Summary: Stewardship goes way beyond financial matters and includes our management responsibility before God, for every aspect of life.
AND EVERYTHING ELSE
Christian Stewardship in All of Life
Pastor Eric J. Hanson
October 28, 2007
In the past few weeks we have looked at what it means to exercise stewardship over those things which the Lord puts into our hands as his people. We have looked at financial integrity, and at financing the work of the Gospel. We have looked at our responsibility before God to be a good employee or a good employer. We have explored at least a little of the comprehensive term “time, talent, and treasure”.
The reality of stewardship is this. It is so comprehensive, and covers so many things, that we could never really exhaust all it calls us to take responsibility for. Today I will touch on a few things as thought starters. It may be that the Holy Spirit will put His finger on particular areas in your life where you have not really been aware. He may light something up in full Technicolor for you. Perhaps He will simply get out his knife and sharpen your spiritual sensitivity to some area where you have been dull of perception.
Are you married? God’s word says Eph 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for
Eph 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
Eph 5:27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
Eph 5:28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
The way that a man cares for his wife is a sure indicator of the quality of steward he is. Of all of God’s possessions, with which we are entrusted; the people in our lives are the highest, and our spouse rises to the top of that list. God charges us to nourish and cherish our wife men. Wives are called by God to be the completer of their husband, not his belittler, as some women are. There is nothing else on Earth as Godly as a husband and wife team in which both are sold out to God and committed to each other’s best.
Do you have children? God’s word says in Ephesians 6:5 to not provoke them to wrath, but to raise them in the loving kindness and the instruction of the Lord. This requires great investment of time, of insight, of all that you are. Only the loving and wise care of a Father and Mother can insulate children and teens against the lure of this World. If their spirits are wounded and have big empty places inside, they are that much more vulnerable. Stewardship over the children God places into our lives: what a mighty honor and major responsibility.
Are you among those who are blessed in that your parents are still living? God commands you to honor them. Care for them as they grow old and infirm. Nancy and her sisters are doing this for their Father in this present season of his weakness. Even if they are gone, as mine both are, you should honor their memory, just as Israeli people honor the Patriarchs. It is hard for teens to understand that it is a sacred trust before God for them to honor their parents, even when their parents seem dumb. Nevertheless, it is a sacred God given responsibility teens.
When, at age 18, I personally came to saving faith in Jesus Christ, I had been a very strong willed teen. I was proud of having gotten my driver’s license on the first try. There were other things which made it seem like I was a big deal who could come and go as he pleased. I was angry with my parents, and had a chip on my shoulder, for various reasons. Then one day, a few months into my new walk with the Lord, I was doing daily Bible reading, and came to a passage about the matter of respecting one’s parents and honoring them. God brought me under heavy conviction right in the basement of our home, and I repented right there.
From that day on, I treated my parents with civility and gentleness. I am so glad that I did too. My father saw the difference, and he appreciated it. He began to open up to me in new ways. Then he died, just one year into my Christian walk. It was devastating, but I was not crushed with guilt. I treated Dad well the last six months of his life, and I had stopped selfishly complaining about my parents to all my so-called friends. How about you, younger Christians? After you received the Lord at the Teen Center or wherever, did you begin to honor the parents God gave you, even though they are far from perfect? It is a real part of stewardship.