Archive for April, 2013

What is Stewardship?

According to Webster’s Dictionary, Stewardship means: the conducting, supervising or managing of something; especially: the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care.

If you’re like me, you recognize that everything that you have in life is a gift from God. But it’s more than that, because a lot of time people will give you gifts and then forget about them – they simply don’t care what you do with them (as long as they don’t see them up for sale on eBay). God’s gifts are special, though, because He expects you to exercise responsible management over them for work in His Kingdom. In God’s eyes, we don’t own anything. Not our health, or money, or earthly resources, or spiritual gifts, or love. Nothing. But we’re stewards over all of those things.

Stewardship is important to God, and in the Bible it comes with a warning: be a good steward over everything that is given to you or don’t be surprised if it gets taken away. Just look at the parable of the talents in Matt 25:14-29, where the master gives each of three servants a specified value of talents and rewards the ones who showed earnings on the talents. Or look at the parable of the ten minas in Luke 19: 11-26, where a man of noble birth gives ten minas to ten servants, and does the same thing. In each case, the servant who did nothing with his gift loses that gift to the one who did more. Each parable ends by saying, essentially, “For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away.” So stewardship has at least two components: first, you have to recognize that everything you have is God’s, not yours. And second, you must do something with it to further God’s Kingdom.

It’s easy to think about stewarding tangible, worldly things, like money. After all, most of us were brought up in the world to faithfully drop our offering in the plate and give to the needy, etc. But I often try to think beyond money and how I might go about stewarding everything else in my life. I have a house that was given to me by God. Do I use it to further the Kingdom? I have a car, which some people don’t have. Do I use it to show God’s love or do I just use it to get back and forth to work? And what about my time? Do I offer up an hour here and there to others with no real expectation of return? And here’s a good one – spiritual gifts. I imagine that God is especially interested in how I manage those.

Managing God’s gifts often means doing a lot of things that the worldly you would rather not do. My husband, Tim, was given the gift of being able to write papers, books, letters, etc. Even though he’s worked hard at writing his whole life, he knows that his ability to write is a gift from God, and that he must use it to Glorify God. Recently, however, a person asked him to write a really difficult paper, for free, that was going to take about two or three weeks to complete. Needless to say, natural world Tim didn’t want to do it at all. So while we were talking about it one night, we asked ourselves, in the spirit of Charles Sheldon, “What would Jesus do?” The answer was clear. Jesus would write the paper and use it to glorify God. And as a steward of God’s gift of writing, Tim would do the same thing. It was hard, time consuming, and unprofitable, but it helped someone out and led to a pretty long discussion about God.

I believe that faithfully stewarding God’s gifts means abundance in this world. But I also know that someday I’m going to meet God. I’m going to bow down before Him with the hope that I tried to do everything during my life to please Him. I just don’t want to be saying, “Oh, that? You gave me that? I didn’t think that was anything.” Like the servant who invested his minas, I want to hear, “Well, done, Denise! Because you have been trustworthy with everything I gave you, including the little things, I’m giving you more!”

Think about what you have that you can steward better to make our world a better place and to display the love and grace of our Father.

Advertisements

Is Pope Francis the Final Pope?

Hi All;

It’s not often that I write about bible prophesy, but I’m constantly looking for things that will herald in the return of Jesus. “Thy Kingdom Come on Earth” is one of my mottos, after all.

I recently read about two authors who dissected what’s known as Saint Malachy’s Prophesy of the Popes, which predicts (and says a little something about) the 112 Popes coming after Celestine II in 1144. Now, I know that some people have argued over these prophesies, and some folks have even claimed they’re forgeries. But these two authors got my attention when they said that they used the Malachy Prophesies to predict that Pope Benedict XVI would resign from office – the first Pope to do so in 600 years. In fact, these two predicted that Benedict would resign in March 2012, and, when that didn’t happen, they felt that maybe they got it wrong. But when he actually resigned in 2013, the news got out that the 2013 resignation was just for the public – his official resignation before the Cardinals was in March of 2012! Now, that’s some pretty specific fulfilled prophesy.

I guess my point is that unfulfilled prophesy is prophesy, after all, and it’s going to be subject to some debate until it actually happens. But just think about how often it has happened in the Bible! I mean, before Jesus came, there were about 350 prophesies about the coming Messiah, and Jesus ended up fulfilling them all. Of these 350, there were over a hundred that were so specific that only Jesus (and no other arguable messiah) could have fulfilled them. I once read that a statistician had calculated the probability of Christ fulfilling just 8 of these specific prophesies (from being born in Bethlehem, to riding into Jerusalem on a donkey, to being crucified) and found that the odds were something like 1 x 10 to the 28th power, which is a 10 with 27 zeroes after it. By fulfilling 48 prophesies, it would be 1 x 10 to the 157th power (by the way, the odds of you becoming President of the United States are only 1 x 10 to the 7th power). So, unfulfilled prophesy is debatable, but proven prediction is worth paying attention to.

These same two authors have used the same Malachy document to now predict that the current Pope will be the last, ushering in the Tribulation.  That’s mostly because the list only goes up to 112, and we are now at that number. Of Pope number 112, the document reads: In the final persecution of the Holy Roman Church, there will sit Peter the Roman, who will pasture his sheep in many tribulations, and when these things are finished, the city of seven hills will be destroyed, and the dreadful judge will judge his people. The End.

Take a look at this article from Prophecy News Watch about the new Pope, Francis, and why the authors believe him to be “Peter the Roman.”

http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/   Scroll down to #8 “Pope Francis – History’s Final Pontiff?”

Also, you might want to take a peek at Sid Roth’s It’s Supernatural programs below, which have the two authors discussing their predictions.

http://www.sidroth.org/site/News2?abbr=tv_&page=NewsArticle&id=12914    Select “Television Its Supernatural” and view parts 1 and @ of the April episodes for Tom Horn & Cris Putnam

Be Faithful and Be Blessed!



%d bloggers like this: