“Stewardship” is the management of responsibilities (moral duties) and obligations (commitments).
1 Cor. 4:1-2 Paul and the apostles wanted to be regarded as servants of Christ and what else?
[“mysteries of God” – are the previously unrevealed revelations that God gave Paul and other apostles, like the gospel, Gal. 1:11-12].
And what is required of stewards?
With what stewardship (management of moral duty) was Paul entrusted (1 Cor. 9:16-17)?
Are you a faithful steward (a moral duties manager) in sharing the gospel with people, as it’s every Christian’s responsibility (Matt. 28:19-20; Phil. 1:27; 4:9 with Phil. 1:12-13; Eph. 4:11-12; 2 Tim. 4:5)?
If not, why?
Eph. 5:15-17 What should these Christians do because the days (i.e., this period of time in the Roman Empire) are evil (i.e., morally corrupt)?
Are you making the most of your time/opportunities in living a life of Christ-like love (Eph. 5:1-2) toward non-Christians (outsiders) by sharing the gospel with them (Col. 4:3-5; Matt. 28:19-20) and toward Christians by building them up spiritually (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16)?
If so, how?
Psa. 90:12 Because Moses considered time such a valuable commodity, for what did he pray?
Do you count the number of days to some important event to you (e.g., the end of school, a vacation, a birthday, an operation), and why?
Why did Moses pray for this?
Are you asking God for a “constant awareness of life’s shortness” so that you can present to God a life of wisdom by living right spiritually or productively during this brief time here on earth?
If not, when will you, and why?
Jn. 17:4 Though Jesus was only involved in an outgoing ministry for some three years, what did He say He did in that short period of time?
What was Jesus’ work (Lk. 19:10; Mk. 1:38; 1 Tim. 1:15)?
What work has God given all believers/Christians to do (Matt. 28:19-20; 2 Tim. 4:5; Eph. 4:11-12; Phil. 2:2 with Phil. 1:27; and Phil. 4:9 with Phil. 1:12-13)?
What specific changes do you need to make in your life, goals, priorities, and schedule in order for you to be able to say that you’ve accomplished the work of evangelism that God gave you to do?
Jas. 4:14 To what is the duration of our life compared?
And how long is that?
How do you view your duration of life here on earth, and why?
Jn. 7:6, 8; 4:34; 5:30, 36; 6:38 What determined Jesus’ activities?
Does the right timing based on God the Father’s will and work determine your activities?
Or, do you do what “you” just feel like doing when “you” feel like doing it, and why?
Col. 4:5 What is one way to show that we are making “the most of the opportunity” (or “redeeming the time”)?
Are you conducting yourself toward non-Christians with wisdom by proclaiming the gospel (Col. 4:3-4) and avoiding hypocrisy?
If so, how?
Col. 3:23-24 How could you apply these verses to the use of your talents, spiritual gift, and abilities?
When you work for or serve other people, do you do so heartily as if you were (and you are) serving the Lord Himself, and why?
Eph. 4:11-13 Why did God give gifted men/Christians to the church (Eph. 4:12)?
[“the work of service” is preaching the gospel and building up believers spiritually, e.g., Acts 14:7, 15, 21-23, 26].
Are you building up the body of Christ both quantitatively (through evangelism) and qualitatively (through the teaching and training of believers) until we all attain to Christ-like maturity in character and mission?
If so, how?
1 Cor. 12:4-6 From where do our spiritual gifts, ministries, and effects/results come?
How does knowing this affect you, and why?
1 Pet. 4:10 As good stewards, what should we do?
Give a recent example of how you used your spiritual gift in serving another Christian.
Matt. 25:14-30 Though this parable is dealing with Jews during the tribulation period, a universal principle/truth is taught here, and that is that God expects people to faithfully use/fulfill the responsibilities He’s given them according to their abilities.
Are you faithfully using/fulfilling the responsibilities God has given you to the best of your ability that God has given you?
Prov. 10:26 What is a lazy person like?
What do these illustrations convey?
Are you guilty of being an irritant/annoyance to Christ’s Church (i.e., other Christians) because you are lazy?
If so, what do you plan to do about it, and how soon?
Prov. 12:11 Who lacks sense?
What are some vain (spiritually and/or eternally empty or valueless) things that people pursue as goals for their lives (Eccles. 1:16 – 2:11)?
Are you pursuing for self-centered reasons: worldly wisdom (e.g., Darwinianism, Freudian psychology, existentialism, worldly philosophy, etc.), worldly pleasure (e.g., alcohol, illicit drugs and/or sex, clubbing, sports-crazy, pornography, rock music, etc.), materialism (e.g., an expensive: home, car, truck, boat, motorcycle, clothes, jewelry, furniture, computer, music system, etc.), money (e.g., a high paying job, working multiple jobs, gambling, etc.), worldly appearance (e.g., muscle man/Mr. Universe, Miss America, etc.), or worldly prestige (e.g., a high career position; martial arts; college degrees; etc.), and why?
Prov. 12:27 What is the precious possession of a man?
Are you diligent/hard-working in all that God has given you to do in life?
If so, how do you show it?
Prov. 21:5 What will become of the hasty?
Are you ever hasty or impulsive in your decisions and actions so that you make bad choices?
Or, do you carefully think through, plan, and diligently work out your plan?
Rom. 12:11 What should our attitude be toward serving the Lord?
Are you diligent/hard-working and intensely energetic in your service to the Lord?
If so, give an example.
2 Thes. 3:10 What order was given to the Thessalonians?
What’s the point that this verse is trying to make or stress?
Does God consider full-time missionary service, like evangelism and spiritually building up and training other Christians, work (Eph. 4:11-12; Acts 15:38 with Acts 13:32-33, 38-39, 46-47; 14:7, 15, 21-22, 26)?
Lk. 16:9-11 How should believers (“the sons of light”, Lk. 16:8) use their money (“mammon of unrighteousness”), Lk. 16:9?
For what purpose should they use their money to make friends (Lk. 16:9)?
Are you using your resources (e.g., money) to build relationships with people with the hope that the friendship will influence them to listen to and more readily accept the gospel (from a human viewpoint), so that when you get to heaven, those who got there before you will receive/welcome you into the eternal dwellings?
If so, how?
Or, do you use your money primarily for self-centered purposes, and why?
[Though you can and at times should build some type of relationship/friendship with certain non-Christians (e.g., fellow students in your classes, fellow employees at work, neighbors in your neighborhood, teammates on your team, etc.), money can help you do this by buying them snacks or other items or gifts when appropriate; however, the most frequent method of evangelism in Scripture is to simply share the gospel with total strangers (e.g., Acts 13, 14, 16 – 20; 28:17-31; 17:15-17).].
1 Tim. 6:10 What is a root of all sorts of evil?
Why do you think this is true?
Has this ever been a problem for you (Prov. 23:4), and why?
Prov. 6:6-11 What does an ant do that we should imitate?
Are you, and why?
[Some Christians think it’s wrong to have a savings account, that it’s a lack of faith in God, but that’s not what God is teaching here. Being a good manager of the food and/or money God entrusts you with involves saving when and while you can, so that you’ll have it when you need it in the future.].
1 Tim. 6:7-9 With what should we be content?
Are you content with the food and clothing that God has given you, or are you seeking to be rich, eat expensive foods, and/or wear the latest clothing fashions and why?
Are you a good manager of the food and clothing God has given you by seeing that your food isn’t wasted and the clothing is taken care of so that it lasts longer?
If so, how?
1 Cor. 16:2 What criterion is given here for giving?
Do you give to Christians in genuine need according to how you prosper (i.e., proportionately), and why?
Do you have any other criteria that governs your giving?
If so, what?
Would the following criteria as to whom to give be good guidelines?
- Non-Christians who are in true/real need of the basics (e.g., food, clothes, water, etc.) who you know or personally meet and who you plan to share the gospel with.
- Non-Christians and/or Christians who you know or meet who you know are hard-working or are diligently looking for a job and are in need.
- Non-Christians and/or Christians who are in real need because they can’t work (e.g., international students or those whose physical handicap prevents them from working).
- Christians who are diligently involved as full-time missionaries in evangelism and building up other Christians spiritually and, therefore, need to be supported financially and/or materially.
- Christians you know who are good, personal financial managers, but who find themselves in need due to an unexpected emergency that was out of their control.
- If long-term help is needed and you either can’t help or choose not to help for whatever biblical reason, then direct such people to appropriate agencies, like food banks, homeless shelters, etc.
- When in doubt about whether or not to give or loan someone a large amount of money, seek advice from a wise, godly, good money manager.
2 Cor. 8:2-5 List one principle from each verse as to how these Corinthian Christians gave:
Do you give generously to needy, worthy Christians, even though you are poor, and you do so with great desire, having first given yourself to the Lord?
[The fact that they gave more than what they could really afford doesn’t mean you should, unless God specifically leads you to. This is just stating what they did, not what we are commanded to do.].
2 Cor. 9:6-7 What principle is taught in 2 Cor. 9:6?
Whom does God love?
Do you grudgingly give to others or because you’re pressured to, and why?
If you feel like you can’t give cheerfully, what should you do?
Matt. 6:19-21 What shouldn’t be done?
Do you ever do this, and why?
What should be done instead?
[Notice that what’s condemned is laying up treasures (great amounts of money) for yourself (selfishly). Having a savings account to pay for future necessities or unexpected emergencies is not wrong, nor is saving a large amount of money for a future special project to further Christ’s kingdom wrong.].
1 Cor. 6:19-20 Who owns us: God, ourselves, our parents, society, or our government?
[If God owns us, then everything we have is His (e.g., our time, talents, money, etc.).].
Are you properly/biblically managing everything that you have for and on God’s behalf?
Why, and how?