To be a Faithful Steward We must understand the following principles:
1. Principles of Responsibility
As stated in part one, we are in authority, but also under authority. We do not have ultimate authority. As a 2nd Lieutenant in the military, I learned a priceless lesson regarding responsibility. Something occurred among my platoon while I was away. I was called to give an account by the Company Commander.
My response to him was “But sir, I was not even there when it happened.” His answer to me was that as the leader, I was responsible for everything that occurred in my platoon. I was responsible whether I was present or not. Whether I was even aware that it had happened or not. I learned that you can delegate your authority, but never your responsibility. We have a responsibility to ensure that we are maximizing and building up our Master’s interest. That we are giving Him a good return on that which He has entrusted to us.
2. Principle of Accountability
As stewards, there is the present responsibility that we have. Then there is the future accountability that we also have. The very first steward was Adam. Notice that he was entrusted to care for God’s boundaries were clearly outlined. (By boundaries, I mean the limits of his authority, what was expected of him and what he could and could not do). When Adam violated God’s commands, we see that God called him into account. He tried to pass his responsibility onto Eve, but God would not hear of it. In the Gospels we find several parables on stewardship. In each and every one of them, the stewards have to give a final account to their master for how they had handled what had been entrusted to them. On the Day of Judgment we will all stand before the Lord and give an accounting. The one thing God will not be looking to hear is excuses as to why we did not do what we were called to do. It should be the aim of each us to hear the Lord say “well done, thou good and faithful servant.” (Matt. 25:23)
3. Principle of Reward
. God is faithful. He honors faith and rewards faithfulness. In the parables on stewardship, we see, those who were faithful with their master’s resources were rewarded.
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. 2 Cor. 5:10
Some might say “I do not do it for a reward.” Bear in mind, that our reward is consider to be part of our inheritance.
What about all of the times that we have blown it? What about all of the times that we have acted in unfaithfulness and unbelief? The Apostle John tells us that God is faith and just to forgive us out sins. He is ready to extend grace and mercy to us. We should not allow our past mistakes to hold us back from future service. Christ took our shame on the Cross, so we have no need to bury our talents because we feel unworthy. By His Spirit we can move forward and invest all that we have been given into building our Father’s Kingdom.
Here are some of the things that God has called us to steward:
Calling - God has called us out of the world and unto Himself. If we are to be effective in our service of the Kingdom,
we must steward the call on our lives. This will necessitate us keeping ourselves sanctified.
Relationships -the people whom God places in our lives belong to Him; even our spouses and children. We are to steward these relationships by serving and building one another up. See 1 Peter 4:10
Resources - this includes our time, talents, gifts, abilities and finances.
Body - our body is the temple of the Lord. We must steward our health.
How are we doing on these things? If the answer is not so good, don't be discouraged. Every morning His mercies are new and He gives another opportunity.