“As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” – 1 Peter 4:10
What is a steward? A steward is a person who is given the responsibility to manage or oversee an owner’s estate or affairs. Likewise, Christian stewardship refers to the church’s responsibility to manage and use the gifts that God has given them. God calls every believer to stewardship. Therefore, God has entrusted the church with the responsibility of managing His affairs across the globe. As a steward, it is vital to recognize that Christ is the Master and Lord of all things and has entrusted His church to accomplish His good works on the earth. Ephesians 2:10 states, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” The church acts as the hands and feet of Jesus. As good stewards, Christians must ensure that they respect their Master’s will and give honor to His name as His representatives. Luke 16:10 states, “He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much.” Thus, Christians must take inventory of their life and self-evaluate if they are being faithful with what they have been given. So, what has God blessed us with? Well, ultimately everything. God has given us our very lives. James 1:17 states, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above; and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” Everything good in our lives should be viewed as a gift from God, our Father. We must then choose to actively use these gifts to honor God. Additionally, every born-again believer has been indwelt with the Holy Spirit and equipped with spiritual gifts in which they are called to cultivate, to minister, and edify the church (1 Corinthians 12). Also, Christians should seek to use their gifts to advance the kingdom of God as well as serve others in need. Whether it is a physical, spiritual, or an emotional need, the church is responsible as God’s steward. One cannot expect to be a faithful steward and not be a generous giver of their time and resources. God blesses us with His love, mercy, grace, and gospel message; all of which should be reproduced and displayed to others. Just as God has been abundantly generous with us, so we should be generous with others. The gospel is the greatest gift given to mankind and Christians have been given the responsibility to promote and proclaim it. The church must view every opportunity in life to serve God and serve others. The church should be the one to offer a cold cup of water in one hand and the Word of God in the other. Christian stewardship necessitates a willingness on the part of the steward to multiply the gifts that God has given. A good steward will not be content with simply doing what is minimally required but will seek to go above and beyond the calling. We do not want to be like the unjust steward of Luke 16 who squandered the master’s gifts and neglected his affairs. Christians cannot be spiritually lazy, rather they must be intentional with the work Christ has given them. Stewards must remain steadfast and faithful as they cultivate their gifts and eagerly await the return of their Master.
When Christ returns, will you be viewed as a good and faithful steward?