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Can you explain your "philosophy of trusteeship"?
Posted by Rev. Jeff Dixon, Senior Equipping Minister at Covenant Community Church on Jan 2, 2002, 20:21

Sure I can. . .

Now this can get fairly personal, so if you aren’t looking to be stretched you should quit reading now.

To be a disciple of Jesus we must develop a philosophy of trusteeship, not just stewardship

In fact the 2 New Testament words translated most as “stewards” (epitropos and oikonomos) are better rendered as “trustees”

A theology of giving seduces us into believing that we are “giving” to God something that is ours to begin with

                The truth is just the opposite

                What do you think you have that is really yours?

Everything that we have is a trust from God. Everything.

A stewardship ethic is based on giving to God a portion of what is yours

A trusteeship ethic is based on you receiving and keeping for yourself a portion of what is God’s.

(There is a big difference between the two ethics) That is why we need to develop a trusteeship ethic.

When you are honest, we own nothing. How do I know, simple . . .Because we can take nothing with us. It is an issue of ownership.

                                Who Owns You?

                                                Is it someone else?

                                                Is it a career?

                                                Is it an excuse?

                                                Is it possessions?

                                                            Or does God own you?

Now make sure you understand what I am saying. We prove our non-ownership when we die. The reason that you can’t take it with you is because it was never yours to begin with.

Once we understand and remember that, we are well on our way to understanding trusteeship. Jesus’ words to the Rich Young Ruler are the words that he speaks to every one of us.

Matthew 19:16-22

                Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”

                What do you ask me about what is good? Jesus replied, There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments.

                “Which ones?” the man inquired. Jesus replied, “Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother, and love your neighbor as yourself.”

                All of these I have kept, the young man said. What do I still lack?

                Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.

                When the young man heard this he went away sad, because he had great wealth.

1)       What it is not saying

There is Biblical evidence that indicates that Jesus did not intend for everyone to give everything away. (Stop sweating)

In other words, this command to the RYR is not a universal command for all would be followers.

The evidence

                Simon Peter apparently retained ownership of a home (Matt. 8:14)

                                And a boat (John 21:3) after becoming a disciple of Jesus

                Joseph of Arimathea is described in Matthew 27:57 as both a disciple of Jesus and a rich man

                Joanna, the wife of King Herod’s steward Chuza, was one of the women who accompanied Jesus and helped support him out of their private means (Luke 8:3)

                Lydia, whose home was in Philippi, was a haven for Paul and Silas (Acts 16:14-15) was a well to do businesswoman

2)       What it is saying

The Bible indicates that this is a trusteeship of life issue

With remarkable insight into people, Jesus knew that this man’s money had a strong hold on his life. He not only had possessions, his possessions had him. This was not a mere bump in the road, but rather a rather major detour in his spiritual pilgrimage. As he turned away, he was rejecting the Lordship of Jesus. He was denying that Jesus had ownership of his life, and he disowned the idea of trusteeship.

The tragedy of the moment is that as he walked away, he walked away not only sad, but also fooling himself into thinking that he really could keep what Jesus told him to give away

Some of you are thinking, he is talking about money. . .

            I am talking about developing a new ethic for many of us, but it is a Biblical ethic. And it is Biblical. It is just something that we would rather not deal with.   It is learning in your life to develop a philosophy of trusteeship.

Trustees are the legal representatives of an institution or an estate.

                Trustees own nothing.

                But they are accountable for everything.

                                The question of an estate trustee is not, what percentage do I give away of what is mine? But instead they ask the question, what do I need to receive for myself so the estate might grow and prosper and do well? A trustee will manage the estate carefully and in a way that pleases the owner of the estate.

All that you have is an estate. It is God’s. That’s what I have been talking about when I mention trusteeship.

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