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Stewardship: It’s Our Choice

Stewardship: It’s Our Choice

In a recent meeting that we had with some of our Michigan church leaders, it was brought up by a couple of folks, that we don’t seem to talk much in our sermons about stewardship anymore.  That’s not the first time I’ve heard that statement. A couple of years ago, I was asked to be a guest speaker at another congregation, and as I often do, I try to use the scripture text for that week and see how I can tie that into our stewardship. After the service was over, an elderly lady approached me with extended arms to say thank you. She told me that was the first sermon she’d heard on stewardship in over five years!   As I drove home that afternoon, I thought to myself, could it have really been five years? I began to wonder if I’m the only person who still talks about stewardship.   It seems perhaps, we have substituted “generosity” for “stewardship” in our church-speak. But, they really aren’t the same thing. Generosity is a product of our stewardship. If we have good stewardship, then generosity becomes a natural response. I would like to talk a little bit about stewardship today.

Matthew 7:13-14 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

13 “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it. 14 For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it.”

Another translation: The Message (MSG)

13-14“Don’t look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time. Don’t fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do. The way to life—to God!—is vigorous and requires total attention.”

This scripture text is about making responsible choices. And in more technical terms, what this really is about, is our stewardship. How we decide to allocate our personal resources of time, talent, treasure (and testimony), are the choices we make constantly in managing our daily lives.   Those choices, not only have an impact on our own personal lives, but it often has an impact on those around us: our family, our friends, and our community.   Who we are, right now, in this time, and in this place, is an accumulation of all the choices we have ever made in our lives.   Think about that.   Think about all the choices you have had to make to get to be who you are, and where you are, right now in this moment.

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “One’s philosophy is not best expressed in words. It is expressed in the choices one makes. In the long run, we shape our lives and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.”

Life is hard. It’s filled with many choices. Life-altering choices. It is my hope that you are one of the few that finds that narrow road that leads to the small gate.

Comments(4)

  1. Reply
    Rick MacGregor says

    Since Sherry and I have moved to Nauvoo and I am working here it has been busy and not enough time to do all the work. Sherry has been volunteering to cut grass on the site which takes about 30 hours to cut it all. She has been doing this since she learned how to drive the tractor. It is out of the generosity of her that we have been able to keep up with the grass cutting. Just want people to know how wonderful my wife is.

  2. Reply
    Eleanor West says

    Thanks Jack a good reminder

  3. Reply
    Rodney Colmus says

    The question from the audience to the debate panel was this; “Which so-called dangerous idea do you each think would have the greatest potential to change the world for the better if it were implemented?”

    Peter Hitchens, atheist turned Christian, author and columnist answered, “The most dangerous idea in human history and philosophy remains the belief that Jesus Christ was the son of God and rose from the dead and that is the most dangerous idea you will ever encounter because it alters the whole of human behavior and all our responsibilities. It turns the universe from a meaningless chaos into a designed place in which there is justice and there is hope and, therefore, we all have a duty to discover the nature of that justice and work towards that hope. It alters us all. If we reject It, it alters us all as well. It is incredibly dangerous. It’s why so many people turn against it.”

    How dangerous of an idea is Stewardship? How does Stewardship alter the whole of our human behavior and all our responsibilities? How does Stewardship turn our universe into a designed place in which there is justice and there is hope and therefore we have a duty to discover the nature of that justice and work towards that hope? Stewardship alters us all. If we reject it, it alters us all as well. Perhaps that is why so many people turn against it?

  4. Reply
    Crystal Charbonneau says

    I am definitely one who believes in choices and consequences of our.choices, whether negative or positive. I also believe our choices can be made based on what others expect or ask is us. For these reasons, I believe we need to model, invite, and ask. Be a representation of what good stewardship means and encourage others to share their time and talents. It is amazing how an invitation can effect some people and make them feel. I feel inviting to Christ can be apart of stewarship.

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