|The Work of Stewardship|
Work Matters (3)
For who sees anything in you? What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?
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Scripture teaches that every good and perfect gift comes down to us from our heavenly Father, out of the sheer enormity of His love for us, and the delight He takes in lavishing us with good things (Jms. 1.17). These good gifts include our work, as we have seen. And, like every good gift, we want to take care of those we receive, using them as intended, and with a view to honoring the One Who gave them to us.
As with our work, our lives are filled with other good and excellent gifts from God, and we are called to be good stewards over them, using them, in some way, to boast about and honor the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Exercising good stewardship over all the gifts God has given us takes time, energy, and care – in other words, work. A work of stewardship is entrusted to us with respect to all the good gifts we receive from the Lord. Like the talents in Jesus’ parable, God gives us good and perfect gifts so that we will work hard to use them bringing honor and glory to His Name (Matt. 25:14-30; Jn. 17:4).
What’s included in this work of stewardship? Well, first of all, our bodies and the health in which we must preserve them. God is not indifferent to things like what we eat and drink, and how. Indeed, we have a specific instruction from the Apostle Paul to use our food and drink as ways of glorifying God (1 Cor. 10:31).
Next, our material possessions – our home and cars (change that oil every 3,000 miles?), clothes, tools, personal items, computers, televisions, and on and on. God allows us to have these things, and He is not indifferent concerning how we are to use them or the manner in which we must care for them. I have a book in my library entitled, House as a Mirror of Self. The author argues that everything about our homes has meaning, and says something about who we are and what’s important to us. What does the décor of your house say about your ultimate convictions? The books on your shelves? The use you make of the television? How you keep your yard? The hospitality you show to others?
Beyond this we have a stewardship of wealth – the money we make. Do we honor the Lord with our money by giving our tithes and offerings, laying up for the future, and refusing to cast the “pearls” of our paycheck before the “swine” paraded before us by advertisers? It should be apparent that we need to take up the work of stewardship as seriously as we do the work we accomplish on our jobs, for in each case the potential for doing good to others and bringing glory to God is real and great.
And with all this there is a stewardship of time – making the most of every moment of time to bring honor and glory to the Lord (Eph. 5:15-17; Ps. 90:12, 16, 17). Clearly, we need to work hard at our stewardship of God’s good gifts, if we hope to glorify Him in the work we’ve been given to do.
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Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture references are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright 2001by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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