Kingdom Principle: Stewardship of relationships yields eternal wealth
|Jeremiah 8:18-9:1||Psalm 79:1-9||1 Timothy 2:1-7||Luke 16:1-13|
Last week we addressed how we can identify ourselves as saints, sinners, fools or evil in the Kingdom of God. The call last week was to see ourselves as saints. This week we see that saints act as stewards.
Stewards are placed in charge or called to manage another’s person’s resources. Saints are the stewards of God resources.
- Saints are Stewards
- Sinners are Savers
- Fools are Spenders
- Evil are Steal’ers. (Sorry Pittsburgh)
Sinners are savers because they fear they never have enough. They are focused on the problems and not the solutions. (The Luke passage this week commends the shrewd steward as he sought solutions rather than being stuck in a problem.) Savers are holding out for “rainy” days, rather than believing that God is reigning over them in all ways. A sinner can never save enough, because they truly believe they are not “enough”. Shrewd stewards always have enough, because they are not looking to prove, protect or pleasure with resources. Rather they walk as saints in the perfection of their King.
Fools are spenders because they lack wisdom. Spending is not the problem, for a steward must spend to be about their owners business. In our current culture fools view credit cards as stewardship, but that is foolish. It appears that you are managing, but in reality you are shifting and rotating your debit, rather than experiencing freedom. Jeremiah laments that the foolish actions are being called to account by the debit collection of God, they have overextended their credit, rather than turning to God for freedom.
Evil are stealers because they find satisfaction in taking what does not belong to them. They have greater enjoyment in taking from others, rather than from building and establishing capital for themselves. In fact, they lack all creative ability, as they focus on destroying another creation as the means as to make their mark in this world. Evil can appear to be very wealthy, but this was built on other backs. Evil and fools will be owned by their possessions, rather than owning of possessions.
Let us return to the call to be Saints who Steward. Stewardship is a principle, that is built upon your ethics and values. Being a steward need not merely be financial.. In this way, saints are not merely managers of God’s kingdom resources, (as if that is outside of themselves or objectified) they are the very embodiment of God’s ways in the Kingdom. Saints steward and leverage everything, even their very lives for the Kingdom.
Stewards are not savers, because accumulation is not their goal, but they are not spenders because it costs them nothing to reallocate their masters resource. In all this, the gain or the loss return is for the “master’s” benefit not their own. Stewards are not seeking to increase their own pleasure or protection rather they receive it all is hearing the voice of the master say, “well done good and faithful servant”. Here are ideas to help you on your way of stewardship.
Steward your time – Are you always running behind, then you are never fully present with people. Release your anxiety and need to perform for others. Plan ahead, Covey tells us to plan the big rocks, and let the pebbles fall where they may. (Big Rock are always relationally based) How much time do you dedicate to your own renewal? We all have 168 hours each week – How will you not spend or save time this week – rather how you will you see your time, and not your own, but rather as a gift to steward.
Steward your money – next week’s post
Steward your sufferings – in two weeks
Steward your faith – Who will benefit from you coming along side them, who is struggling or is filled with doubt? Sharing your story (this is a time issue not money) is to steward your faith. Allow the provision of God to be multiplied as you give it way, as he is your Shepherd, you will no longer have want.
Steward your relationships – This can been done through time, faith, money or sufferings… Imagine your life as a network of relationships. How can you help make valuable connections between those who at his point are disconnected? (Thank you social media for helping us) Where might you invite someone into relationship with you, not for your gain, but for their surplus.
Intercession and prayer for others is the clumination of stewardship of relationships via time and faith. You know an all-powerful, loving God who extends his hand to you in prayer. You have access to the throne room of grace and you are called to go there boldly and to ask for even more than you can possibly imagine -So Go -and ask on behalf of your relationships – it will increase your relationship, it will increase your faith, it will increase your time (in that you will not waste your time on efforts that produce results)
In Prayer and Intercession
- Proclaim the Freedom of the Lord to those who are in bondage, slavery and broken under oppression.
- Pray for Sinners, Fools and those who are evil that the Kingdom of God will become like honey to their lips and light to their darkened eyes.
- Pray for our government leaders and city councils that they may come to know God’s justice and mercy. …. Jeremiah will later teach this to the people in exile, “Seek the peace and prosperity of the city – Pray to the LORD for it, for if it prospers so shall you” (Jer. 29:7)