Hidden Treasures

The Bible is much more than a book of religion.

Stewardship #3: Can God Count on Me?

In the earlier articles in this series Jesus gave an example of an unjust, wicked steward who  wasted or embezzled his master’s money. His lord planned to terminate his employment. Before he was terminated, the unjust steward worked out a shrewd plan which pleased  his master. 

Having told  His story, which you can read in the two previous articles, Jesus gives us some lessons about being a faithful steward. The first lesson is taught in Luke 16:10.  He states the fact that those who are faithful is small matters can be counted on to be faithful in large matters and those who are unfaithful in small matters are going to be unfaithful in large matters.  I’ve found that to be true. Have you?   There are those who are consistently faithful in every situation and there are those who are consistently unfaithful in every situation.  Let me give you some examples.   

First, let me show you why you are a steward if you are a Christian.  I Peter 4:10 teaches us that we have been showered as stewards of  the manifolds grace of God. John 1:16 refers to is as grace upon grace being heaped upon us.  Of that grace we are called to be good stewards.  What does that mean for us?

    

ARE YOU FAITHFUL IN THE LITTLE THINGS?

    

Luke 16:10 teaches us that if we are to be entrusted with great responsibilities, it is essential that we prove ourselves by being faithful in seemingly, small, inconsequential responsibilities.  Actually, there are no small responsibilities in God’s eyes, but sometimes they seem small to us.

    

Parents should teach their children to be faithful in carrying out any task given to them. It’s only as a child proves his faithfulness in small responsibilities that his parents can entrust him or her with more important and sometimes more interesting and rewarding responsibilities.

     

Children should be taught to do their chores cheerfully and do them well.  School children should be taught to do their homework diligently without being coaxed or reminded.

Can we be trusted to keep our word?  If we make a promise, do we keep our word, even if at times it is inconvenient.   

Can we see things that need to be done without being told to do them? Do you keep your house and yard picked up and free of litter?  Have you taught your children these responsibilities?  When in a restaurant, you accidentally drop some food on the floor or your little one makes a mess, do you do your best to pick it up, or do you shrug it off thoughtlessly saying, “The waitress will take care of it.”  If you leave it for the waitress, do you also leave an adequate tip to cover the extra work?

    

If we can’t be trusted with small responsibilities, how can we expect to be entrusted with greater responsibilities?

    

Proverbs 20:6 says, “Most men will proclaim their own goodness; but a faithful man, who can find?”   Faithful people are rare and because of that, if you are a faithful person you have a better than average chance of success in life.  A smart employer faced with two prospective employees of equal ability is going to chose the one who has a reputation for faithfulness.   That’s a no-brainer decision.

    

Every day you are building your reputation by your faithfulness or lack of faithfulness.  One day you will need a reference for getting a job. Are those who write your references going to remember you as a faithful, dependable  person or as a careless person who didn’t care?

    

We are to be faithful even when it seems no one is watching, God is and Hebrews 6:10 teaches us that  He is not unrighteous to forget or overlook  our work and labor of love which we have showed towards others.  He sees and He rewards faithfulness.

    

ARE YOU FAITHFUL IN THE STEWARDSHIP OF YOUR MONEY?

     

Luke 16:11 reminds us of the necessity of being faithful in the stewardship of unrighteous mammon, that is,  with our money.  If He cannot trust us to use our money wisely, recognizing that everything we are and everything we own: lock, stock and barrel, belongs to Him; then He is not going to entrust us with greater responsibilities.    Not only are we who are Christians  His; but everything we own is His. We are simply stewards called to manage  it well for Him, keeping eternal values in mind.  To put it more directly, Christian friend, how much of your time, energy and money are you investing in winning the lost to Christ and building up His Church?

    

If you are not yet a Christian,  God does not want your money.  First of all He wants you.  He loves you and has taken the punishment for your sins through Jesus’ death on the cross.  You can become His simply by coming to Him as a sinner right now.  Admit to Him that you are a sinner and that your sins have separated you from Him. Thank Him for sending Jesus to die for your sins and pay the full penalty.  Receive Him by faith as your Saviour.  He will save you and transform you instantly by giving you His Holy Spirit to live in your heart.  You will know it!

    

Surrender to Him as your Lord.  Recognize you are His servant and steward and start  investing all He has given you by His manifold grace, in His cause.  Join a local Bible preaching church and get busy for Him.

    

ARE YOU FAITHFUL IN THE USE OF THAT WHICH BELONGS TO GOD?

In Luke 16:12  we are challenged to understand that all we have, including our own life, belongs to God.  Psalm 24:1 teaches us that the earth and everything on the earth all belongs to God.  Deuteronomy 8:18 teaches us that it is God Himself who enables us to have the health, wisdom and ability to make money and accumulate wealth.  He who gave it all to us can also take it all away in an instant.    

If you are a Christian, will you acknowledge that it all belongs to Him by giving a percentage back to God?  How much?   Israel was asked to give back a tithe or ten percent.  We in the church age are taught in II Corinthians 9:6-15  to give joyfully, generously and sacrificially to Him.   Because it all belongs to Him and you are to be His faithful steward, you ought to seek His will in the use of all your money and other assets.   R.G. LeTourneau, the inventor and manufacturer of the large earth moving machines, is a Christian who in his lifetime gave 90% of his income to God’s work and kept 10% for himself.

    

JESUS SAID IN LUKE 16:13 THAT IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO SERVE TWO MASTERS

That is a fact that I have experientially learned as a preacher.  On a number of occasions I have tried to work a home based business on the side while I pastored a church.  Though they tell you it will only take a few hours each week, perhaps 3-5 hours a week, the facts are that as the business grows, it requires more of your time and energy and your very heart.  In time, you are torn in two and have to make a decision. Will it be your church or your business?     Jesus does not say that if you just work a little harder or smarter than you can juggle the two interests into your schedule.  He simply says,  It is impossible to serve two masters. 

!n Joshua 24:13-28 Joshua confronted Israel and God confronts us today with the choice. “Choose you this day, whom you will serve.”    

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October 28, 2007 - Posted by | Stewardship

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