As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Stewardship is basically a dead metaphor to the world. Outside of the context of the Scriptures, people do not understand the concept of managing something that belongs to another. But it would not be the first time that Christians talked about something that the world simply does not understand. Jesus frequently speaks about servants who are charged to manage that which has been entrusted to them. From talents to treasure, everything that we have has been given to us by God. We have not earned anything by our hard work and determination. We are simply recipients of God’s grace.
Churches have much room for improvement in teaching about stewardship, so the metaphor is not dead. Our Lord calls us to use the gifts that He has given to us in service to our neighbor. Ultimately, the stewardship of the servants reflects upon the generosity of the Master. Our heavenly Father has lavished us with His gifts of love and grace. A Christian’s stewardship of God’s gifts is simply a response to the all the gifts that God has given. For the Master did not give a portion or even the first fruits to us, but literally gave Himself.
We have defined stewardship as “the free and joyous activity of God’s family — the church — in managing life’s resources for His purposes.” When we recognize all the gifts that God gives to us managing those gifts becomes a joyous activity. The investment of our time, the use of our gifts, the care for our bodies and minds, and our financial offerings are all ways in which Christians steward the gifts of God. We should never be hesitant to talk about stewardship because that would imply we are hesitant to talk about the gifts of God. Rather, stewardship talk should be a lively metaphor for conversations about the blessed life of the Christian in receiving God’s gifts. Let’s not allow stewardship to lose its meaning, but daily extol our Lord’s gifts and therefore extol the managing of those gifts.
Prayer – Almighty God, You are the Giver of all good gifts and have so generously bestowed Your gifts upon Your children. Help us to receive Your good gifts with gratitude in our hearts and use them to serve one another and to bring honor and glory to Your name; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Fraternally in Christ,
President Lee Hagan