In January, Covenant Life heard three messages on stewardship in the series Affluenza. You can listen to them here. We learned that our money is not our money. It's actually God's money, and we are only stewards of it, servants of the owner. And what does our master call us to do with the money? Don't horde it in fear or pride. Don't spend it carelessly or selfishly. But USE IT for the his purposes and goals.
Similarly, God has given us grace in the forms of talents, giftings, skills, education, expertise, and experience. And what does he command us as a result? USE them! And how much should we use them? Use them "according to the grace given us." Essentially, use them up!
As I was thinking about this, I asked the question: what might hinder Christians from using up their gifts and talents for the kingdom? A few examples came to mind.
- The Overcommitted ~ We have so many different worthy places to serve. Many people get stretched across several ministries rather than focusing on the one or two where they are most graced to serve. Their time gets used up, but their gifts are left largely untapped.
- The Sideliners ~ It can be easy to think that there is someone more gifted out there that could do it better. Indeed, this verse even says that we differ in our gifts. So we let those people be the ones involved and we hang out on the sidelines.
- The Habitual ~ It can be easy to think that serving in our routine, once a month or so, is all our soul needs. For some of us, this is all we can give. But for others, we have more grace available that could be used for God's kingdom.
- The Legalist ~ We may only be serving because "that's what Christians do." We are serving as part of our checklist of good deeds. We don't want to fully give away our lives for our Savior, just do enough to stay in "good standing" with God.
- The Worldly ~ If we're honest, we just don't value future rewards from God as much as we value what the world offers us now. Instead of investing in the church, we put our efforts, energy, and expertise toward making money, playing sports, career advancement, comfort, recreation, and the like.
If you are serving on many, many ministries, maybe it's time to focus on the ones where you are most graced by God. You can grow in stewardship with God's help.
If you have unused grace and gifts, you should be serving more, for the good of your soul. You can grow in selflessness with God's help.
If you are serving primarily to check off the box on the Christian's to-do list, you should reevaluate your motives and seek to serve out of love for God. The root of legalism is pride, but you can grow in humility with God's help.
If you are limiting your serving in order to satisfy your worldly desires, ask God to give you a vision for the glory of eternity and to help you invest there instead of in this world. You can grow in heavenly mindedness with God's help!
What is the promise of God to those who steward their money well? Eternal rewards! And what is the promise of God to those who steward their gifts well? More eternal rewards!
Seek eternal rewards for the glory of God!
More Devotionals for Media Servants