Dear special sisters in the Lord,
Stewardship shapes every part of the life of a believer. The way we manage our time, money, spiritual gifts, and possessions shapes our relationship with God. Yeshua revealed to His followers that Kingdom living encourages those to whom much has been entrusted, much more is also required (Luke 12:48). As blessed daughters of God we are to be willing, even eager, to be a blessing to others. This week our focus will be . . .
Sowing And Reaping In The Kingdom Of God
We are reminded of the words spoken by Paul in 2 Corinthians 9:6-8: “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” A special blessing is promised for those who graciously care for the poor (Psalm 41:1-3; Proverbs 22:9).
Good stewardship encourages us to live according to three principles that will allow us to be faithful stewards in the body of Messiah: The first principle is humility. Only when we see our hearts as God sees them will we recognize how little we have done to deserve His abundant grace. The second principle comes from Deuteronomy 8:3b, “Man does not live by bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.” As humans, our deepest hungers can only be fed by the love of Yeshua and the Spirit of the Lord. The third principle is faith, by completely trusting in who God is and what He has promised. When these three principles are manifested in our lives, we inevitably realize that God owns everything, and that everything we are and everything we have belongs to Him and must be used for His Kingdom. It is then that we will be drawn into a deeper relationship with our Heavenly Father.
As daughters of God we need to share one heart and one mind: the heart and mind of God. Thus, central to the heart of Kingdom living is found in Deuteronomy 15:1-11. I encourage you to read these passages. God’s desire for His children is that there would be no poor living among them. The early body of believers were also marked by an intense concern for the needy in their midst (Acts 4:32-37). The great evangelist, Jonathan Edwards (1703-58), said that “the most absolute and indispensable duty of a people of God is to give bountifully and willingly for the supply of the wants of the needy.” Good stewardship involves so much more than giving financially. We can all donate our time, talents, and spiritual gifts to the body of believers.
I was recently reminded of an inspiring story that the Los Angeles Times covered at a 2008 championship soccer match between two Christian schools, Azusa Pacific University and Westmont College. This amazing event turned out to be far more than which team would win the event. Three days prior to the game, a wildfire had swept through the Westmont campus, destroying several academic buildings, faculty homes, and student rooms. Unable to host the game, the rules required Westmont to forfeit. Instead, Azusa Pacific University invited their opponents to play at their campus where they welcomed Westmont fans with free admission and lunch.
On the field, Westmont won an emotional 2-0 victory, while Azusa Pacific won admiration for their good will. Los Angeles Times reporter Bill Plaschke wrote: “Rarely in Southern California sports has there been a better show of sportsmanship than this, Azusa Pacific sacrificing its chance at a title defense to give Westmont a fair shot at taking it. As impressive as the resilience of the conquerors, was the kindness of the conquered.” What a beautiful story from which we can glean God’s truth as an example of good stewardship. So often we may think only of money when the Bible calls us to give willingly and bountifully. As we discover through being good stewards, there is so much more we can do to serve God and His Kingdom.
If we plant seed in fertile soil, then the more we plant, the more we receive by way of harvest. The harvest would be souls won into the Kingdom. People who give with a vision for ministry give for the sake of souls saved, lives liberated, and hearts healed. When we possess this spirit, it transforms our giving from an obligation to an opportunity; from a chore to a cheerful celebration of what God can do through faithful stewards.
Sowing and reaping in God’s Kingdom involves keeping His Light aglow, and maintaining a powerful presence in the body of Messiah. It is about creating a place where the lost are found, souls are restored, the empty are filled, the hurting are healed, and true compassion for others is lived out. We are reminded in Acts 20:35, what our Lord Yeshua said: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” This week let us be a blessing to others by giving cheerfully, giving from our heart, giving with thanks, and giving by faith. Let’s begin by planting seeds this week and experience the blessing of sowing and reaping in the Kingdom. The gifts that we give and the deeds that we do, most truly honors God when self is given too!
Deeply blessed to serve the One Most High,
Your sister Eileen