We know God loves us. Most of us have John 3:16 memorized for a long time. The magnitude of God’s love can neither be measured or fathomed except we know its greater than we can ever love. Much greater. We ought to be very grateful people. But how grateful are we? And if stewardship were to be the measurement of our gratefulness, what might that look like?
The parable of the talents (Matt 25:14-30) is perhaps the most fitting stewardship lesson. Each servant was entrusted by the master with a different amount, one was given five, another two, and another one. The wise master gave different amounts “according to his ability” (v.15). No need to envy the one who was given more, or look down on the one given less. Consider the master’s response when he returned and commended the two faithful servants who produced double of what was given them. Different amounts, but they received the exact same commendation by their master.
Consider what God has entrusted to us, materially, our income, our assets, our families and friends, and our time. And spiritually, grace and knowledge of God, the different gifts, and ultimately, the relationship with our heavenly Father as His treasured children. If each of these were to be given a “talent value”, what might that amount to? Are you satisfied with the amount? But that’s a self-centered way of looking at God’s provision. The more important consideration is regardless of the amount, how have we used it to produce a return for God and bring Him joy? Just as the servants given the five and two talents, they were praised as “well done, good and faithful servant…enter into the joy of your master.”
Bringing joy to God ought to be our motivation. If you don’t feel like doing it, are you grateful for God’s love toward you, forgiving you your sins and transgressions, and have prepared a place for you in heaven to spend eternity with Him? And if that’s not enough, have you considered the third servant who did not do anything with what the master had entrusted to him, came up with a lame excuse, and was “cast into the outer darkness, in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (v.30)
Stewardship starts with our love and gratitude to God, which become our motivation. We build a proper attitude on stewardship leading to actions through our spiritual discipline. This results in our faithfulness to our heavenly Father who doesn’t withhold His love and blessings toward His faithful children. Don’t think of it as our entitlement though. God does not owe us anything. We owe everything to Him. The least we could do is to bring Him joy as a token of our love by being faithful stewards. Do we give Him our best, and offer Him our first fruit? May we experience the joy of our heavenly Father regularly through our faithful stewardship!