Mid-Week Stewardship Thought

If Only

Most discontented people believe they can correct their problems through some external changes.  They focus on what they don’t have and what they believe needs to be changed rather than acknowledging and appreciating the blessings they do have.  Contentment or discontentment is a state of mind.  Even though contentment has little to do with outward circumstances, we still focus on “if only things would change.”  The “what ifs” or “if onlys” are not going to make a meaningful difference, but people believe that changing circumstances will change everything.  Do we find ourselves complaining if only we owned a nicer home, had more money, lived in a different neighborhood, had a different career, etc.?  The list of “if onlys” can be endless.  Until we find our rest in Christ, we are going to continue our search for contentment in the wrong places.  The theologian Augustine said, “Thou hast formed us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in Thee.” People or things will never fill us; only God’s presence and its accompanying contentment will allow us to live a truly contented life.

Prayer:  Dear Lord, help me to find my contentment in You and not in things.  Amen.

Blessings on your stewardship journey!

Mid-Week Stewardship Thought

Thanksgiving Day, is a public holiday celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States. It originated as a harvest festival. Thanksgiving has been celebrated nationally on and off since 1789, after Congress requested a proclamation by George Washington. It has been celebrated as a federal holiday every year since 1863, when, during the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens,” to be celebrated on the last Thursday in November.

Together with Christmas and the New Year, Thanksgiving is a part of the broader holiday season.

The event that Americans commonly call the “First Thanksgiving” was celebrated by the Pilgrims after their first harvest in the New World in October 1621.  This feast lasted three days, and—as accounted by attendee Edward Winslow—it was attended by 90 Native Americans and 53 Pilgrims.  The New England colonists were accustomed to celebrating “thanksgivings” regularly—days of prayer thanking God for blessings such as military victory or the end of a drought.

Prayer: Dear Lord, help me to praise and thank You each and every day.  You are the creator and source of all good things for which I give You thanks.  In Jesus’ holy name I pray.  Amen.

Blessings on your journey as a steward!

Mid-Week Stewardship Thought

The Gift of Love

“Mary therefore took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped His feet with her hair” (John 12:3)Whose heart is not softened by the mental image these words produce – and the conscience pricked as well, for which of us is willing to sacrifice as much as Mary did?  Her gift was a gift of pure love.  She didn’t understand Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary.  How could she, for it had not yet occurred!  She loved her Lord even before she knew He would give His life for her.

We, on the other hand, have as much or even greater reason to offer gifts – extravagant gifts – to our Savior.  Sadly, at times we are instead too much like Judas, holding back from the Lord, even stealing from the Lord, as we attempt to hide our greed and selfishness behind reasonable excuses for not giving our all to our Savior Who gave His all for us.

Let us pray with the psalmist, “Make me to know Your ways, O Lord, teach me Your paths; lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; for You I wait all the day long” (Psalm 25:4-5).  Then, without reservation, we will with thanks give our gifts, ordinary and extravagant, in worship of our Savior.

Prayer: Dear Lord, grant me a loving and giving heart.  In Jesus’ precious name I pray.  Amen.

Blessings on your journey as a steward!

Mid-Week Stewardship Thought

Being a Biblical Steward

Do you know the difference between being an institutional steward and a Biblical steward?  The institutional steward looks at his church as an institute with a budget and needs to be met and a place where he can be served.  Then he tries to “give his share” and “do his part” while complaining if his needs are not met.  The Biblical steward, on the other hand, looks at the gifts God has given him. He gives according to the blessings he has received, not to fulfill an obligation.  He seeks to discover the gifts God has given him and uses them in whatever way he can in service to fellow believers and others. Usually the steward who is busy using his gifts finds that his own needs are met in the process of helping others.

God has chosen us to be His own.  He has made us His children and stewards of the gifts He daily gives us.  “I urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called,” admonishes the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 4:1.

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, help me to show my gratitude continually for Who You are and all that You do for me each and every day.  Use me in Your service.  Amen.

Blessings on your journey as a steward!

Mid-Week Stewardship Thought

Using Credit Cards Wisely

Credit cards have been the means of overspending for many people, especially for persons with little discipline in controlling their spending.  You can use credit cards in two ways: as a convenience or as a necessity.  If you pay your credit cards in full every month, you are using them as a convenience.  If you are unable to pay all credit cards in full every month, you are using them as a necessity.  That is, you don’t have the money at home or in the bank, or in your pocket, and you can’t make a purchase unless you use your credit card.  A credit card is an easy way to buy now, pay later, but it is a form of borrowing with high rates of interest on their finance charges.  God’s Word cautions us about debt.  In Proverbs 22:7 we read, “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is slave of the lender.”  We would do well to heed God’s wisdom and make every effort to avoid borrowing money, especially through credit cards.

Prayer: Dear Lord, grant me wisdom in handling the money that You entrust to me.  Help me to withstand the temptation to spend more money than I make.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.

 

Blessings on your journey as a steward!

Mid-Week Stewardship Thought

Striving for Success

We value success so highly that we become willing to put an inordinate amount of effort into being successful.  To achieve success, some of us may do almost anything, including trampling on competitors who get in our way.  Could our desire to get ahead of the pack allow us to scheme, deceive, backbite, intimidate, or do whatever works?  Unfortunately, some of us measure success only by…

  • what we own.
  • the authority we command.
  • the power we wield.

Instead of loving people and using money, we love money and use people.  Many have climbed the ladder of success to find only money and sorrow at the top.  Looking down the ladder, they see destroyed marriages, broken homes, and unhappiness.  Scripture does not give a precise definition for success, but we know that it is God Who grants success.  “As long as he sought the Lord, God gave him success” (2 Chronicles 26:5b NIV).  We can climb the ladder of success, but we are to climb it God’s way.

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, You are the giver of all good and perfect gifts.  Thank You for my gifts and abilities.  Help me to use them to Your glory.  In Jesus’ holy name I pray. Amen.

 

Blessings on your stewardship journey!

Mid-Week Stewardship Thought

God’s Almighty Power

Jesus hangs on the cross.  People stand watching and jeering: “He saved others; let Him save Himself if He is the Christ of God, His Chosen One!” (Luke 23:35).  Their wrong assumption was that, if He could not save Himself, then He clearly was not the Messiah. They didn’t know that Jesus willingly suffered and died on the Cross and that it was God’s power in Christ that was working for their salvation and ours.  “He was crucified in weakness, but lives by the power of God.  For we also are weak in Him, but in dealing with you we will live with Him by the power of God” (2 Corinthians 13:4).

Prayer:  Our Gracious Heavenly Father, we thank You for the atoning blood of Jesus so that we can enjoy peace with You.  Help us to be the ambassadors that You want us to be.  Through Christ we pray.  Amen.

Blessings on your stewardship journey!