This is meant to be a lesson/study to reflect in the Word and on your life in the light of it:
Everything that we have, all good things, are from God. He is the creator, sustainer, redeemer and life-giver. Whether a person is a believer or not, God gives grace to them by causing the rain and sun to fall on them.
As believers in Christ, he has brought us from death to life. ‘It is by his grace we have been saved-not of ourselves-it is the gift of God,’ Ephesians 2. He created us in Christ that we might walk in good works (Ephesians 2:10), trust him, rely on him, obey him (John 15), love him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and to love our neighbor as ourselves (Matthew 22:37). In Colossians, we are exhorted: ‘and whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.’ We are also called to work at everything with all our heart as to God and not men.
It seems that every part of us–our thoughts, deeds, heart, and energy is to be about him–loving him. If we see what he has done for us and in us, thankfulness and love are a natural outpouring. However, there are habits of sin in us and in this world that we have to examine and repent to love him fully. We all have blind spots, places where we struggle that we do not see but everyone else sees. These are shown oft times in what we treasure.
Every part of our lives is to bring him glory (‘whatever you eat, drink, whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God’). There are no compartments for “just us.” Our time, our thoughts, our desires, our habits, our talents, our struggles, how we share the reality of those struggles (2 Corinthians 1), and our money/possessions are all to bring glory to him.
What we do with what he has given us by his grace is stewardship.
It is not just about money but every resource. This also includes our intelligence, our personalities, our giftedness, our excelling in arts or sports, our environment, our status…
The gospel is our greatest gift–the talent given to us in Matthew 25. Without Christ’s righteous life lived, substitutionary death payed, and the Spirit’s gracious opening of our heart, we have no hope–no relationship with God. we cannot relate to him because we are dead in our sin. Through Christ, we have fellowship with God. Our greatest treasure is relationship with God through Christ–The Hope.
From one man he made every nation of men that they should inhabit the whole earth, and he determined the times set for them and the exact places they should live.
Psalm 139:13-16 describes the care God took in our formation, his purposes and his plan. Psalm 139:16 says that all our days were ordained. Once in Christ, he gives us his Spirit to live in us and teach us when we repent and follow him. The Spirit then bestows us with gifts to strengthen and edify the body of Christ, the church. By remembering that and remembering the example of the servants who were faithful with what the Master entrusted to them (the Parable of the Talents), we are encouraged to trust God and be faithful in obedience with what he brings and gives. We are called to love him with all we are bringing him glory in all we do. Obedience begins in the heart and flows outwardly. This starts with the hope and transformation of the gospel and ends with the hope and transformation of the gospel.
So, let’s examine our lives:
Examine what God has given you and where he has placed you. You are in the city, town, state, country you are in for a purpose (Acts 17:26). You are in this exact time of life and you are given the resources you are given for a purpose. Your neighborhood, your church, your children’s placement, your gifting, your personality, your time–all purposed.
Take time to evaluate where you have the opportunity to steward your resources.
- Where are you gifted?
- What do you enjoy?
- What circumstances in your life have you been through that you might be able to share with others to encourage/help them?
- What did you learn from these circumstances?
- What are your assets at this time? in time, resources, energy, experiences, environment
- What environments are you already in? (think every area–church, home, neighborhood, where you shop, schools, work, family, etc)
- What opportunities of the kingdom are there?
- Where is God at work around you for you to join him?
- How are you making use of your time? (If you do not schedule life in discipline, it WILL schedule you.)
- Where are you wasting time?
When we invest money, we research, look at patterns, needs, etc. We are wise with our assets because they affect our future and our children’s future. We should take much more care with things that do not pass away–spiritual investments.
Ask this question in all these areas:
How are you treasuring Christ above all with:
- Your money
From the Old Testament, we learn that God asks that his people give ten percent of the best of their crops. This is called the tithe. The tithe was used to give the to the Levites, a priestly tribe that was not given land as an inheritance. The Levites were then called to give ten percent of all they had. These tithes were to God. A tenth was called a king’s share–and they gave it to the King–God Almighty. Those who did not tithe we told that they were robbing God and missing blessing. (Lev 27:30; Deut 14:22-29; Gen 14:20, 28:22, Gen 4; Numbers 18:26; Malachi 3)
From the New Testament, we learn that followers of Christ sold their possessions to give to anyone in the body as they had need. No one claimed possessions as their “own.” Believers were rich and poor alike, but they were open and obedient to share with those in the body. The believers gave their lives fully–money, goods, time, status, relationships–for the sake of the gospel and its spread. Many lost their lives to further the gospel. (Acts 2:2-7, 4:32; Acts 5)
- Your Time:
- Your Relationships:
- Your Talents:
- Your Energy: (Colossians 1:28-29)
- Your Neighborhood:
- The Church (investment in the body): (1 Corinthians 12, and many other places about spiritual gifts)
- The poor, the widowed, the orphaned: (many scriptures including James 1:27)
- Your Intelligence:
- Your Thoughts: (Colossians 2:1, 3:2, 3:16)
- Your Habits:
- Your interactions with Non-Christians: (Colossians 3;5-6)