Last post I shared the main focus of God’s words to me in this season: “It starts at home.” They were putting God first, then Glenn, and thirdly family. Whilst by far the most important points, He has been challenging me in some other areas around the house and in daily life, too. One such is in the area of stewardship.
Stewardship. One word, but what a vast array of factors that can be placed under it! Here are a few that we’ve been challenged on:
We are called to steward our money and belongings
Scripture has so much to say in this area that mentioning it in one part of a single blog is insufficient. On one hand, we’re commanded not to be lovers of money, chasing after it above God; however, on the other hand, we are called to be wise with our use of it and not to be lazy in providing for our families.
“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” Matthew 6:24.
Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5.
For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living. 2 Thessalonians 3:10 -12.
Whoever is slothful will not roast his game, but the diligent man will get precious wealth. Proverbs 12:27.
This season God has been focusing us on releasing the opportunity for greater wealth for the freedom to minister; yet at the very same time, He has given us this season to start setting ourselves up, moving towards self-sustainability in missions. (We are praying about re-entering the “traditional” missions’ field next year).
We are called to steward God’s creation
And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Genesis 1:28
One need not look further than the state of land and sea for an example of our poor stewardship over this area. Personally, Glenn and I were saddened by the amount of plastic and other pollution we saw on Fiji’s island shores and in the ocean (Dec ’15 – Jan ’16). Here’s just one article on the subject: Sperm whales’ stomachs full of plastic
Sadly, Christians are not always leading the way in this area – some even use the excuse that, since there will be a new heaven and earth, it doesn’t matter what happens with this one! Man is meant to be the stewards of God’s creation and we should be cherishing it.
For us in this season, we have felt challenged to re-use as much as possible (even more than recycle!). We are thankful that we can buy our milk the old fashioned way, reusing bottles, and that we can return the Styrofoam trays to our local vegetable supplier. Additionally, we’ve been rethinking what household and beauty products we use to ensure they are environmentally friendly.
We are called to steward our gifts and talents
In Matthew 25:14-30 Jesus gives the Parable of the Talents. In the parable a talent refers to a sum of money, but I think we can also look at it in regards to the gifts God gives us.
For the sake of volume, I won’t go into this much, but I’d like to challenge you to think about what gifts God has given you and whether you’re using them. I’d also challenge you to consider what dreams He’s put in your heart, what commands He has given you, and whether you are walking in obedience to them.
We are called to steward our time
Again, I don’t want to go into detail here, but I would challenge you regarding your use of time. There is no one way of looking at time use. I believe that it is critical to be faithful to your capacity, experience, and the season God has you in. And stewarding time does not just look at work, nor does it mean your volume of church-based activities.
I have had seasons where I have joyfully worked 6 days a week and long hours. Now, especially with baby on the way, the hours I spend “working” are far less. This is very much a “Mary” season for me (Luke 10:38-42) – resting in Him and fellowship with others have been the priority with work fitting in as it can.
For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account . . . Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God. (Philippians 1:21-24, 27-28).