Stewardship is defined as the exercise of responsible care over possessions or gifts entrusted to them by God! The New Testament word "steward" derives from the Greek word - oikonomos. This word meant somebody who was the manager of a household and also supervised all the resources of his master. Hebrews 3v1-6 describes the concept of stewardship. All those who would call themselves followers of Jesus, are called to be stewards and live a life of stewardship! You are God's chosen steward, if you call yourself a follower of Jesus Christ.!
A house in Scripture, in its context, denotes a family (1 Timothy 3v15; 1 Peter 2v5; 1 Peter 4v10-17). Every Christian Disciple is a member of the house of Jesus Christ. The concept of stewardship derives from this: Jesus Christ is the head of the house, and all those who follow Him, live in the house and are stewards (Ephesians 4v7-16). Two prime qualifications for stewardship are faithfulness & wisdom.
What are Christian Disciples stewards over? In the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30) Jesus intimates that those who follow Him, will be judged according to all that they have been given stewardship of! This includes things such as Spiritual Gifts (1 Corinthians 12v1-10), acts of service (Galatians 5v13) and material possessions (2 Corinthians 9v6-8)! These are used to accomplish three other items of Stewardship: mission, message and men.
Here are two prime examples of stewards.a. Jesus Christ. He is the prime steward, and particularly a steward of a mission, a message and of people. His Mission can be seen in John 3v17; John 17v4. His message is seen in John 17v8-14. His stewardship of men can be observed in John 17v6, 9, 11, 17
b. Paul. Also was a steward of mission, message and of people. His mission can be studied in Ephesians 2v19 - 3v8. Paul's Message is observed in 1 Corinthians 9v16-17; Colossians 1v25. Finally, Paul's stewardship of people, where others are his equal is seen in 1 Timothy 1v11-18; 2 Timothy 1v6-14, Titus 1v3-5; 2 Corinthians 2 v12-13
What are the responsibilities of a Christian steward?
You need to know the mission you have received from Jesus Christ. You needs to know the message of that mission. You needs to know who God has given you. Finally, you need to know what resources have been made available to do the job.
This Christmas, remember that Jesus Christ was a steward over a mission, a message and people. Like Him and Paul, so do you. Do you know what your role as a Christian steward is? Are you showing wisdom and faithfulness as you discharge your role as steward?