Read for This Week’s Study: 2 Tim. 3:1–9; Ezek. 14:14; Phil. 4:4–13; Prov. 3:5; 1 Pet. 2:11, 12; Matt. 7:23; 25:21.
Memory Text: “Having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation” (1 Peter 2:12, NKJV).
Today we conclude our sequence of discussion on the subject of stewards and stewardship. Appropriately, we face the question, “What are the results of good stewardship?” This seems to be a good way to end the discussion, talking about what the outcomes of good stewardship are.
There are several rather obvious results:
- The first would be the preservation of personal integrity on the part of the stewards. To be able to live with yourself, to live with your conscience clear of trouble, to know that you have done well, the best you can, are all great blessings in life.
- The resources of the “Owner” will have been well tended and well used. The parable of the talents is one place where we can see this played out in the Bible. What would it be to receive the commendation of the owner, that you have done well!
- Matthew 25 – “Well done, Good and faithful servant,…”
- The cause to which the resources were assigned will have had maximum benefit. If the cause is a noble one – and the cause of redeeming humans is most noble – then making sure that maximum resources are used in the best way possible is a wonderful outcome.
- Philippians 4:10-14 – “10 I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it.11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (NIV)
- Onlookers will receive a sterling witness. Here one particular text comes to mind, a cogent but little-known one:
- 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 – “11Do everything you can to live a quiet life. Mind your own business. Work with your hands, just as we told you to. 12Then unbelievers will have respect for your everyday life. And you won’t have to depend on anyone.” (NIV)
- 1 Peter 2:12 – “Having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation” (NKJV).
Then there are some final exhortations of a broad and generic sort, to consider:
Proverbs 3:5 – “5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding;”
2 Timothy 3:1-9 3 – “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.” (NIV)
Philippians 4:4-13 – “4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” (NIV)