Stewardship and You

Bill Schoolcraft

(How to use your time, health, talents, relationships, property and the gospel in a partnership with God.)

I. What is a Steward?

A. One definition states that a steward is a person who manages the  affairs of a household or an estate for the owner.

1. In the Christian sense – a steward is the manager of the affairs  of God on earth.

2. God has made each of us a steward – and has given us abilities and  talents that are unique for each of us to use in that work.

3. Everything we have is given to us by God.

a. Time

b. Health

c. Relationships

d. Talents

e. Property

f. The Gospel

4. A Christian steward serves God out of love and gratitude for these  gifts knowing that it’s NOT how much we have but what we DO with  WHAT WE HAVE that is important.

a. As each has received a gift, employ it for one another, as good  stewards of God’s varied grace. I Peter 4:10.

II. Life Itself is a Stewardship.

A. Human life is the first and greatest gift of all and carries great responsibilities with it.

1. As Christians, we know that our lives are sacred trusts.

2. We are the stewards of those loves; God depends on us to use them  to accomplish God’s purposes.

B. Stewardship of time

1. When God gives us life, we don’t know how much time we have to use  that life.

2. We must budget our hours so that we are able to give of our time  to fulfill God’s plan.

C. Stewardship of health of body and mind.

1. God gave human beings superior minds – to be used to fullest  capacity in discovering God’s plan, in understanding self and  others.

2. We were also give bodies in which to accomplish God’s work –  bodies to be treated with respect (taken care of), not abused  (harmed.)

D. Stewardship of talents.

1. God gives all people potential talents when they are born.

2. Each of us can share in God’s plan in his or her own way.

3. The Bible tells us that if we use our talents wisely, we will be  better able to use them and will develop others – but if we don’t,  we may lose even those talents we do have.

E. Stewardship of relationships

1. At home – providing Christian education for our children, living  and growing together as a family.

2. At work – showing our fellow workers the example of Christian  behavior and supportive caring.

3. In church – participating with others in worship, projects, etc.,  and forming friendships.

F. Stewardship of the Gospel.

1. As Christian stewards, we have been given three ways to exercise  our partnership:

a. To receive the gospel, we receive the gospel as an act of faith  in God.

b. To share the gospel, we bring God’s message into the world, that  all who believe in God will have eternal life.

c. To reflect the gospel, we show others by our daily living how  we accept our responsibilities as Christians.

G. Stewardship of property.

1. We bring nothing into this world… and we take nothing out of it.  Everything that we have while we are here comes as a gift from  God…

III. In Appreciation, We Choose to Share a Portion of These Gifts.

A. The stewardship of our property is an ongoing process.

B. We give regularly and systematically in proportion to the gifts which  we are given… the talents which earn us our possessions.

C. Because we love God, we gladly dedicate these gifts to God’s service,  and give a worthy portion for the care of people in need.

D. Giving money to the church is a symbolic act– the offering of  ourselves in service and devotion to God.

1. Giving is a practical matter, too, because the offering makes it  possible for the church to pay its bills and carry out its mission  in Christ’s name.

E. How much should I give?

1. The Bible says that we should set aside our “first fruits” – that  our offering to God should be the first portion we set aside, not  what remains.

2. Some people give by proportion: for example, $1 per week for every  $1000 of annual income.

3. Others set aside a percentage of their income.

a. The Old Testament guideline for giving was the tithe (usually  1/10). How close do you come to the giving expected of the  early Christians?

F. What are the rewards of stewardship?

1. We seek no “rewards” for our stewardship; we do it with the joy of  serving God.

2. Yet we know that God does reward stewards by filling their needs  in life; by giving new opportunities to care, to share, to  participate in the wholeness of life.

3. Stewardship is the responsibility of the Christian life, making our  prayers, worship, study of the Scriptures, Christian action truly  sincere.

IV. Our Whole Life is a Partnership With God.

A. Each of us can live as God’s steward.

1. We cannot “give” anything to God; but we can “fulfill” God by  using our gifts wisely and sharing with others.

2. Everyone to whom much is given, of him will much be required… Luke 12:48.

(The above material was published by A Scriptographic Booklet, South Deerfield, MA.)

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