Stewardship comes from the Greek word "oikonomia", or economy, which means management of the house or household.
In the New Testament, it means man's management of his whole life in response to God's love. Man is a steward, a manager of the "time", "talents" and "treasures" that God has given to him. God as Creator gives us time by granting us life, our very existence. God as Giver of all gifts, grants us our abilities and talents. God as Maintainer, provides for our needs by affording us opportunities to earn a living. If I believe that God is the Giver, the Owner and I the manager, then it follows that a Steward trusts the Bible's directions on how to manage God's gifts. God expects us to give Him thanks by managing our gifts of "time", "talent" and "treasure" according to His will.
The essence of Stewardship is that we first give ourselves to God and then seek to do His will as his servants. Unless our hearts are in Christ, then we will find it difficult to do His will. We can only become His servants, by accepting His lordship over our lives. We can give our "time" to the Lord by our daily devotion, reading his Word, by attending Church services and by assisting others in need. We can use our "talents' in response to God's love by serving God as a Sunday School teacher, a Choir member, a Parish Councilman, a Philoptochos member, by cooking, cleaning and responding to the call of service to others. We use our "treasures", our income, God's gift to us to glorify his name. By sharing our "treasures" with the Lord, we become co-workers with Him in His work of salvation. Stewardship, as the management of God's gifts to us, is the method by which Christians should support their Church. We are to return a portion of what God has given to us back again to God.
Stewardship is a matter of our personal faith in God and He keeps his promises. St. Paul writes: "He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do as he has made up his mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that you may always have enough of everything and may provide in abundance for every good work" (2 Corinthians 9:6-8).
2020 Stewardship Pledge Drive
The African impala can jump to a height of over 10 feet and cover a distance greater than 30 feet. Yet, these magnificent creatures can be kept in an enclosure in an zoo with a 3-foot wall. Why? These animals will not jump if they cannot see where their feet will fall. They will not go where they cannot see.
Amazing isn't it?
Yet, in many ways we Christians are just like the impala. We allow numerous things to become barriers in our lives. Things like circumstances, the desire for security, wanting to be in control at all times. Ans although we, like the impala, are perfectly capable of clearing the wall, because we are uncertain of where our feet will land, we convince ourselves we are powerless to do so.
Sometimes these barriers even cause us to doubt our ability to give to God's work. The Bible has much to say about this. For example, in 2 Corinthians 4:18, Saint Paul tells us we mus fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. And in 2Corinthians 5:7 he reminds us that we live by faith, not by sight.
God wants us to see beyond our circumstances--to get our eyes off ourselves and on Him.
This is an important time in our church. It's the time we must intentionally choose to be a part of God's purpose and plan, through our giving. It's a time we must keep our eyes on Him and have faith that He can sustain us.
Please give prayerful thought to your financial commitment to the Lord. Remember, we live by faith, not by sight.
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