STEWARD MAST SERVANT
The Scriptures affirm that you and I belong to God. “The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it” (Psalm 24:1) “ The LORD by wisdom has founded the earth; by understanding has he established the heavens” (Proverbs 3:19).
We are His creatures, and He has given us the responsibility to be good stewards of all His blessings, in all their abundance, that we receive from day to day. Being a good steward is acknowledging that God is the Creator of the universe, and you and me, and acknowledging that it is a blessing to be entrusted with these resources. Heavy, indeed, is our responsibility!
Stewardship is equated with money: tithes, offerings, contributions, donations, debt-free lifestyles, and so on."
Being a steward can include a wide range of job descriptions. You can be a housekeeper, a chamberlain, a cabin boy, a superintendent, or a manager. In short, being a steward is being a servant, with the Creator of the universe being the ultimate Master. By being a steward, we acknowledge that we have a master, thereby we are a servant; by being a servant, we acknowledge that we have been entrusted with resources and that we have to manage those resources effectively—which, in turn, means that we are a steward. Thus, stewardship and service are an inseparable duo.
In most cases, stewardship is equated with money: tithes, offerings, contributions, donations, debt-free lifestyles, and so on. However, the real meaning of stewardship is more than finances. It is the giving of ourselves and our consideration of others. It can be giving funds, time, talent, or strength. Can we be good stewards and good servants if we are willing to give ourselves? The Scriptures and the Spirit of Prophecy reveal that good stewards and good servants:
· Acknowledge that God is the Creator of the universe and all we have comes from Him. “The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, an all who live in it” (Ps. 24:1).
· Acknowledge that we are entrusted “with means not to be hoarded but to be used in benefiting others” (Counsels on Stewardship, p. 15). Similarly, “There are many people who complain of God because the world is so full of want and suffering. But the LORD is a God of benevolence, and through His representatives to whom He has entrusted His goods, He would have all the needs of His creatures supplied” (Review & Herald, June 20, 1903/CS 162.1. Emphasis supplied).
· Allow God to use us to distribute the resources which He has entrusted to us to assist those in need. Those resources may be money, time, talents, strength or other abilities. We may not have the funds or the property, but we have talents and abilities, good health and strength, which could be utilized in serving God through different ministries.
Acknowledge that in anything we do, we need to “do all to the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31). Donating funds to further God’s mission is not sufficient if it is not coupled with an acknowledgment that these funds are from God, and that we’re helping to bring glory to Him and not to ourselves."
· Acknowledge that in anything we do, we need to “do all to the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31). Donating funds to further God’s mission is not sufficient if it is not coupled with an acknowledgment that these funds are from God, and that we’re helping to bring glory to Him and not to ourselves. It isn’t sufficient for us to volunteer our talents, our time to serve the church and the community without acknowledging that these are God given talents entrusted to us, and acknowledge further that He has given us the strength, time, and good health with which to serve. In Counsels on Stewardship, page 111, Ellen White asks this question, “Do all church members realize that all they have is given them to be used and improved to God’s glory?” We cannot claim any credit for what we do for others. We probably would receive accolades, plaques of appreciation or good words of thanks from others but the ultimate receiver of these should be the God in heaven who has temporarily given these gifts and this generosity to us.
· Are faithful: “Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful” (1 Cor. 4:2). “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou has been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy LORD” (Matt. 25:21). By being faithful in smaller things, more blessings will abound.
· Pray for wisdom. There are priorities that need to be considered, and there may be needs of which we are not aware. By praying for wisdom, we are at the same time asking for God’s direction in the distribution of these resources.