"Now I rejoice in my sufferings for you, and I fill up in my physical body -- for the sake of his body, the church -- what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ. I became a servant of the church according to the stewardship from God-given to me for you -- in order to complete the word of God, that is, the mystery that has been kept hidden from ages and generations, but has now been revealed to his saints. God wanted to make known to them the glorious riches of his mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. We proclaim him by instructing and teaching all people with all wisdom so that we may present every person mature in Christ. Toward this goal I also labor, struggling according to his power that powerfully works in me." Colossians 1:24-29

Webster's dictionary defines stewardship as "the conducting, supervising, or managing of something; especially: the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one's care". To relate more to our day to day lives, we are acting as stewards when we work in our church nursery and briefly care for another's child during services -- we are taking on responsibility for their children for a brief period of time. We are being stewards when we housesit for a friend that is out of town - we are taking on the responsiblity of caring for their home while they are away.

There are many, many ways that we act as stewards in our lives each day. The stewardship Paul addresses in these scriptures is probably the biggest one of them all. Paul is talking about being stewards for God. He writes that he has been given the stewardship from God to "complete the word of God". Is there any greater responsiblity we have than sharing God's Word with others? Making sure that we take part in ensuring that the news of God reaches all?

Paul took this stewardship very seriously. Paul was willing to put aside any comforts for himself in order to share God's Word. He traveled many miles without the convenience of a car or a train or an airplane with which to get him there easier or faster. He wrote out, by hand (not on a computer) letters to cities in which he shared with them about God's love and encouraged them in their Christian walk. Many of these letters he wrote from a prison cell.

I think about this and realize how much easier it is for us today to share God's love with our world, but wonder why so many times we hesitate. Do we fear what others might think? Paul didn't... he went to prison for sharing his beliefs. Do we fear that we will become tired? Paul didn't... he walked many miles to share his beliefs.

This road we journey as Christians is not always easy. Paul's life testifies to that. But, like Paul believes, isn't the end goal well worth any of the suffering, the struggles, the heartaches?

5 Thoughts Shared:

bp said...

Oh wow, Melanie, thank you! This post really blessed me today after a situation we had yesterday/today with our neighbors. I'm praying for God's leading in how to best witness to them.

LAURIE said...

Great topic on Stewardship! How is your family? I hope the trip to Arkansas was safe. -blessings, Laurie

Sab said...

Oh, I love that you posted the definition of the word 'steward'. It brings a whole new meaning to the verses that include it!

Isn't it special to recieve a handwritten letter? We don't do that anymore. Internet makes things easier, but it's not as personal. I think I'd love to meet Paul someday!

Omah's Helping Hands said...

What a wonderful post Melanie. Our Pastor and his son have been talking about this very subject a lot. It's so true. Blessings to you.

Joan said...

Great post. I want to be a better steward of the Gospel.

I like the new look!