September 2017

“This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2 Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful.” 1 Corinthians 4:1–2 (ESV)
A quick review of our journey: January began with our considering the opening about how we want to be regarded. February considered, what does it mean to be “servants of Christ”? “What is a servant?” March followed with the critically important affirmation that Jesus Christ is Lord. It is essential to identify whose servant we are. April explored servanthood. May looked at the motivation for our service. In June we explored the challenge of service. from John 13:3–5. July explored the issue of stewardship from the requirement of personal decision making and the wider latitude for choices. The August exploration looked at the issue of stewardship from the aspect of trustor’s (grantor) purpose.
Merriam-Webster dictionary defines steward: “one employed in a large household or estate to manage domestic concerns (such as the supervision of servants, collection of rents, and keeping of accounts)” Good and sound management always requires wisdom. In the Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels. Marshall, McKnight and Green, assert, “In biblical thought wisdom has a wide range of meaning. Wisdom can mean simply the practical skills and qualities which humans can acquire in order to live successfully, or wisdom can refer to God’s knowledge and creative power which transcend human scrutiny. Given this range of meaning, it is extremely difficult to give a comprehensive definition of wisdom.” The common component in both of these aspects is “practical skill to live successfully.” It can be God given in our inherent nature and education and it can be God given in miraculous demonstration of His mercy and generosity. In with case it is God given for our success in practical living.
Success in practical living means making good choices to accomplish His objectives in every part of our lives. A part of our lives includes managing His domestic concerns. Listen to the Scriptures on the issues of wisdom. Proverbs 1:7 (ESV) 7  “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 9:9–10 (ESV) 9 “Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning. 10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.” And 1 Corinthians 1:28–31 (ESV) 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. 30 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31 so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” So the essence of wisdom (our practical skill to live successfully) is rooted in our relationship to God, is supplied by being in Christ and applied by the Holy Spirit’s direction in all choices. That is why last month’s principle of “having been with Jesus” becomes so critical for our demonstration of wisdom.
Good stewards exercise their gifts wisely to manage the trustor’s/grantor’s domestic concerns. For us to exercise this wisdom we must be rooted, supplied and applied by God’s grace. If you doubt your ability (you should) ask God for wisdom. James 1:5 (ESV) 5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” God is the source of all wisdom and He gives freely (and generously) to all who ask. James reminds us later in the epistle, “you have not because you ask not.”
The challenge seems pretty simple, to manage the trustor’s/grantor’s domestic concerns successfully I simply ask for His wisdom, then obey. As I execute each choice the Holy Spirit brings the success He has purposed for my good and God’s glory. Beloved THIS IS AWESOME!!! This is the heart of faithful stewardship. Simply doing the Father’s will, in Jesus’s way under the direction of the Holy Spirit. It results in successful living. It demonstrates wise management. It fulfills the trustor’s/grantor’s purpose and desire. It makes me a faithful steward. Thank you, Lord.