In six days, God created all that is. Having created the heavens, the earth and all that is in them, He owns it all. “Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the LORD’S thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is” (Deuteronomy 10:14). Other scriptures that express this same concept are Psalm 24:1; Psalm 89:11; Genesis 14:19, 22; Exodus 19:5; and 1 Corinthians 10:26 to name a few. The truth of His ownership is spread so pervasively throughout scripture that we ought to consider its implications for us. God owns all that is. Therefore, anything that I have is His. In the Old Testament, God gave the land of promise to the children of Israel (Deuteronomy 1:8, Leviticus 25:23) and He has given us everything that we have. God wants us to know that He owns everything, so that we will understand that we are not the true owners but rather stewards over His possessions.
As stewards of the Lord’s possessions, understanding that all we have is not our own, we must determine what the Lord wants us to do with what He has entrusted us. We are responsible for putting His possessions to work for Him.
In Luke 12:42-48, we are told a parable concerning two stewards. One steward was faithful and wise. This steward was responsible with his master’s possessions and made sure that his master’s affairs prospered. Jesus summarizes the duties of a steward as someone “whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season.” The steward is put in charge of managing the possessions of the master and is to ensure that there is no lack. The phrase “to give them their portion of meat in due season” indicates that the steward was in charge of everything down to the food that was on the table.
We know that Joseph was steward over Potiphar’s house and that Potiphar “left all that he had in Joseph’s hand; and he knew not ought he had, save the bread which he did eat.” If nothing else, this ought to illustrate the enormous responsibility that is placed upon stewards. The Lord has entrusted His possessions to us and wants us to be using them for His glory. Jesus tells us, “Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.” Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 4:2, “Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.”
Our Lord is coming back, and He will determine what it is that we have done with His possessions. In Matthew 25, Jesus tells us a parable about three servants to whom a man dispersed his possessions while he went on a journey.
“For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money. After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 25:14-30).
This parable reinforces the concept that the Lord has distributed His possessions to us. It teaches us that when He returns, we will give an account for how we have used His possessions, and He expects a profitable return on His investment. The Lord does not want us to return what we have received back to Him. In fact, this parable seems to indicate that the Lord is looking for a several-fold return on his investment. It also teaches us that as we demonstrate the ability to wisely allocate the Lord’s resources, He will entrust us with more.
God has blessed us all with many blessings both physical and spiritual. Let us pray for wisdom and guidance that we may use God’s blessings in such a way that brings Him glory. Paul tells us in Colossians 3:17, “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” And later in verse 23 of the same chapter, “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.” If we approach our life recognizing that we are stewards of the Lord, then doing everything heartily in the name of the Lord is a natural extension of our stewardship.