ACCEPTABLE STEWARDSHIP

CONFERENCE ON SUNDAY SPECIAL 2014

ACCEPTABLE CHRISTIAN STEWARDSHIP
Texts: Matt.20: 1-16; Luke 16: 1-13; I Cort. 4:2

Discovering what the Bible says about stewardship, we start with Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”. As the Creator, God has absolute rights of ownership over all things. It is through our ability to fully grasp this and imbed it in our hearts that the principle of stewardship is understood. If we miss it here nothing else will ever line up. Nothing else in the Bible will have any true relevance if we miss this doctrine of stewardship.

There are two Greek words epitropos and oikonomos embody the meaning of our English word stewardship:
 Epitropos means “manager, foreman, or steward.” From the standpoint of government, it means “governor or procurator.”
 Oikonomos(frequently use in N.T) means “steward, manager, or administrator”. It is often translated “dispensation, stewardship, management, arrangement, administration, order.”
 In Paul’s writings, the word oikonomos is given its fullest significance in his responsibility for gospel proclamation as a divine trust. (I Cort. 9:17; Eph. 3: 2)

What Christian Stewardship Implies
Starting with the above concept, let’s now examine the Christian Stewardship to correctly view and value not only our possessions, but, more importantly, human life itself. In essence:
1. Christian Stewardship means that we fully acknowledge we are not our own but belong to Christ, the Lord, who gave Himself for us.
2. The Christian Stewardship defines a man’s relationship to God. It identifies God as owner and man as manager. God makes man His co-worker in administering all aspects of our life. {I Cort. 3; 9}
3. Christian Stewardship defines our purpose in this world as assigned to us by God Himself. It is our divinely given opportunity to join with God in His global, eternal redemptive movement. (Matt. 28: 19-20)
4. Christian Stewardship defines our practical obedience in the administration of everything under our control, everything entrusted to us.
5. Christian Stewardship acknowledges in practice that we do not have the right of control over ourselves or our property—God has that control. It means as stewards of God we are managers of that which belongs to God, and we are under His constant authority as we administer His affairs.
6. Christian Stewardship has to do with how we manage our finances, with our faithfulness in paying God’s tithes and offerings, with the management of our time, possessions, environment, or health.
7. Christian Stewardship involves proclaiming the gospel truth. It’s what motivates the Christian to move into action, doing deeds that manifest his belief in Him.

What it is not
• Christian Stewardship is not God taking something from us; it is His method of bestowing His richest gifts upon His people. We are custodian or guardian of God’s possessions {Gal. 4:1-2}
• The Christian stewardship that is required of us is not a result of our own power or abilities but that which come through the Holy Spirit in us; otherwise, our labor is in vain. Phil. 4: 13. I Cort. 15:10
• Stewardship is not bragging of our human achievements but our obedient witness to God’s sovereignty. The ultimate question, then, is this: Am I the lord of my life, or is Christ the Lord of my life? In essence, stewardship expresses our total obedience to God and our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

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