This is a phrase that the Lord has been impressing upon me for quite a few years now. I associate it with this verse: “Whatever you do, work at it with all of your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” Colossians 3:23-24
I believe that we can connect stewardship with serving with excellence. Stewardship is defined as: the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one's care according to Merriam-Webster.
Every one of us has the opportunity to serve with excellence according to what God has given us. We all have talents that are unique to us, and according to the Word, we are to share our special gifts and talents with others to the glory of God. “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace; whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies- in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To Him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen” 1 Peter 4:10-1
We steward not only our talents and abilities, but also our faith, time, money, relationships, homes, our church, behavior, our family...and we could probably continue to list and categorize everything we are entrusted with. I have to ask myself if I am serving with excellence in all of these areas. Not with an attitude of accomplishment or pride, but having such a firm belief and loving heart, that being a faithful steward overflows from within. We are just entrusted with what God has given us, it all belongs to Him anyway. “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein,” Psalm 24:1
So how do we make this practical? I think we start with humility and gratitude for what God has given us. If we respect the things we are given, we will naturally take better care of them. Exercising self-control, so that we don’t become self-indulgent, and respecting that God has given use many gifts that we are to use for His purposes, and that serving with excellence in many different ways can be an act of worship.
I would like to continue next week by taking a look at indulgence and carelessness, and how we can easily slip into behaviors that keep us from being responsible stewards and may even lead us down a bad path. It’s something I’m personally and continually working on.
Dear Heavenly Father, we thank You for the many gifts You have given us and bless us with. We pray that You will give us grateful hearts, and a greater awareness of who You are and how You created us to serve You and Your purposes. We trust in You and Your steadfast love, mercy, grace and justice as we walk out our lives in this broken world. In Jesus’ Name, Amen