17 Apr Stewards with Kingdom Values
God has an intent for each and every one of our lives. Any area, sphere, or facet of our existence may serve as the source of His calling. Every life that God has fashioned has a specific goal for which he sent us to the earth. Within itself, creation is a miracle of God that shows the character of our heavenly Father. His divine insight concerning creation is always superior to anything our feeble minds can understand or surpass. Discipline, obedience, and holy life are vital for surrender to Christ. God’s calling can have something to do with our profession, a particular vocation, or even both. Stewardship is a core obligation and is fundamental for Christian living on earth. All of us are key stakeholders entrusted with resources by our Master. To exploit our potentials to their fullest, the Most High has given us freewill. The following outlines a few of the areas where stewardship can be demonstrated and is frequently disregarded.
1) Stewards of Environment
The diversity that the Artist envisioned while creating each snippet of the infinite universe is still a marvel to behold. The fragrance of clean earth after a heavy downpour, the way the ocean waves curve up into a satin wrap as they hug the land, cotton candy-like clouds, the myriad color palette woven into a rainbow, the gushing sound of streams, the crystal-clear waterfalls, the majestic mountains coated in greenery along as the bed of snow, the cool and eerily quiet forests, the sturdy rocks, the splendor of the rising sun in the early hours and the crimson glow of the evening sun are just a few examples that declare how exquisitely beautiful, considerate, and highly detailed the workmanship of God is. How fortunate we are to be able to experience all of nature while we are travelling in this tent made of earth! In Genesis 1:28, scripture urges and mandates that we should protect nature. His calling never grants us the authority to abuse the diverse elements of nature, mishandle, mislead, or destroy them but to ultimately transfer the resources on to the subsequent generation. Some of us waste water, spit and urinate in public, dump garbage all over, release waste into rivers, create noise pollution, harm animals, cut down trees, burn trash, upset our neighbors thoughtlessly, and destroy the ecosystem. All such behaviour patterns are actually considered “okay” by most people.
The solution is to live consciously. Avoid littering, contaminating water supplies and the environment, making efforts to keep the area clean, being friendlier to people and animals, and, most importantly, practicing “live and let live.”
2) Stewards of Treasure
Both, the OT and NT provide extensive information about managing wealth and stories of those who inflicted destruction upon themselves out of the love for riches. Even Jesus’ tale of the rich fool instructs us not to hoard money for the uncertain future. Cherish what you possess instead of yearning for what you lack are just a handful of the remarkable insights and teachings found in Ecclesiastes chapter 6. Achan, son of Carmi, who stole the loot designated for the Lord and taught us that hunger for riches is equivalent to calling for active ruin (I Timothy 6:9,10). God has placed each of us in a distinct set of financial circumstances. As followers of Christ, it’s crucial that we submit our finances for Kingdom purposes. The first step in demonstrating financial stewardship is setting aside one-tenth of our income deliberately (Malachi 3:10-18). God desires for his children to have a generous heart, especially toward the destitute, widows, and fatherless (Proverbs 28:27, 11:25). To distinguish between “want” and “need,” seek the Holy Spirit’s counsel, and then allow God to guide you. Whatever we have is a gift of God’s grace, and when we are richly blessed, it is our duty to use it for the sake of the Kingdom and the glory of God, particularly at a time when many mission areas are battling to stay afloat. When we are walking through this transient sanctuary, having wealth and becoming wealthy seem foolish pursuits to have, especially when we consider the eternal riches that await us as believers. The devil’s plan is to get us to fall for his trick of loving and chasing wealth. Remember: “A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children, but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous” (Proverbs 13:22).
3) Stewards of Time
One of the most undervalued Christian stewardship principles is time management. Our time is numbered in God’s hands from the moment we are sewn together in our mother’s womb (Psalms 31:15).
Each day brings us renewed grace so that we may use it wisely. As we move nearer to the Lord, one of our main priorities should be to spend the time we have wisely in this rapidly advancing world. Due to the upsurge in media addiction, it is easy to become lost. Since time is money, at least ten percent of each day should be devoted to reading the Bible, maturing in it, praying, and praising God. Our Heavenly Father is expecting our symphony of prayers to reach Him every day. When the Creator of the sun, moon, stars, and entire cosmos decided that one of you also had a purpose to be placed on earth, just think of the conversations you could have with Him daily since He knew us before we were even conceived (Jeremiah 1:5). To doubt our lives is to doubt God’s perfect will. If you are daily pursuing the will of the Holy Spirit, you will be aware of the reason you were called, and you will exhibit the gifts of the Spirit in your life as a response of obeying Him.
The Bible encourages us to be mindful of the hours and times. ‘Right now,’ is what we hold in our hands. Tomorrow is not guaranteed, so we cannot lay off the tasks that God has given us to accomplish (Proverbs 27:1). Even though you might feel ready and willing to defend the Lord “tomorrow,” your vocation was for “today,” and the opportunity you lost has undoubtedly passed.
Similar to the tale of the five virgins who did not carry oil, we will pay the price for not being watchful enough to be prepared every day for Jesus’ return (Matthew 24:44).
Most significantly, as the adage goes, “Time and tide wait for no one,” which emphasizes that time lost is lost forever.
4) Stewards of Talent
Every person is a masterpiece in God’s eyes and is sent with God given gifts.
Our capabilities organically develop as a consequence of the situations in which we find ourselves and also the support we obtain to pursue them. However, a person may possess many more gifts than they are aware of. Only the Holy God, who created us, is acquainted of our true potential for He is the one who wove our soul. Praying to God about our talents can be helpful if we want to comprehend them. The most essential thing is to faithfully use our gifts, no matter how insignificant we may think they are. Do whatever you do—whether it’s singing, dancing, praying, serving, or conversing—as though it were for the Lord (Colossians 3:23). Don’t merely use your talent for its own sake. Instead, use them in conformity with the Master’s flawless will while feeling grateful. There will undoubtedly be a day when we must settle our accounts with the Almighty, who laid the earth’s foundation and set its dimension. Nurture your talents so that you can bear fruits for the Kingdom of God.
God intends for us to be courageous enough to confront our anxieties and be faithful in whatever he wants us to put our focus on during various seasons. As the Holy Spirit dwells within a follower of Christ, He disciplines us so that, when He takes control of the situation, we will be better managers.
Sruthi V Roy, Completed BTech from TKM College of Engineering and MTech from IIT Bhubaneswar. Currently working as Junior Research Fellow at NIT Surathkal EU group: NIT Surathkal