A FEW GOOD WORDS
Imagine for a moment that your parents were getting older, and having some health problems. They decide to sell off their home, cars, property, and possessions and give all their money to you. They tell you that the money is now all yours, and all they ask is that you see to it that they are taken care of until the Lord calls them home.
What would you do with the money they gave you? Would you buy a new house, car, boat, or vacation for yourself? No! I think most of us would be humbled and honored that our parents put such trust in us. Out of love, respect, and honor for all they had done for us we would gladly do what we could to give them the best care we could for the rest of their lives.
Dear Christians, that is exactly what the Lord has done for us. He has given us everything starting with our very lives, to our talents, family, jobs, homes, possessions, and money. All this he has given us for one purpose only. Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God that he has given you. Deuteronomy 16:17 Everything is for his Kingdom. Everything we have has been given us by the Lord for the spreading of his Love, his Gospel message, his Word, his Kingdom, that all might come to faith in Jesus Christ, and be saved.
Our first thoughts about how to use our life, talents, and money ought only be focused on the only lasting treasure there is – the salvation of all nations. Now we don’t do the Lord much good if we starve ourselves to death because we gave away all our money, worked ourselves into an early grave, or lost our family out of neglect due to spending all our time in service to the Kingdom. But so often when we think of the stewardship of our time, talents, and treasures we find ourselves asking how much can I spare for the Lord, how much can we afford to give, or how much does the church really need? How much of a slice of the pie should we give?
Sadly, we fail to see that all our life belongs to the Lord and glorifies him and serves his Kingdom when we simply live our lives in faith. What we eat we eat to the Lord. What we do we do to the Lord. There is nothing wrong or less holy about spending time or money caring for the needs of our family. There is nothing more or less holy about an honest job. God has given us these things for our care and enjoyment that we might live peaceful and quiet lives. He has given each of us talents, desires, and dreams that we might serve one another and support the whole body of Christ. If we were all pastors and teachers, we would starve to death, our cars wouldn’t run, no buildings would be built, no trash collected, electricity generated, or computers made to write this newsletter article. No, God knew what he was doing when he gave us the talents, desires, opportunities, people, and places that make up our lives. But instead of asking, “What can we afford to give the Lord?” Perhaps, a more faithful question might be, “What can we do with all we have been given to best serve the Kingdom?” “How can we best use all the Lord has given us in service to his Kingdom?” We don’t give leftovers. We give first fruits. We give in proportion to the way the Lord has blessed us. “Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God that he has given you.”Stewardship of what the Lord has given you, is stewardship of everything! We glorify God and serve his Kingdom with our entire life and everything we have every day. Another familiar way to speak of the stewardship of our lives is to say, “We are blessed to be a blessing!”
Pastor Jonathan Bontke
“Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God that he has given you.