What is stewardship? The Holy Bible describes stewardship in this way:
(If you wish to look up the word in Strong's Concordence or Thayer's Bible Dictionary it the Greek word "oikonomos" number 3623 in the Greek sections.)Read with Me a couple scriptures before we move on. (Click on scriptures to read them.)
1) the manager of household or of household affairs
1a) especially a steward, manager, superintendent (whether free-born as was usually the case, a freed-man or a slave) to whom the head of the house or proprietor has intrusted the management of his affairs, the care of receipts and expenditures, and the duty of dealing out the proper portion to every servant and even to the children not yet of age
1b) the manager of a farm or landed estate, an overseer
1c) the superintendent of the city’s finances, the treasurer of a city (or of treasurers or quaestors of kings)
2) metaphorically the apostles and other Christian teachers and bishops and overseers
I purposely left out of the above list on of the most important commodities that God has given us. Why? 1) Because we often over look its value and importants. 2) Because above all I believe that God has given it to us to use wisely, and we fail every day!
What is it? TIME! We play with time as if it doesn't exist. We manipulate time for our own purposes, uses, and desires. We are NOT good stewards of the time that God has given us! Someone was quoted to have said, "Time is the coin of Life, Don't let a fool spend it for you!"
How often do we waste time needlessly? Probably every single day! We waste time doing frivolous things that mean nothing. Don't get me wrong, I like to take a break and play a computer game sometime too, but it isn't what we are doing so much as how long we do it. Jesus didn't save us from our sins, just to sit on our rear-ends watching our favorite Television Show! Jesus washed our sins away so we could be stewards of the Kingdom of Heaven!
Is salvation truly free then? Yes! Salvation is still free. You are not required to work for salvation, nothing we can "do" is ever good enough. Jesus paid for salvation in the garden, on the Cross and in the grave. His precious blood was spilt to paid for the removal of our sins. In order to be saved and washed from our sins, we must believe and have faith in Jesus Christ and His Gospel. We must have faith that His sacrifice was sufficent to set us free from our sins. Then we must understand that we are all born in sin; everyone is a sinner - no one is guiltless! Acknowledging our sin should cause us to be sorry that we have rebelled against the will of the Almight God. This sorrow will bring true heartfelt, tearful repentance of our sins. This brings the forgiveness of God into our lives and it feels wonderful. Next we must get the stains of sin out of our spirit and soul. We do this by being baptized by imersion in water for the remission of our sins. We must be baptized in the NAME of JESUS CHRIST, as it is the only name with the power to invoce the cleansing blood of Jesus into our lives. When we come out of the water we are now also cleansed. So we have been Forgiven and Cleansed, which means we are now empty! The sin that was in us is gone, and there is now void in our spirits which must be filled. This is where the gift of the Holy Spirit comes into play. After the above is finished we open our mouths, and hearts in honest, transparent worship to Jesus for His gift of Salvation, and then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit of Christ into your spirit! The first evidence that you have been filled to overflowing is when Christ's Spirit begins to speak through your mouth in a language that you don't understand; a language of man or angels! (Acts 2:38)
As it says in John 3 you can't see or enter into the Kingdom of Heaven unless you've been spiritually born of Water and Spirit!
Now back to our topic of stewardship. Once you've been "saved" from your sins, as described above you are taken from the kingdom of darkness and put into the Kingdom of Light - the Kingdom of Heaven! Now you are a sworn resident of Jesus' Kingdom, and part of His family.
To explain this a little better let me ask some questions. You did not have to pay a cent to become a part of your family did you? No you were born or adopted, and your family loves you even though you don't pay for it. (hopefully) You don't have to pay for salvation either, just obey the scriptures! (as described above.) However, your family often askes you to take responciblity for things. Such as, cleaning your room, taking out the garbage, doing the dishes, household chores and the like. This is a form of stewardship. By your actions toward the above list you are showing your level of stewardship ability. If you obey and do what your parents ask, without much fuss, then you are probably a good steward. On the other hand, if you kick up a stink, and throw a temper tantrum you are not a good steward, and can be likened to the servant in Matthew who buried his treasure.
Stewardship is about taking care of God's Kingdom, and the portion of it that He has given to you! There are many areas of stewardship, which we will discuss at other times, but here we are looking at time.
TIME! Every Moment of every day has a purpose. It is our job to stay close enough to Jesus so we understand what each purpose is! Did you bump into someone to day accidentally? Maybe Jesus wants you to minister to that person. Did you end up in a hospital recently? Maybe Jesus wants you to reach out to a nurse, doctor or another patient? What are you doing with your time? Is it spent on you, and only you? Do you use your time to reach others? Are you giving your time back to Jesus? What are you doing to take care of the TIME that JESUS has GIVEN you in this LIFE?
Many preachers talk about tithes and offerings in regards to money. However, we ought also to give at the very least a TITHE (or tenth) of our TIME back to Jesus! Time is so valueable and we often waste it! It's like going to the store, and buying pop and a candy rather than Juice and fruit. You just wasted your money because the pop and candy will not benefit you at all! In the superstore of Life what are you buying with your time? Pop or Juice, Candy or Fruit? Are you sharing the Love of Christ to others or are you giving the cold shoulder to someone who may need your help? Are you giving to people in need or filling your bank accounts and home with riches? Do you spend time at the soup kitchen to help the homeless or are you playing your latest Nintendo or PS3 game?
Jesus gave you the TIME you HAVE LEFT, Don't Waste it!
Yours for stewardship of time,
PS> if you would like further information on anything discussed above please feel free to email me!