Last week, I had the opportunity to speak to the student body at my school. In establishing the theme for our school year, I felt it necessary to define a term that is more often than not represented in religious, church settings. Stewardship is not a term that many people use outside of the church and usually in regards to taking care of your finances. If one were to look up this term online, it’s interesting that the three ads prior to the definition were related to biblical stewardship (see here). Yet, if you look up any of the synonyms for stewardship (manager, overseer, director, administrator…), you won’t find these ads. All that being said, I wanted to dive in to this term and show the students, through God’s Word, how many different ways they can apply this to their lives. Beyond the fact that this term is a part of our school’s ESLRs (expected school-wide learning results), we needed to go beyond the academic head-knowledge, and get to the heart of the matter.
Stewardship: the responsible overseeing and protection of something considered worth caring for and preserving.
First and foremost, we have to ACKNOWLEDGE God as the Creator, Owner, Provider, Enabler, and Sustainer of everything. If God is not preeminent in your eyes and heart, stewardship means nothing. You become just a nice, responsible person. Please understand, it’s not wrong to have these qualities. However, without the eternal perspective of God’s supreme authority in our lives, our life becomes meaningless. Acknowledging God as everything provides purpose to what we do, with what we have. God is everywhere and everything, and we as Christians need to learn and acknowledge His presence, His will, and His timing in EVERY aspect of our life. Paul explains this very clearly in the book of Acts. He refers to people’s “objects of worship” to an unknown god. We all too often possess our objects, idols, and gods with greater emphasis and priority then the Almighty God. We believe that our possessions, electronics, clothes, cars, and paychecks give us a sense of propriety over our lives. Unfortunately, what too many don’t realize is the One who searches for their affection, with the highest value, than anyone can ever imagine.
“The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for ‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are indeed his offspring.’” ~ Acts 17:23-28 (ESV)
What’s intense about this passage is the statement, “that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him.” It doesn’t say, “see” him. The implication is that those who don’t know and/or acknowledge God are living in complete darkness. Too many continue to stumble around in the darkness of their sin. All they need to do is reach out for the Light because “he is actually not far from each one of us.” What’s sad is that too many find contentment in the darkness stubbing their toes, slamming their shins on the coffee table, and stepping on legos, without so much as flipping on the light to 1) expose their sin, 2) see very clearly the path they should be walking, and 3) acknowledge the fact that they need light to be set free from stumbling through life any longer. My prayer for my students, and all others living in the darkness of their sin is to be set free to see. As we read in the story of Jesus healing a man who was blind from birth (John 9), “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” (John 9:5, ESV) In order to be a good steward of God’s graces in your life, it is imperative that we acknowledge Him. It’s not difficult. Just open your eyes.
“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” ~ John 8:12
Next up: being FAITHFUL stewards and YIELDING everything to Him. God bless you! Rak Chazak!!