This Sunday being our Stewardship Emphasis, with the theme “Good Stewards of God’s Grace.” What is stewardship? Maybe you have seen this definition on the flyers around the church, but in case you have not or in case your memory fails you, here is the definition:
The conduction, supervising, or managing of something; especially the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care.
We will spend this week and the following three looking at just four of the many things God has entrusted to our care. This week, though, we will look at a rather overlooked resource that God has given to us — and that is our time. I say ‘overlooked,’ I only mean that the average Christian overlooks this valuable Kingdom commodity. When we think of stewardship, the first thing that comes to a Christian’s mind once they understand the definition of this outdated word ‘stewardship,’ is the area of our finances. While this area is crucial (and will be dealt with next week, so be forewarned!), this is not the only area of stewardship addressed in the Bible.
Our culture understands the value of time. In fact, I remind you of what Leonard Sweet noted at the turn of the 21st century that in the 20th century the currency of the culture was money. People would base their vacations, their frequenting of restaurants, the purchasing of homes or cars (or anything) based on its monetary value and monetary value alone. Yet, Sweet notes that the currency of the 21st century is not money, but time. If people can find fulfillment and the right atmosphere, most will spend (and even go in debt over) extra money, just so long as their time is spent in a good atmosphere and is fulfilling.
Solomon sought after pleasure and enjoyment of life. He drank wine, built great works, built great vineyards, gardens, and parks. He brought in gold and silver from the tributes of other kings. He had singers come in to entertain him. He had many concubines — the stuff of legend! Even though he could obtain all he wanted, after a while he looked and said, “Behold all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun” (2:11). The same conclusion came to Solomon concerning the value of living wisely and of working well. None of these things will keep anyone from the abyss of death.
When I was in Memphis with my group from school in June 2006, we were sitting around the table. Some of us were fairly fit, others weren’t. One who was fit said to another, “Man, should you be eating that? That’s stuff isn’t good for you.” To which my friend replied, “That’s OK — you’ll die too!”
While that reply may be funny, it also poses a question: what’s the point of it all? Whether you work or are lazy, whether you give to others or stay selfish, whether you live like a fool or live wisely — the end result is the same. If we occupy time and space for a respectively short time, we need to see at least two things from this morning’s message to us: God has a purpose behind our time here, and God has a purpose for us in how we use our time here.
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