Marks of Discipleship – GIVE

Marks of Discipleship – PoWeR SuRGe (PWRSRG).  Disciples of Jesus seek to…

  • PRAY daily
  • WORSHIP weekly
  • READ the Bible
  • SERVE at and beyond St. Martin
  • Be in RELATIONSHIPS that encourage spiritual growth
  • GIVE of time, talents and resources

This week I want to continue working our way through these marks of discipleship by skipping ahead to the sixth practice:  GIVE of time, talents and resources.  Disciples GIVE what they have, because they understand that all they have has first been GIVEN by God.  GIVING is often an uncomfortable topics, but it needs to be addressed.

What differentiates disciples who are committed to GIVING isn’t the amount of time or talents or money available to them, but the manner in which they use their money, and their gifts and talents within the available time. We can waste what we have; we can spend what we have; or we can invest what we have.  We talk about this kind of investment as stewardship.  Simply defined, stewardship is the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care.  This is where it get’s interesting and challenging.

Michael Novak says this about stewardship:  “We didn’t give ourselves the personalities, talents, or longings we were born with. When we fulfill these – these gifts from beyond ourselves – it is like fulfilling something we were meant to do…. The Creator of all things knows the name of each of us – knows thoroughly, better than we do ourselves, what is in us, for he put it there and intends for us to do something with it – something that meshes with his intentions for many other people…. Even if we do not always think of it that way, each of us was given a calling – by fate, by chance, by destiny, by God. Those who are lucky have found it.”

This is the fundamental principle of biblical stewardship: EVERYTHING WE HAVE HAS BEEN GIVEN TO US BY GOD.  OUR CALL, THEN, IS TO FAITHFULLY STEWARD THAT WHICH HAS BEEN ENTRUSTED TO US.  Deuteronomy 8:17-18 says, “You may say to yourself, ‘My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.’ But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth”

God has entrusted us with resources, gifts and abilities. These things rightfully belong to him. Our responsibility, then, is to trust God with what we have and steward it well, according to his design and desire.  We simply cannot hoard what we have!  We are called to use what we have to bear fruit and multiply!  If you want to know what the alternative looks like, just check out Matthew 25:14-30 .  Disciples take seriously the call to GIVE.

What kind of time, talent, and money has God entrusted you with?  How are you stewarding what you have been entrusted with?

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