Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Stewardship: Mine or God's

Chuckle: A sign at an Electric Company: "We would be delighted if you send in your payment. However, if you don't, you will be."
Quote: “As stewards of God we must be truly appreciative of the things we receive. One has said that, 'Ingratitude is a crime more despicable than revenge which is only returning evil for evil, while ingratitude returns evil for good.'" --Heber Q. Hale

"For all the animals of the forest are mine, and I own the cattle on a thousand hills" (Psalm 50:10 NLT).
I remember a time when Dotse and I were driving through the countryside. We talked about the beautiful green pastures and were impressed by one in particular that was filled with sleek black angus cattle grazing contentedly. I would venture to guess that the rancher feels in his heart that all the land and the cattle belong to him. After all, he probably worked hard for all his material things and sees them as his own. As we took in the beautiful pasture scene, our Scripture verse for today came to mind. The psalmist puts every thing in perspective concerning our role as stewards of all that belongs to God who has entrusted it to us.
When God created the heavens and the earth and everything on the earth, He placed all things on the earth (nature) under the stewardship of humankind. If we can grasp the concept that we are only stewards of all that belongs to God, it will totally change our attitude about money and material possessions. As a matter of fact, it will cause us to be even more conscientious about the way we manage all we have been given. We will want to handle what we have in a way that will please the rightful owner and bring honor and glory to Him.
In a parable, Jesus tells of three servants who were given responsibility for money entrusted to them while the Master was away on a trip. When the Master returned, he rewarded two faithful servants and severely chastised one by calling him wicked and lazy. But the faithful stewards/servants heard these words, "Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things" (Matthew 25:19, 23, 26 NIV). Whether God has entrusted you with much or little, the same faithfulness is expected by our Heavenly Father.
Jesus taught us to be accountable and faithful to God. Life and all its possessions are a trust from God, and He holds us responsible for managing them so that His investment in us will bear the maximum return for His kingdom. However, our stewardship responsibilities go beyond money and worldly possessions. They also include the stewardship of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The church belongs to Christ, but as believer, we are charged with sharing the good news and making disciples of all people (Matthew 28:19-20).
As you reflect on what God has given you, including your salvation, I pray that God will give you the will and wisdom to practice good stewardship of all God has entrusted to you. This will increase your happiness while honoring Him.
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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