I have been sharing with you some thoughts on Christian Stewardship. Right off the bat let me assure you that Stewardship does not only apply to money, but as you can see in my prior blog called the Eight T's of Stewardship, Christian Stewardship involves our Time, Talents, Treasures, Testimony, Tissue, Trash, Touch, and Technology.
From now until my time with you as one of your Pastoral Counselors is over, we will study some Stewardship principles. As we begin this next chapter, we will consider with you how the giving Christian gives Faithfully, Compassionately, Gracefully, Proportionately and Globally. As always, if ever have any questions, would like more explanation, or would like to discuss this or anything else, please feel free to contact me.
I would like to begin by reminding each of us that giving is at the heart of the Christian's life, at the heart of the Gospel, and at the heart of God. "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son." God is the ultimate, infinite and perfect giver. And because giving is a natural part of God's nature, when we give, we identify with Him and reflect His likeness in which we were made.
As you know, everything of true value is given by God. He has given us life itself - physical life that we so enjoy and spiritual life through the sacrifice of His Son on the cross to pay for our sins and make possible our salvation and inheritance of eternal life in heaven. God has set the pattern for giving and there is no worthier goal than to give like He gives. Is that impossible? I would suggest to you it is not, as we will hopefully see in the coming few months.
Let us consider the first of the ways in which a Christian give. Faithfulness is the first and most important quality of a Christian steward. St. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 4:2, "It is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful." The "trust" that Paul speaks about includes all the riches and resources given to us by God. His plan is that we manage these resources in a way that is spiritually wise and profitable.
As we think of the Christian giver giving faithfully, there are two thoughts that come to mind. The first is that giving faithfully means that we give by faith in God, mindful that He
is the Lord of all. The second is that by giving faithfully we give in a faithful, dependable manner. In both thoughts, God provides the power and we follow through with the practice. He gives us the gift of faith: we, in turn, exercise that faith by giving for His glory and His purposes.
Giving faithfully though is not just about money. My 34 years as a pastor have convinced me that one who gives money faithfully is much more likely to faithfully steward his/her time, talents, treasures, tissue, touch, testimony, trash, and technology (as we mentioned before). Money is a major determining factor of much, if not all, that we do in life. Jesus said it like this in Matthew 6:19, "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." I have counseled with many people whose struggle and crisis can be traced directly to where their "treasure" is. As Jesus said, if our "treasure" is in the wrong place, then our heart is in the wrong place as well. Faithfulness in giving - to the right purposes in the right way - has a powerfully positive effect and keeps all our priorities in the right order.
By: Pastor Heckmann