Have you ever been given something extremely important to take care of? Maybe it was someone else’s pet while they were away on holidays or a piece of clothing for a special event. Perhaps you asked to borrow you dad’s nice new car for a first date to impress someone. In these cases, we feel an obligation to take care to return the object in better shape than when we first were entrusted it. This is called stewardship and is also a fundamental spiritual principle for those who are children of God.
Stewardship is defined “managing something with special care that has been entrusted to our oversight”. Theological stewardship is the understanding that God’s children take care of what He has created and entrusted to us, starting with creation and embracing our health, soul, and material possessions. Stewardship expresses our partnership with God through an understanding of His LORDSHIP. Jesus is LORD of all. It calls us to obedience regarding the administration of everything God has placed under our control. Stewardship is the commitment of one’s self and possessions to God’s service, recognizing that we do not have the right of control over our property or ourselves. We are simply managers of what God has entrusted. He will return and we shall give an accounting for how we invested and used what He has given us. Psalm 24 declares “The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it”. We need to be careful in thinking that we own anything! We don’t. The principle of accountability and reward is also well established in the New Testament Epistles. “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving”. Colossians 3:23
Over the next 3 weeks we will be looking at Christian stewardship on Sunday mornings in a series called Lord of All. I pray we would approach this important area with prayerful humility. The enemy likes to use these kinds of topics to cause the human soul to retreat into protectionism or guilt. Satan is a liar and exaggerator. We are praying for openness to learn, to examine and to present ourselves fully to Christ.
One final note. Estate planning and including the Kingdom of God in our wills is very important. It’s part of good stewardship. When Philippe Straforelli died, CLA and his family established a legacy fund in remembrance of Philippe’s life and passions. CLA and global missions was deeply blessed by his generosity, servanthood and sacrifice of time and energy. He was also deeply committed to establishing legacy through long term giving to the Kingdom of God. This was especially true for his local church. Therefore, the memorial funds will be invested with the interest being given to CLA mission projects in perpetuity. The first donation of $300,000 is being made by the Straforelli family. We are asking others to consider a donation in memory of him. We hope to match these funds and eventually grow the fund to 1 million dollars. This will be an investment into eternity and an example laid for others to follow.