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Stewardship Part 1

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August 27th, 2013 | Filed Under: Author, Mitch Kuhn, Stewardship, Topical Studies0 Comments | Author:

Everything in this life is given to us by God as a stewardship. We are first caused to be evil stewards before we are judged and made into good stewards.
In the beginning God gave man the charge to subdue all that was in the earth and he also gave a command about how he was to conduct himself while subduing the earth.

Gen 1:28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”


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Everything in this life is given to us by God as a stewardship. We are first caused to be evil stewards before we are judged and made into good stewards.
In the beginning God gave man the charge to subdue all that was in the earth and he also gave a command about how he was to conduct himself while subduing the earth.

Gen 1:28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

Gen 2:15 Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.
Gen 2:16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat;
Gen 2:17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

The rebellion of Adam and Eve is a type and shadow of how we rebel against God ourselves. When Paul is writing to the rebellious Corinthian Church he tells them twice they are the temple of God and the Spirit of God dwells in them. Israel knew how terrible it would be for them to commit sexually immoral acts inside of the temple of God, but the Corinthians did not realize that their sexual immorality was the exact same thing in their own bodies.

1Co 3:16 NKJV Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that
the Spirit of God dwells in you?
1Co 3:17 If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the
temple of God is holy, which temple you are.

1Co 6:19 NKJV Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy
Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?
1Co 6:20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body
and in your spirit, which are God’s.

At first we do not realize how great a stewardship we have been given with
these bodies of clay. We treat our bodies and minds like our own
possessions and boast about all the ways we use this stewardship for our
own selfish purposes.

1Co 4:7 For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have
that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast
as if you had not received it?

Paul tells the Romans that their reasonable service is to offer their bodies as
living sacrifices.

Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that
you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is
your reasonable service.

Here is a parable that explains how we should view our lives and service to
God.

Luk 17:7 And which of you, having a servant plowing or tending sheep, will
say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down
to eat’?
Luk 17:8 But will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare something for my
supper, and gird yourself and serve me till I have eaten and drunk, and
afterward you will eat and drink’?
Luk 17:9 Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were
commanded him? I think not.
Luk 17:10 So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.’ “

Since God created us and gives us everything we have, it is only our reasonable service to be obedient. We are unprofitable because we have nothing to offer to God other than what he has already given us, or what he causes us to do. We get no credit or merit for anything that he works in our lives. We ought to humbly acknowledge that everything is of God.
At first we don’t realize that God is always with us and in fact dwells within our bodies as his temple. We’re only faithful at certain times, like at Sunday church for example. We compartmentalize our life and steward things well at certain times then at others we are not faithful. This parable explains.

(Luk 12:42 NKJV) And the Lord said, “Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his master will make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of food in due season?
(Luk 12:43 NKJV) Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes.
(Luk 12:44 NKJV) Truly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all that he has.
(Luk 12:45 NKJV) But if that servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and be drunk,
(Luk 12:46 NKJV) the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.

We may not physically beat God’s people, but we certainly do persecute those that speak the truth. Paul was persecuting Christians and Christ that that these Christians are in fact Jesus of Nazareth, his own body.

Act 22:8 So I answered, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said to me, ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting.’

So any persecution of Christ’s body is persecution of Christ himself. We don’t even realize that we are opposing the doctrine of Christ at first; just like Paul we are drunk on false doctrine and killing God’s followers in the spirit without even knowing it.

Rev 17:6 I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement.

Just as Paul was shown the error of his ways and just, so will he be humbled and judged for this. Then in due time we will be faithful servants and given the mysteries of the Kingdom to share with others. This is a process that happens over and over in our life. We are blind and disobedient in some ways, but we reject and persecute those that speak truth to us, then we are humbled and taught the truth.

Let’s now examine the parable of unjust steward:

Luk 16:1 NKJV He also said to His disciples: “There was a certain rich
man who had a steward, and an accusation was brought to him that this
man was wasting his goods.

God is the rich man and we are the steward. We all waste everything in our
lives that God gives to us by sowing to the flesh rather than the spirit.

Rom 3:10 NKJV As it is written: “THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NO, NOT
ONE;
Rom 3:11 THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS; THERE IS NONE WHO
SEEKS AFTER GOD.
Rom 3:12 THEY HAVE ALL TURNED ASIDE; THEY HAVE TOGETHER BECOME
UNPROFITABLE; THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD, NO, NOT ONE.”

Gal 6:7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows,
that he will also reap.
Gal 6:8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but
he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.
Gal 6:9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we
shall reap if we do not lose heart.

God then requires that we give an account of our stewardship. He has
already written in our book that we will first be an evil steward so we are
simply declaring what he has caused us to do.

Isa 63:17 NKJV O LORD, why have You made us stray from Your ways, And
hardened our heart from Your fear? Return for Your servants’ sake, The
tribes of Your inheritance.

Luk 16:2 So he called him and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you?
Give an account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward.’
Luk 16:3 “Then the steward said within himself, ‘What shall I do? For my
master is taking the stewardship away from me. I cannot dig; I am ashamed
to beg.

When we are in this carnal state of mind, we cannot dig for the treasure of
God’s word and we are too proud to admit our faults and beg for
forgiveness. We don’t yet know that God has causes our poor stewardship to
humble us.

Pro 2:3 Yes, if you cry out for discernment, And lift up your voice for
understanding,
Pro 2:4 If you seek her as silver, And search for her as for hidden
treasures;
Pro 2:5 Then you will understand the fear of the LORD, And find the
knowledge of God.

Joh 12:39 Therefore they could not believe, because Isaiah said again:
Joh 12:40 “HE HAS BLINDED THEIR EYES AND HARDENED THEIR HEARTS,
LEST THEY SHOULD SEE WITH THEIR EYES, LEST THEY SHOULD
UNDERSTAND WITH THEIR HEARTS AND TURN, SO THAT I SHOULD HEAL
THEM.”

So now this unjust steward is seeing quite clearly the trials that lie ahead
when his stewardship is taken away. He reduces the debts owed to his
master in order to gain the favor of these men in the hopes that they will
appreciate his mercy and receive him during his hour of need.

Luk 16:4 NKJV I have resolved what to do, that when I am put out of the
stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.’
Luk 16:5 “So he called every one of his master’s debtors to him, and said to
the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’
Luk 16:6 And he said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ So he said to him, ‘Take
your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’
Luk 16:7 Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ So he said,
‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ And he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and
write eighty.’
Luk 16:8 So the master commended the unjust steward because he had
dealt shrewdly (wisely). For the sons of this world are more shrewd in their
generation than the sons of light.

This steward is actually commended because he acted wisely. Often in
business there are debts that will never be paid, so it is far wiser to reduce
the debt and get some payment as opposed to having no mercy and
receiving no payment. This is actually a rebuke to the “children of light” or
followers of Christ.

We claim to know God and follow Christ, but we are not as wise as the
children of the world when it comes to managing our physical possessions.
The unjust steward in the parable was acting out of selfish motives, but
nonetheless forgave a part of the debt owed. Christ explains the spiritual
message of this parable in the next verse.

Luk 16:9 “And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by unrighteous
mammon, that when you fail, they may receive you into an everlasting
home.

The unrighteous mammon represents the carnal and physical things in
life that we have been given stewardship. We should forgive the debts of
others that we may win them for Christ and be received into their spiritual
house.

We think that debts are owed to us, but they are really owed to God because
he gave us everything we have.

Mat 6:12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

David wrote the following after killing Uriah and committing adultery with
Bathsheba.

Psa 51:4 Against You, You only, have I sinned, And done this evil
in Your sight— That You may be found just when You speak, And
blameless when You judge.

Whether it is a monetary debt or another way that someone has done us
wrong, we should show mercy and forgiveness since God has forgiven us so
much. This good work will be seen by others and earn us favor with them in
due time when God opens their eyes. This is an application of doing good to
our enemies.

Mat 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you,
do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use
you, and persecute you;

Read the parable in Matthew 18:23-35 for another example.

Here is the conclusion of the parable of the unjust steward.

Luk 16:10 He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he
who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much.
Luk 16:11 Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous
mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?
Luk 16:12 And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who
will give you what is your own?
Luk 16:13 “No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the
one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the
other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”

In due time God will cause us to be faithful in little, so we can be given
much. It starts with managing physical things in our lives and then God
gives us the true riches, once He works faithfulness within us. We either love
God and serve him or we serve things of the flesh. If we cannot manage the
physical things in our lives well and be generous and merciful, then how
can he give us the true riches to share with others?

Before we can be generous and give to others physically or spiritually, we
first have to bear our own burden and get our own physical and spiritual
house in order.

I’m now going to bring out some practical applications we all need
to learn and practice to be good stewards physically and spiritually.

Principal #1: Get Your Own Life In Order First

Gal 6:4 But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have
rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.
Gal 6:5 For each one shall bear his own load.

We always have to start with ourselves before we can do anything for
anyone else. This is not selfish; it’s making sure that we are not a hypocrite.

Mat 7:5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then
you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

It is certainly good to ask for help and allow others to help us bear our
burden, but we first need to do everything we can to bear our own burden.

Gal 6:2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

When it comes to properly stewarding the unrighteous mammon of the
world, we first have to work so we can have money to manage.

2Th 3:7 For you yourselves know how you ought to follow us, for we were
not disorderly among you;
2Th 3:8 nor did we eat anyone’s bread free of charge, but worked
with labor and toil night and day, that we might not be a burden to
any of you,
2Th 3:9 not because we do not have authority, but to make ourselves an
example of how you should follow us.
2Th 3:10 For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If
anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.
2Th 3:11 For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a
disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies.
2Th 3:12 Now those who are such we command and exhort through our
Lord Jesus Christ that they work in quietness and eat their own bread.

Paul and those with him labored to provide for themselves so they could set
a good example for the church in Thessalonica. Paul did receive support
from other mature churches to help him spread the Gospel. This is very
different than the false doctrines of tithing taught in the Churches today.

Read this article to learn the truth about tithing: http://tryingthespirits.com/tithing/

Principal #2: Be Diligent

To work and provide for ourselves we must be diligent as opposed to lazy.

Pro 13:4 NKJV The soul of a lazy man desires, and has nothing; But
the soul of the diligent shall be made rich.

Pro 26:15 NKJV The lazy man buries his hand in the bowl; It wearies him
to bring it back to his mouth.
Pro 26:16 The lazy man is wiser in his own eyes Than seven men who can
answer sensibly.

Laziness in regards to physical work is designed by God to teach us about
spiritual laziness. We need to be diligent in both physical work and laboring
to study and obey the word of God.

Mat 7:7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock,
and it will be opened to you.

Pro 2:4 If you seek her as silver, And search for her as for hidden
treasures;
Pro 2:5 Then you will understand the fear of the LORD, And find the
knowledge of God.

Providing good spiritual things for ourselves is no different than working a
physical job. Both require time and effort. We can only labor with the
strength that God gives us while acknowledging that anything we are able to
do is completely of him.

There are many proverbs about both laziness and diligence. I suggest you
do a search for both and study them diligently. The reward will be great.

There is a time when children are completely provided for by their parents.
At first the child can’t even put food in their own mouths. As the child grows
they are able to eat different foods and become more and more self
sufficient. So it is with babes in Christ.

At first we cannot study on our own. We have to be fed the milk by another
stronger brother or sister who is acting as our spiritual parent. Eventually we
should be able to go search the studies already prepared and try to answer
some of our own questions. And finally we’ll have the ability to go to the
bible ourselves and rightfully divide the word and even feed others.

If we never labor to feed ourselves, we will not grow. We will stay a spiritual
child.

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