Stewardship

Dear Fellow-Disciple:

Now He was also saying to the disciples, "There was a certain rich man who had a steward, and this steward was reported to him as squandering his possessions.

And he called him and said to him, `What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward.'

"And the steward said to himself, `What shall I do, since my master is taking my stewardship away from me? I am not strong enough to dig; I am ashamed to beg.

I know what I shall do, so that when I am removed from the stewardship, they will receive me into their homes.'

"And he summoned each one of his master's debtors, and he began saying to the first, `How much do you owe my master?'

And he said, `A hundred measures of oil.' And he said to him, `Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.'

"Then he said to another, `And how much do you owe?' And he said, `A hundred measures of wheat.' He said to him, `Take your bill and write eighty.'

"And his master praised the unrighteous steward because he had acted shrewdly; for the sons of this age are more shrewd in relation to their own kind than the sons of light." (Luke 16:1-8)

At the end of each of these letters, is the postscript, "What are you doing of eternal value?" It is placed there because of the above Scripture, plus the admonition in Matthew 6:20, to lay up treasure in heaven, rather than accumulate riches on earth.

The master of the unrighteous steward didn't commend him because he cheated him, but because he prepared wisely for himself. The steward looked at his future potential, saw that it was bleak, and decided to do something about it.

In the parable, Jesus infers that we are all stewards. We own nothing, but our Master gives us free will to function in His grace to the best of our ability. As we do this, we are to keep our future in mind. The parable of the ten minas (Luke 19:11-27) also refers to our stewardship, as well as to our destiny.

Whatever we have, whether property or talent, belongs to God, for He is the Owner of everything. That should be clear when we remind ourselves that we take nothing with us when we go. We have only the use of it, the stewardship. Therefore, it should be under the direction of the Lord, and for His honor.

In addition, there is liability. If we do not improve what He entrusts to us, we are held accountable. We know the time will come when we are discharged from our stewardship, so we should set ourselves, right now, to the task of establishing treasure of eternal value.

The unjust steward faced reality and responded. Jesus indicates that we people in His kingdom (that's all of us) do not have as much understanding of reality as the unjust steward. Nearly 2,000 years have passed since Jesus delivered this parable, but there has been little change in our attitude.

Perhaps this is because we hate to think about the hereafter. We avoid it because we fear it; we fear it because we don't trust God. Our problem is that we have deified the intellect. Anything we don't understand, we don't trust. It is impossible to understand God; therefore, we don't trust Him.

Instead of preparing for eternity in heaven, we live as if we will spend eternity on earth. Why? Because we aren't certain there is another life after this. We question and we doubt, not considering that doubt is an expression of unbelief. God told us there is life after this life, but Satan plants seeds of doubt and distrust. He sends us down trails of intellectual exploration in futile attempts to discover a logical explanation to satisfy our need to understand.

This is vanity. God will not play the game according to our rules. He does not withhold understanding, but He insists that every point of understanding must follow a step of faith.

Jesus tells us, in Matthew 6:21, that where our treasure is, our heart will be also. Our behavior reveals the true nature of our heart. We behave according to how we believe. If we analyze that, it indicates that if we truly believe in our eternal destiny, we behave accordingly in the present.

We need to check our belief list:

1. Do we believe in Jesus? That's easy, even the famous Jewish historian, Josephus, wrote about Jesus. We know He existed, but:

2. Was He the Son of God?

3. Was His conception supernatural?

4. History confirms that He was crucified, but:

5. Did He defeat death?

6. Did He rise on the third day?

7. Was He the first fruits of all believers, in that as He conquered death, He conquered it for us as well as for Himself?

8. Did He go to heaven?

9. Is He sitting at the right hand of the Father?

10. Was He serious when He said there were many mansions in heaven and He was going to prepare a place?

11. Are we really going to join Him when we die?

Faith defies logic. There is no logic to Christianity. If Christianity were logical, there would be no need for faith, and the Scripture is clear, without faith it is impossible to please God.

It is proper for a disciple to ask himself what he believes. If we believe the Scriptures, what kind of stewards are we? Our behavior reveals the truth.

In the parable of the ten minas, Jesus indicates that there are levels of reward in our eternal future. These levels seem to relate directly to our stewardship while we are in the temporal dimension. The slaves who doubled the money over which they were stewards, were given stewardship over much more. Because one did well with ten minas, he received jurisdiction over ten cities!

That sort of reward should appeal to all disciples. It should give us the incentive to stimulate some activity of eternal value.

If we really believe what Jesus says about heaven, that should be part of our prayer life. We should pray for eternal revelation. When Paul was caught up in the third heaven, it definitely affected his lifestyle! (2 Corinthians 12:1-6)

Jesus is King!

P.S. What are you doing of eternal value?

Question for today: What kind of steward am I?