Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Legacy of Stewardship

For we will all stand before God's judgment seat.  It is written: "As surely as I live,' says the Lord, 'every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God."  So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.  [Romans 14: 10c-12, NIV]

As I start this day at 4:00 a.m. having “Coffee with God,” I find myself reflecting on stewardship and the need we have as Christians to leave a legacy for the next generation.  As the warm coffee awakens my body, the Word of God awakens the desire to serve Christ another day with all the energies and abilities loaned to me from God.  Apart from Christ I am nothing and I have nothing; all that I am or possess belongs to Him.
With a history that spans 167 years, Baylor is a strong successful Christian University in Texas.  One of its earliest Christian donors who gave the money for building that school later lost all his property.  When some of his friends asked, "Don't you wish you had the money back that you put into that school?"  He simply replied, "Not at all.  It is all that I have saved.  If I had kept that money, I would have lost it too.  I am thankful that I gave that building when I did."  You see, our greatest wealth is retained by investing it into God’s Kingdom! 
Is the farmer faithful who does not to care for his crops after he has planted?  The primary purpose of farming is to raise a good crop with an excellent yield. Is the businessperson faithful who does not work to sustain or grow his business?  The primary purpose of business is to provide a service and make a profit doing it.  Likewise, the primary purpose of Christian stewardship is to multiply the wealth entrusted to a believer by God.  Christian stewardship necessitates that a believer invest whatever time, talents, and possessions God has given us to produce the best returns for Him.  Whether air or wealth, a person only has what God allows him to possess.

John Bate said, "Today is given us by Him to whom belong days.  We have the power to use it as we please; we compass our salvation or our damnation within it; we can travel twenty-four hours of time nearer to heaven or to hell.  We are responsible for its proper use.  How important that we do the proper work of today in the sphere of today.  That man is blessed who, at the close of his day, can look upon his finished work and anticipate tomorrow as bringing nothing but the things which legitimately belong to it.  Today God speaks to us in His Word that we harden not our hearts.  Today is the day of salvation.  All duties, all privileges, all trials, all joys, all sorrows; in one word, everything we have, we have today.  Yesterday is gone, tomorrow is not, only today is ours, and only in today do we hold all our possessions."

What will you do today with the possessions God has given to you?  Will you invest them in Kingdom work or self-gain?  Will you leave a legacy for a secular school or a Christian school?  Will you invest in food for the stomach or food for the soul?  Will you clutch God’s bounty in your hand until death and leave the decision for others to make?  What will you do today, as you “travel twenty-four hours of time nearer to heaven” with that which God has entrusted and commanded that you manage for him?  Will you leave a legacy of stewardship?

Prayer: "Lord, help me to be focused on future generations and how, by your grace, I can leave a legacy that will help others to learn of you, and to come to know you as Savior and Lord.  Amen."

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