Stewardship Is Accountability & Responsibility

July 7, 2002 AM
Pastor Chris Abernathy
Columbus, Georgia

If you would, turn with me in your Bibles to the book of Luke chapter sixteen. Luke chapter sixteen. And please stand for the reading of the Word today. Luke chapter sixteen. We’re going to begin with verse one. And when you reach Luke, the gospel of Luke chapter sixteen, please signify by saying amen.

1. And he said also unto his disciples, There was a certain rich man, which had a steward; and the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods.

2. And he called him, and said unto him, How is it that I hear this of thee? give an account of thy stewardship; for thou mayest be no longer steward.

3. Then the steward said within himself, What shall I do? for my lord taketh away from me the stewardship: I cannot dig; to beg I am ashamed.

4. I am resolved what to do, that, when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.

5. So he called every one of his lord's debtors unto him, and said unto the first, How much owest thou unto my lord?


6. And he said, An hundred measures of oil. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and sit down quickly, and write fifty.

7. Then said he to another, And how much owest thou? And he said, An hundred measures of wheat. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and write fourscore.

8. And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.

Let us pray.

Most holy and gracious heavenly Father, we thank You for who You are and for what You do. Father, hide Your son behind the cross, that Your people would see You and not me. And Master, as I decrease I ask that You would increase. Lord, let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, oh Lord, my strength and my Redeemer. In Jesus’ holy and blessed Name.

And the people of God said amen. You may be seated in the house of God.

In verse two he said,

2. And he called him, and said unto him, How is it that I hear this of thee? give an account of thy stewardship; for thou mayest be no longer steward.

God was speaking to the steward. And He told him that it’s time for you to give an account of what you have been managing.

When we look at that word “steward,” it means to be a manager. And with the body of Christ, not only the pastor is a manager, but all those that work in God’s house are managers. He said, “Give an account of what I have placed into your hands.”

And when He began to hear the voice of God speaking to him, telling him that he must give an account of what was placed in his hands, fear began to come over him.

You see, a lot of us are not afraid yet. But on that last day, be afraid. He’s going to tell us, “What have you done with what I’ve given you?” Oh, you need to hear this today.

You see, we’re of that mentality that God is going to take care of it. God will take care of it. But what about what God has placed in your hands? That which He has placed in your hands, you must take care of it. You must take care of what He placed in your possession.

He told the steward, He said, “Because you didn’t take care of it,” He said, “I’m going to take it from you.” You don’t want to talk to me today.

The Bible says don’t cast your pearls before swine. You see, when God gives you something in the Kingdom of God, it’s of great value, and it’s of great wealth.

But see, if I don’t get an understanding that what He has placed in my hands is of great value and great wealth, I’m going to trample it up under my feet, just like it don’t mean anything. And I’ll pretend like I’m doing something when I’m really not doing nothing. You don’t want to talk to me today.

He was a manager. Look at your neighbor and say, “I’m a manager.” See, you wanted to be a manager all your life, but you just didn’t realize that you was already a manager.”

He said, “You are the steward over this. But I’ve heard some things about you.”

You see, God is listening to things about you. Do you hear what I’m saying? He hears everything about you. And when you have Christ on the inside of you, He wants to hear those things that represent His Son. Because He will be glorified through His Son.

But when the things that are being said about you, when they’re true but they’re not just; they’re not right; they’re not of good report, it doesn’t make God feel good.

The Bible says He raises up one and taketh down another.

We are stewards over what has been placed in our hands. The Bible called him an unjust steward. That meant that he was clever. Oh, you don’t want to hear me today.

That meant that he had some things under the cover. There was some things that were underhanded about him. And when he was going about to do the work he was not doing the work justly. He was unfair. He was crafty. He just wasn’t right.

Saints of God, some of you are just looking at me like, “This ain’t my word.” Yes, it is. It’s for you. Mm hmm. Mm hmm. It’s for you. Yeah. Mm hmm. Yeah.

We’re stewards. And a lot of times what we do is we fixate on the pastor. There’s nothing wrong with fixating on your pastor. But there begins to be a problem when you begin to hold your pastor in the place where you should be holding God.

Let me tell you why. Because the Bible says that we should not be man pleasers. And when I’m always trying to please man, how can I please my God?

But I ain’t talking to you all that ain’t trying to do nothing no way. You know, you just talking, saying, “Yeah, I ain’t pleasing no man.” You ain’t even trying to please God. What you talking about? Folks love it when you say, “Oh, you ain’t got to please man.” Make you feel good when I say that, don’t it?

But listen. Being stewards, good stewards, just stewards over what God has placed into your hands. It’s not just ministry that God has placed into our hands. He’s placed our families. He’s placed our jobs, our finances. He’s placed our children into our hands. And we’ve got to be just stewards over all of these things. You may not be in the ministry yet, but you are a steward. Because God has entrusted things to your care.

The steward or the manager is a caretaker. And he knows better how to take care of that thing than anybody else because it’s in his possession.

You see, when there is something placed of value into your possession, and you have been entrusted with something, that means that you have the ability to be able to look after that thing. You can’t tell God, “I’m not able to do it,” if God has already placed it in your hands. He will equip you for the task at hand.

Good stewards is what He’s looking for. He’s not looking for whiney cry babies. It’s tight, but it’s right. It’s real, and it’s the deal.

You see, there are always going to be obstacles that are going to come up in your way. But He has given you power to tread upon serpents and scorpions.

Being a good steward does not mean that you like everything that’s going on around you. Being a good steward means that you’re being a good steward because God has placed it in your hands.

How many caretakers we got in the house?

He was a steward. But when he heard that he was going to no longer be steward, that’s when his mind got to thinking. See, he should have been thinking all along. But he said, “I can’t get over no more. I got to think about what I’m going to do. Because what I was entrusted to is going to be taken from me.

“I know what I’ll do.” He said, “I’ll know what I’ll do. I’ll go out, and those that owe debts, I’ll begin to cut their debts, because they will begin to give me favor with them. They’ll be happy with me. So when I’m no longer steward, I can go to their house, and they’ll gladly receive me.”

And he began to call them and say, “How much you owe? No, don’t pay that. Pay this. Don’t give that. Give this.” And the Bible said that he was now called a good steward, because of his shrewdness, because he was skilled at what he did.

But then the Bible said that the children of the world are more wise or shrewd than the children of light. Because we always wait until we’re in a bind before we try to do something, when we should have been doing something all along. Who am I preaching to in this house today?

This stewardship was in his hands. And with responsibility comes accountability.

See, listen to what I tell you. See, I’m just a man. And I may not get on you about what you’re not doing. But see, ultimately you’re going to have to give an account to Him.

See, because what happens is, we begin to hold other things more important than we hold the things that have been placed in our hands by God, that are spiritual and things that are in the Kingdom of... You don’t want to talk to me today. And we’ll begin to spend more time with those things than we spend with the thing... Oh, my God. I know I’m preaching to somebody today.

And then when we’re no longer stewards over it, we’re mad with God. Say, “Lord, how could You do it?”

And God is saying, “I didn’t do it. You did it.” Oh, my God. You did it.

It’s just like when you’re on your job at work. Your boss gives you things to do. But one thing about us, we know that that paycheck got to come on Friday. So the boss can give us tons of work to do, and we’ll murmur and we’ll complain. But I guarantee you by the end of the day we going to get it all done.

But what about God’s stuff? We’ll make every excuse in the world to why we didn’t get it done, why we can’t practice, why we... Oh, you don’t want to talk to me today. Why it ain’t coming out right, why this happen, that happen. Oh, well. You know, whatever. We’ll just go on.

No, we’re not going to do that. We’re going to do God’s things with perfection, with skill. If God has placed something in you... He’s placed a gift in you. God has placed special things in you. Then you have got to get before God and give Him your best. And stop trying to sham God. Oh, Jesus.

A brother talked to me this morning. He ain’t even know what I was preaching. He said, “the Lord said this word’s for me today.” It ain’t just for him. It’s for everybody. Mm hmm.

Accountability comes with responsibility. You’re responsible. And God has even made you your brother’s keeper. You’re responsible for your brother.

You don’t remember when He asked Cain, He said, “Where’s your brother?”

And Cain was like, “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

See, we try to get it for ourselves a lot of time. But what about for the brothers and the sisters. See, even when children are growing up, we teach the older ones to take care and to look after the little ones. And we will whip their tail if something happen to that little one.

Same in the body of Christ. There’s accountability. There is accountability. You’re a steward. You’re a steward.

Now what are you going to do? What are you going to do? Are you going to make excuses on why you can’t do it? I feel conviction all over this house. Are you going to make excuses as to why you can’t do it? When He’s placed all this in your hand. Say, “Lord, I’m looking at this what You’ve placed in my hand. But this is what I want in my other hand.”

What are you going to do? What are you going to do? What are you going to do? Are you going to be a good steward? Or you going to try to get favor with everybody else so that when judgment come down on you about what you not doing, folks will say, “Well, why pastor do that? Why pastor say that to you?”

“I don’t know.”

“Well, we going to find out.” Mm. I’m trying to get you to think.

Good stewardship, even of finances. We cry and we ask God, “Why, Lord? Why don’t we have more money?”

“But what about the little that I place in your hand? What did you do with the little bit?” What do we do with that little bit?

“Well, I don’t even know what I did with it.” Because the Bible says money takes wings and fly away.

He’s going to say, “Give an account of your money. What are you doing with it?”

I remember I told you all. My pastor in Atlanta, you know, I went to him and said, “Pastor, you know, I make X amount of dollars and stuff. But I can’t see where... Where’s it going?”

And he just looked at me. He said, “It’s in your refrigerator.”

Said, “Golly, pastor. I wasn’t expecting that.”

But then when I looked in my refrigerator, that’s where it was. I was spending money in places, but overspending it on the things that pleased my flesh.

Whatever pleases your flesh, that’s what you’re going to spend the most money on. And then when you don’t have it, be crying about it.

Good stewardship is what He’s calling us to. Take inventory. What has He placed in your care? Think about it. Say, “Lord, what’s in my hands that You’ve given me? Because it’s precious to You.”

Whatever God gives you in your possession is precious to Him. It’s precious to Him. It is. That Anointing that He placed on you is precious to Him.

Too many folks lying in the floor, spitting and slobbering. Trying to spend months, trying to figure out. Read books on how to get it. You’ve got it. And then you ain’t even going to use it. You use it when you want to use it. It came to some of us too easy.

I remember when God anointed me. I remember. I remember. I remember when I got saved. Right after I got saved He said... He anointed me. But I didn’t take that thing lightly. I didn’t take it lightly. I was a steward of that Anointing He gave me, to be used whenever He needed it to be used in my life.

And no matter what was over here that I wanted to do or needed to do, if God was pulling me over here, because He had need of me, then that’s where I was going.

It’s precious to Him. You are precious. But what He’s placed in your hands is precious.

Are you going to be a good steward? Are you going to take inventory, reevaluate? Or you going to listen to this message and say, “Oh, it’s a good message”? And say, “Okay. Talk to you later. Bye, bye.” Is that what you going to do?

Accountability. Accountability. Accountability for what is in your hands. What are you doing?

“Why you keep saying that, pastor?” Because I’m trying to get us to think.

Because sometimes I know a lot of us got so much Word in us. And then my telephone rings. And I say, “Well, where is that Word that is down inside of you? Because I know it’s there. You can quote Genesis to Revelations. Because you done done it to me. Now where is that Word?”

Pull it up. Quote it. When you call me say, “Pastor, I got this Scripture. But I’m standing on this. This is what going on, but I’m standing on this. Agree with me.”

We’ve got to be good stewards of the Word. Thy Word have I hid in my heart. Why? So I can be a good steward, that I would not sin against You.

Saints, it’s time to reevaluate. It’s time to reevaluate. It’s time to say... And be truthful with yourself. Don’t lie to yourself. Don’t deceive yourself. And say, “Am I really a good steward?” We all have areas that we need to work on. But we need to ask ourselves that question.

No matter what position you hold, you have got to produce for the Kingdom of God. There’s got to be some type of evidence. Now, if you were growing... You know, you started growing, and everything. And you were moving.

And now you still at the same place where you were a year ago. But you had grew to that place a year ago. But now you still right there. Then you’re not being a good steward.

Because you’ve got to go higher in God, higher in Him.

We were called by God before we met our families, before we met our wives, before we had our children, before we got hired by that company. We belong to God. And God has got to be first. He’s got to be first. He’s got to be first. If He is not first, I don’t care what is going on. He will make you put Him first.

Saints of God, you got to give an account for yourself.

I have plenty of notes here, but God is not leading me that way. He’s not leading me back to my notes.

If you have been a good steward over what has been placed in your hands, then God is going to raise you up quickly. But if you have not been a good steward, then just like the Bible said, your stewardship will be taken from you. That’s just the way the Bible says it.

Become a good steward if you’re not one. If you used to be one and you’re not one now, then go back to the old landmark. But find your way again. Find your way back to that place of good stewardship. Find your way back there.

And if there’s something going on in your life right now, don’t let it move you from good stewardship over the things of God. Because that thing, or those things, or those people, or whatever it is, will come to naught. God will take it from you. And you’ll wonder why. And He’ll be calling you back to your knees all over again. He doesn’t care how mad you get, how sad you get about it. He’ll bring you back to your knees.

Saints of God, we’re going to conclude this message today. But I want you to remember this message. Because I told you. I’ve delivered it to you.

And many of you have callings. Many of you have ministries. Many of you have anointings. You have it on your life. But so many different things are distracting you and pulling you. Put them second, and put God first.

Don’t pretend like you are if you’re not. Don’t sham Him. Don’t try to pretend. Because God knows the real deal. (Tongues.) He knows the real deal. He knows when you give Him your all. He knows. He knows.

Be a good steward over what God has placed in your hands.

Give God a handclap of praise today.

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