17 Apr Be a Good Steward!
“The Christian should never worry about tomorrow or give sparingly because of a possible future need. Only the present moment is ours to serve the Lord, and tomorrow may never come…Life is worth as much as it is spent for the Lord’s service.” These are some famous words by George Muller, the man who was originally a thief before accepting Jesus as His Lord and Savior, who then shaped the many lives of orphan children and served God preaching the gospel of Christ. These words are an excellent reminder that God wants us to be good stewards of all He has entrusted to us, not worrying about the future but serving Him in the present.
A steward can be anyone with a certain responsibility or something to manage, which makes us all stewards. A steward is different from an owner. A steward doesn’t own something but is trusted to take care of and manage that something given to him/her by the owner. 1 Peter 4:10 tells us, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms”.
So as stewards of God, think about all the things that God has entrusted to you and how you can use them as He intends you to.
Being a follower of Christ, stewardship is necessary for the following areas of life and all these are owned by God. We may possess it but God owns it.
One such area is Time. From age to age He stands and time is in His hands, beginning and ending. Seasons may change but our God is the same yesterday, today, and forever! Think not about spending your time on things but investing it in things. How can you use your routine or daily schedule to honor God? What are the things you can add or subtract from it to be a good steward of your time? Living in the hustle and bustle of this life, do not forget to prioritize your time with God which is most important. Take out time to do things that you love, such as jamming with friends and worshiping God after a hectic day at college or on the way back from work, baking and cooking some comfort food and spending time in nature, going for a swim or a hike or just relaxing. Manage your time well which can help in maintaining a balance between your career, ministry and fellowships which does not leave you exhausted. The best way to balance that is to plan things ahead of time and note them down.
Another important area is our Gifts and Talents, not owned but endowed to us by God. Romans 12: 6-8 talks about different gifts, given according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. And talents can be such as, writing poems or songs, playing music, singing, painting or making creative things of art, cooking and baking, decorating, playing sports, and so on. So what are you using your gifts and talents for? Is it for your own glory or the glory of God? We need more people to come up and worship the Lord through music, write, for sharing His great love, stand up for the truth, open their homes and welcome people, provide hospitality for His people, encourage those who are suffering, help in educating small children and mentor those in need of spiritual growth. Remember that the treasure is not yours to bury but to use it for the Lord.
Be a good steward of your money by contributing it consistently to the Lord. Everything in this world belongs to the Lord, and so we simply share not from our money but from what the Lord has blessed us with. The Macedonian church is a great example for us in 2 Cor. 3:8 where they gave beyond their means even in the midst of severe trials and poverty. Giving our money as a freewill offering should be cheerful, never forced, and wisely planned according to the needs of our Church, our EU&EGF programs, and the people around us. Giving can also be indirect in many ways such as gifting our dear ones according to their specific needs or paying a bill for our friend who is in need, paying the tuition fee for a student in need, or even buying groceries and medicines for our friends who are sick and cannot afford it. Remember that the Lord loves a cheerful giver and He doesn’t look at the quantity of the amount you give but at your heart and the way you give, not for the motive of seeking self praise but giving Him all the glory.
Lastly, be a good steward of the plethora of resources that are there at your disposal. One of the greatest resources we have is social media. We may not realize but our social media posts affect the lives of the people around us in many ways. There have been times that God has used the biblical quotes and bible verses posted on WhatsApp and Instagram to heal people, make them repent and even encourage them when they were at their breaking point because the power does not lie in the way it has been posted or the graphics of its design but the power lies in the scripture itself which is sharper than a double-edged sword. At times when physical fellowships are not possible then meet on platforms such as zoom/google meet to build each other in Christ but do not stop meeting. Share the kind of content with your friends which truly can make a difference in their lives such as Christian videos from Youtube, animated illustrations to understand the Bible better, online books and magazines, songs about Jesus and so much more! Use the internet to strengthen your knowledge about the doctrines of our faith and apologetics, and refer to commentaries and podcasts online too.
Use your vehicles to offer a ride to your friends after a fellowship time, cook a meal and provide it to those who are sick, and best of all, open your home for God’s people to display the love of Christ Jesus through your servanthood. Use these resources recklessly just to go an extra mile for the Lord’s service and remember that none of these efforts are in vain but God in His time will make us reap the harvest of these seeds sown in His vineyard.
I being a flawed and imperfect human am a work in progress who is still learning to be a good steward day by day and would encourage you to do the same! As Don Moen sings, “Two hands, one heart, one life to offer you. Two hands, one heart, one life I give to you” may we come with all our gifts, talents, resources and complete submission of our heart at the feet of Jesus and see God do great things through it, much more than we can imagine!
Stuti Farmer is doing her MSc in Plant Biology & Plant Biotechnology at Madras Christian College, Chennai, and is actively involved in the MCC EU. She is also a student member in UESI Communication & Networking Dept. She loves to stay connected with students and is passionate about writing too.