The Lord of the Rings centers on the return of the King of Gondor and his exaltation. Before this time, the rightful king, Aragorn, had been abroad helping the peoples of Middle Earth fight against evil in their quest to destroy the One Ring. Once this was accomplished, the Dark Lord Sauron would be defeated, and Aragorn’s glorious kingdom could be established. When Aragorn returned to the capital city, he found that Denethor, the Steward of Gondor, had wrongly assumed ownership of the kingdom during his absence. As Aragorn fights and wins the Battle of Minas Tirith, Denethor suffers his rightful fate. The story ends as Aragorn victoriously enters the White City and receives his coronation as the exalted king.
Believers are Stewards
Believers are stewards of God’s Kingdom the lord of the rings is a metaphor providing insight into our responsibilities as God’s stewards. Author J.R.R. Tolkien captured the essence of Jesus’ teaching in the parable of the talents. In that story, the master went on a long journey, entrusting his servants with large sums of money (Matt. 25:14-30). Upon returning, the master found that one steward had greatly mishandled his wealth. Poor management caused the master’s disgust, resulting in the dishonor, disenfranchisement, and discipline of the wicked steward. This passage and others like it teach a theology of stewardship greatly needed in today’s churches.
Stewardship Is Rooted
Stewardship Is rooted in God’s Supremacy the biblical teaching of stewardship is deeply rooted in theology. Stewardship is founded on the cornerstone of God as Creator. The doctrine of creation presents the God of the Bible as the self-existent and only true God. He created all that exists, whether visible, invisible, material, immaterial, temporal, or everlasting (Col. 1:15-17). The power, knowledge, presence, and goodness necessary to create everything out of nothing establishes God as the greatest being that could be imagined. Because God is the one Creator, Sustainer, Sovereign, and Supreme Being, He possesses absolute authority (Ps. 135:6). He is the one to whom everyone must answer and is the owner of everything (Ex. 19:5). The earth is full of His riches.
Our Responsibility as Stewards
Our responsibility as stewards as humans, God made us in His image. Because we are the crowning work of His creation, God commanded people to subdue the earth and rule over it as managers (Ps. 8:6). Everything in the world is now subject to human dominion. As the earth provides food, clothing, shelter, livelihood, and recreation for us, we exercise responsible care, cultivation, and control over it (Gen. 1:28; 9:1-3). This includes plant and animal life and all other natural resources (Gen. 1:26-29). At a personal level, we are stewards over everything God has specifically placed under our personal care. This truth provides us with practical ways to understand the nature of biblical stewardship in our lives.
What Stewardship Looks Like
What stewardship looks like stewardship is an act of worship. God wants us to acknowledge His ownership over everything by demonstrating our stewardship. God wants us to be like Him, and we are never more like God than when we give. John 3:16 teaches that God loved the world so much that He “gave.” God gave the body of His Son as a sacrifice for sin. We are commanded to reciprocate His unfathomable generosity by giving our bodies to God as living sacrifices (Rom. 12:1).
Stewardship is an act of service (2 Cor. 8:5). Servanthood is a powerful form of stewardship because it involves the giving of our virtue and vitality. Servanthood is the essence of being a deacon (1 Tim. 3:13) and a leader (Matt. 23:11). Good stewardship always starts on Sunday. We are told to offer God our firstfruits, and Sunday is the first day of the week (Prov. 3:9-10). As model servants, church leaders must give God and the body of Christ their first and their best. Stewardship is an act of giving. Because we have received, we give. We give of what we have. This includes our time, talent, and treasure (Ps. 24:1; 1 Tim. 6:7).
It has been said that love is spelled T-I-M-E. Because time is the irreducible building block of our lives, it is a sacred gift of ourselves to others (Jas. 4:14, Ps. 90:12). Gifts and talents are from the Lord, expressly given for the edification of the church (1 Pet. 4:10, Eph. 4:11-12). Our treasure, whether great or small, is from God, as is our earning power (Deut. 8:17-18). God commands us to steward His money by giving a portion of it generously, consistently, and cheerfully (1 Cor. 16:2, 2 Cor. 8:2-3; 9:7). As church leaders, let’s model these biblical values as examples of stewardship for our God in our churches.