Introduction: Assume you decide to hire a steward because you have
considerable assets. What traits would you look for in someone to
trust with your money or your other possessions? What characteristics
could be ignored? You would want the person to be smart, or at least
wise, right? Honest? Loyal, in the sense of having your best
interests at heart? Competent? If you think these characteristics are
important, perhaps even mandatory, would God’s requirements be
different? They might be, right? Let’s plunge into our study of the
Bible and learn more about being God’s steward!
- Read Luke 16:8. You will recall that in Lesson 3 of this
series we studied this story. (If you don’t recall, read
the entire story of the unjust manager, Luke 16:1-12.)
What did Jesus seem to indicate is the most important
trait – in this parable at least? (Being “shrewd.” Jesus
is talking about a combination of intelligence and
- Was this dishonest manager a “steward?” (Yes!)
- Read Matthew 24:45-46. What kind of a steward is Jesus
describing? (A wise and faithful one.)
- What action results from this wisdom? (Faithful
- Do some important traits have, as their natural
result, other important traits? (In this case
this certainly seems true. Being wise results
in being faithful. Let’s talk next about being
- Read Hebrews 11:1. Tell me one thing that you do not have,
but you are certain you will have in the future? (If you
are young, look for an answer other than gray hair and
- Name something else that you have been assured that
you will have in the future, but you do not see any
evidence of it right now?
- If you can come up with an answer to these two
questions, then you have “faith” in your answers.
- Read Hebrews 11:2-3. Do you have faith that God is the
Creator of the universe? (I hope so! Many do not.)
- Read Hebrews 11:8. What was so unique about Abraham’s
decision to go where God told him?
- If I told you that I wanted you to not simply take a
trip, but permanently move somewhere, what would you
want to know? (Where.)
- If you did not know where you were moving, would you
agree to move?
- When you consider the answers you have just given, what
does it teach you about the nature of faith?
- Now, consider that this kind of faith is a “mark” of
a steward. Why do you think it is characteristic of
one of God’s stewards?
- Would it be helpful if your steward was one of
the smartest people on the planet, but was not
faithful to you? Did not trust you in difficult
- Read Matthew 6:19-21. You may recall that we studied this
statement in Luke 12 in the context of the successful
farmer who had a great crop, built barns to store it, and
then died that night. ( Luke 12:16-21.) The following
verses in Luke then tell us to trust God, not money, and
to create assets in heaven because that is where we will
spend our future. Do you recall this?
- Let’s also explore the context for the Matthew version of
this story. Read Matthew 6:22-23. What do our eyes have to
do with storing up treasure in heaven rather than on
- Read Matthew 6:24. What does Jesus’ statement about two
masters have to do with our eyes?
- More importantly, what does it have to do with being
a steward? (The unifying theme is having a vision to
advance the Kingdom of God. If your goal is God,
rather than money, if your vision in life is to bring
glory to God, then your time, money and other assets
follow your vision.)
- Is vision different than being faithful? (I think it
is a different side of being trustworthy. The
faithful side says that you believe God and you
believe in His plan for your life. The vision side
says you have a plan in life that is in accord with
- Read Psalms 12:1-2. What terrible thing has happened to
the world, according to the Psalmist? (Everyone lies.)
- Read Psalms 12:3-4. What is the problem with a steward who
boasts? (He thinks that he is the reason for his success,
not the wealth and direction of his master.)
- What is the link between boasting and honesty? (True
boasting is a lie. It makes the steward unreliable.)
- Read John 8:44. Have you met people whose “native
language” is to lie?
- Would you hire a steward who spoke that language
- Read 1 Timothy 4:1-4. Do the people described here have a
conscience? (It has been “seared,” so I believe the answer
is that they do not have a properly working conscience.)
- When a person tells you that God requires you to take
some additional action to be more faithful, do you
assume that person is religious and honest?
- When a person tells you that God does not require you
to do something you are doing right now, something
that you think is required, do you assume that person
is less religious and perhaps not truly honest?
- Notice here that the people who are hypocrites,
liars, and have no conscience, are urging
people to do more for God. They are urging
people to refrain from doing things they enjoy.
What do you think about the idea that the more
“strict” Christian might really be an evil
- What does this have to do with the marks of a
steward? (You want a steward to give you
accurate advice. Here, the advice originates
- Read 1 Samuel 15:22. How would you compare obedience and
“sacrifices” in today’s terms? (It is better to obey then
to say “I’m sorry.”)
- Is obedience something that you think is important
for a steward? (You want your directions followed.)
- Why? (Because it is your assets that are at
- Does that same consideration apply to our
stewardship for God? (No doubt God wants
His instructions followed, but He gives us
instructions for our benefit.)
- Read 1 Samuel 15:23. Let’s discuss the nature of
disobedience. What does this say is the cause of
disobedience? (Arrogance and rebellion.)
- Would you want an arrogant and rebellious steward
working for you? (No. Think about how this applies to
doing your job.)
- What other reasons might a person disobey? (Weakness.
- Would you want a steward who was weak and
- Read 1 Samuel 15:24-25. Who does Saul blame for his
disobedience? (The people.)
- What do you think is the problem with Saul’s excuse?
(He is not being accountable.)
- When you think about the “marks of a steward” that we have
discussed, how much of this is about being accountable?
(All of it. We need to take responsibility for all of
these traits. This is not about salvation, it is about our
service to God. It is about how we will live our lives.)
- Friend, will you consider each of these characteristics of
a steward, and compare them to your life? If you find that
you don’t measure up, why not ask the Holy Spirit, right
now, to help you improve your walk with God?
- Next week: Honesty With God.