Stewardship: Taking Care of God’s Business

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November 12, 2017

  • Resources

    Daily Reflection on Being a Faithful Steward

    Day 1 | Read through Matthew 25. You may also want to read through the 11 Ideas to Help You Get Serious About Stewardship in the next two columns. As you read, study, reflect, and pray through Matthew 25, what are the most important words you are hearing from God through this passage? What is speaking to your heart?

    Day 2 | On Days 2 through 5, re-read the passage. The rest of the week is designed to help you think and pray deeply about Matthew 25. Make a good (and long) list of all the things that God has entrusted into your care. This is actually a good question to think about with a friend or two. You will come up with many initial ideas. As you continue to prayerfully reflect on this question, many more things will come to mind.

    Day 3 | Do an initial consideration of how you think you are doing in taking care of and in growing/developing what God has entrusted to you.

    Day 4 | Stewards are faithful to the will and ways of God. God makes clear that his will and way includes tithing, the giving of offerings, and overall generosity. What would the Master say to you about your stewardship of your resources?

    Day 5 | Leaders are those who have been entrusted with even higher levels of stewardship responsibility. If you have a leadership role, spend time reflecting on how you are doing in your leadership role, caring for and growing what has been given to you.

    11 Ideas to Help You Get Serious About Stewardship Matthew 25:14-40

    His master replied, “Well done good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” Matthew 25:21

    1. All that you have is not yours. It doesn’t belong to you. It belongs to God (vs. 14, 15).
    2. All that you have is simply entrusted to you. The word entrusted is loaded with meaning. To trust someone means you have confidence in the one you trust. You believe they are responsible, reliable, and faithful. To entrust someone is to invest them with responsibility. God has entrusted you with responsibility about the things that belong to God. Whoa!
    3. The things God entrusts, places in your care, transfers to you, or delegates for your attention are precious to him (vs. 14). Double whoa!
    4. What is entrusted to you (on loan to you) will be returned back to God. You have what is entrusted for a limited time (vs. 19-27). You are responsible for what you do with it. This is turning into a triple dog dare kind of whoa!
    5. God is strategic in how he distributes what belongs to him. He gives varying amounts of what he possesses to his people. What you receive is dependent on the capacity God sees in you. He will not entrust you with more than you are capable of stewarding (vs. 15).
    6. Whatever God entrusts to you, you are responsible to take care of it AND TO GROW IT. You must make sure there are good results (fruit, increase, growth) about the things God entrusts to you (vs. 15-17).
    7. It is not enough to guard and protect what God increases. Keeping it safe (static) is not what God asks. Making it better (growing it) is required for faithfulness (vs. 18, 24, 25, 27). This one was nothing short of a revelation for me. The bad servant is the one who kept God’s resources safe! We are definitely in the realm of the triple dog dare kind of WHOA! Or is it WOE?
    8. God blesses the faithful steward with even more resources. As you are faithful in small things, God entrusts medium-size things and eventually larger things to you (vs. 21).
    9. Faithful stewardship is the road to happiness (vs. 21).
    10. To fail in stewardship is to receive a stern word from God. Those who are not faithful stewards with the things precious to God are described as wicked, lazy, and worthless (vs. 26, 30). These are not my words. I am not putting a guilt or shame trip on anyone. These words come from Jesus. Don’t water them down.
    11. You are liable for getting the results that God wants about the things that are entrusted to you. God holds you accountable and you will give an account--either with joy or with sorrow (vs. 19, 20, 28-30). Don’t water this down either. Don’t default to a syrupy, sentimental view of God’s love as the means to sidestep his serious warnings. Allow these words to have the weight of impact Jesus intended them to have.

    Planning for Generosity

    But generous people plan to do what is generous, and they stand firm in their generosity. Isaiah 32:8

    When you want to be generous, and when you love our church, that means you have all the motivation you need. Now, all that remains is to have a good plan. The following challenges will help.

    The Generosity Journey is a challenge to incrementally increase your donations. Look at what your current giving amount is and then figure out how much you could add each time you give.

    For example, if you currently give $10.00 a week, you may decide to start giving $15.00 a week. You get accustomed to that new amount over the course of a month or 6 weeks, and then you increase it again. With theseincremental increases, you slowly build new habits of generosity into your life. You are blessed and your generosity blesses Living Word with each new step you take. By faith, you have your eyes set on a desired generosity goal. You continue to increase your giving until you reach your goal.

    Our new church app, along with Text to Give, is a natural, easy,reliable way that will give you structure and accountability as you planto become more generous. Text LWCCGIVE to 206.859.9405 andyou will receive a link to Living Word’s secure giving page.

    With The Tithing Challenge, you decide to take that big step of faith andimmediately use the tithing standard God set for his people. You change your charitable giving to 10%. Wow! That may be a real stretch (or not) for your financial situation. There are so many people who already tithe and experience the blessing of God and the joy of giving.

    Special Offerings: From time to time, as an important and worthy cause comes your way, you will be able to joyfully contribute because you have been living according to wise financial practices. These causes may include things like Faith Promise for world missions, the Christmas Eve offering, and our Best is Yet to Come building campaign. We are blessed to be a blessing(2 Corinthians 9:7-11). People are blessed and God is honored.

    With your generosity plan in place, you are a wise, faithful, and fruitful steward of what Christ has entrusted to you. Day by day you will hear his words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

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