Tag: Philippians 1:6

Stewardship: Our Greatest Calling – The Owner of It All

…Everything under heaven is Mine (Job 41:11). 

The earth is the Lord’s and all of its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein (Psalm 24:1).  

For every beast of the forest is Mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. I know all the birds of the mountains, and the wild beasts of the field are Mine. If I were hungry, I would not tell you; for the world is Mine, and all its fullness (Psalm 50:10-12).

The most important fact about stewardship or being a steward is that we are NOT the owners. We are not in charge. We do not have the whole picture of what is needed to keep things running. 

God is the owner. Everything originates with Him. He is the source of life and everything associated with it. He is in charge. He sees all – what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, how it needs to be done and who He has assigned to do each task. It is for His glory that we live as stewards. That is where discipleship comes in. That is where prayer comes in. Unless we follow the Lord and unless we get His guidance, we accomplish nothing of eternal value.

Each of us is unique. Every one of us has specific talents, spiritual gifts, personality traits, temperaments, backgrounds, heritage, strengths and motivations that make us who we are. My assignment in God’s world is not exactly like your assignment and your assignment is different from anyone else’s. Even in marriage, our differences complement each other and complete the unity that God wants to demonstrate through the home. Your calling from God is yours alone and mine is also unique. 

What we do have in common is the administration of our callings – the stewardship of our lives. The principles of stewardship apply to every believer. How do we live our lives in order to give Him the greatest praise? 

Stewardship is the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care.  A good steward is careful to make the right choices about what God has entrusted him with. 

Good stewardship does not come naturally. Lazy people are not good stewards of God’s gifts. Right choices can only be made when we focus on God and ask for His wisdom to accomplish His plan for our lives. But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways (James 1:5-8). A double-minded person is unstable. He will not receive anything from the Lord and thus will not be able to DO anything for the Lord.

What can God trust you with? When God created you, He knew everything that would happen to you, also knowing whether He could trust you to trust Him during each day. He knows your thoughts which is why He can hear your silent prayers. He knows your heart. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7). He knows the number of your days….In Thy book they were all written, the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them (Psalm 139:16). 

We do have a Master that we are accountable to for our stewardship of His resources, but He is not a typical master. He is our Father and He loves us. Stewardship is a consciousness of being loved by the One who gives us everything we need and much more. Gratitude will lead you to be careful to give back to Him what He wants.

There is no greater joy than accomplishing the purpose for which God created you – the stewardship of your life. God is the One who will accomplish His purpose in you. …He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6).

My Favorite Work Hat

IMG_0758I inherited a great work hat from my father-in-law. He was a hard working man and had a lot of work hats. Practically all of us who were at his home after his going home service (some people call it a funeral) took at least one of his work hats home with them. I took two. My favorite is one that is bright red, stays on my head easily because of the velcro in back and says “I love Jesus”.

Pop loved Jesus. He worked tirelessly for Him. After he retired, he traveled with Louisiana BaptistChristmas 2007 170 men and helped construct churches and maintain Christian camps. When he could no longer travel because of my mother-in-law’s Alzheimer’s, he took care of those in his own small town in Louisiana – especially doing odd jobs for widows in his church and neighborhood.

It was easy to tell he was a hard worker. His arthritic hands were a big hint. If he hadn’t been such a hard worker, those hands might have been in worse shape. If you have arthritic hands, you know it helps if you keep them busy. He certainly did.

Pop was not rich in the eyes of the world, but I believe He was in God’s eyes. He raised his boys to love Jesus. I was blessed to marry one of them. I miss my Jesus loving, hard working Pop.… You have blessed the work of his hands… (Job 1:10).

When I think of my favorite cap, I not only think of Pop, but of the principle behind work and loving Jesus. Jesus worked tirelessly on our behalf. Rightfully so, He asked us to do the same for Him. He knows that an evidence of our love for Him is finishing the work He has for us to do. It is actually His work. He just delights in including us.

being confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you, will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ…  for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure (Philippians 1:6, 2:13). That you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God … To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily (Colossians 1:10, 29).

When Construction is Done

National Construction

I travel quite a bit in Europe. There are cities I return to time and again and notice construction everywhere. Road construction, new skyscrapers, remodeling – you name it.

Camera(87)Even though it sometimes makes getting to my destination more difficult (construction crews slow traffic down, roads are rerouted, sidewalks are blocked because of building cranes, etc.), I am thrilled to see construction in these cities I have come to love. It speaks of prosperity and growth.

Much of this construction has been possible because of the investment by the European Union. The EU invests, rightly so, because the pay off will benefit all of Europe. Where there is construction, there is progress. Inconveniences experienced during the period of construction will be worth it.

DSC06653I have watched my husband do remodeling and construction work on our home. Skill and patience is required for the process can be very labor intensive. When construction is completed, not only is there a great feeling of accomplishment, we are able to enjoy the benefits of the completed project.

Ruth Bell Graham, driving through an area where construction had finally been completed, came upon a sign – “End of Construction. Thank you for your patience.” She told her husband, Billy, she wanted that inscription on her gravestone. And so it is.

When I am able to return to the European cities where I have observed construction and when my husband completes a building project, I take great pleasure in the result. The projects were worth the wait and the investment of time and money.

Believers in Christ can only glorify God when we yield ourselves to His patient construction work. He does it all. His investment includes our creation, our salvation through Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit working in and through us.

God continues working with us until He has completed the goal He had in mind. Certainly, we must try His patience during the process. We should thank Him for His long-suffering toward us. When the work is complete, He will call us home – just as He did Ruth Bell Graham.

800px-Gravestone_of_Ruth_Bell_Graham_IMG_4206

The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6). For it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13).