by Jerry A. Jenkins
The Lord often taught by parables, in fact, approximately one third of His recorded teachings were in parable form. There are no parables in John’s gospel, but in the synoptics, these simple memorable stories with imagery convey deep truths which are central to His teaching. One of the Lord’s favorite themes in these parables is “stewardship.”
A steward was a manager—someone who managed the owner’s farm or business. Good stewards faithfully used their master’s resources to advance his current concerns and increase his wealth. Bad stewards misused his resources for personal gain or squandered them out of laziness. Scripture teaches that God is the owner of all we have. David stated, “The earth is the LORD’S, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein” (Psa. 24:1). Paul reminds us, “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Cor. 6:19- 20).
What trust God has placed in us. This privilege, however, brings with it the responsibility to manage to the very best His assets. Most Americans regard themselves as sovereign owners, and the money, wealth, and assets we have are exclusively are at our disposal to advance our own interest. There is a tremendous difference in how we view possessions as owners or stewards. This concept will determine how much we give. As owners we will ask, “How much of my money will I give to God,” but as stewards the question will be, “How much of God’s money will I keep for myself?”
Statistics reveal that as most American Christians’ incomes goes up, their percentage of giving goes down! This philosophy is brought about by an attitude that asks, “Do I want this? And (sometimes) “Can I afford it? from the owner, while the steward asks, “How will this affect by ability to advance God’s purpose?” The steward will always remember God’s pas- sion to reach the lost, and look for creative ways to subsidize this great purpose.
In this season of THANKSGIVING, let us again renew our gratitude for our personal redemption and determine that if our nation can have a spe- cial time to count our physical blessings, God’s people can treasure the great spiritual blessings we enjoy! As you pray with your family this week let every family member be reminded of the blessing of salvation!
Jerry Jenkins is the inspiration behind The Jenkins Institute. He preached for over 50 years, 43 of those at the great Roebuck Parkway church in Birmingham, AL. He and our mom were married for 49 years and have four children. Ten of their children and grandchildren are in full-time ministry. Dad was a dreamer and builder, having founded Jefferson Christians Academy, Maywood Christian Camp, Rainbow Omega, The Living Word Radio and TV Ministries, and Birmingham Bible School for the Deaf, but his greatest passion was telling the Gospel story—whether from a pulpit or one-on-one.