I was researching stewardship recently, and I came across this article that was offered by Focus on the Family. The author is Harvey Nowland. His words both challenge and comfort me. He reminded me that I do not own anything but am simply a steward of all that God has given me. That means that God has a purpose in giving me what I have and I am to care for it. As I mentioned in my message this past weekend, God wants us to be conduits of His blessings not containers.
As we draw near to our Presentation Sunday (when we present our pledges to God for the ministry at COTHA) this coming weekend, I know that many people are still undecided about their pledge. There are many reasons that you may be feeling that the time is just not right for you to take this step of faith. Or you may be wondering if God will really bless you if you step out in faith. Wherever you are and whatever you are feeling, I am praying for you. I offer these words from Harvey Nowland to help you in your thoughts and prayers:
“God’s goal isn’t simply to keep you and your family reasonably comfortable – He has a kingdom to build, and you’re a part of His management team in accomplishing that plan.
- The bad news is that often we’re prone to behave as though we own what we can get our hands on and then set our own rules for how we use those things. But if we look around us we can see how mismanagement – lack of good stewardship – based on sin has yielded some pretty disastrous results.
- The good news is that when King Jesus came to earth, the kingdom of God arrived. And as the King’s voluntary subjects, Christians are to acknowledge Jesus as the rightful owner of the resources we manage. That means we’re to manage His property according to God’s values and to accomplish His will according to His Word – stewardship.
To make it really simple – everything from your backyard and bank account to your mind and body - is a resource that you must manage for God. No false humility required here, you are an important member of God’s management team – stewardship.
You may be thinking, Sure, sounds good, but I have a job, medical bills, the car needs tires, the kids need braces and the economy has all but flat-lined. So, if God owns everything – can’t He do most of this stuff Himself or at least help with some of my bills?
Building the kingdom of God and stewardship aren’t simply “nice ideas” for which missionaries, pastors, Bible teachers and youth workers are responsible. Kingdom building certainly includes those responsibilities, but ministry and stewardship begins with God working inside of you and me.
The key to having an appropriate sense of stewardship, with the ability to make clear and wise choices, is to consciously take this first step: hand over ownership of all your resources to God. You could look at it this way. You don’t have – and you never will have – enough money, possessions or time not to take this step. The alternative will draw you to, or keep you in, the modern rat race that leads nowhere.
Stewardship can seem daunting. After all, being managers of our families, possessions, the earth and builders of a kingdom isn’t small stuff. But remember, God promises us that He’ll never require something of us that we cannot accomplish. Furthermore, whatever God may require of us, He provides the ability to achieve.”
“God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed”(2 Corinthians 9:8 NASB).
Join with me as I continue to pray for all of you and the ministry God has entrusted us with at COTHA.