In Your Bible Read This Out Loud: Matthew 25:14-30
Memorise This Verse: Matthew 25:23 ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things I will put you in charge of many things’
Afterwards Talk About This: In the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30), what distinguishes a good steward from a bad one?
Something To Do Before Next Time: Write down the areas of your finances that God wants you to be a good steward of giving, spending, saving etc.
Written Diploma Work: Write one side on the extent to which our blessings are dependant on our stewardship.
Meditate Word By Word On This Verse: Deuteronomy 30:19
Through the area of stewardship the extent to which we experience the fullness of God’s blessings in our life is very much down to us – stewardship is the mechanism that God has set in place which will either work for us or against us. The bible gives many references to the fact that God is looking for faithful and trustworthy people to entrust his money to and the better stewards we are, the more God will be willing to entrust to us. Our blessings are therefore conditional not on God because he is forever fixed and determined to bless us but they are conditional on how we handle God’s money and out stewardship of it.
In the Old Testament, the great desire of God was to see his people settled in the land that had been promised to Abraham and his seed and to see them flourish and prosper – the book of Deuteronomy speaks about this most often. Not only was God constantly urging them to press into their inheritance but along with that encouragement come an exhortation that if they were going to enjoy his best they had to walk in obedience to him and disobedience would lead to them missing his best. The scriptures below all from the book of Deuteronomy re-enforce the two facts that God is determined to bless us but to do so we must walk in obedience to him.
Deuteronomy 7:12 ‘If you pay attention to these laws and are careful to follow them, then the Lord your God will keep his covenant of love with you, as he swore to your forefathers. He will love you and bless you and increase your numbers.
He will bless the fruit of your womb, the crops of your land – your grain, new wine and oil – the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks in the land that he swore to your forefathers to give you’.
Deuteronomy 15:4 ‘However, there should be no poor among you, for in the land the Lord your God is giving you to possess as your inheritance, he will richly bless you, if only you fully obey the Lord your God and are careful to follow all these commands I am giving you today’
Deuteronomy 28:1 ‘If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All the blessings will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God’
Deuteronomy 29:9 ‘Carefully follow the terms of this covenant, so that you may prosper in everything you do’
Deuteronomy 30:9 ‘The Lord will again delight in you and make you prosperous, just as he delighted in your fathers, if you obey the Lord your God and keep his commands and decrees that are written in this Book of the Law’
The two main thoughts that are bought out in all the above scriptures is the desire of God to bless his people and the responsibility that the people of God had to release that blessing which was to walk in obedience. Let it be said again that the blessings of God in our lives are determined much more by us than by God in fact, as the scriptures below show, God himself declares this to be the case and urges his people to choose the blessings. So, if you want to know the blessings of God must choose that you want them and walk in obedience to God in order to release them.
Deuteronomy 11:26 ‘See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse’
Deuteronomy 30:15 ‘See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction’
Deuteronomy 30:19 ‘I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live’.
This idea of obedience leading to blessing is carried over into the New Covenant and is taught on by Jesus, (particularly in the area of finances) in the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30) and the Parable of the Minas (Luke 19:11) talents and minas being the monetary units of Jesus’ day. The issue of stewardship is mentioned in Matthew 25: 14, ‘It will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them’ here we see Jesus saying that money is God’s property and we are entrusted with it by him, to use for his benefit and glory.
Both parables reveal two facts the faithful servants who handle the money wisely received even more, the ones who didn’t handle the money wisely ended up with even less.
This mechanism of stewardship releasing the blessing of God is a safeguard both for us and for God God is seeking out faithful, diligent stewards that he can entrust his money to and who will handle it wisely for him. Proverbs 10:22 says, ‘The blessing of the Lord brings wealth and he adds no trouble to it’, God simply will not bless unfaithful stewards as the blessing would bring trouble and cause the person either to forget about God or squander the money on their own lusts. As we mature and can handle money wisely surely it is God’s good pleasure to bless us more and more but it is down to us to prove ourselves faithful and trustworthy will God’s money.
The question we must ask ourselves therefore is what must we do to be good stewards of God’s money? Below is a list of some of the areas to be considered and these will be examined in later chapters.
Perhaps you need to carefully evaluate how you are currently handling God’s money and whether you have peace in your heart that God is pleased with your stewardship of his money. Our financial dealings are so important and as such very great careful must be taken in the way we conduct our financial affairs. Since the money in your possession does not belong to you, you have no business spending it how you please it belongs to God and therefore should be handled for God’s glory.
A House of Prayer for the Poorer Nations
Pray for Brazil
170,115,463 people, large missionary sending nation.
Pray for the street children being suffocated
by a blanket of evil and darkness.
This study contains the personal beliefs and practices of of the author who recommends them to the reader. The author takes no credit for their success where applied and likewise takes no responsibility for any failure or disappointment.
The House of Prayer for the Poorer Nations at the end of each section is based on Operation World 21st Century Edition © Patrick Johnstone, Jason Mandryk. Published by Paternoster. All scriptures are NIV © Hodder & Stoughton.