The Stewardship of Our Ministry

It is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy.

–1 Corinthians 4:2

Every Christian has been called to ministry. It’s not just pastors and evangelists—every believer has been set apart as God’s representative. In Colossians 1:25, Paul mentioned the stewardship of our ministry: “Of this church I was made a minister according to the stewardship from God bestowed on me for your benefit, so that I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God.”

As a pastor, anytime I mention the word stewardship, people clutch their wallets. But the word translated as “stewardship” in this verse—oikonomia in Greek—was about more than just money; it referred to the management of someone else’s household. In biblical times, a wealthy person would hire a steward to manage their affairs. The steward was responsible for paying the bills, collecting income that was owed, and hiring and firing employees. The steward was not the owner; he was simply the manager of what had been entrusted to him.

There are two major components of stewardship. First of all, stewardship involves present responsibility. The steward’s job is to maximize his master’s interests rather than his own. The Bible says you and I are stewards. We don’t own anything. Everything we have—our money, homes, clothes, gifts, even the breath of life—is simply on loan to us from God. And God has entrusted these things to us not to further our interests but to further His interests. Every Christian is either building his own kingdom or building God’s kingdom. It’s one or the other; it can’t be both. Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 4:2, “It is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy.” The steward’s present responsibility is to further his master’s interests.

The second component of stewardship is future accountability. A steward knows he will have to give an account of what he’s done with the master’s assets. In the same way, you and I are going to stand before God one day and give an account of what we’ve done with everything God has entrusted to us. What have we done with our money, gifts, opportunities, and time? That’s why Paul said in 2 Corinthians 5:9–10, “We also have as our ambition . . . to be pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”

As ministers of the gospel, we have a responsibility to further God’s interests, and God is going to hold us accountable.

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Today’s devotion is adapted from “Called to Minister” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2011.

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.

 

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