, with deep gratitude to Him for being our God. Teach us, Lord to be faithful stewards to the glory of Your great name.
Romans 12:1-2 “I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. Be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable and perfect will of God”.