Live With Eternal Perspective Podcast Episode 125 - Willing Steward
Welcome to the Terri Hitt – Live With Eternal Perspective Podcast
Episode #125 – Willing Steward
Thank you for entrusting and investing your precious time with me to seek, find, and follow Jesus together as we live with purposed eternal perspective.
This week we reached the one year home mark with our Golden Retriever, Beau. Yesterday was National Dog Day, so it was fun to be able to create a Facebook post sharing how he has grown and changed, what his personality is like now, and how he acts in our family. Like a typical “only child,” Beau likes to be the center of everything we do and is strong enough to force his way in wherever he wants to be.
At this point, I’ve lost count of how many toys he has accumulated over the last twelve months. In fact, he has chewed through more than I can remember, so even if I were to count what I can find in the house, he has actually received much more than I would know. Like my dog (and probably your pet), as well as most children, we adults fit into this category of having much more than we realize. Did you notice I said “have,” not own? That’s because just as we provide for Beau, all that is in our possession comes from God for specific purposes as He allows each of us free will to choose what type of steward we will be.
1 Peter 4:10-11 says, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.”
The definition of the word, “steward” that we find in the dictionary or as it is often defined by society is, “one who is responsible to oversee and protect something considered worth caring for and preserving.”
As believers, we understand that the definition of Christian stewardship is different, and would be defined as, “using gifts, talents, resources, possessions, wealth, time, and mindset for the service, honor, and glory of God.”
All comes from God and He calls us to steward all for Him.
1 Chronicles 29:14 says, “But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand.”
I didn’t always understand this. For example, when I was a younger follower of Christ, I can remember learning in Scripture that I was supposed to tithe. I couldn’t see any way that we could do so. Our finances were so tight that I knew there was no way we would survive tithing. Yet, just as Scripture tells us, God is not mocked. It wasn’t until we finally began offering our finances, as well as self, that we saw God truly shine His glory in ways we never imagined.
2 Corinthians 9:6-8 says, “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. “
Honestly, I use this principle of stewardship because it is important, but I don’t want anyone to think that I’m saying when we offer our money to God He will reward us with more money. God, in His sovereignty gives us exactly what we need to grow and mature us in our relationship with Him. Although at the time we did see our finances stretch and multiply in ways we never could have planned or imagined, we have never been blessed with immense financial wealth, and although we have been abundantly provided for by the Lord, He has chosen to bless us more deeply in emotional, spiritual, mental, and relational ways that have been perfect for us. God has also humbled us in many ways over the years, and for that, I am blessed and full of gratitude. Without all we have faced, we would not be the individuals or family we have become. I am thankful and desire to be closer to Christ in every way tomorrow, and more so the next day, and on and on.
Matthew 6:33-34 says, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
It also took me a while as a new Christian to really grasp the fact that all we have has been provided by the Lord. I often thanked God for what we had been given, and trusted that when we didn’t receive some things we thought we needed, He was looking over us and going before us in every way. Then, I finally learned through tough experiences that it’s one thing to have head knowledge that comes from reading God’s word, yet the Word became life-altering and so real when I deeply grasped and took hold of what it teaches and promises. When I applied it to my life, allowing God’s truths to seep into and overflow my heart, I truly acknowledged the sovereignty of God in a way I hadn’t before. His holiness, His love, was seen with a new heart and eyes. I was better able to step out in faith, humbly bow to His authority, and obey His calls and commands.
Hebrews 11:6 says, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.”
God wants our stewardship offering to reflect our faith and trust in Him.
I felt free when we humbly began tithing on that day so many years ago. How blessed I felt to not worry and just do as God asked! We stepped out, not in blind faith, but through confidence supported by God’s words and promises. Our Heavenly Father has never let us down or left us without what we needed, plus more. Again, I’m not speaking of only tithing finances or of prosperity preaching, that falsely teaches if you give abundantly, God will bless your finances with great wealth. God chooses to bless obedience in multiple creative ways that are perfectly suited for each individual and the plans He has for us. Our freedom comes through obedience to Him.
Can you think of ways you can be an excellent steward for what God has allowed you to have?
It could be financial, or through time or talents, gifts, or resources. Even this podcast is a way I steward and present what God has given to me. The Live With Eternal Perspective podcast and the Purposed Parent/Connected Child podcast are simply acts of obedience for me and ways I steward time, talents, and interests for our gracious Heavenly Father.
Have you wondered just what God requires from you in order to be a good steward?
If we look in the Bible, we see several verses that lead us to better understand God’s heart for Christian stewardship. One, however, sticks out to me.
God wants us to focus on Him. Our life is not to be founded upon this world, but the foundation of Christ. Romans 14:12 says, “So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.” Viewing life through an eternal lens enables you to focus on what God considers of value.
Remember that all we have will one day disappear. Nothing material will go with us when we leave this world to stand before God. We will face the Creator of the Universe and all mankind without what we accumulated on earth, but with what we learned of Him, used for Him, and did for Him.
1 Corinthians 4:2 says, “Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.”
God has given each of us something, and often, many things that can be used for His good and glory. Nothing we own is simply for us to hide away or use for only ourselves. Even personal experiences shape and stretch us, and through an eternal perspective viewpoint, can be used to affect the lives of others for or against God. Christians are called to joyfully and with honest, loving hearts, give to the Lord.
Listen to this passage from 1 Chronicles 29:10-18 which says, “David praised the LORD in the presence of the whole assembly, saying, “Praise be to you, LORD, the God of our father Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Yours, LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is Yours. Yours, LORD, is the kingdom; You are exalted as head over all. Wealth and honor come from You; You are the ruler of all things. In Your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. Now, our God, we give You thanks, and praise Your glorious name. “But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from You, and we have given you only what comes from Your hand. We are foreigners and strangers in Your sight, as were all our ancestors. Our days on earth are like a shadow, without hope. LORD our God, all this abundance that we have provided for building You a temple for Your Holy Name comes from Your hand, and all of it belongs to You. I know, my God, that You test the heart and are pleased with integrity. All these things I have given willingly and with honest intent. And now I have seen with joy how willingly Your people who are here have given to You. LORD, the God of our fathers Abraham, Isaac and Israel, keep these desires and thoughts in the hearts of Your people forever, and keep their hearts loyal to You. ”
David’s prayer to God began with humble praise and thanksgiving. He knew that everything he owned had come from God. Just like us, nothing offered back to God isn’t already His or given to us by Him. David was able to willingly surrender back to God because he understood that God was the Owner, the Originator, and the Operator of the universe. David clearly understood that when we choose to follow God, it is a heart matter, not just a mind matter.
1 Peter 4:10 says, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”
Once we choose to be a willing steward, we develop into a trustworthy steward, then mature to become a faithful steward.
Through the grace, love, direction, and discernment of our gracious Heavenly Father, we can assess where we are now, where He desires us to go next, and how He will enable us to get there.
Dear Heavenly Father, Your goodness is overwhelming. Your patience, kindness, and love for us is unending and undeserved. Thank you for Your holy presence in our lives. As we humbly submit to You, Father, please enable us to examine our heart through Your standards, to live with Your expectations and guidelines, and to sacrifice and steward where and as You call. May we see changes within us from day to day and be filled with joy as we allow You to carry and equip us for the purposes You designed us for. In the precious name of Jesus we pray. Amen.
Thank you for listening to this podcast. If you find value in what you hear, and you would like more information on the topic we discussed today, I invite you to listen to previous episodes. Just click on “podcasts” and type in the topic or title you wish to hear about in the search bar at the top of the page or wherever you listen to podcasts
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I also want to ask if you have you listened to my second podcast, “Purposed Parent/Connected Child” yet? I hope you will listen to this new podcast, especially if you are raising children or influencing grandchildren. Please follow and share both of my podcasts with friends or family who would like to choose Christ over culture and be a parent (or be a grandparent) who connects with eternal purpose.
Remember, if we are not purposed in knowing Jesus ourselves and showing Him to the next generation, the world will direct them away from Christ. Live With Eternal Perspective helps us to find, trust, and follow Christ more intimately. Purposed Parent/Connected Child shares biblical, practical truths for parents and grandparents to influence and mentor Christ over culture.
I pray that what you hear on this podcast draws you nearer to God and helps you cling to Him, despite any circumstances in your life. Until next week, keep looking Up while focusing on new ways to Live With Eternal Perspective.