Being a good steward for Christ needs to happen in every area and role in our lives. In each we ought to practice faithful and fruitful stewardship. As a true believer and disciple of Christ Jesus, it is naturally our duty to steward the things entrusted unto our care and influence. Which sometimes means changing our immature attitudes to become disciplined, internally and externally.
So Stewardship applies not just to physical assets, but to every area of life. Here’s how Paul stated it in his life: “Let a man regard us in this manner, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2In this case, moreover, it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy.” (1 Co 4:1-2 NASB)
Peter stated it this way: “As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” (1 Pe 4:10 NASB)
In every area of life is something we are called to steward, but since I can’t mention them all, I’ll break them down into five areas:
Financial – our real assets (home, car, etc), paper assets (stocks, cd’s, etc.), and contract assets (insurance, wills, etc.)
Mental – knowledge, wisdom, skills, things we enjoy thinking about, learning, emotions, and work
Social – relationships with family, friends, co-workers, all those within the Body, and all those not yet in Him
Physical – our health
Spiritual – our relationship with God, the God-head (Father, Son & Holy Spirit), our Calling, the Kingdom, spiritual gifts, discernment, etc.
Learning to fully develop, activate, appropriate and utilize each facet with a servant heart is a lesson for us to learn our entire life time. But we will have to start somewhere and somehow. Kingdom Callings very purpose is to establish a firm foundation.
God wants us to pursue the Kingdom first (Mt 6:33), but that does not mean that He wants us to ignore other responsibilities. And as we pursue the Kingdom, we receive much grace and blessing in each of these other areas. Still, we must learn to prioritize and balance the five areas of wealth in our life as being a key to success with our time here.
Law of Increase- Seeds Grow
As we steward in each area of life, an amazing thing happens. The law of increase kicks in. The skill and discipline with which we manage each area multiplies the benefits we see in that area. Jesus taught often about this principle.
Scripture speaks about Sowing and Reaping (Gal 6:7-10, James 3:18). When a seed is sown into the ground, it takes some time for it to grow and become a tree. It takes even more time to become fruitful. But when it bears good fruit, it will produce more of its own kind and multiply. This produces many new seeds of the same kind which can then start this process of increase and duplication anew. A tree can become a forest; a seed can become a field of crop. But each grows of its own kind. Thus the Bible tells us that we will reap of what we sow.
Jesus gives the example of the mustard seed, “What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest seed you plant in the ground. Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds of the air can perch in its shade.” (Mark 4:30-32 NIV)
He came and died on a cross leaving a few men to inherit His Holy Spirit. From these humble beginnings, this mustard seed of the Kingdom began and has been advancing ever since throughout the world. In this country, the Kingdom reality is growing quickly. We don’t really notice the growth in the number of Believers because people have grown tired of religion and are leaving the Church at a pace similar to those coming in. But the number of believers who are stepping into the Kingdom life is growing rapidly in this country.
In other countries, the growth is more easily seen. The number of believers is booming across the globe as revival breaks out in countries that have governments very hostile to the gospel and is quickly approaching the foretold time where every nation and tribe will have heard the news. All this started with the small mustard seed of Jesus!
This same law of increase happens within us. When we first receive our faith, it is a very small thing inside of us. Outwardly, we do not appear changed. Yet inwardly, He begins to change us. We can decide not to steward our faith properly and fight the growth that He calls us to. If so, we will look no different from those who have not received that seed. But if we water it, and provide lots of sunshine (steward), we will be transformed. This is the power of the Kingdom and the law of increase.
This same principle applies to every other sphere of life including financial. As we are diligent with the small amounts that we have, growth seems small at first but then becomes phenomenal as long as we stay faithful with the little things God gives us to manage and continually seek Him for direction.
The mystery and knowledge of the Kingdom is best of best of all our possessions. It is imperative for us as disciples of Jesus Christ to seek this and apply wise and faithful stewardship. It is a seed that starts off very small, but as we steward this treasure, it is capable of being the most powerful force in the world…all held inside you. Always focus first and foremost on stewarding His Kingdom reality within you.
Other articles in this newsletter:
A column putting today’s bruised economy in spiritual perspective
An article discussing knowing through thinking vs. knowing through doing
An interview with a financial expert highlighting a cash flow oriented product with tremendous tax benefits