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Understanding The Relationship Between Faith And Stewardship
Stats: 4,058 words / Reading Time: 20.29 mins

Published: Saturday 18th January 2020

Understanding The Relationship Between Faith And Stewardship is read 192 times on CentreNDL.org 192

Understanding The Relationship Between Faith And Stewardship


"SO THEN, let us [apostles] be looked upon as ministering servants of Christ and stewards (trustees) of the mysteries (the secret purposes) of God. Moreover, it is [essentially] required of stewards that a man should be found faithful [proving himself worthy of trust]."

1 Corinthians 4:1-2

 

A steward is a trustee or a manager of another man's possession. And the whole length and breadth of what we do in stewardship is to guard whatever it is that has been entrusted to one. Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy in 1 Timothy 6:20. It says: "O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge..." In 2 Timothy 1:14 as well, he reminded Timothy again: "That good thing which was committed to you, keep by the Holy Spirit who dwells un us."

 

Anything that is entrusted to you, you automatically become the steward of that thing and so, you are to guard or keep such a thing jealously. For example, the land use act of Nigeria places on Nigerian states governors to be trustee of all lands within their state. They are to hold it in trust on behalf of the people. As Disciples and Discplers, we are stewards of God's secret purposes and intentions, and one of the hallmarks of stewardship is faithfulness. 1 Corinthians 4:2 that we read tells us: "Moreover, it is [essentially] required of stewards that a man should be found faithful [proving himself worthy of trust]."

 

Why Is It Important That We Are Faithful In Stewardship?

 

1. The Destiny of The People of The World Rests Upon Our Stewardship

How far we are going to go as disciples and disciplers in reconciling the people of the world back unto God would be determined by how faithful we are in the assignment that God has commissioned into our hands. We should never forget that it is our sole assignment, to preach the gospel of the kingdom of God and to disciple people. Jesus said in Matthew 28:19; "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."

 

"And He commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that it is He who was ordained by God to be Judge of the living and the dead. 43 To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins.”

Acts 10:42-43

 

"I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: 2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching."

2 Timothy 4:1-2

 

2. Because We Will Give Account Of Our Stewardship

"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. 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.’"

Luke 16:1-2

 

"So then each of us shall give account of himself to God."

Romans 14:12

 

3. There Is A Reward For Our Faithfulness

"Knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free."

Ephesians 6:8

 

2 Corinthians 5:10 also tells us that we all we appear before the judgment seat of Christ and we shall receive a reward for whatever it is that we have done in the body.

 

 

The Link Between Faith And Stewardship

There is a strong link between faith and being an exemplary steward and I want us to examine the book Hebrews 11 to see the link. Verse 1-2 of Hebrews 11 says: "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good testimony." This substance of faith was extensively explained to us at the leadership fellowship yesterday and so, I won't dwell so much on it. We can get the message on our website free of charge.

 

In verse 2, we were made to understand that by faith, the elders obtained a good testimony. That means that the elders, in their journey of stewardship, when it was time for them to give account, their faith helped them to give a good account. That also tells us that without faith, many of them may have struggled to give a good testimony, and that is an important point we must take. The absence of faith in our stewardship journey in life or our discipleship journey, may prevent us from giving God a good testimony when we appear before Him, and so; we need to watch it. Whatever we do must be done in faith.

 

Listen to Podcast: Understanding The Relationship Between Faith And Stewardship

 

In Acts 6:8, the Bible talked about Stephen. It says: "And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and signs among the people." Stephen was able to do great wonders and signs among the people because he was full of faith. Even at the point where he was being stoned, his stewardship of the mysteries of God was not compromised, because he was full of faith. The entire chapter 7 gave us an account of how he schooled the people about what he knew, the mysteries that God has committed into his hands. Even in the face of death, he went ahead to share them to the people. Where did he get such boldness from? The Bible says "he was full of faith."

 

Verse 4 of Hebrews 11 tells us: "By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks." Sometimes we wonder, why did God accept Abel's offering and rejected that of Cain? After all, they both offered from the things they do. Let us read the story in Genesis chapter 4:3-6. The Bible says:

 

"And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord. 4 Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering, 5 but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell.6 So the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? 7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it."

 

Cain and Abel were both stewards of God's resources so to say. One works with the ground, the other works with the animals. God owns both the land and the animals. Psalms 24:1 tells us "The earth is the Lord's and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein." So, Cain and Abel came to offer unto God from the proceeds of God's resources that He has bestowed upon them. God had earlier chased their parents from the prepared garden of Eden due to their error, and He had told their father to go on and till the ground. So, Cain and Abel must have learnt the art of tilling the ground and rearing animals from their father, Adam.

 

Cain brought of the proceeds of the land and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. But Cain's offering was rejected and Abel's offering was accepted. What happened? The Bible made it clear to us in that Hebrews 11:4 that Abel offered to God his offerings in faith. There are many lessons this story could teach us as stewards of God's manifold resources. The first is this: WHAT YOU DO FOR GOD most times, DOES NOT COMMEND YOU TO GOD. Your money does not commend you to God, your wealth and riches does not commend you to God. The only thing that commends us to God is OUR FAITH.

 

25 Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began 26 but now made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith— 27 to God, alone wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.

Romans 16:25-27

 

6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Hebrews 11:6

 

Secondly, anything that we do for God that is not done in faith is a sin! Romans 14:23c tells us: "for whatever is not from faith is sin." That means any stewardship that is not done in faith is sin. Any giving or whatsoever it is that we do, that is done outside of faith is a sin. So, when God was stylishly telling Cain that "sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it", God knew what was about to happen, but Cain didn't know it. His understanding was unfruitful and so, he could not comprehend what God meant by that statement. As a result, he murdered the first righteous man on the face of the earth.

 

Verse 5 says: "By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, “and was not found, because God had taken him”; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God." The Bible says Enoch was able to walk with God by faith and he had that testimony that he pleased God. How did he please God? Through faith the Bible says. Many of us today are struggling to please God in our walk with Him. The reason is because we try to please God and walk with Him THROUGH KNOWLEDGE and not in FAITH. So, we retain God's knowledge in us, but we fail to walk with Him by faith. This is the genesis of our struggling to please God.

 

The Pharisees, the Sadducees and their other folks had the knowledge of God through their Torah, they were a society of scholars; they believe they are God stewards, they were the chief priests and the high priests in the temple, but yet, they never had

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faith. If you read the entire Matthew 21, you would see what Jesus said about them. They were men who had the knowledge of God, but not faith. If we are ever going to be good stewards and disciples and disciplers' for and of Christ, we must not only know God through knowledge, we must walk with Him through faith as well.

 

Verse 6 tells us: "But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." It is faith that pleases God and nothing else. Everything else that pleases God comes on THE PLATFORM OF FAITH. Your worship pleases God on the  platform of faith. Your praises and thanksgiving pleases God on the platform of faith. Your tithes and offerings pleases God on the platform of faith. Your stewardship won't be pleasing to God except it is done in faith. Bishop Francis Wale Oke said "Faith honors God, and therefore God honors faith."

 

Let us conclude in verse 17 seeing how Abraham's sacrifice was accepted on the platform of faith. The Bible says: "By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, 18 of whom it was said, “In Isaac your seed shall be called,” 19 concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense." When God told Abraham to offer Isaac, Abraham had slaughtered him in faith immediately. He didn't need to wait to get to his destination first, Isaac was offered up almost immediately. How did I know this?

 

The Bible says in verse 19, that he "concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense." If there is anything we must add to our stewardship this year, it is faith on a bigger level. God has committed unto us this assignment, He has made us able stewards of His manifold purposes and therefore, we must deliver His purpose with faith in our hearts.

 

I pray that God will help us in Jesus' name.


Thanks for the gift of your time, I am Obayomi Abiola Benjamin!

Feel free to share your thoughts or testimony with me in the comment box below. I promise to respond to them as soon as possible!

Word of Confession: (Optional)

Lord Jesus, I confess to you that I have sinned against the LORD God - in the rebellion of my heart, I have disappointed your expectations on my life. I have fallen from Your grace and followed wrong influences around me. Today, I retrace my steps back to you - and I ask that in your mercy you accept me as your son and give to me (again) the promise of the Father - the Holy Spirit. Lord Jesus, please, come and make my heart your home, and from there rule in the affairs of all men. In Jesus Name I have prayed.



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Stewardship Faith Disciples Disciplers 2020 January Christ Jesus Bible Exposition Today Lea


True spirituality is not in giving alms with the right hand and the left is aware, It is not by standing on the roof top to pray, It is not in wearing a long robe to look sanctimonious. True spirituality is the posture of your heart towards SIN, towards GOD, and towards your NEIGHBOUR.


Published: Apeh Francis Abah | Monday 7th October 2019


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True spirituality is not in giving alms with the right
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