Genesis 1:28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it"....
This brief passage of scripture teaches us that there are at least two important characteristics which should be found in every faithful steward, to whom goods or services are entrusted. A steward must not only be a mere maintainer of that which is bestowed under his or her care, but should also have productive and multiplying qualities, as well as the habitual tendency to replace that which is used or expended. These two characteristics were to be developed by Adam and Eve as they came forth from the hands of The Creator, who immediately bestowed upon them the responsibility of managing the earth, with all of its teeming life forms and inanimate objects. They were not only to maintain, but were also commanded to multiply and replenish all that was entrusted to their care.
The manifestation of these two vital characteristics are of critical importance in the life of the Christian, and are to be implemented both in the spiritual and temporal realms, because the development of our characters take place in both spheres. These two essential traits were to be found in Jacob, to whom was entrusted the care of Laban's flocks, after he had fled from the face of his brother Esau, and was seeking employment. As he took over the management of his uncle's goods, it was soon observed that the flocks started multiplying as never before, and Laban did not suffer any loss whatsoever, because if anything went missing in the process of stewardship, Jacob bore the cost of replacement, free of charge to Laban. It was these two characteristics, more than anything else, that made Jacob a most valuable asset to Laban, who observed that whatever was placed under Jacob's management, prospered tremendously through the blessing of God, coupled together with his managerial skills. Let's read:
Genesis 30:27 And Laban said unto him".... "I have learned by experience that the Lord hath blessed me for thy sake. 29 And he said unto him, Thou knowest how I have served thee, and how thy cattle was with me. 30 For it was little which thou hadst before I came, and it is now increased unto a multitude; and the Lord hath blessed thee since my coming
Genesis 31:36 "And Jacob answered and said to Laban"..... 38 This twenty years have I been with thee; thy ewes and thy she goats have not cast their young"..... 39 That which was torn of beasts I brought not unto thee; I bare the loss of it; of my hand didst thou require it, whether stolen by day, or stolen by night.
These two vital traits of character should also be developed in all Christians, for whatsoever God has entrusted to our care must also be multiplied according to the blessing of God, and should be coupled together with the habitual tendency to replace that which is expended or missing. In the preaching of the gospel, as with all missionary work, there should be a constant multiplying of souls being converted to God's kingdom, and those who leave the church for any reason, should not only be prayed for and diligently sought out, but they should also be replaced by genuine new converts, if the discouraged ones fail to return to the fold. When Judas left the church to follow his own schemes, a replacement was sought for him, and was found after much prayer and fasting. Let's read:
Acts 1:20 For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take. 24 And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen, 25 That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place. 26 And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.
When deliberate and concerted efforts to save the lost are made in harmony with the Biblical principles of multiplying and replenishing, we would experience unprecedented growth on an on-going basis, for God did not save us to merely maintain His kingdom on earth, but rather to bring forth much fruit in the person of sinners converted to Christ. This mandate is not a mere suggestion, but rather a positive command coming from the Lord Himself. Let's read:
John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. 8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. 16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain"....
Matthew 13:23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
In our own experiences it is our privilege and duty to exercise these two traits of character, both in the physical and spiritual realms, for it is the will of God that every Christian be found as a faithful steward in whatsoever is entrusted to our care. The unfaithful steward in the Bible was observed to be a faithful maintenance man, for he kept in pristine condition, that which was given over to his jurisdiction, but he was debarred from the pearly gates because he did not multiply his Lord's goods. We therefore end with a passage of scripture which encourages faithful and productive stewardship in temporal and spiritual lines, for by so doing we will be fulfilling God's purpose for us, in giving us life. Let's read:
Matthew 25:14 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. 15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability".... 19 After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. 20 And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. 21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
May God add His blessing to the study and practice of His word. "Good night" and God bless!