Stewardship Of Our Own Lives
Date published: January 11, 2013
“Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, “Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?………………….and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to His voice, and hold fast to Him. For the Lord is your life,………” Deut. 30:11-20 (NIV)
The Offer of Life or Death
Only one decision in this life affects eternity, and the possible outcomes couldn’t be more cut and dried – or more opposite. We have only two options: the One true God (outcome: life) or the idols of this world (outcome: death). These choices often boil down to an “economic” decision. Moses chose life, considering “disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt” – Heb. 11:26. The rich young man of Mark’s Gospel, on the other hand, opted for death by refusing to follow Jesus’ command to sell his possessions and give to the poor – Mark 10:17-23. Ultimately, all of us who choose life are called to deny ourselves, pick up our crosses and follow Jesus – with our wealth as well as with every other aspect of who we are.
In a stewardship sermon, Pastor Moiso has this to say “Gregory of Nyssa, a fourth-century church leader, cared deeply about the stewardship of our spirits ‘We are in some manner our own parents,’ he said, ‘giving birth to ourselves by our own free choice in accordance with whatever we wish to be …… moulding ourselves to the teaching of virtue or vice.’”
Author and stewardship trainer Kirk Nowery also calls us to steward our own lives and, ultimately, to respond in faith to God’s call:
Romans 11:29 states this monumental truth: “For God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable.” When God endows you with His gifts and extends His call to your life, He doesn’t later change His mind and retract what He has given. As James says in James 1:17, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father or the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadow.” The first and foremost of His gifts is, of course, the gift of the new birth, granting us eternal life throughHis Son. “He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first fruits of all He created” – James 1:18. Our first calling, then, is a calling to salvation – to believe and receive Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord. By His Holy Spirit, God calls us to Himself and gives us His life. When we respond in faith, He then calls us to a life of Christ-centred service.
Since the Bible is filled with stories of God’s call to service, it is very difficult to single out a particular example. We could examine God’s call to Abraham, directing him to leave his homeland and journey by faith to an unnamed land. Do you feel such a call on your life? Then heed what God is saying! Take bold steps and follow God’s directives. We could explore the fascinating experience of Gideon, who struggled against doubts to follow God’s directives. Be like him, no matter how many doubts that you may have. We could study the extraordinary story of Esther, who was called by God to literally save her people from annihilation. A tough one that! But remember that God will not call you to do anything without the needed resources – spiritual, material and emotional. Any of these individuals could teach us so much about the stewardship of our calling, but the person from whom I have learned the most on this subject is the Apostle Peter. He was not afraid to venture out at God’s command and even when he fell miserably, he accepted Jesus’ offer of restoration. He chose life and stewarded himself by giving his all to the One who graciously gave His all to him. Peter never failed to follow even though he often stumbled.
- Why would God give His people the ability to make meaningful choices instead of programming obedience?
- How have you responded to God’s offer of life or death?
- How does your choice of life or death affect your everyday choices in life?
Let’s pray and thank the Lord for giving us a choice and to realize what our choices mean in light of eternity and to have the courage to choose well.
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