Saturday, March 24, 2007

Stewardship Newsletter Article

This week as I was reading a prayer mail from Nancy DeValve, one of our missionaries supported by Grace, I decided to check-out her blog and the blog of Jeremy the young missionary working with them there. He wrote that he is learning how a person he has been trying to reach who frequently uses him and how that has caused him to think seriously about how hard it is to love in the way that Jesus loved us. He shared a story in his blog about how this man wanted to use his camera and proceeded to take the camera and not only use it himself, but to go through the pictures that Jeremy had taken in recent history and also show them to a girlfriend.
When I read this story at I was struck at how readily he allowed this man who has been so difficult to just take over his camera. I don’t know that I could have been as gracious as Jeremy. Something in me wanted to even speak up for Jeremy in the story and say “that isn’t his camera to take” and “how could Jeremy just stand by and allow himself to be used that way?” Then it struck me: isn’t that what Jesus did for us? I also thought about what a picture Jeremy is drawing for this young man of the character of Christ right there in his midst. The human response would be to say, “hey, that is mine!” or “leave that alone!”, but Jeremy allowed his possessions to become tools for witnessing. Jeremy’s actions proclaimed that God owns it all and we are just caretakers.
Isn’t that precisely what our Lord calls us to do? We are charged with going into the world around us and proclaim the wonderful news that we don’t have to earn our salvation, it has been paid for and God himself offers redemption to those who will choose that way. The possessions we have are nothing but tools in our hands to use to win a world to Christ. The way we use these tools speaks loudly to the world around us. Think of how loudly Jeremy’s camera spoke to the young man in his story. That man may still live for himself, but God is certainly using Jeremy to illustrate the character of Christ to him.
As stewards, God gives to us a measure of possessions, a measure of talent, a measure of wisdom and a measure of time. He challenges us to stir these ingredients together to reach out to those who have not heard, convince those who have not accepted, and encourage those who have with the great news that God is on his throne and is Lord over all. What tools do you have in your hands that can be used by God to love and encourage others?
May God richly bless you as you seek Him and as you serve Him.

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