As we go through Joseph’s life we can clearly see God’s hand working in, on, and through him as his character develops. This week is the Palace Test, which is, in fact, the test of stewardship. What exactly is stewardship? By definition it is “to manage the possessions of another”. Who then is the owner? God of course.

The Bible is clear that God desires for His people to prosper. “Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.” This truth doesn’t just mean in your finances, but in all areas of your life. The Bible has too many verses for me to list, but understand that God’s plan for you is to prosper.

Now, listen to what 1 Peter 4:10 says, “As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” We need to realize that prospering in all areas of our life is a result of good stewardship. Just as we see the leaves blowing down the sidewalk is only the result of the wind, so is prospering only a result of good stewardship.

Remember, stewardship is managing the affairs or possessions of another: God. What then is the key to this management? What is the nature of stewardship? The first key is God’s presence. Everywhere that Joseph went God was with him! “The Lord was with Joseph, and he was a successful man” Genesis 39:2. We need the presence of the Lord in our lives on a daily basis. So then you may ask what is the key to God’s presence in my life?

The key to God’s presence in your life is obedience. We are saved by grace, not anything of our own, but then as we live for God we are to be obedient to His word. So what is the key to obedience? The key to obedience is faith. We have to believe God is who He says He is and will do what He says He will do.

Ok, sounds good, but what is the key to faith? At some point this has to stop, right? Yes, it does. It stops with “the beginning and the end”. The key to faith is hearing the word of God, “so then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” Romans 10:17.

The word of God affects the heart. Our heart lies between our spirit and our soul. Whatever we take in influences our heart one way or the other: towards the flesh or towards the spirit.

“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than an two edged sword, piercing even to the division of the souls and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” Hebrews 4:12.

Last question: How does the word do this? “In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God” John 1:1. The word IS God, that’s how! The palace test boils down to one thing: stewardship is a matter of the heart!

“Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you” Matthew 6:33.

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