Stewarding the Mysteries of God #2

A steward is one who is given responsibility and authority to rule over and manage the affairs of a household or enterprise.  They are expected to ‘steward’ the responsibility well by putting the entrusted resources to good use without waste.  They were to use their entrusted authority with wisdom in order to make sound decisions.

The concept of stewardship is a creation principle that is hardwired into our very fabric.  Take a look at Genesis 1:26-28:

Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.  And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.  And God blessed them.  And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

From the beginning we see this principle at play.  We are created in the image of God and the call of being an image bearer is to imitate Him in a certain way - being fruitful and multiplying.  This isn’t just a reference to having children.  This is also a reference to take the model of the garden of Eden and cultivate the rest of creation to resemble the garden.  They were given responsibility and the appropriate authority to steward the resources well and were expected to use wisdom to make sound decisions.  

Why are we talking about stewardship when we are going to deal with spiritual gifts?  It’s simple.  If we don’t understand stewardship we won’t understand the purpose of spiritual gifts.  In fact, in 1 Corinthians 12-14, Paul is having to rebuke and realign the church due to its poor stewardship of the gifts, and dare I say, some abuse of the gifts.

Let’s take a look at 1 Corinthians 12:4-11:

“Now there are different gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different ministries, but the same Lord. And there are different activities, but the same God works all of them in each person. A manifestation of the Spirit is given to each person for the common good: to one is given a message of wisdom through the Spirit, to another, a message of knowledge by the same Spirit, to another, faith by the same Spirit, to another, gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another, the performing of miracles, to another, prophecy, to another, distinguishing between spirits, to another, different kinds of tongues, to another, interpretation of tongues. One and the same Spirit is active in all these, distributing to each person as he wills.”

‭‭There’s a lot here which we will address in due time.  But for now, here’s what I want to focus on.  Observe verse 7.  What do you notice?  Besides the big word ‘manifestation’.   It should be clear.  If you have placed your trust in Jesus to forgive you of your sins, to bring you from death to life, then you have been given a spiritual gift to steward.  You have been entrusted by God’s grace to steward this gift responsibly, with wisdom, and to use it for the common good.

I leave you with a few questions to chew on.

Have you placed your trust in Jesus?  If so…

How are you stewarding the spiritual gift that God has entrusted to you?

How are you using it for the common good?

Till next time!