Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Life of a Steward

Chuckle: A not so bright young lady was asked: "If you are in a vacuum and someone calls your name, can you hear it?" She thought for a time and then asked, "Is it on or off?"
Quote: “As parents, we have the responsibility to prepare our sons (children) to be worthy and to have a desire to serve the Lord. We are stewards of those sons (children), held in reserve for this day.” --H. Bryan Richards

"So then, people ought to regard us as servants of Christ and as those (stewards) entrusted with the secret things of God. Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful" (I Corinthians 4:1-2, NIV).
The word "steward" means one who manages someone else's money or property. The Bible says we are stewards of the resources God has entrusted to us: time, abilities, money, and the gospel message. For a life of significance, you must give up trying to be the owner and just be thankful for what God has entrusted to you as a steward. In our passage, Paul's emphasis is on our being faithful as stewards of "the secret things of God." Being good stewards of the gospel means we have first experienced it, then we are faithful to share it truthfully and accurately with others.
Now to stewardship of earthly things God has entrusted to us. "The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof" (Psalm 24:1). "The cattle on a thousand hills belong to the Lord" (Psalm 50:10). "The silver and the gold are mine saith the Lord" (Haggai 2:8 NIV). Have you fully acknowledged His ownership of everything you have? Have you said, "Lord, I want to manage faithfully what you have entrusted to me"? Here are two tests that will help you to know if you're a faithful steward.
1. The time test. Do you recognize time as a gift from God.? "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy" (Exodus 20:8 NIV - the fourth of the Ten Commandments). After Jesus had risen from the dead on Sunday, most believers changed the Sabbath to the Lord's day, the first day of the week - one day set aside as holy unto God. Do you gladly give a portion of your time to the Lord and his work? It has been said that time is the currency of the twenty-first century. In this day of relative affluence, we are more selfish with our time than with our money. But every second of time is a gift of God and he expects us to use it to honor him.
2. The money test. I acknowledge God as the owner of everything by using the money and possessions He has entrusted to me for God-honoring purposes, and by returning to Him the tithe (ten percent) as He requires (Malachi 3:8-12, Matthew 23:23). Tithes and offerings from his people are God's way of supporting his work - both in the old and New Testaments. The tithe is the Lord's. By returning the tithe to God through His church, you are saying to Him that all I have is yours and in gratitude I'm faithful in the tithe. Jesus had more to say about money then heaven or salvation. He knew selfishness and greed would be among our greatest problems.
A kind man took a dirty little boy to a candy store and told him to get any candy he wanted. After the boy had picked a few pieces, the man told the clerk to fill the boy’s sac. Then he asked the boy if he was happy. The boy said, “Oh yes, I’m happy.” Then the man asked, “would you give me a piece of your candy/” The boy said, “No, it’s mine,” and ran. God says to us, "look at all I've entrusted to you. Won't you acknowledge that by giving me back a portion to support my work on earth?" And we say, "NO, IT'S MINE!"
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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