Stewardship As a Christian Disciple: Going Above and Beyond Tithing

Stewardship is difficult for us to understand. The word is defined as the “office of a steward.” A steward is someone who manages another’s property or financial affairs; one who administers anything as the agent of another or others. We rarely call them stewards today; we call them financial advisors or trust fund managers.
Stewards were very important during the first century. Stewards served to manage the estate until the heir came of age. They paid the bills of the estate, bought and sold goods, and managed the estate to make sure there was an inheritance to pass on to the heir. In the movie “Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King,” we are introduced to Denethor 26th Steward of Gondor. He served as Ruling Steward in place of the King of Gondor. His responsibilities were numerous. He and his ancestors governed Gondor until the return of the King, but his duty ended when Aragon the rightful King of Gondor returned to take the throne.
A steward must know their place and obligation in the kingdom. In the Kingdom of God we are called to be a steward and have stewardship over what God gives us. Stewardship goes beyond tithing. You might be reading this article now with two distinct reactions:
1. You just groaned and put the paper down. Why? Because you definitely cannot suffer through another rant from a pastor about the value of tithing.
2. You just smiled and rubbed you hands together. Why? Because you got this 10 percent stuff down pat.
For those who fall under the first reaction please pick up the paper and read on…,for the second group…open your minds, hearts, and spirits to receive from the Word of God.
The aging King David knew the discipline of stewardship. In 1 Chronicles 29, we see that David has assembled resources for the building of the Temple of God, although he was not the one to actually build the Temple. One of the last recorded words of David is found in 1 Chronicles 29, “Praise be to you, O Lord, God our father Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours.” (verses 10-11 emphasis mine). Some drop the “Y” and make it “ours.” But the Bible says, “everything” belongs to God. David goes on to say, “Yours, O Lord, is the kingdom: you are exalted as head over all. Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all.” (verses 11-12). God gives wealth, honor and strength. They are given to man by a Creator God that loves us with a never-failing, never-ending love, which David understood and exclaimed, “Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name. But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand.” (verse 13-14).
The Apostle Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 4:2: “Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.” How can we prove to be faithful stewards with what God has given us? Here are seven possible suggestions:
1. Don’t get engrossed with your possessions – keep your life in perspective. Don’t allow the pursuit of possessions to cloud your walk with Christ. (Read 1 Corinthians 7:30-31)
2. Take care of the possessions you have – don’t waste what you have!
3. Don’t consume so much today you have nothing for the future.
4. Tithe to your local church – give to your church first, then other Christian ministries next.
5. Give an offering – offering is above and beyond a tithe.
6. Organize your life – from spiritually and financially to physical health.
7. Steward your family – God has given us a wife, a husband, and/or children. Let us not abuse that responsibility by being too busy making more money to buy more stuff!

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