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Archive for the ‘stewardship’ Category

The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.

– Proverbs 22:7 (KJV)

I am in bondage.

Well, at least it seems that way.Ben Franklin100

I have a car payment.  At one
point, I finally resolved to never again buy a car on long term credit.  IT IS JUST TOO MUCH.  I am actually going to pay it off early, but I know that the loan company doesn’t mind the extra money but hates losing out on the interest payments.

Did I say feel like I am in bondage?

guess

I have to start paying off my student loans.  These account for enough of a percentage of my debt that I have considered teaching in a low income school or serving as an AmeriCorps member in order to defer some of the payments on the loans.  I think that you can feel in bondage to the federal government because I do.

I feel that I have to make a major decision on the debt, especially as I consider a teaching credential and a MBAprogram within the next year.  Both of these will equate to some amount of incurred debt as well as the possible impact on a home purchase within 3 years.  My debt to income ratio and credit score can make a difference between a mortgage that I can live with or mortgage that I would be living to pay for.

even mickey

Money matters can get you down sometimes.

So, why do I say this on a blog that has Christian principles throughout it time after time?

Spine of a Bible

God does not want us living in bondage.  God has not designed us for this type of lifestyle that depends more on the paycheck than upon God’s providence.  God expects us to lean and depend on Him for our daily sufficiency, not rely upon the economy of the world’s system to so-called “make it.”

burglar

I recommend some of these items to help with financial matters:

bodybuilding

I am getting out of it, but it requires sacrifice.  I have to supplement my income with other sources such as freelance writing online.  I am getting there, but it takes time.

10 He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.

11 If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?

12 And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man’s, who shall give you that which is your own?

– Luke 16:10-12 (KJV)

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“Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.” – John D. Rockefeller

Things are good, but we know that they could be better.

Your ministry might be growing, but there also could be some growing discontent that you have not dealt with inside of your ministry or small group.

You could be experiencing a new sense of direction as your people feel a sense of a lack of leadership from you.

You could be on your way to banner year, but at the same time you could also be watching the bottom fall out from under everything that you have built throughout your career.

Don’t let things going good allow you to mistake the fact that there could be better things out there.  Do not overlook what you have and what you have to do.  Maintain the proper perspective on both your purpose and the task of pioneering new trails and pathways as a leader.  Moses could have gotten out of Egypt and to the Promised Land if he had just left all of those stiff-necked people behind, huh? Right? Imagine that.

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Key question: Have you built a ministry that builds up people to be better servants of the Lord?

Take your time.  Think about all of the people who serve under you.  Let things play back in your mind. 

We need people experiencing edification.  We need people being built up within our midst.  We need to get busy building folks up.

Why?

Their responsibility is to equip God’s people
to do his work and build up the church,
the body of Christ.
– Ephesians 4:12 (NLT)

We are called to do so.  We have been commissioned to do so.  It is our calling.  Let us live up to it.

Give the people who come to you an extreme experience.  Offer an edifying experience.  Take people to the edge by standing on the cutting edge as opposed to the status quo.  Let people experience Christianity beyond the stuffy, Sunday morning sermonized Savior that seems so distant that He could not have possibly walked on earth.  Give them the real deal when you share about the Savior.  Show them the Jesus who saves.  Share the Jesus who sacrificed for the sinful.  Provide an opportunity to experience Jesus in spirit and in truth.
Look at some examples of radical Christianity. . .

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“A problem is a chance for you to do your best.” –Duke Ellington

God expects us to do our best.  He desires it of us.  Essentially, we are to do our best to give Him glory.

Have you done your best with what you have been given by God?

  • Marriage?
  • Children?
  • Job?
  • Spiritual gifts?

The list could go on.  We have to answer whether we have truly handled what God has given us to the best of our ability.  We have to do our best and give Him the glory in doing so.  He has entrusted us.  That’s about stewardship.

Do your best and give God the glory.  He did so in saving us.  He did not hold back.  He did not spare anything.  He offered His best, a lamb without spot or blemish.  We should do the same.

What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? – Romans 8:31-32 (NIV)

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“More people are coming to Christ now than at any other time in history.” – Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Church

The church has a real responsibility.  It is revealed in the Word of God.  It is real work.  It amounts to the work of people.  People make up the church.  Therefore, the work of the church has plenty to do with the people who come into the church and are touched by the church.

The church has a responsibility to the Lord for how it handles people.  Its ultimate responsibility is to answer to the Lord and His commands of them.  It represents the Lord on this earth.  Its works shed light into the darkness of this world and offers mankind a reason to glorify God the Father in heaven.

The church is called to reach people.  We reach people with people and through people.  We do the work that touches people and impact lives on this side of heaven.

The church is called to receive people.  The Lord adds to the church.  That part is on Him, but we have a responsibility, too.  We are to serve as wise stewards over what He provides for us.  We need to handle what (and who) God gives to us in a manner that blesses God.

“Jesus commanded us to make disciples.” – Ted Haggard

“People need to feel needed.” – Myron Rush

“God has ordained the church as a place of truth.” – Bob Russell

“Ministry is a marathon.” – Rick Warren

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“The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof…” – Psalm 24:1

The church of Jesus Christ can go green.  That makes sense.  It may not be easy to shift from traditional methods, but it is certainly worth the work.

Going green can do more than save the environment.  It can prove to be a cost-effective method for environmental stewardship.

Here is a list for going green with God:

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“Don’t wait to fast, read, pray, or to do anything else.” – Charles Finney
Use the Good Book to get back on track.
Let truth show you the way.
You need to pray over some things.  You just need to get into some deep prayer and let loose.  I have one word of advice for you, though.  You do not have to hurry when praying, but you surely need to hurry up and pray.  Allow God to draw you in nearer and nearer, closer and closer.
Spend some time connecting with the Lord.  Go to the Word.  Read and hear the Word of God.  Listen to sermon podcasts and the Bible dramatized on iTunes. 
Take some time to make things work for you, especially as you work towards serving God daily.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. – Colossians 3:16 (KJV)

Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.- Romans10:17 (NIV)
 
We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. -ColossiansNIV)
 
Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.- James 5:13 (KJV)

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