Joseph made several requests of the steward of his house during the time he was testing his brothers (Gen 43:16,19 & 44:1,4). Daniel had a steward that was responsible for ensuring that he ate the proper food in preparation for service to King Nebuchadnezzar (Dan 1:11,16)). In these contexts, a person of wealth or power gave a steward the responsibility of properly managing property and/or people.
Now let’s look at a few examples in the New Testament:
1. 1 Cor 4:1-2 – This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful.
2. Col 1:24-25 – Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known.
3. 1 Pet 4:10-11 – As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.
So in the New Testament, the concept of stewardship has a meaning much broader than just managing people and property – it involves being good stewards of everything God has given us, including being good stewards of His Word.
As we begin a series on stewardship, I pray we will all take time to reflect on how we could be better stewards of what God has given us…. oh, and that’s pretty much everything, right?