Stewardship is one of the most misunderstood concepts in the Bible. When we think of Stewardship, we think of some church campaign to raise more money. Is that what God intended or did He have a greater purpose and meaning to the concept that transcends all the worlds understanding of hard work and accomplishments.
We need to start with a question about ownership. Who really owns all that we have and are? I like to look at it like a three-legged stool:
The first leg represents God who owns all mankind by virtue of Him being the creator of the universe.
“The earth is the Lord’s and all that it contains, the world and all those who dwell in it.” —Psalm 24:1
The Second leg is God who owns all Christians by virtue of our redemption through His Son, Jesus Christ, who died and rose from the dead.
“Christ Jesus; who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.” —Titus 2:14
We therefore own nothing. We are called by God to be Stewards to carry out His will for His property.
Ok, so to be a good steward we need to recognize that we don’t own anything. I think most Christians get that. But is there more to it? Does Jesus demand more than recognition?
A wet sponge placed on a table will eventually dry out because its water will flow out. The day we believe in Jesus, God places us on the cross with Jesus. Like a wet sponge, our “I” drains into the cross. We are dripping with the pride of our “I”. . Our wet sponge empties into Jesus on the cross and is replaced with humility and dependence on Jesus for all. When Jesus says that He is the “I am”, he means the bondservant to the Father. When we die to self, we become the bondservant to Him, like He was to the father.
“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loves me, and delivered Himself for me.”—Galatians 2:20
So in a very real sense, God calls us to crucify the “I” in our lives and not just recognize that He owns it all. He wants more than recognition. He wants an obedient servant. I think in all families, it is imperative that the mother and father understand that they are mere bondservants to Jesus and thus servant leaders for the family. It is that humble, servant leadership that can move a family to rest in the virtues of the Lord. It is the crucifixion of the prideful “I” that marks the true Steward. It is the most important lesson that we can teach our children.
Stewardship is our dry sponge attached to the one that fills us with a new “I” that saturates our whole being and gets into every corner until our thinking, will, emotions and body change. We are filled with His Spirit, He “I” attitude, and His life. The attitude of a Steward is Jesus’ attitude that trusted God and was holy, righteous, acceptable, and most of all totally dependent on the Father.
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By Joe Sturniolo
Christian Family Legacy and Wealth Planning