April 11

Stewardship, Part 2: Eternal Stewardship

I Corinthians 4:2 Moreover, it is required in stewards [household managers—one who manages the master’s household and takes care of distributing the master’s goods] that one be found faithful.

Luke 16:10 He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much.

I Timothy 6:20 O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust…

In some ways, stewarding is what life is all about. And the principles of stewardship are simple:

1) Nothing is so small that’s it’s exempt from our responsibility to be faithful with it.

2) Fidelity depends not on the amount entrusted but on the sense of responsibility toward the trust.

The question God will ask is “How did you handle what you’ve been given?” The question He’s asking today is “How are you handling what you’ve been given?” We will have to give an account.

Look at the life of Joseph, the master of stewardship. Sold as a slave to the Amalekites, he finds himself sold again to an officer of Pharaoh. He was made “overseer of the house” and everything related to his household was put under Joseph’s authority. Then he was lied about, and he was thrown into prison (not killed—probably because he was such a good steward). Then he became the keeper of the prison.

Nothing here was “fair,” but Joseph kept on being a good steward with whatever he was given. Ultimately he was given stewardship over Pharaoh’s house and was second in command of his kingdom. If we stop the story here, we miss a huge point. Of course this is a reward in some sense—freedom, wealth, influence—but this great blessing was an even greater test of stewardship. He was moved up by God not only to demonstrate a principle of how God rewards faithful people, but to be trained to steward the resources that would keep His chosen people from being destroyed. If he hadn’t, the nation of Israel would have had a major setback. This wasn’t about one man getting rewarded; it was about preserving the people of God.

In Joseph’s various trials, he was being trained for greater and greater stewardship. So are we. Right now is preparation for tomorrow, a tomorrow we co-create with God by our faithfulness now. It’s also preparation for eternity, because we just keep going—death is only the end of our natural responsibilities. We didn’t think that the principle of being faithful with little things was limited to this life on earth, did we?

Look around at your life. You’re stewarding everything you have “in your possession”—time, things, talents, abilities, skills, relationships, money. You’re in training for your future, right to the end of your life and beyond. The question is never what we have; it’s how faithful we are with stewarding it.

Prayer: Lord, help me to realize that success in Your eyes is how faithful I am with the things you are allowing me to steward. Help me to take a fresh new approach to all that I have in my sphere, being grateful for what I have and embracing Your call to be faithful in stewarding everything.

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