Summary: IN A WORLD OF SELF-INDULGENCE, SELF-GRATIFICATION, SELF-ACTUALIZATION, WE VALUE LIFE STYLES REFLECTING WHOLE LIFE STEWARDSHIP ACTIVELY ADVANCING THE KINGDOM OF GOD.
Whole Life Stewardship
Many of us, when we hear the word stewardship, instantly become uncomfortable. We hide that discomfort behind joke and cartoons. Here are couple.
Our discomfort and our assumption that a sermon on stewardship is sermon on tithing could prevent us from talking about another value the we truly hope becomes a part of your life at the cmaChurch --whole life stewardship--a wrestling with what it means that Jesus is lord of all.
In June, of 2012 U2 frontman Bono made ripples across evangelical America with an interview with Focus on the Family's Jim Daly. In the interview Bono affirmed his Christian faith, reciting a stream of biblical quotes along with his own commentary and applications to daily life. At one point he clearly stated, "I believe that Jesus was the Son of God."
In the midst of his this interview he also championed a few global causes, including the idea that world hunger could be eliminated now, Aids could be stopped in Africa and that the tide could be turned on poverty.
Bono affirmed this God Scale of the vision and stated: You're absolutely right; it's a much grander vision. ... We have a pastor who said to us, "Stop asking God to bless what you're doing, Bono." ... He said, "Find out what God is doing, 'cause it's already blessed." ... When you align yourself with God's purpose as described in the Scriptures, something special happens to your life.
I submit that Bono's journey with Jesus has opened the door to his embracing whole life stewardship.
Anne Rathbone Bradley, PhD is Vice President of Economic Initiatives at the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics, refers to this as "our call to greatness."
T.S. In on one of his practical exhortations to the Churches in Colossae, a city in Asia Minor, Paul concludes his charge with summary charge.
Listen to the entire exhortation.
12 Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Jesus had done a similar thing for his disciples. At the end of a lengthy exhortation, he summed everything up in a simple summary charge.
25 "Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.