James 1:17 “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”
Stewardship of what God has given us reaches every aspect of our Christian life. It includes, but goes far beyond, materialistic things we have. Stewardship is required of our time, our relationships, our homes, our vehicles, our finances, our job of work, our eating habits, our natural gifts, our spiritual gifts – indeed!..of all that is a part of our lives that we live to the glory of God. What have we got that we did not first receive? Every breath we take is God given – He is the author of life.
The word of God declares, 1 Corinthians 10:31 “Therefore, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do ALL to the glory of God.”
Consider this challenge: are there areas in our lives where we have forgotten just how much we have received from the Lord? We have received the grace of God and the mercy of God in bucket loads. Do we administer it to others by the thimbleful? A man does not believe in grace because he has received it, (we all love to receive it from others,) but a man truly believes it when he ministers it to others. The Lord Jesus said, Matthew 10:8, “…freely you have received, freely give.”
Luke 24 bears the record of the two disciples on the Emmaus Road discussing the events after the resurrection of Jesus. Jesus, in His resurrected body, joined them and uttered these challenging words: verses 25 – 26 “…O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into His glory?” Our natural reasoning would respond and say it was wrong for Him to suffer for things He had not done. But as the first Minister of God’s grace, Jesus declared it was right in God’s divine plan…”Ought not Christ to have suffered?” On Calvary’s cross right bowed to wrong to minister grace, mercy and forgiveness to mankind. There are times when God requires us to walk this path for a season – we may be misunderstood, falsely accused – but God requires of us to minister forgiveness, grace and mercy to others as we surrender situations to Him to work out. Am I willing to forgive the perpetrators of injustice towards me with no punishment?….just as God forgave my sins?
There are times when God takes us back to a root of unforgiveness in our history because it is affecting our freedom in Christ. He wants us to be released from it’s bondage of bitterness. It needs uprooting and replacing with the word of God in our “field.” When we humble before the Lord, His enabling grace comes alongside of our choice to let Him freely work with us to bring us to forgiveness. “It is God who works in us to will, and to do of His good pleasure.” I bow, I choose and God works it “in.” If I withhold, I cut off God’s supply of mercy to me.
Matthew 5:7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy,” Jesus said.
In the Lord’s prayer Jesus taught us how to pray, “Forgive us our trespasses, AS WE FORGIVE THOSE who trespass against us….” It is conditional!!!
James 2:13 “For he shall have judgement without mercy, that has shown no mercy, AND MERCY REJOICES AGAINST JUDGEMENT.”
1 Peter 4:10 “As every man has received the gift, even so minister one to another, AS GOOD STEWARDS OF THE MANIFOLD GRACE OF GOD.”
Let us all be encouraged as we press on towards our goal, to be diligent of our stewardship of His precious gifts of grace and mercy as we minister it lavishly to others, and let us in all areas, live our lives to the glory of God.