We’re Stewards, And Not Owners

The idea of stewardship is found throughout the Scriptures. In fact, an important foundation that needs to be laid in all our lives is a realisation that we’re all stewards in this life. The one thing that causes us to fail to understand this is when we think we’re owners instead of stewards.

This is easily evident in the way we speak and how we make decisions. When our conversations are filled with ‘mine’ and ‘I’, in all likelihood, we’re no longer thinking as stewards. In the same manner, do we pray and ask God about the decisions we’ve to make, recognising that our lives belong to Him?
 
Interestingly, Jesus spoke about stewardship extensively. In the many instances when He spoke on this subject, they were directed towards the Pharisees – the religious leaders of His days. What is of note is that the resource that Jesus was focused on with regard to their stewardship was not finances, but rather the people they were supposed to be leading and guiding. The indictment against them was that they were using the people for their own benefit instead of stewarding them as God’s people.
 
I’d like for us to look at Luke 12 because in this chapter alone are two parables relating to stewardship. The first is the Parable of the Rich Fool (vs 16-21), and the second is the Parable of the Faithful and Evil Servants (vs 35-48).
 
In the first parable, the ground of a rich man yielded plentifully and in his prosperity, he decided to build bigger barns. At that very moment, the Lord decided to end this man’s life, and all the wealth he had accumulated came to naught. There are two important points to note. Read the parable and you’ll see clearly that this man had the mindset of ownership instead of stewardship. In two verses (vs 17-18), he used the words ‘I’ and ‘my’ nine times. This is a life-endangering mindset to have.
 
The second point is that he only thought of his own enjoyment and was not rich towards God. Now it’s quite obvious that God doesn’t need our money. Hence to be rich towards God here inherently means that we be rich and generous towards people. God is no killjoy. He blesses us so that we may enjoy the fruits of His blessings. However, let’s not forget that the primary and most important reason He blesses us is so that we may be a blessing to others. When we cease to do that, there’s no reason left for Him to bless us.
 
In the second parable, these same two issues crop up. The faithful servant maintained a posture of stewardship until the Lord’s return, even though the Lord delayed His return. The evil servant on the other hand begins to eat and drink as though he’s the owner. Not only that, he mistreats the other servants as though they were his servants rather than his master’s. Strangely enough, in both parables, failure begins when they departed from a stewardship mindset to an ownership mindset. This is then followed and evidenced by how they treated people.
 
Another point to note is found in vs 42 in which we’re shown an insight into the Lord’s measurement of faithful stewardship. The faithful servant gives those under his care ‘their portion of food in due season.’ The word for ‘portion’ here implies a quantum that’s right and equitable. In other words, they were judged by the quantity that was distributed and the timeliness in which the provisions were distributed. If you’re an employer of staff, this is something you should take heed of – pay your staff a right salary and on time.
 
When it comes to the subject of stewardship, the stakes are incredibly high. Take a careful read through the parables about stewardship in the Gospels. The judgment on those who do not steward well is always very severe.

Here’s a closing thought: God created the Garden of Eden and placed Adam and Eve in it. Everything was given into their care and they could eat whatever they wanted, just so that they remembered that they were not the owners, God designated one tree in the Garden that they were not permitted to eat from.

When Satan came to tempt Eve to disobey God, it was an offer for Eve to step over the boundary and become an owner just like God. After all, there can be no restrictions if you’re the owner. Eve succumbed to the temptation and mankind fell.
 
Remember this – we’re stewards and not owners.

Ps. Lim Lip Yong

Putting a Smile on The Father’s Face

Last November, after speaking at our weekend service for the second time, I asked the Lord what He thought of the message. His reply astounded me – what pleased Him most was not so much the message itself, but what happened the night before the service – the diligence in working through the message and the posture of desperation for His Presence in the service.

And the Holy Spirit said these three words to me that forever marked and changed my life – “Remember this day!” I immediately knew what He was referring to. It was a loving warning from my Confidant to keep this posture in my heart for the rest of my life, so that I’ll not be complacent when it comes to the things of God as I get more fluent in what I do, be it read more…

Strengthen Your Stakes

Long ago, ancient Hebrews constructed tents made of black goat hair, which was spun into strands and woven together, forming panels measuring some 2 feet wide and covering the length of the tent. This took about a year to complete and was primarily the ancient method of tent-making.

Isaiah 54:2 says, “Enlarge the place of your tent, and let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings; do not spare; lengthen your cords, and strengthen your stakes.” When I think of this verse, I think of us expanding our potential, capabilities, and seeing an increase in the church. The intent of God has never changed but if this growth is going to continue, the church must be willing to be stretched beyond her comfort zone.

I believe God wants us to grow in our triune being today, by enlarging our capacity for others read more…

Musings of An Almost Senior Citizen

Age changes your perception of life. When I was 20, I was very concerned over what people thought about me. At 40, I didn’t care what people thought about me. Now at almost 60, I realised no one was thinking about me.

In just 11 months, I will reach my big 6-0. I’m not sure how I feel. In a way, I’m excited about the new possibilities, yet I’m also feeling a sense of trepidation. One of the things that’s been in my thoughts lately is the issue of life after death. Soon, I’ll breathe my last breath and slip away into eternity, which simply means everything I do now ought to prepare me for that moment.

I find myself reading a lot about books on heaven. I’ve just finished reading Dr. DGS Dhinakaran’s classic book, ‘An Insight Into Heaven’ read more…

An Open Door

2019 will be an exceptional year and it’s going to excel against the previous years! Entering a new year can bring with it many new things, it can refresh old things giving them a different perspective. Learning to view a glass as half-full rather than half-empty, re-defining problems as opportunities, and wearing new lenses to view more options as viable might be the new perspective that works this year. Perspective is the way one looks at something, it’s also an art technique that changes the distance or depth of an object on paper.

2018 is past but re-capturing encounters where God apprehended us are so very important. These encounters are keys God has given to unlock doors, doors which were once closed and now opened. I hear the Spirit say, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the read more…

Time to Discard

It’s a new year and the most common thing that people do is to make new year resolutions. We may not call it that but we all make decisions that amount to resolutions. Pray more, be more consistent with our quiet time, spend more time with family, exercise more, and the list goes on.
 
The point to consider though, is that it’s a lot easier to eat junk food than to exercise off the extra calories we put on. It’s easier to put something off and delay doing it than to be prompt and decisive. Perhaps it’s also easier for us to decide what we’re NOT going to do this year, instead of adding more to the list of things to do. Perhaps the thing that will really change our lives this year is to decide that read more…

It’s Time To Leave Your Shadow Behind

If I were to tell you that Jesus had been verbally bullied and labelled by people who knew Him, would you believe me? Mark 6:2-3 records for us that Jesus was called names and scoffed at – “He’s just a carpenter, where did He get all this wisdom and power to perform such miracles?”, “Isn’t this Mary’s boy?”, “We knew His brothers and sisters, and saw all of them grow up, how can He suddenly become better than us?”

Jesus was rejected in His hometown, Nazareth, and amongst His own people. Their unbelief in Him was so severe that it was recorded that “He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them.” (Mark 6:5) Since that time, we’ve no record of Jesus ever returning to Nazareth again and Capernaum read more…

Crossing Over

Excitement is high as we approach Christmas and the New Year. ‘A new beginning or a new season’ – this is a statement often heard at the crossing over into a new year. I’m thoroughly convinced that we’re not only crossing over into a new season, but we’re moving into the fullness of it. We’re not just waiting and praying for a prophecy, but entering into the fulfilment of God’s promises. 
 
Much has been said lately about the church moving into a new season. ‘Crossing over’ is a phrase often used to describe this change. In one of Chuck Pierce’s teachings, he mentioned that a crossing over time has three phases linked with transition: Death, Confusion, and New.  

There’s a word in the Old Covenant that embodies this concept. Gen 14:13 uses the phrase, ‘Abram, the Hebrew.’ The word for ‘Hebrew’ originated from the word ‘Abar’, meaning ‘to cross over’ or ‘pass over’. read more…

Friendships

If there was a lesson I had to learn this year, it’s that life is about relationships. If we fail in our relationships, then, in essence, we fail in life. Relating to others is one of the most important things to learn and it’s a key to success in life.
 
If you think about it, the Bible is basically a record of men and women who walked with God and one another. The Garden of Eden was created as a meeting place between God and the man He had made in His own image. The Lord God would come in the cool of the evening to commune with Adam and there was unbroken fellowship and uninterrupted communion between them.

It was for this purpose that man was created. But when sin inhabited the human race, the first read more…

‘Tis the Reason for the Season

‘Tis the season to be jolly, to bring gifts and be merry! It looks like the world is celebrating and rejoicing with you over the birth of Jesus. Secularised in every way, commercialised to make a profit and I can just hear the ‘ka-ching’ of whirring cash registers.

With each passing year, this sacred holiday has become more and more secularised, with even the infamous Christmas Disney-themed light-up along Singapore’s shopping belt. What have Mickey Mouse and Cinderella to do with Christmas?

Luke 2:10-12 says, “And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the read more…

What Is A Breakthrough?

A breakthrough is something we’ve all heard about very often. It’s something we pray for and perhaps something we pray over others. Personally, I’ve often wondered what a breakthrough really is. Is it a situation in our lives that stands like an immovable mountain that’s suddenly removed? Is it a sense of barrenness in our lives that’s broken? I suppose, those are all pictures of breakthrough.
 
In the realm of the secular, a breakthrough is often much more easily defined. A medical breakthrough represents a new discovery that enables us to combat a sickness or disease we were previously powerless against. An innovation breakthrough probably comes in the form of a new technology for us to do things we previously couldn’t.
 
For the longest time, men were confined to the realms of earth and read more…

When the Obscure becomes the Obvious

“Have you seen a key as big as the door?”, a rhetorical question the Holy Spirit asked me, which later led me to journal a series of personal devotions about finding keys to unlock the hidden truths in the Bible.

Doors are generally used to ‘keep good things in and bad things out’. Doors keep you safe by shutting out external harm. But doors can also prevent you from seizing the opportunities that await you at the other end; your dreams, your breakthroughs and even your freedom. There are primarily two ways to go through a door – you can either break it down, or simply use a key.

Keys give us access to what’s protected behind the door which is not privileged to unauthorised people. Hence, keys are often symbolic of authority over what we own or where we read more…

Book your tickets