Definition: The management of another person’s property, finances, or household affairs. For Christians, stewardship can be defined as the responsibility of diligently and faithfully managing God’s work.
1. All things belong to God.
* Psalm 24:1 The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.
* Leviticus 25:23b The land is Mine; for ye are strangers and sojourners with Me.
* 1 Chronicles 29:14,16 [King David testifies that even what we sacrifice and offer to God has first been received from Him.] But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? For all things come of Thee, and of Thine Own have we given Thee. … 16 O Lord our God, all this store that we have prepared to build Thee an house for Thine holy Name cometh of Thine hand, and is all Thine Own.
* Psalm 50:10 For every beast of the forest is Mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills.
* Psalm 89:11 The Heavens are Thine, the earth also is Thine: as for the world and the fulness thereof, Thou hast founded them.
* Isaiah 66:1-2a Thus saith the Lord, The Heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool: where is the house that ye build unto Me? And where is the place of My rest? 2 For all those things hath Mine hand made. …
* Haggai 2:8 The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine, saith the Lord of hosts.
2. The Lord gives His children the responsibility of being stewards over His Kingdom.
* Genesis 2:15 [Adam was the first steward.] And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
* Matthew 18:23 [Jesus compares His followers to servants or stewards of the Kingdom:] Therefore is the Kingdom of Heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.
* Matthew 25:14,15 For the Kingdom of Heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. 15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. [See verses 16-30 for the story of how Jesus rewards His servants according to their faithfulness.]
* Luke 12:42-44 And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season? 43 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. 44 Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath.
* Luke 19:12,13 He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. 13 And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.
3. We must give account to God for all that He places in our care, both physical and spiritual.
* Romans 14:12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.
* Jeremiah 17:10 I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.
* Matthew 21:33,34 [Another analogy of the Lord as the owner and we as His caretakers:] Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country: 34 And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it.
* Matthew 25:19 After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.
* Luke 19:15 [God gives each of us specific gifts and talents, which He encourages us to use for His glory. By so doing we are investing in the good of His Kingdom.] And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.
4. Faithfulness is a basic requirement for good stewardship.
* 1 Corinthians 4:2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.
* Luke 12:48b For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.
* Luke 17:10 So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.
5. Responsible stewards are a blessing and blessed.
* Proverbs 14:35 The king’s favour is toward a wise servant: but his wrath is against him that causeth shame.
* Proverbs 17:2 [Faithfulness can be more important than bloodline when it comes to God’s blessings.] A wise servant shall have rule over a son that causeth shame, and shall have part of the inheritance among the brethren.
* Luke 12:37,38 [Keeping faithful till the end incurs a great blessing.] Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. 38 And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.
6. Stewardship of material things teaches us faithfulness in all things.
* Luke 16:10,11 He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. 11 If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon [worldly wealth], who will commit to your trust the true riches?
* Matthew 24:45,46 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? 46 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.
7. We should also be good stewards of the Gospel by preaching it to others.
* 1 Corinthians 9:16,17 For though I preach the Gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the Gospel! 17 For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the Gospel is committed unto me.
* 1 Peter 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.
* 1 Thessalonians 2:4 But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the Gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.
8. Stewardship also includes responsibility for borrowed property, of which we should be even more careful than if it were our own.
* Exodus 22:14 And if a man borrow ought of his neighbour, and it be hurt, or die, the owner thereof being not with it, he shall surely make it good.
* 2 Kings 6:5 But as one was felling a beam, the axe head fell into the water: and he cried, and said, Alas, master! For it was borrowed.
* Luke 16:12 And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man’s, who shall give you that which is your own?
9. Good stewardship wins trust and leads to greater responsibility.
* Genesis 39:6 [Because Joseph had proven himself faithful, Potiphar entrusted him with everything he owned.] And he [Potiphar] left all that he had in Joseph’s hand; and he knew not ought he had, save the bread which he did eat. And Joseph was a goodly person, and well favoured.
* Genesis 39:22-23 And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph’s hand all the prisoners that were in the prison; and whatsoever they did there, he was the doer of it. 23 The keeper of the prison looked not to any thing that was under his hand; because the Lord was with him, and that which he did, the Lord made it to prosper.
* Genesis 41:39-40 [Joseph’s faithfulness with Potiphar’s household and in the prison prepared him for being entrusted with the entire land of Egypt.] And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art: 40 Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou.
* Esther 10:3 For Mordecai the Jew was next unto King Ahasuerus, and great among the Jews, and accepted of the multitude of his brethren, seeking the wealth of his people, and speaking peace to all his seed.
* 2 Kings 12:15 [The trustworthiness of the faithful treasurers of the temple:] Moreover they reckoned not with the men, into whose hand they delivered the money to be bestowed on workmen: for they dealt faithfully.
* 2 Chronicles 34:11,12a Even to the artificers and builders gave they it, to buy hewn stone, and timber for couplings, and to floor the houses which the kings of Judah had destroyed. 12a And the men did the work faithfully.
* Nehemiah 13:13 And I made treasurers over the treasuries … for they were counted faithful, and their office was to distribute unto their brethren.
* Daniel 6:1-4 [Daniel had proven himself faithful with King Nebuchadnezzar, and so the new king appointed him as prince over the whole kingdom.] It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom an hundred and twenty princes, which should be over the whole kingdom; 2 And over these three presidents; of whom Daniel was first: that the princes might give accounts unto them, and the king should have no damage. 3 Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm. 4 Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him.
* Hebrews 3:5 And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after.
* Matthew 25:20,21 And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. 21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
* Luke 19:17 And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities.
10. Poor stewardship causes others to lose confidence in us and limits our usefulness to the Lord.
* Proverbs 25:19 Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint.
* Matthew 21:43 Therefore say I unto you, The Kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.
* Luke 16:1,2 And He said also unto His disciples, There was a certain rich man, which had a steward; and the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods. 2 And he called him, and said unto him, How is it that I hear this of thee? Give an account of thy stewardship; for thou mayest be no longer steward.
11. Good stewards can be hard to find.
* Psalm 12:1 Help, Lord; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men.
* Proverbs 20:6 Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?
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