In June 1992 dignitaries from various countries of the world held the largest Earth Summit ever in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Issues were discussed pertaining to the care and protection of the environment on a national and global level. This brings to mind just one aspect of stewardship we as Christians must consider. Stewardship, according to Webster’s Dictionary, is defined as: “The individual’s responsibility to manage his life and property with proper regard to the rights of others.” This definition touches on all areas of life which the Bible speaks most clearly about.
I. Personal Observations:
A. Describe areas in life of which you feel Christians are to be stewards?
Identify and explain aspects of yourself which you feel characterize a steward.
B. It seems that every decade since the 1920’s has had a changed attitude concerning values and priorities which have affected their concept of stewardship.
1. Discuss this issue with a grandparent or elderly friend. Be prepared to share what you have learned with your peers.
2. How do you think your concept of stewardship compares with that of generations before you?
II. Biblical Precept:
A. Through the Bible, God gives the blueprint for a life of stewardship and the standards by which we must measure ourselves. It gives clear precepts for us to search out and incorporate into our daily life of stewardship.
Locate the Biblical precept concerning stewardship in each of the following passages, (this list is by no means exhaustive)
a. Gen. 1:28-30 h. I Cor. 4:2
b. Deut. 8:18 i. I Cor. 6:20
c. Prov. 20:13 j. II Cor. 9:6, 7
d. Matt. 25:14, 15, 23 k. Eph. 6:7
e. Luke 12:15-21 l. James 1:5
f. Luke 19:13 m. I Tim. 6
g. Luke 20:24, 25 n. I Peter 4:10, 11
B. Based on the passages listed above and others you may think of, explain how proper stewardship must be manifested in the following areas:
1. Relationships (family, work related, peers, dating, marriage, etc.)
2. Personal responsibilities (talents, time, wealth, health, abilities, etc.)
3. Spiritual activities (personal devotions, church involvement, gospel witnessing and presentation)
III. Personal Ambitions:
A. Having considered your concept of stewardship and delved into the Biblical precepts, what is your ambition toward stewardship?
1. Thoughts precede actions, and we are commanded to “bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;” II Cor. 10:5b.
2. The hymn, “Take My Life and Let It Be Consecrated” is helpful in guiding us in our full involvement toward stewardship for the service of Christ.
‘Take my life, and let it be Consecrated, Lord, to thee.
Take my moments and my days; Let them flow in ceaseless praise.
Take my hands, and let them move; At the impulse of thy love.
Take my feet, and let them be Swift and beautiful for thee.
Take my voice, and let me sing. Always, only for my King.
Take my lips, and let them be Filled with messages from thee.
Take my silver and my gold; Not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect, and use Every power as thou shalt choose.
Take my will, and make it thine; It shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart, it is thine own; It shall be thy royal throne.
Take my love; my Lord, I pour; At thy feet its treasure-store.
Take myself, and I will be Ever only, all for thee. Amen.”