Stewardship Part Two

Stewardship Part Two

Stewardship Part Two “So let no one boast of men. For all things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future, all are yours; and you are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.” 1 Corinthians 3:21-23 These words reflect the attitude of those who think biblically. The ethos of the whole of Scripture teaches that God created you for Himself – for His own good pleasure. When you invest that which is entrusted to you, or when you seek to use that which is entrusted to others, this is your mindset. No one can tell another what this looks like. Each believer must look to God in making a determination. Solomon, King of Israel, looked at life and concluded that it is vacuous. “Here is a grave evil I have observed under the sun: riches hoarded by their owner to his misfortune, in that those riches are lost in some unlucky venture; and if he begets a son, he has nothing in hand. Another grave evil is this: He must depart just as he came. As he came out of his mother’s womb, so must he depart at last, naked as he came. He can take nothing of his wealth to carry with him. So what is the good of his toiling for the wind? Besides, all his days he eats in darkness, with much vexation and grief and anger…There is an evil I have observed under the sun, and a grave one it is for man: that God sometimes grants a man riches, property, and wealth, so...
Stewardship Part One

Stewardship Part One

Stewardship Part One “You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men.” 1Corinthians 7:23 We learn at least two important truths from this verse: 1) – We do not belong to ourselves; we are not autonomous; we belong to the One who purchased us at the price of His life. 2) – We should never be the slaves of men, irrespective of who we are. This is foundational for a proper understanding of stewardship. The dictionary defines stewardship: “A person who manages for another his property or financial affairs; one who administers anything as the agent of another.” This means that you, and everything you have, belong to Christ. He purchased you. Your responsibility, therefore, is to steward that which belongs to him. You own nothing. Every decision you make, how you spend your life and the assets God gives you, how you handle all relationships in life – must be made based on the question, “What does my Master want done with what belongs to Him?” In the final analysis, this is an issue of what you believe. Do you think, when Christ died for you, that He set you free to live for yourself? The Bible says, “And He died for all, that those who live might live no longer for themselves but for Him who for their sake died and was raised.” 2 Corinthians 5:15 The Psalmist said, “For he seeth that wise men die, likewise the fool and the brutish person perish, and leave their wealth to others. Their inward thought is, that their houses shall continue for ever, and their dwelling places...
Coveting

Coveting

“Mortify…covetousness, which is idolatry.” Colossians 3:5 Possibly no sin in the believer’s life is more pernicious and difficult to identify than covetousness. Paul says, “I should not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, ‘You shall not covet.’”1  Coveting is one sin that the conscience cannot identify as wrong; it is wrong because God says that it is wrong. For me personally, I find that even after God says that covetousness is wrong, I still have difficulty identifying it in my life. When do desire, anticipation, and other forms of temporal hope, become sin? How do you know when you have crossed the line between wanting something and coveting? As I have meditated on this, I conclude for myself that I cannot know. It seems to me, however, that God affords certain indicators that help in this effort. When anticipation becomes expectation, resulting in disappointment, the line probably has been crossed. A lack of gratitude may be another indicator. The presence of anger and experiencing stress are also possible indicators. The absence of such indicators does not eliminate the possibility of covetousness, but they can become warning signs in our lives. Lord, help us to be alert to your warnings in our lives! 1 Romans 7:7  “What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shall not covet.” For more articles by Walt...
An Inexpensive Virtue

An Inexpensive Virtue

“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:32 Many Christian virtues prove to be expensive when applied in interpersonal relationships. For example, it costs to be generous and to love your enemies – especially when you define “love” as treating others the way you wish to be treated. Most agree that to love those trying to hurt you is indeed difficult. Not so kindness; of all the Christ-like virtues it is the least costly. It costs you nothing to be gentle, kind, gracious, considerate. For this reason, you never have an excuse for being rude, abrasive, unkind, or cruel. Never belittle another person. Never humiliate others, joke at their expense, ridicule, speak in a sarcastic, caustic tone, or say things you know they would not appreciate. No one likes people doing it to them, and you never have a legitimate excuse for doing it to others. I have heard men and women say to family members what they would never say to a stranger. They lose their temper and say cruel things because they are secure enough in the relationship that they think they can afford it. From God’s perspective, you can never afford such abusive behavior! Never forget the warning of our Savior: “I tell you, on the Day of Judgment men will render account for every careless word they utter.” 1 1.   Matthew 12:36 KJV For more articles by Walt...
Our Thoughts vs Our Ways

Our Thoughts vs Our Ways

“A man may arrange his thoughts, but what he says depends on the LORD.” Proverbs 16:1 Scripture teaches many things that are counter-intuitive. This is one of them: God determines what you say. You may determine what you think about, but God determines what happens next. Solomon also said, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.”1 Because Judas entertained evil thoughts concerning the Savior, God incited him to execute them. In this verse God says He also determines what a person says. My mother warned her children to guard their tongues, for words once spoken can never be rescinded. The problem with words is, they lodge in the minds of those listening, and at the most inopportune time return to the memory with disturbing effect. Solomon warned that the only way you can control your tongue is to control your thoughts. When you think about something you cannot guarantee that you will not say what you think. Thus Proverbs contains an astonishing truth: We are responsible for our thoughts, but based on them, God determines what we say. Our instincts may suggest otherwise, but this is what God promises. “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”2  Because our words reflect our thoughts, God will judge us, in part, on the basis of our words: “…every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.”3 1    Proverbs 23:7 2   Matthew 12:34 3   Matthew 12:36 For more articles by Walt...
The Word

The Word

The Word: The Bible, the Word of God is the key to all we believe. To waffle in your thinking on the accuracy and authority of the Word, is to disrupt your relationship and walk with God. Your commitment to the Word is a key to your walk with Christ. 1:8 “This book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it by day and by night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall act wisely”. 1Pe 1:23 having been born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, through the living Word of God, and abiding forever. Instead of a treatise on The Word, let me ask 11 Questions on the subject: 1. Have you ever read/studied the history of the bible and how it came about? If not, when are you going to? 2. Do you know the history of the canonization? 3. Do you believe in a closed or open cannon? 4. Do you believe the bible is inerrant? 5. If you don’t a. What parts are errant to you? b. Can you trust Jesus history and teachings, i.e. His use of Jonah as a historical character? c. If you don’t embrace inerrancy are you declaring your opinion as more accurate than God’s? d. Since Jesus quoted the bible often, what are we to conclude? 6. Do you have problems of squaring the bible with the archeologist? 7. Can you accept creation account? 8. Are scripture teachings, like...