Every Christian Is a Steward- The first in a series of seven articles based on the words of Jesus in Matthew 25:14-30
“For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability.” Matthew 25:14-15
Have you ever thought about the implications of this verse? If not, get ready for a transformational moment in your life.
When Jesus told this parable, he made it clear that it’s about Him (the Master) and professing Christians (servants). Even more, it’s about a relationship that exists between the Master, His servants, and money. And this relationship has huge implications. So much so, that it changed the way I think about the world. See if it doesn’t do the same for you.
About 20 years ago, I was introduced to the word “steward” during a Bible study about money. I think I must have heard it some time in my life, but that night it landed on me with devastation. It was as if I had never heard it before.
It was during that Bible study that I realized that as a servant, I had no property of my own and the property that was in my care, belonged to Christ. This was not the way I looked at my “stuff.” At the time, I had been a believer for about four years and I had some understanding of tithing or giving. Frankly, I thought I was doing pretty good when my wife and I decided to tithe on our income. I had heard some national statistics on giving and finding that only 3% of churchgoers tithe, I was quick to stick my spiritual chest out a good bit.
But, then came that word with all of its life-changing implications – I am a steward. A steward is one who manages the household, goods, or interests of his owner. The Christian steward is a manager of everything that belongs to Jesus – and literally, everything in the universe belongs to Jesus!
This was a crushing blow to my pride and completely changed the outlook on my life. In my mind, I was doing well to give 10% to the Lord. But then I came face-to-face with a couple of facts.
Fact: Every Christian owns nothing. (I had assumed the 90% was mine.) Fact: Every Christian has been entrusted with things that belong to Christ. What kinds of things? All material things, such as your house and car, all money and gold and silver, all physical gifts, all of the days that He permits us to live (time), all children that are born under our roof, all spiritual gifts, all opportunities that He entrusts to us, and the faithful teaching of the truth of the gospel.
And for what purpose has He entrusted all of this? That His name would be proclaimed and loved and He would be glorified every day and for all eternity. That leaves very little room for my personal purposes – actually, none. Although these truths were shocking at first, they should not have been. I had been bought with a price by the precious blood of Christ and was no longer my own. Understanding that every Christian is a steward did nothing but support all that the scriptures say about our new lives in Christ.
As I began to digest the news about my existing stewardship, I learned more about the full meaning of serving Christ as a living sacrifice. Other passages came alive and, woven together, compelled me to praise the Lord for what He had entrusted to me. One of those passages took me to the day where the Israelites had just completed their time of giving from willing hearts to build the temple. They gave what God had entrusted to them. After surveying what had taken place, the following magnificent words burst forth from David:
“Therefore David blessed the Lord in the presence of all the assembly. And David said: “Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of Israel our father, forever and ever. Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name.” 1 Chronicles 29:10-13
Understanding we own nothing, and what we have been given is for the purposes of God, will free us to willingly direct our resources for His glory. At the end of the day, we do not have less of what we need. We really have more of the true riches that Jesus has in mind for His children – a deeper fellowship with Him and the joy in praising His name.
Next time: The Abilities of the Steward