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!

  1. Wise

    1. 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

      1. Was this dishonest manager a “steward?” (Yes!)

    2. Read Matthew 24:45-46. What kind of a steward is Jesus
      describing? (A wise and faithful one.)

      1. What action results from this wisdom? (Faithful

        1. 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

  2. Faithful

    1. 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

      1. 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?

      2. If you can come up with an answer to these two
        questions, then you have “faith” in your answers.

    2. Read Hebrews 11:2-3. Do you have faith that God is the
      Creator of the universe? (I hope so! Many do not.)

    3. Read Hebrews 11:8. What was so unique about Abraham’s
      decision to go where God told him?

      1. 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.)

      2. If you did not know where you were moving, would you
        agree to move?

    4. When you consider the answers you have just given, what
      does it teach you about the nature of faith?

      1. 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?

        1. 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

  3. Vision

    1. 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?

    2. 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

    3. Read Matthew 6:24. What does Jesus’ statement about two
      masters have to do with our eyes?

      1. 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.)

      2. 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
        your beliefs.)

  4. Honest

    1. Read Psalms 12:1-2. What terrible thing has happened to
      the world, according to the Psalmist? (Everyone lies.)

    2. 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.)

      1. What is the link between boasting and honesty? (True
        boasting is a lie. It makes the steward unreliable.)

    3. Read John 8:44. Have you met people whose “native
      language” is to lie?

      1. Would you hire a steward who spoke that language

    4. 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.)

      1. 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?

      2. 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?

        1. 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

        2. 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
          with demons.)

  5. Obedient

    1. 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.”)

      1. Is obedience something that you think is important
        for a steward? (You want your directions followed.)

        1. Why? (Because it is your assets that are at

          1. 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.)

    2. Read 1 Samuel 15:23. Let’s discuss the nature of
      disobedience. What does this say is the cause of
      disobedience? (Arrogance and rebellion.)

      1. Would you want an arrogant and rebellious steward
        working for you? (No. Think about how this applies to
        doing your job.)

      2. What other reasons might a person disobey? (Weakness.

        1. Would you want a steward who was weak and

    3. Read 1 Samuel 15:24-25. Who does Saul blame for his
      disobedience? (The people.)

      1. What do you think is the problem with Saul’s excuse?
        (He is not being accountable.)

    4. 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.)

    5. 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?

  6. Next week: Honesty With God.