Archives For stewardship

During some recent study, I was struck with a concept I had inexplicably never considered before. While I talk a lot about stewarding our resources of money and time, I had never considered stewarding the resources of our words. As a writer, the thought struck me deeply. I see words as being an incredibly powerful resource we can use to further God’s Kingdom or to tear it down.

stewarding your words,stewardship,commitment,discipleship,love,mission,humility,Ephesians 4:29,build up someone,2 Corinthians 10:3-5,take every thought captive,James 3:6,tongue is a fire

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Actions indeed speak louder than words, but words can change minds, influence change, and impact the world in ways that little else can. Yet, how much thought do you give towards stewarding your words each day? How often do you intentionally measure your speech to be certain each word you speak makes the greatest impact for the Kingdom of God?

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I am currently going a through a Bible reading plan that guides me through thirty-one days of praying for my nation. It pains me to see how far the country in which I live is drifting from God. To be clear, I don’t believe there is any such thing as a “Christian Nation” (for an excellent, in-depth study on this topic, see “The Myth of a Christian Nation” by Gregory A. Boyd). The history of my country is filled with atrocities which should never be associated with the name of Christ. Still, growing up in the 70’s and 80’s, it seemed my Country had a far greater reverence and respect for God. My parents feel their generation was even more dedicated to God, and I do not doubt this to be true.

we need a revival,we need revival,revival,aw tozer,tozer,a.w. tozer,Matthew 10:39,anyone who loses his life,stewardship,passion,mission,Philippians 3:7-8,consider everything loss,Luke 14:26-33,count the cost,Matthew 8:18-22,foxes have holes,Matthew 28:18-20,great commission

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Even in the 1960’s, A.W. Tozer made this comment: “We need a revival! We need a revival of consecration to death, a revival of happy abandonment to the will of God that will laugh at sacrifice and count it a privilege to bear the cross through the heat and burden of the day. We are too much influenced by the world and too little controlled by the Spirit.”

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Each of us has been given a unique combination of gifts with which to further the Kingdom of God. Some gifts are more readily apparent and some are more subtle, but each of us has indeed been given gifts from God (Ephesians 4:7, 8; 11-13). We have been entrusted with all we need to make the kingdom of God a reality here on earth. Indeed, it is our calling as followers of Jesus. Our gifts work best and most effectively when combined with the gifts of others. We were created for relationships and for community. The gifts of one are multiplied exponentially when combined with the gifts of another.

Much like we are to be good stewards of the money God has entrusted us to manage, so too we must be good stewards of the gifts He has given to each of us. Your gifts can be used for good, used for evil, or perhaps most tragically, not used at all. If one has been blessed with a high level of charisma, they can obviously use that gift to influence others for Christ, or they can selfishly choose to use their gift to further their own agenda. I believe there is a special thrill in Hell when Satan convinces a follower of Jesus to use God’s gifts to further their own personal goals. We will have to give an account of how we used the talents God entrusted to us. Just like our time, our money or our words, we alone are responsible for their usage.

Like an accomplished musician, to make full use of our gifts, we must practice and hone their usage. Having a gift is not a pass to allow you to be lazy and never have to work at using that gift. Lack of use will cause a gift to atrophy. We are responsible not only for using our gifts for good, but also for discovering how we might best use our talent, and do so in a way that is unique to us. No two people will manifest a gift in the exact same way. Just as each soul is unique, so is the expression of each gift given by God. We alone can use our talent the way we do. We alone can fill our place within the grand movement of time within God’s plan for our world. It is an awesome and frightening responsibility. Our only chance of success is to give ourselves wholly to God and to be constantly practicing the use of our gifts.

Whether or not we will be able to make full use of our gifts depends on us having a heart purely devoted to God. Only when our hearts are totally given to Him can His power course unimpeded through our souls. Only when we are totally surrendered to Him will we be able to observe the glory of God expressed through the gifts He has entrusted to us. We often remark how sad it is when someone’s life is unexpectedly cut short. Perhaps sadder still is all of the unused potential that dies with that person. We have no idea how long we have left on this earth. Life could end at any moment for any one of us. I don’t want to die with unused potential inside of me. It is our job to work diligently to fully utilize all that God has entrusted to us for as long we are able.

How are you using your gifts? Are you more interested in fulfilling your own needs or the needs of those around you? Are you regularly exercising your gifts or do you simply make use of them when convenient? Finally, are you doing all you can to express every last ounce of usefulness out of your talents? Are you doing your part to advance God’s kingdom here on earth? You have been entrusted with great power and great responsibility; don’t waste it! When your time is done, don’t be caught with potential still inside of you. Burn brightly for Jesus in every way; use what God has given you, use it well, and most importantly, use it up. Don’t leave this world with a hole in the kingdom because of your lost potential.