By Jay Pearson


When God placed Adam in the Garden of Eden to dress and keep it, he set the expectation of stewardship.

Genesis 2:15:
And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.

Adam’s duty was that of a steward. To "dress" the garden means to take care of it. To keep it is to guard and protect it. If you ask me to take care of something for you and I accept that responsibility, I become your steward in that assignment. As I carry out that responsibility I am exercising stewardship. The main goal in stewardship is to accomplish exactly what is expected without going beyond the boundaries of the instructions unless you have received permission to do so. I would like to stir up your interest in good stewardship and encourage you to be the steward that God has called you to be.

According to the dictionary a steward is one who manages property or financial affairs as the agent of another. The act of serving as a steward is called stewardship. We are all stewards for each other from time to time. If you take care of a friend’s pet while he goes on vacation you are stewarding the pet for your friend. A good steward obeys the wishes of his employer or lord. The Bible provides many examples which make it clear that stewardship is a responsibility that should not be taken lightly. As a steward you are accountable to the one you represent. Your stewardship should reflect their wishes, character, and integrity. Your wishes, character, and integrity will be reflected in your stewardship of your own things as well.

Stewardship of our own material possessions is often neglected. Using a new tool once or twice and then tossing it to the side of the garage where it is misplaced and forgotten is not an example of good stewardship of your personal items. Poor stewardship of your own possessions is bad enough. I believe poor stewardship of another’s material possession is even worse. If you borrow your neighbor’s lawn-mower and return it after many requests from your neighbor, dirty, out of gas, and broken, he probably won’t loan it to you again. A good steward would return the mower on time in better condition than when he borrowed it, clean, full of gas and in good working order. The way we steward our own goods and our neighbors’ goods is a reflection of our character and integrity.

Luke 16:12:
And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man’s, who shall give you that which is your own?

There are many lessons that can be learned by examining ones own stewardship. We tend to steward some things better than others depending on the value or importance we place on certain items. For example, I have always highly valued the cars I’ve owned. Whether I paid $50.00 or much more, each one was stewarded with the same care and attention to detail. I spend a great amount of time cleaning not only my car but other people’s cars as well to bless them. This interest for physical detail overflows into other areas of my life. I thank God for this ability I exercise in this kind of stewardship, so it is natural to me. My wife is much better at other things. When I make a sandwich for lunch I throw it together and devour it. My wife creates a sandwich with meticulous detail. It’s not only good to eat, but it is a wonder to behold. We all steward some things better than others. By exercise and patient trial we can improve the quality and consistency of our stewardship.

Luke 16:10:
He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.

The concept of stewardship applies to both material and spiritual matters. Although spiritual and material matters are quite different, the stewardship of each is very similar. Stewardship of spiritual things should never be neglected. God does not give us things to be tossed aside after using them once or twice. God’s gifts are perfect and made to be exercised and stewarded with integrity. If you don’t continue to use a gift God has given you it may become like the material thing only used once or twice and tossed to the side of the garage. The gift remains perfect but your faith becomes misplaced. God commands us to keep his gifts and utilize them. They are backed and directed by his eternal source of power through Jesus Christ. What an incredible privilege to be the stewards of the mysteries of God. Along with that there is an incredible responsibility to minister in obedience.

1 Corinthians 4:1:
Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.

As stewards of God we are required to be faithful. We are responsible to keep that which God has given. We are instructed to keep the faith, keep the commandments, keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, and keep that which has been committed to our trust. God keeps us and we are to keep what he has given.

1 Timothy 6:20:
O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:

1 Corinthians 4:2:
Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.

Our stewardship of material things and spiritual things is not a responsibility to be taken lightly. We as sons and daughters of God are stewards of the mysteries of God and as such are required to be faithful. We represent our heavenly Father and his Son, Jesus Christ here on earth. God keeps us through our Lord Jesus Christ and we are required to keep his gifts and should take care of our material blessing as well. Let us steward our earthly things and our heavenly things and be examples to all God’s creation. The earthly things will dissolve in due time, but until they do, let them reflect our inner gift. We will be exercised in that which is little and ready to care for that which is much. God bless you.

1 Peter 4:10-11:
As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.



From the May 2008 issue of The Vine & Branches