Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Stewardship.....from God

If you read my blog, you know that most days the Lord gives me a word in the morning to go and seek out in His word. Today, that word was “stewardship.” Recently, the Lord has restored me to leading Children’s Ministry at our church. A few years ago, I had the title of Children’s Ministry Director when our church first started. I took it seriously, a little too seriously. Not the directing part but the title part. It went to my head, to be totally honest. I became so wrapped up in the title that I became unapproachable, like a bull in a china closet. Not many of the people that served in the ministry with me wanted to approach me on a Sunday because I was “in control” of every detail and had no time for the day to day needs of the ‘people’. The Lord, in His wisdom and His care of His church led me to step away from Children’s Ministry and I began to pursue a career in the world.
After three years of constant struggle and battle with myself, I realized that I had made a huge mistake in my walk. Not only had I stepped away from the ministry the Lord had created me for, but I had become so wrapped up in the title that I had lost sight of Jesus Christ in my life. I won’t go into the details again of how the Lord led me back to Children’s Ministry, because you all have heard the testimony and if you choose, you may read it again. (Just Jump 2011)
I learned a lot about myself, about my God and about being a servant for Christ over this past year of waiting and hoping for restoration. If you did not know this, God is into restoration. He desires to give you as many chances as you need to fulfill the purpose He has for your life. (Believe me when I say this is true and something you can stand upon!) I know now that I have been given a “stewardship” directly from God. Today, He showed me what and how He desires me to administer to the children and those that serve in the ministry with me.
“I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church. Of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God which was given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God.” (Colossians 1:24-25)
“Of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God…” those words jumped right up at me, with a big flag saying, ‘Dig here’. Stewardship is also sometimes written as “dispensation.” It means the ‘management of a household, the oversight and/or administration of others property.’ (Blue Letter Bible) Another definition states that stewardship is “the office of administrator entrusted by God.” (Vines Expository Dictionary) I have been given a stewardship, I have been given a gift from God to oversee and manage His children, the children that come to our church body every Sunday and Wednesday. I have learned that it is not about a title, it is not about “my vision” for the ministry- it is about His vision, His desire, His wants, His purpose, His need, His everything. They are His children first; I am given this stewardship for one purpose and one purpose only; “to fulfill the word of God.” (Colossians 1:25)
We all, no matter who we are or what we do, have a ministry. We are mothers, wives and servants of Christ. Perhaps you are the Worship leader in your church body. Perhaps you are only a nursery servant who serves every other week on a Wednesday evening. Whatever it is that you are doing- you have been given that “stewardship…to fulfill the Word of God.” Matthew Henry in his commentary on Colossians 1:24-25 says, “It is for you, the body, for the good of His people, to fully preach the Word of God, of which they will have greater advantage. The more we fulfill our ministry…the greater will be the benefit of the people; they will be more filled with knowledge and furnished for service.” We have been placed in a ministry to fully preach the Word of God. Whether that ministry is in your home, or at your church- we have been placed, purposed and given the opportunity to benefit the good of the people we serve by building them up in the Word of God.
A woman that I respect greatly, whose advice and direction I cling to posted this on a Facebook page. (I hope you don’t mind that I am sharing it with everyone) This is taken from a Billy Graham devotion, and he states, “Living creatively for Christ in the home is the acid test for any Christian man or woman. It is far easier to live an excellent life among your friends, when you are putting your best foot forward and are conscious of public opinion, than it is to live for Christ in your home. Your own family circle knows whether Christ lives in you and through you. If you are a true Christian, you will not give way at home to bad temper, impatience, fault-finding, sarcasm, unkindness, suspicion, selfishness, or laziness. Instead, you will reveal through your daily life the fruit of the Spirit, which is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, and all the other Christian virtues, which round out a Christ-like personality.” This is not only true for our homes, but for all the ministries we serve in at our church home. If we truly desire to be the stewards that the Lord God has called us to be, then we must always, always, be who He desires us to be.
It is not your home, your family, your ministry- it is Christ’s. It does not matter what title you have, it does not matter what you “do” or where you serve, what matters is the One that you serve. So, knowing that we have been given a “stewardship” a “ministry” that’s sole purpose is to fulfill the word of God, should we not even more eagerly desire to be on our knees in the presence of God, who gave us this ministry? For how can we “fulfill the word of God” in our ministries if we are never in His word? Being the person and the “steward” that God wants me to be will always lead me to His Word, which is the area in which I faltered and failed the last go round. Do not be unwise as I was, friends, brethren, but be filled with the knowledge of Jesus Christ, and seek Him first.  
I pray that all of us, no matter if we hold a position at our church, or are stay at home moms, or work at a career in the world; I pray that we hold tight to Christ Jesus and that we daily bow our hearts to His leading. I pray that we would lift up our hearts and our hands and that we would thank Him for finding us faithful to place us in these ministries. As Paul prayed, so do I; “Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power,” (2 Thessalonians 1:11)
Pray for me daily, that I may fulfill the word of God, and always seek for the benefit of the people, that they may be more filled with knowledge and furnished for His service. Amen and Amen.