Webster says that "Stewardship is the responsibility of managing someone else’s assets, affairs, or property.” And Genesis 1:1 says that “In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth.” He owns… everything.
Psalm 24.1 says, The earth is the LORD's, and everything in it.
- Why does He have a claim to everything? He created it! More than just creating it, He sustains it. But just because God owns everything doesn't mean that it's being used the way He intended for it to be used.
- What about us? Are we living in the purposes for which we’ve been created?
Tuesday: The second principle of stewardship: Getting rid of the “me”-mentality.
We don’t own anything… it is all God’s. Oftentimes, we try to trade places with God. We start acting like the owners, as if we created the world. We start using words like me , I ,mine, my life , my plans , my possessions , my time. Who gave all that to us? The ultimate control in any business always resides in the owner, not the manager. We get to use it, we get to manage it, we get to enjoy some of life's resources... but God owns it. That's stewardship. Look at Genesis 1, verse 28 where God said, "I want you to rule over everything." In the King James it says, "I want you to have dominion over the fish… God’s intention was for humans to rule over things. But what happened? We got it all mixed up. Now things rule over us. We're possessed by possessions... by the very things we were asked to manage. We love to think about all the things we own... but the truth is that we really don't own anything. At best, what we have is on loan from God.... and after we die, they are passed on to somebody else.
Wednesday:The third principle of stewardship: It’s not just about money.
When we hear stewardship…we think, “give to the church”. It’s probably one of the most misunderstood words in the church today. We immediately think of money. But stewardship is so much more than that. We are to be a steward of absolutely everything God has entrusted to us. Everything!
- Did God give you a physical body? Then stewardship involves sexual purity, physical fitness, nutrition.
- Did God give you every single day of your life? Then stewardship involves time management.
- Did God give you your wealth, your material possessions? Then stewardship involves money management, financial planning.
- Did God give you a family? Then stewardship involves caring for them, loving them.
- Did God give you this environment to live in? Then stewardship involves ecology, taking care of the earth.
- Did God give you a position of authority (prominence & responsibility)? Then stewardship involves using your influence for good.
Thursday: The fourth principle of stewardship: It’s all about the first-fruits
I heard a story one time about a lady who called a popular turkey manufacturer wanting to know how long a frozen turkey would last. After discovering that the turkey had spent the last 22 years in the back of her freezer, the company recommended that she not eat the turkey. “Well, that’s okay,” said the woman. “I can just give it to the church.”
In the Old Testament, the Israelites were commanded to make an offering of their first fruits. They would choose not only the first, but the best of the first. They would then offer this to God as a sacrifice. A first fruit was anything that was produced for the purpose of living. It was crops or livestock, or fruit that was used for food. It was the thing that they lived on and made a name by. God wanted their first priority. He not only wanted their first but the best of the first. He has presented us as His best and He wants us to present Him our best. We have been presented to the world as God’s best. Fruit makes fruit. To grow the best trees you must use the best seed.
Friday: Make a list of everything you have learned over the past weeks about stewardship. Write down changes that you will implement in order to be in God’s will on the matter. Pray, committing your changes to God.