“That servant who knows his master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what his master wants will be beaten with many blows. But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” Luke 12:47-48 (NIV)
Jesus is speaking to His disciples about being good stewards…NOW! Start NOW! Let go of any excuses and “Just do it!” His words tie directly with the parable of the talents/minas. (Luke 19 and Matthew 25) Have you been given a gift that you are not using or giving with the plan and potential that God had in His mind? Think about it.
We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. Romans 12:6-8 (NIV)
When we think of stewardship, we are more willing to give of ourselves than we are to give of our finances. Do we really go to our knees and ask God what HE desires that we do with what He has given us? He gave me the gift to teach. Am I willing to be obedient and go wherever He points? And when it comes to tithing – do I give as GOD directs or do I second guess what His ‘real’ plan is? Do I say ‘yes’ to giving 10% of my income when it is $25,000/year and but re-interpret the Scripture when I am blessed with an income of $250,000/year?
Did you know that most pastors with children are not covered with private insurance? They can’t afford it! Most churches pay for the pastor and maybe a spouse but a “family plan” is out of the pastor’s pocket. So they use Medicaid—on their salary, they qualify! Spouses of pastors must have a paying job (or 2) and yet are expected to attend functions with their mates, host Christmas open house at their home and expense, and look excited about it!
And teachers in the Church? Evangelists? Prophets? Apostles? If they answer God’s call to full-time ministry, they must raise their own support. They spend money from their ‘tent-making’ jobs in order to raise money to do the work that puts a FIRE in their bones! How many of us give a monthly offering to a ministry outside our own church?
As my husband said last Thursday (Jody’s Daily Devotions): “Do what God directs. Don’t accept guilt from me or anyone else. Just talk to God.” AND JUST DO IT! May God be glorified!