Lives on Loan:
The Importance of Christian Stewardship
The Great Commission includes everyone. The only difference in our calling is location.
Stewards of the Gospel
by Norma J. Goldman
Jesus’ command to go into the world and make disciples of every nation provides the central point of focus for the ministries of the Church. His words give clarity and purpose to God’s earlier instructions about obedience in bringing our tithes, offerings, time and personal giftedness to Him so others might share in His kingdom.
Yet the role of the steward is not limited to 10% (a tithe) but extends to encompass all our resources. We, His stewards, are accountable to use all our resources to the glory and honor of God. As lofty as it sounds, stewardship is expressed in simple and concrete ways, but the impact of our obedience is profound.
As stewards of the Gospel, sharing our testimony is a powerful tool to bring others to a saving knowledge of Christ. By far, most people come to faith through the witness of another Christian. Whether that person invites his friend to join him in Bible study or worship, ministers to some need, or simply prays with him, the results are the same. The individual is confronted personally with who Jesus is and what He has done for him. Without this personal intervention, the unbeliever may never stop to consider who and what is guiding his life, or where he is going spiritually.
When we give our time that others might learn about God and His plans for mankind, we make spiritual investments, depending on God to provide an abundant increase. In God’s wonderful economy, those investments can be made at any point. From infancy to the late stages of a terminal illness, it is never too soon nor too late to share the Gospel.
Faithful in Giving
In the book of Malachi, God said that tithes and offerings would provide ‘food in my house’ or provisions to meet needs. And so it is in our churches today. Financial gifts provide incomes for pastors and teachers; they provide food, clothing, and shelter for the disadvantaged, and printed materials to teach and instruct. Tithes and offerings provide the means to send the Good News to people groups around the world, supporting those who give their lives to reach a lost world.
Faithful in Going
It might be tempting to think only a few are called to go, but the Great Commission includes everyone. The only difference in our calling is location. While it is true some are called to an international location, most are simply called to go next door or across the street. Is God sending you to a hospital, rescue mission, prison, or children’s home?
Sometimes we are called to go to other lands for a brief season, a short mission trip or a one-year assignment. Whatever the time frame, all are called to share the Good News wherever God places them.
Faithful in Praying
Prayer is the most basic, essential, and powerful tool that undergirds everything we do in sharing the Gospel. We pray for direction about how and when to share; we pray for the Holy Spirit to go before us, preparing the soil of hearts for the seeds of truth so our testimonies would bear much fruit. We continually pray for the Lord of the Harvest to send out new workers to ensure an abundant harvest. In prayer, we ask that the plans of the evil one and his demons would be thwarted so God’s kingdom would greatly increase. And as you give, pray, and go, He promised to be with you always, even to the end of the age.
About the Writer: Former magazine editor Norma J. Goldman enjoys a successful freelance career in her retirement. The award-winning writer lives near Nashville, TN. Learn more about retirement options at www.boardofretirement.com.