In our series on Biblical Principles of Stewardship, last week we talked about Stewardship 101 and laid the groundwork for the rest of our study. If you missed it you can find it here. http://thejourneyofasteward.com/biblical-principles-stewardship.html
This week we are going to talk about the disciplines of a good steward.
In this age of consumerism, it has become the cultural norm to be a consumer instead of a manager. We strive after what we can get, what suits me, and how do I benefit. The consumer mindset has re-directed our thoughts and motivations to ourselves.
Remember the definition of a steward? A steward is to gain information, make decisions, and apply all diligence to dispersing, increasing, and protecting resources for the betterment of the owner.
A good steward’s thoughts and motivations are directed toward the owner. A good steward has the master’s interest in mind. Being a good steward in regards to my resources and responsibilities, means I am going to respond out of love and trust to my Master.
In order to respond rightly, I must have a relationship with the Master.
We must have daily disciplines set in order to grow and be in right relationship.
- Prayer- Being in constant communication with the Master. 1 Thessalonians 5:17- “Pray without ceasing.”
- In the Word daily- We need to grow in wisdom and knowledge of the Master. Psalms 119:97 & 105- “Oh how I love thy law! It is my meditation all the day. Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”
I must be intentional about spending time with the Master! I must train through practice and instruction through the Word of God. I must be committed and set it as a priority in my daily life. I must submit to the Master’s wishes.
What does all this require?
There are two types of discipline. There is discipline that is used for correction and there is discipline, as in training. Although each one is unpleasant at the time, they each have their own benefits. I do not know about you, but I would rather endure the training versus endure the correction. 🙂
Training requires practice, repetition, concentration, instruction, and commitment.
I know many people who are in training for marathons and even some who train for Ironman Triathlons (yep they are crazy! 😉 ) But they do not just decide the week before a race and jump in and try to keep up. They usually hire a coach (instruction), work out every day (practice and repetition), change their eating habits (commitment), and do it over and over everyday several months in advance (commitment).
As stewards of the Master we need…
- to be alert and aware; watchful– There are many verses in the Bible about watching and being alert. But one of my favorites is Matthew 26:41- “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation, the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” This pretty much sums it up for me. Although my spirit desires to be a good steward, I so easily fall back into my fleshly reactions. We must be intentional to be alert and watchful to keep on!
- to be prepared – Matthew 24: 36-51- vs. 44, 45a- “Therefore be ye ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. Who then is a faithful and wise servant…” Being prepared helps us to keep our focus and stay committed.
- to have wisdom and discernment– Psalms 90:12, Proverbs 4:5-6 The verses in the Proverbs passage tell us to “Get wisdom, get understanding:”. The only way to navigate through this life, as a good steward, is to have wisdom and understanding in the things of God.
- to have an eternal perspective– Hebrews 11, The entire chapter of Hebrews eleven is examples of faithful servants who had eternal perspectives. They were not looking at the here and now, but rather into eternity. Hebrews 11:13 says, “These all dies in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.” These men and women had an eternal perspective, they were fully convinced, they were all in, and they knew this world was not their home. Are you fully convinced? Here is the hard reality….when we are fully convinced our actions will show it. To believe something is to act as if it were so….
- to walk by faith – 2 Corinthians 5:7, Romans 10:17- Sometimes, we do not understand hoe God is working and that’s okay. We just take another step by faith. The only way we can do this though, is to be in the word. 2 Corinthians 5: 7 says “We walk by faith not by sight“, but Romans states, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” We can not expect to be a good steward without equipping ourselves daily with the Word of God!
Ephesians 5:15-17- “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
The disciplines of a good steward really comes down to making choices out of a love relationship with our Master, while employing His perspective and His priorities with wisdom every day. Once we put these disciples into actions, our behaviors will fall into line.
Walk with Him today!
Live fully convinced!