The Responsibility Was Given To You: God’s Keys To Living Abundantly.
If you have been following me for a while you know that I often reference the parable of the talents found in Matthew 25: 14 – 30. In short, the story is about a boss who gives sums of money to 3 of his employees to hold until he returns (the story actually says servants in the bible but employees feels better to me) and the moral of the story is in what each of them does with what was given to them. We see this same moral in the story of Adam & Eve, Abraham, David, Esther, Moses…. pretty much every story in the bible so the question is, what are you doing with what God has given to you?
This question is the heart of a concept that’s woven through the fabric of scripture and holds transformative power for all who embrace it which is stewardship.
For many, stewardship is a word connected to tithing, but it has a deeper meaning than just being connected to your money. The word stewardship in the dictionary means the conducting, supervising, or managing of something. So stewardship is about conducting, supervising, and/or managing your purpose. It is about being responsible with the gift God has given to you and embracing a way of life that aligns with fulfilling God’s will for you. A life that focuses on more than just making or managing money but also managing the impact God intended for you to make in this world. It's an opportunity to live a life on purpose, for purpose.
In this blog post, I will walk you through 4 critical insights you must master to ensure you're being responsible = a faithful steward with what God has given to you. These principles will help you partner with God as you do the work He has given to you just as He did with Adam in Genesis 2: 15 “Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.” In the same way, God gave you an arena to tend and keep which defines your area of responsibility!
There is a quote that says, Every Right Has Its Responsibilities, so here is how you both live out your right to abundantly above all and embrace being a good steward of what God has given to you.
1. Know That It Does Not Belong To You
What I really wanted to call this step is, “Who’s Gonna Check Me Bo”. Do you remember that saying that got popular years ago from one of the Atlanta Housewives? The housewife that said this phrase, said it at a time when she had hired someone to do a project for her and they were not doing as she had instructed them to do.
Well, I wonder if you realize that you may be allowing your ego to lead your life and not checking in with God’s direction for your life. Too many successful people I meet in this work are trying to do things their way, instead of God’s way.
Psalm 24:11 says "the earth is the Lord’s and everything in it," this means that God owns everything and we each are simply stewards of what He has given to you to tend to and keep.
Sharing this makes me think of my days back in high school when I first got my driver’s license and my mother let me borrow her car. The car did not belong to me and I knew I had better bring that car back in one piece or else! I remember one Friday after a football game my friends and I were driving home, and some random guy was trying his hardest to get my attention and when I would not roll down my window, he threw a soda at me in my mother’s car. The next day, my mother asked me, “who threw soda on my car”, and I was thinking to myself, how could she tell since the soda was brown and my mother’s car was brown? That moment with my mommy reminded me that I had better be mindful of how I cared for her car or she would never let me drive it again.
The point is, God has trusted us, like my mom did with me and her car. All God wants in return is for us to be responsible with what He has given. However, God will not force you to do or be anything however, if you don’t take the time to own, and grow your purpose and then work in the arena your purpose was meant to dwell in, He will not give you all that He has available to you. The continuation of my car story with my mom, did I know that me borrowing my mom’s car was leading up to a bigger gift. My parents were watching how responsible I was with my mother’s car while they had buying me my own car in the works.
2. Use What You Have Wisely
The full picture, stewardship includes much more than just our monetary gains. It involves managing everything, our time, our talent, our health, our relationships, etc…everything we have been blessed with. It’s about being accountable for our decisions and acting in a way that brings honor to God.
In the book of Genesis, God created everything, He then asked Adam to take care of it. This responsibility was not a burden to Adam but an honor and a privilege. Adam & Eve unfortunately did manage what was given to them wisely. However at the resurrection, Jesus restored the authority of our arena back to us (I’ll unpack that in next weeks FPP Live episode) but here is what I want you to get, Jesus restored an honor and privilege that we, too, have been entrusted with today. God has given us gifts and resources to manage wisely, and it is our duty to fulfill His will with them.
God gives seed to the sower, so if you keep fulfilling your responsibility as the steward, He’ll keep fulfilling His as the owner.
3. God holds You Accountable
In Matthew 12:36, we are reminded that "everyone will have to give an account on the day of judgment" this is a reminder that at one point I will have a meeting with God and He will walk though how I have stewarded what He has given to me.
It‘s not enough to simply receive what God has given. You must also exercise dominion under His management while using our resources, talents, and opportunities in accordance with His principles. This requires careful planning along with ongoing reflection and examination. Whether it's managing our finances, time, relationships, or anything else are accountable for all we do and don’t do just as the employees were held accountable in the parable of the talents.
Matthew 25: 23 - “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.
The goal is that you fulfill God's calling for you life. It’s not about titles you have or materials things you accumulate, it’s about what impact are tyou making for all those you were put here to serve. Which ultimately is making an impact for the kingdom.
4. Focus on Impact Over Material
Colossians 3:24 states, "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord you are serving."
During your daily life, it becomes easy to get caught up in the desire to acquire things.
But you must know your reward is not just about material possessions or wealth, but about the sanctification and growth that comes from your faithfulness in stewarding what God has given you.
When you focus on impact and responsibly manage the resources God has given you, you’ll begin to see how God rewards you in ways beyond your wildest dreams. I have seen how God has blessed me with a husband I could have never prayed for, a house much larger than I imagined and friends and family that richly bless my life! It is what took Tyler Perry & Tiffany Haddish from living in their cars to now being house hold names, it made Oprah a one-time fired journalist to a TV mogul, Jeff Bezos to a company started in his garage to delivering products to our homes across this country, Sarah Jakes Roberts from a teenage mom to a preaching powerhouse! Should I go on or do you get the point?
Stewardship is about living a life that is fully connected to God's purpose for the world. It's about taking everything you’ve been given and using them in a way that brings glory to God, serves the common good, and furthers His Kingdom while God gifts you for doing your part in bringing the kingdom down to earth!