What is Stewardship?A steward is a person “entrusted with the management of the household or estate of another.”Stewardship is “the position, duties, or service of a steward.” Webster’s New Universal Unabridged Dictionary, 2nd Edition, 1979, p.1786
What is Stewardship?To the Christian, stewardship means “man’s responsibility for, and use of, everything entrusted to him by God – life, physical being, time, talents and abilities, material possessions, opportunities to be of service to others, and his knowledge of the truth.” SDA Encyclopedia, Revised Edition, p. 1425
What is Stewardship?In its larger dimensions, then, stewardship “involves the wise and unselfish use of life.” Paul G. Smith, Managing God’s Goods, p. 21
More than anything else,Living a Christian life means SURRENDER – a giving up of ourselvesand an accepting of Christ.
When we give all that we have and all that we areto God, to whom it all belongs anyway, He accepts it but then puts us back in charge of it, making us stewards, or caretakers, of everything that we “possess.” Then our tendency to live comfortable, selfish lives is broken by our realization that our Lord was naked, imprisoned, and a stranger. And His enduring “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations” makes the activity of the church – sharing, teaching, preaching, baptizing – more precious to us. Because of Him we seek to be faithful stewards.
God’s Ownership3 Fold God’s Ownership over UsWe are His 1. by Creation 2. by Redemption 3. by ChoiceStewardship is the acknowledgement of God’s ownership!
Ways to Acknowledge God’s Ownership1. Stewardship of the Earth In His coming advent, Christ will “…destroy those who destroy the earth.” Revelation 11:18
Ways to Acknowledge God’s Ownership2. Stewardship of the Abilities The Parable of the Talents Matthew 25:14-30
Ways to Acknowledge God’s Ownership3. Stewardship of Material Possession Our use of material goods reveals how much we “Will a man rob God? Yet you have love God and our neighbors. Money can be power for good: in ouryou say, ‘In what robbed Me! But hands it can provide way have we robbed You?’ In food for the hungry, drink for the thirsty, and clothing tithes naked offerings.” for the and (Matthew 25:34-40). From God’s perspective money has value mainly as it is used to provide the necessities Malachi 3:8 of life (1 Timothy 6:8), to bless others, and to support His work.
Ways to Acknowledge God’s Ownership4. Stewardship of the Body “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” Romans 12:1
Ways to Acknowledge God’s Ownership5. Stewardship of the Time “See that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” Ephesians 5:15-17 Like Jesus, we must be about our Father’s business (Luke 2:49)
Fundamental Belief No. 21 – Stewardship We are God’s stewards, entrusted by Him with time andopportunities, abilities, and possessions, and the blessings of the earth and its resources. We are responsible to Him for their proper use. We acknowledge God’s ownership byfaithful service to Him and our fellowmen and by returning our tithes and giving offerings for the proclamation of His gospel and the support and growth of His church.Stewardship is a privilege given to us by God for nurture in love and the victory over selfishness and covetousness. The steward rejoices in the blessings that come to others as a result of his faithfulness. Seventh-day Adventists Believe: An Exposition of the Fundamental Beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, p. 302
CHRIST AS STEWARD: Proper Stewardship is SELFLESSNESS – complete self-giving to God and service to humanity.Because of His love for us Christ endured the cruelty of the cross, the even deeper pain of rejection by His own, and abysmal God-forsakenness. In comparison to this gift, what could we ever give? His was a gift, not of what He had – even though He had everything – but of Himself. Such is stewardship. To gaze on that greatest gift is to be drawn out of ourselves – to become like Him. Seventh-day Adventists Believe: An Exposition of the Fundamental Beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, p. 307