Stewardship, Gospel, and Community.

In further attempts to be intentional in pursuing Christ, I decided to go low tech tonight. I walked into Starbucks with the ESV Study Bible and a notebook. I didn’t want to allow for distractions or the endless Facebook and YouTube wanderings that inevitably take place when I’m on my laptop and not actually writing. I’m glad I took the time to focus.

I turned to Ephesians 3 to pick up where I finished reading a couple days ago. By God’s grace, I’ll do a more detailed blog on that as part of the Ephesians series. For now, I think the message is simpler.

Ephesians 3:1-6 ESV:

For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles—assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you, how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly. When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.

That one line stuck out more than anything. The “stewardship of God’s grace…” Paul had indeed been given the task and privilege of taking the gospel to the Gentiles (Gal. 2:7). But it was that word “stewardship” that struck a chord. Tasks can be received begrudgingly and carried out defiantly. Privileges can be taken for granted and confused with a “right.” Paul said stewardship though. A Biblical understanding of stewardship requires a sense of responsibility, and realizing that the thing which you are steward over is not yours, but belongs to another. This understanding brings gratitude and humility to the surface.

Paul not only took responsibility for his walk with Christ, but he also took responsibility for the gift of preaching the gospel to others, and it was his joy to do so, even when he suffered for it.

While I am well aware than none of us are Paul, and most of us don’t have the gift to preach and teach, Scripture does tell us that we have all been given gifts for the edification of the Church. So, while we should absolutely realize that we should be good stewards of those gifts, I also believe that God speaks to us through Scripture, and that insight should be shared with the body of Christ around us.

That may not result in preaching, blogging, or writing books. But some of the most profound ideas I’ve heard have been over coffee while talking with the person who was too shy to speak up in a group setting. There’s nothing wrong with being shy, but I would challenge you to be a good steward of the insights God gives you through and into Scripture and share them with someone. Even if it’s just for a sounding board or to ask a question. You never know the lives God will touch through the small conversations, or the truth He will impart through something you thought was commonplace.

What gifts has God given you? What insight has He given you? Who can you share these with?

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