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Stewardship

These brief paragraphs stress the stewardship for which God has given wisdom to us. Some paragraphs are from the LCMS Stewardship Ministry bulletin blurbs.

2023

 

 

Stewardship Thought for The Sixth Sunday of Easter

James 1:22ff. The proper, the faithful, management of God's gifts is not aimed at a preservation, as if God were a stingy, hard-hearted father. Stewardship is enlivened by the life of the Giver; thus, as the Giver is the Doer, so the receiver is a doer, showing himself to be blessed on the Last Day, when the Father says: Well done, good and faithful doer.

 

Stewardship Thought for The Fifth Sunday of Easter

James 1:21. We might often consider stewardship the godly use of the life in Christ; that is correct and true. However, at the same time--for we are simultaneously sinner and saint--we uproot all that would hinder our faith, pulling out anything that would choke our faith, so that we produce fruit as we patiently endure.

 

Stewardship Thought for The Fourth Sunday of Easter

1 Peter 2:15-16. How one manages temporary, perishable, fading goods indicates what you serve and discloses what your hopes are. We use our possessions for doing good now, knowing that the goods of this world pass away, not storing them up till the time of our death. Then who shall have them and enjoy them? We are free people, dependent on our Father for all good; therefore, we live not as servants of earthly treasures but as His servants, with the hope of the imperishable inheritance.

 

Stewardship Thought for The 3rd Sunday of Easter

Ezekiel 34:11-16. Since leaders, religious and civil, had been oppressing His people and practicing ungodly stewardship (withholding God's gifts), God Himself demonstrated the righteous stewardship--He shepherded His people, giving to them life. The exercise of our vocations, in home and in society and in congregation, is unto faithfulness, a godly stewardship that is enlivened by the Good Shepherd Himself, who though rich made Himself poor that we by His poverty might become rich.

 

Stewardship Thought for The 2nd Sunday of Easter

John 20:19-23. As the crucified and resurrected Lord, Christ Jesus possesses the authority to breathe out the Spirit for the new creation of people by the forgiveness of sins--that is His stewardship of life and peace. Restored and enlivened, we, new creatures, now steward in faith and by love what our Father grants to us, that those around us may know our Father's goodness and His life and peace in Christ Jesus.

 

Stewardship Thought for The Resurrection of Our Lord

The love of the self, its greed and idolatry and covetousness, is the old leaven that must be purged by daily repentance. For you are unleavened bread, raised not by the old yeast of the world but by the resurrection of Christ. A proof is in how you manage the goods of this age, so that you feed others with your bread, the food of gentleness and generosity.

 

Stewardship Thought for Palm Sunday

Philippians 2:5. Stewardship does not begin with the value or any other measure of the goods over which God our Father has set us. Stewardship has its source and deep root in Christ Jesus, in His mind; for He was the faithful steward entrusting all earthly goods to the Father and expending them all for the Father, because our Lord knew that in His Father's hands He rested. Confessing that all belongs to Him and He remains our Father, we may be faithful in regard to what He has entrusted us, meaning we are free to use all of life, even our very lives, for the honor of our Father and in love to our neighbors.

 

Stewardship Thought for The Fifth Sunday in Lent

Hebrews 9:14. Our stewardship of our time, talent, and treasures must not be dictated by fear--falling short of demands and thus terrified of God's judgment--or by pride--offering up accomplishments and thus expecting mercy. The blood of Christ has cleansed us; stewardship must not be exercised to secure forgiveness (for it cannot achieve that). Now we freely offer all we are because of the mercies of God in Christ Jesus, that we would walk in the works prepared for us.

 

Stewardship Thought for The Fourth Sunday in Lent

Exodus 16:22-30. Man cannot live by gathering manna or possessions in this life; he has life and eternal life as the Lord promises to feed us. For that reason, the Lord had set aside the day of rest, day seven, in order to teach Israel He and He alone is Creator and Preserver. Thus, to be a faithful manager of God's goods, rather than gathering first, before anything we must be humble recipients of His goodness.

 

Stewardship Thought for The Third Sunday in Lent

Luke 11:21–22, “When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are safe; but when one stronger than he attacks him and overcomes him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted and divides his spoil.” Jesus has disarmed Satan in a most unusual way: He has disarmed him by allowing Satan to thrust all his weapons into Jesus. Satan has nothing with which to attack us — he spent it all on Jesus. Jesus is our stronger man; He guards and keeps us. With confidence that the treasure of forgiveness and life is ours, we are free to live generously and kindly, using the temporary treasures for those in need.

 

Stewardship Thought for The Second Sunday in Lent

Matthew 15:27, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” Stewardship recognizes, first of all, we receive from God, whatever the measure in this life seems to be, for faith confesses that He is not feeding the family pets. We are His children invited to pray Our Father, and whatever we ask in the name of Jesus by grace be given to us. Consider the explanations to the First Article of the Creed and the 4th Petition of the Lord's Prayer in the Small Catechism. The faithful steward begins with the faith that trusts in the God who is the faithful Giver.

 

Stewardship Thought for The First Sunday in Lent

Genesis 3. The hands given to us are for use in our vocations; Adam and Eve were to work in the garden. When your hands reach for and seize what is not yours, the law identifies that as stealing, stealing from your neighbor and certainly stealing from God. As God has blessed us with wisdom from the Holy Spirit and reason, we ask Him to teach us how to be faithful stewards so that we may not deprive anyone of their God-given work and resources and so that we may employ the tools and resources as desired by God and needed by our neighbors.

 

Stewardship Thought for The Transfiguration of Our Lord

Matthew 17:8, “And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.” Jesus is enough. Moses and Elijah point to Jesus and are content to fade into the background. With our eyes focused on Him and Him alone, the rest of our lives come into focus. He is primary, all else secondary. When that order is right in our lives, things truly fall into place.

 

Stewardship Thought for The 6th Sunday after the Epiphany

Colossians 3:17, " ... do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus ..." Singing? Alleluia! Praying? Amen! Hearing the Word? Thanks be to God! Bearing and forgiving, binding and teaching? Indeed! For those words and deed and your entire life are the life baptized into Christ Jesus, the life sanctified unto the glory of the Father. Nothing of your life is lived outside of your faith; every thought, word, and deed is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved you and gave Himself for you.

 

Stewardship Thought for The 5th Sunday after the Epiphany

Our Lord Jesus, knowing the promise and power of the Word, demonstrates what lively stewardship God's Word creates: the Word is sown far and wide so that all may participate in the extravagant generosity of God's redemptive love. How, then, shall we scatter the Word, blown by the Spirit to create faith where and when He determines? Because the days are evil and the time is short--the day is drawing to its close--let us make the best use of the time.

 

Stewardship Thought for The 4th Sunday after the Epiphany

Jonah 1:1-17. Jonah devoted his efforts to an escape from his call to serve God and to serve Nineveh; he denied the hope and power in the Word and sought refuge in what he could devise for himself. He forsook the stewardship of God and tried to construct his own oversight. Yet, when you read the full account of Jonah, you will perceive that whenever God calls, He will always supply every resource for the work, and He will empower His people to fulfill the calls given to them.

 

Stewardship Thought for The 3rd Sunday after the Epiphany

Matthew 8:8, “But the centurion replied, ‘Lord, I am not worthy to have You come under my roof, but only say the word, and my servant will be healed.’” The Word of the Lord is powerful and effective. What God says, happens. “Let there be light” (Genesis 1:3); and there was light! His Word remains effective and creative for us: “This is My body, which is given for you” (Luke 22:19); “Your sins are forgiven” (Matthew 9:2, Luke 5:20, etc.). This is why it is no burden for us to live according to the Word of God: His Word is always aimed at our blessing.

 

Stewardship Thought for The 2nd Sunday after the Epiphany

Ephesians 5:27, “… so that He might present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.” Our Lord has cleansed us with His blood — in His sight we are now pure and holy. He has given Himself, laying down His life for us. Now we are His spotless and beautiful bride. By His sacrifice, we are moved to sacrifice. By His cleansing, we find a desire to ourselves be clean and live blamelessly as He is blameless.

 

Stewardship Thought for The Baptism of Our Lord

Matthew 3:15, “But Jesus answered him, ‘Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.’” God sent His Son into the world to fulfill all righteousness for us, to do what we could not do. Jesus plunged Himself into our sins and soaked them up in His Baptism, so that in our Baptism we might be cleansed and renewed. The whole of Jesus’ life, everything He did and said, was one great offering to the Father in our stead to fulfill all righteousness for us. All our offerings to our Lord are in thanksgiving for this one great, true offering.

 

Stewardship Thought for The First Sunday after Christmas

Luke 2:21, “And at the end of eight days, when He was circumcised, He was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.” What more do you need to know than the name of Jesus — “the Lord saves.” That is who Jesus is: the Lord who saves us sinners. That Gospel message is the foundation of our faith and the strength to live our faith.

 

Stewardship Thought for The Nativity of Our Lord

Titus 3:8. In Christ we are God's sons, for whom God has prepared good works, which shine with His righteousness. In His house we devote ourselves to the vocations given to us His sons that we may display our hope in His inheritance and distribute the goodness of His creation. For His works are excellent and profitable for all people.

 

Stewardship Thought for the Fourth Sunday of Advent

Philippians 4:4, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.” Life was no easier for the Philippians than it is for us. They had the same sorrows, sicknesses, and disappointments as we have. And yet St. Paul tells them to rejoice in the Lord. We have an abiding joy, a peace which passes all understanding, because we know our Lord Jesus and His love for us. This gives us confidence in the face of every hardship; it gives us strength to lead lives in imitation of Jesus’ own generous love.

 

Stewardship Thought for the Third Sunday of Advent

Matthew 11:10, “This is He of whom it is written, ‘Behold, I send My messenger before your face, who will prepare your way before you.’” John prepared the way for Jesus by preaching repentance. Then, when Jesus’ ministry was complete and He was raised from the dead, He sent out His disciples to preach “repentance for the forgiveness of sins” (Luke 24:47). We never outgrow the need for repentance — for examining our lives, turning away from our sins, and turning toward Jesus in faith to receive his forgiveness and strength for a renewed life of godliness.

 

Stewardship Thought for the Second Sunday of Advent

Romans 15:5, “May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus.” All of our good works are indeed granted to us from our heavenly Father. We live in complete dependence upon His grace and mercy. What do we have that we have not received as a gift from His hand? And knowing that, what thankfulness does His faithfulness create?

 

Stewardship Thought for the First Sunday of Advent

Matthew 21:3, “If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them at once.” A colt and her foal. How significant could they be? Could they really be used by the Lord for some great, heavenly purpose? This is one facet of stewardship we often forget. The blessing it is to us to be of service in the Lord’s Kingdom. What honor the Lord bestows upon us by using our gifts for His goals.

2022

 

Stewardship Thought for Last Sunday of the Church Year

Though God has appointed us for salvation, to inherit the new creation, this wondrous hope does diminish or weaken our vocations. Rather, all the more we live lives as His holy people, lights in the present evil age, desiring to draw people out of their stupor and foolishness that they, too, may walk in the same hope. In love we serve, demonstrating that we are His faithful people in all the aspects of our lives and willing to testify of the hope that lives within.

 

Stewardship Thought for 2nd Last Sunday of the Church Year

All temporal stewardship will end--the stewardship that is crushing us and the duties that we are enjoying. If our stewardship of goods temporal will end, what sort of stewards ought we be? Holy and righteous--faithful in the stewardship of hearing our Lord's word and knowing and trusting His faithful stewardship--as we look ahead to the new heavens and earth, in which righteousness will dwell (2 Peter 3:3-13).

 

Stewardship Thought for All Saints Day

Though the world rails against the life and works of the Christian and may even call such a life "cursed", God who has begun this work in us will complete it; and thereby He will honor the stewardship that He granted to us in this life. (Revelation 7:9-17)

 

Stewardship Thought for Michaelmas 4

Philippians 1:3, 5 – “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you … because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.” God does not need anything we have. Yet He invites us to give so that we can indeed become “partners in the Gospel.” This is a gift of His grace. He invites us to do significant work in the Kingdom of God through our tithes and offerings.

 

Stewardship Thought for Michaelmas 3

God our Creator also endowed us with the ability to manage what He has created; He has given to mankind dominion over creation. This dominion is not exploitation of or destruction of or carelessness toward creation, but an attention to and cultivation of all flora and fauna so that as God has said: "Let it bring forth in abundance; and remember that I have given to you these resources", enabling His creation to flourish under our faithful management.

 

Stewardship Thought for Michaelmas 2

Budgets are our decisions, and they reflect our priorities and what we consider necessities. Using a three-part budget of time, talent, and treasure, how are we spending them? How might we give undue attention to the passing desires of the world (Isaiah 55:2)? Our Lord did not despise earthly goods; He set His heart and mind on the eternal unfading Word of the Father. Walking by the Spirit and thus possessing the mind of Christ, let us hold fast the permanent inheritance as heirs with Christ so that temporal gifts are used wisely.

 

Stewardship Thought for Michaelmas 1

Matthew 9:2 – “And behold, some people brought to Him a paralytic, lying on a bed. And when Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, ‘Take heart, My son; your sins are forgiven.’ ” All the gifts of God are promised to us in the forgiveness of our sins. With sin put away, we know that the Resurrection on the Last Day will yield for us true healing, everlasting life, and full communion with God. Since that is our destiny, how can we not live lives of thankfulness, love, and joy even in the present situation? For what are you thankful? How will you respond to the Lord in thankfulness this week?

 

Stewardship Thought for St. Michael and All Angels

"Cut it off and throw it away" (Matthew 18:8) That sounds like terrible and destructive stewardship! And it is ... to those items that would cause us to sin. Why keep anything that hurts and injures and attacks the faith? Yes, this is a negative example of stewardship; for usually we consider the good that God has given to us we strive to use in faith; here we are taught that stewardship includes getting rid of those items that hinder the faith, in order that faith and a "positive stewardship", a receiving from God and then a managing and distributing to others, may grow.

 

Stewardship Thought for Trinity 17

Luke 14:5 – “And he said to them, ‘Which of you, having a son or an ox that has fallen into a well on a Sabbath day, will not immediately pull him out?’ ” The time is always ripe to do right. God is always calling us to faithfulness and love, which is the fulfillment of the Law. The Pharisees wanted an easier law – something less than love – that was easier to keep. Why? Because they thought they had to in order to be saved. But since we know that Jesus saves by His sacrifice, we are free to see the real Law of love and to strive to fulfill it not out of fear but out of thanksgiving.

 

Stewardship Thought for Trinity 16

Ephesians 3:14-15 – “For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named.” We don’t call our heavenly Father by that name by analogy to our earthly fathers. It’s the other way around – God sets the pattern and image for earthly fathers to follow. God is the real and true Father. He is kind, loving, strong, faithful, generous, righteous, and self-sacrificing. Knowing this Father is the basis for growing into His image, which is the goal of our sanctification.

 

Stewardship Thought for Trinity 15

Luke 17:18-19 – Jesus said, ‘Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?’ And He said to him, ‘Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.’ ” Faith and thanksgiving go together. How could they not go together? Our Lord gave Himself for us, and we trust Him and His every Word. Once we have this faith, we want to say thank you – it’s only natural. And thus, our stewardship is only a natural part of the Christian faith. We thank the Lord with our gifts, which enable the Church to reach more with the Good News of Christ.

 

Stewardship Thought for Trinity 14

Luke 17:19, “And He said to him, ‘Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.’ ” Only one of the 10 lepers who had been cleansed returns to give thanks to Jesus. Why is that? Surely the rest were indeed thankful to be freed from such a terrible disease. But only the Samaritan leper had faith, and his faith turned into action – as all true faith does. Our generosity to God’s work in the Church is likewise our faith in action.

 

Stewardship Thought for Trinity 13

Luke 10:25, “And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, ‘Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?’ ”Talk about the wrong question! You can’t do anything to inherit something. It’s either yours by birth, or you are not in the family and there’s nothing you can do to inherit it. We are part of the family through Baptism. We don’t have to buy our way into the Kingdom. We are brought in by the precious Blood of Christ. Our good works are not the purchase price of the Kingdom. They are simply what the children of the Father want to do in thanksgiving to Him.

 

Stewardship Thought for Trinity 12

Because the sufficiency comes not from ourselves, but from the Word of God--for the Word is breathed out by God--as stewards of God's gifts, especially of the Word, we endeavor to use all of His gifts fully and in faith so that He receives the honor and glory and so that our neighbors are recipients of His goodness in every way.

 

Stewardship Thought for Trinity 11

Luke 18:14, “I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted." Our works never impress God, they are always lacking in some way. They always fall short of perfection. So there is no point in taking pride in them. But a broken and contrite heart the Lord will not despise – and the works that flow from a broken and contrite heart are indeed pleasing to the Lord in and through Christ. And these works will be used by the Lord for His purposes and to His glory!

 

Stewardship Thought for Trinity 10

Luke 19:46, "It is written, 'My house shall be a house of prayer,' but you have made it a den of robbers." The Lord’s Temple was not built in order to allow merchants to extract a little bit more from worshipers. The House of Prayer was for all nations, the place set aside for people to freely offer their petitions to the Lord--no compulsion, no sharp dealing; generosity and joy characterized the House of the Lord. The Church proclaims today in the market of ideas: “Freely have we received; freely we give to you.” The Gospel is freely given, and the doors are open to all. That is contrary to the world's market!

 

Stewardship Thought for Trinity 9

Luke 16:8 – “For the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light.” The sons of this world know that they should use their wealth wisely to provide for their future. Shouldn’t we “sons of light” know that the wealth God has allowed us to manage should be managed for God’s purposes in the roles He has given us to play in Church, home, and society? Don't we have more to live for, more to work for, and more to give toward?

 

Stewardship Thought for Trinity 8

Matthew 7:17, “So, every healthy tree bears good fruit." As fruit follows from a good tree, so our good works flow from the cleansing the Lord has given us in Holy Baptism. In Baptism we have a new identity – we are the “new man in Christ” as St. Paul says. Of course, on this side of glory we still have the world, the devil, and the flesh to wrestle with. That means that our growth in sanctification is a struggle. Whenever it is a struggle for you to be generous – don't give up! Keep fighting the good fight of faith, trusting in your Lord and His provision.

 

Stewardship Thought for Trinity 7

Mark 8:2, “I have compassion on the crowd. . .” Still the Father has compassion upon those who follow Him. He knows our needs, and He provides for us. He does all this for us long before we think to pray for what we need, before we even know that we need it. Knowing the His provision frees us from worry about our bodily needs. He provides for us out of His unending compassion.

 

Stewardship Thought for Trinity 6

Matthew 5:23 – “So if you are offering your gift at the altar. . .” Jesus connects our generosity toward God’s Kingdom to our love and forgiveness toward our brethren in the Kingdom. Both grow out of God’s love toward us. We forgive as we have been forgiven, and we give as we have been given to. All our growth in sanctification is growing into our Heavenly Father’s own actions through thankful imitation.

 

Stewardship Thought for Trinity 5

1 Kings 19:18, “Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.” Elijah was so sure that he was right, that he was the only one left who had not gone after Baal. But he was too pessimistic; his faith in God was off-center. We cannot go by our own wisdom. We must trust the Lord and what He has revealed to us in His Word. Think about how this applies to our support of God’s work in the Church with our offering. Take a look in the Small Catechism’s Table of Duties to see what the Bible has to say about our giving.

 

Stewardship Thought for Trinity 4

Genesis 50:20,21. The Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ guides us; baptized into His eternal life, He has given to us His mind. Thus, rather than seeking vengeance on those that intend to destroy us, we pray for the persecutors of the Church and seek to do good to those that would harm us.

 

Stewardship Thought for Trinity 3

Luke 15:31 – “And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours.” What possibly could the children lack when the father is rich and generous? For since the Father has given to us His Son, will He not with Jesus give to us all good things? Note then how David teaches us to confess: the first gift for which we bless God is the forgiveness of our iniquities and then we recount all other gifts (Psalm 103). We are confident, then, to welcome each other with His abundance for body and spirit.

 

Stewardship Thought for Trinity 2

Proverbs 9:9. “Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.” We need the Lord's instruction and wisdom. We cannot know on our own. It seems foolish to the world that we offer hard-earned money into "the hands of another" every week. The world cannot see a benefit to the preaching of the Word, the administration of the Sacraments, the sending of missionaries, and the educating of children in the faith. From the Lord’s instruction and Wisdom, we know better. Giving is the life of the Father's generosity living in us. The work of the Church is the salvation of mankind, and we are blessed to be called to participate in it in this way.

 

Stewardship Thought for Trinity 1

Luke 16:19. “There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day.” This is often called the story of “The Rich Man and Lazarus.” But it should really be called the story of “The Two Rich Men and Lazarus.” The other rich man in this story is Abraham. These two men used the gift of riches that God gave them in very different ways. The life and decisions of Abraham flowed from faith; the rich man’s life and choices flowed from disbelief and self-centeredness. Abraham was kind and generous, reflecting his trust in a kind and generous God. The rich man? You see what happened to him and what god he served.

 

Stewardship Thought for Holy Trinity

Isaiah 6:3, “And one called to another and said: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!’ ” Three times the angels cry out: “Holy, Holy, Holy!” Into the life of this holy God we are baptized. We have been made a part of God’s family. So we are now called to live lives that are in harmony with our new family. We are to be godly and live in God’s image. As God is loving, kind, and generous, so are we called to be.

 

Stewardship Thought for Easter 7

1 Peter 4:10, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” Grace is God’s undeserved mercy toward us. And what do we have that is not a gift flowing from God’s grace? He gives all these gifts so that we may use them in service toward one another. And chief among the ways we serve one another is to support the Church’s work of bringing more of God’s grace to more of God’s people. And that’s what it means to be a steward!

 

Stewardship Thought for Easter 6

James 1:22. “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” Martin Luther said this about our faith: “Oh, it is a living, busy, active, mighty thing, this faith. So it is impossible for it not to do good works incessantly.” The Word of God is not merely to be heard, but to be received and believed, and implemented. James reminds us of this, and he encourages us to examine our lives and come to repentance, where we can see that we are not living out our faith in sincerity.

 

Stewardship Thought for Easter 5

James 1:17 – “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” The thought James captures here is repeated over and over again in the Bible. Everything good we have is from God. He loves to give. He loves to bless. He loves to show us generosity time and again. And He desires that we grow into His image and reflect His love. That is why God wants us to give to the ministry of His Church. God can do anything He wants to without our help. But He commands us to give so that we will grow in our imitation of His own generosity.

 

Stewardship Thought for Easter 4

1 Peter 2:11, “Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.” Passions of the flesh – that means the things our flesh desires. One way to sum up all the “passions of the flesh” is to call them greed: the desire to have more things to bring us comfort and peace of mind. But that shows us the real problem with greed. It wages war against our soul, and it urges us to place our trust in the things of this world and not in God. But St. Peter reminds us that we are sojourners and exiles. We belong to the Kingdom of God. We have been purchased by the blood of Christ and belong to Him. That knowledge frees us from greed, and it frees us for generosity.

 

Stewardship Thought for Easter 3

John 10:16, “And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice.” On their own sheep are in great danger. They need a shepherd to guide them. The sheep know the Shepherd’s voice, and we delight to go where He leads. Of course, the world, the devil, and our own sinful flesh want to pull us in another direction. Namely, they want to pull us in the direction of death. But following the Shepherd means life. So, no matter how difficult the path is, let us follow the Shepherd!

 

Stewardship Thought for Easter 2

John 20:19 – “On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ ” Fear is the opposite of faith. That is, the kind of cringing fear we have in the face of something that is hostile to us and more powerful than we are. Jesus often told His disciples not be afraid. Our fears constantly hem us in and prevent us from following the Lord’s will. But there is no need to fear. Jesus has conquered. No fear can keep us locked up. We have been set free by Jesus for lives that declare His marvelous deeds.

 

Stewardship Thought for The Resurrection of Our Lord

Mark 16:6 – “And he said to them, ‘Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here.’ ” Jesus is risen, but is that Good News? What if He is mad at us for betraying Him, for running away at Gethsemane, for not believing He would rise? The Good News is not just that Jesus is risen; the Good News is that He is risen to bless us. There is no need to be alarmed. He still calls us His friends and brothers and means to bring us through death to resurrection as well. The Lord is risen – He is risen indeed!

 

Stewardship Thought for Palm Sunday

Matthew 21:3. “If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them at once.” Did Jesus need the donkey? But so that all might be accomplished according to God's pleasure, that the Creator would use even a beast of burden, an animal more closely connected with peace than victory. What an honor for the man who owned this donkey and foal! It is likewise with us. The Lord needs none of us, but what an honor it is for God to use our generosity in the work of His Church.

 

Stewardship Thought for Lent 5

Hebrews 9:12, “He entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.” What price could cover our sins? What could we pay God to forget our wickedness? The only price that could redeem us was the very Blood of the Christ. His sacrificial giving sets the pattern for our life. For how can we, who are redeemed by the self-giving of God, also not give of ourselves to His Kingdom?

 

Stewardship Thought for Lent 4

John 6:5. “Jesus said to Philip, ‘Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?’ ” Why does Jesus ask Philip this question? To direct Philip to the Lord, who provides Himself as the Bread of Life. Jesus knows the answer; He knows how to care for His people. The Lord provided, and He still provides. Seek the Lord and His righteousness; seek Jesus and contentment will be given to you. Jesus moves Philip and us to meditate on this: the knowledge that the Lord provides frees us for generosity without fear.

 

Stewardship Thought for Lent 3

Luke 11:21-22. “When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are safe; but when one stronger than he attacks him and overcomes him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted and divides his spoil.” Jesus is stronger than Satan, and He disarms him for us. But Jesus has disarmed Satan in a most unusual way: He has disarmed him by allowing Satan to deploy all his weapons against Jesus. Satan has nothing left to attack us with: he spent it all on Jesus. And now Jesus is our Stronger Man. He guards and keeps us and ours, and we have none to fear.

 

Stewardship Thought for Lent 2

Matthew 15:27. “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” Faith receives what God gives, because faith knows that God only gives good things. Indeed, God has given us so much more than just the crumbs that fall from the table; He has given us life, salvation, body and soul, eyes and ears, possessions and income. This is where our stewardship starts: with faith in the God who is the greatest Giver.

 

Stewardship Thought for Lent 1

Matthew 4:7 – And Jesus answered him, “It is written.” How wonderful that Jesus overcomes Satan's temptation not with referencing Himself but rather by His perfect obedience as the Son in His perfect humanity! The Son did not escape the temptations by miracles; He endured the temptations, with the Word of His Father as His refuge: His trust was living. This should cause us great joy for two reasons. First, because we see Jesus true man in our flesh and blood complete in His obedience. Second, because Jesus stood in the Word, that Word is our foundation and Jesus' obedience is our righteousness. Let us build our lives on the sure rock of this Word!

 

Stewardship Thought for The Transfiguration of Our Lord

Matthew 17:8. “And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.” Moses and Elijah point to Jesus, speak about Jesus and His sacrifice and then they are happy to fade into the background. They know that what we need is Jesus. With our eyes focused on Him and Him alone, the rest of our lives come into focus. He is primary, all else secondary. When that order is right in our lives, things truly fall into place. Or as Jesus Himself said, “Seek first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto you.”

 

Stewardship Thought for The Seventh Sunday after The Epiphany

And thus it is impossible to separate works from faith, quite as impossible as to separate burning and shining from fire. Beware, therefore, of your own false notions and of the idle talkers, who would be wise enough to make decisions about faith and good works, and yet are the greatest fools. (Luther, Preface to the Book of Romans)

 

Stewardship Thought for The Sixth Sunday after The Epiphany

Colossians 3:17. Stewardship is for the honor and glory of the Master; and whenever the servant receives any recognition and praise, all proceeds from the Owner's goodness--for we are but humble servants. Thus, whatever the Father bestows to us, granting to us in His kindness and wisdom, we seek to use wisely and faithfully, that His Name is known and His gifts spread abundantly and freely. For the proper use, then, of temporal goods, we His servants must be guided by His will and endowed with His Spirit, and the Spirit makes known His will in the Scriptures. So, let the Word dwell in you richly for the stewardship of daily bread so that you show yourself a faithful steward of the eternal goods.

 

Stewardship Thought for The Fourth Sunday after The Epiphany

Hebrews 4:11. The author, inspired by the Holy Spirit, reminds us here and in other places that we have a common life in Christ Jesus: "Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one may fall ... " Since we are not spirit only but also a body carefully woven by God, the "let us" extends to the life of faith, which is the Christian's life in body and spirit. Let us then strongly urge each other to love and to good works, which while receiving the will from the heart and mind informed by the Word of God and the Holy Spirit, are done in the body, using the goods of this life.

 

Stewardship Thought for The Fourth Sunday after The Epiphany

Romans 8. The healing for ourselves and for all of creation will arrive on the Last Day, when the Lord returns in His glory, to bestow salvation on all who are waiting for Him. No technology, no philosophical propositions, no social agenda can restore man or can remove the burden from creation. Yet we certainly will use the goods of this age--we seek to be good stewards--to protect our neighbors from suffering, to minimize their hurt and, to exercise proper dominion over creation.

 

Stewardship Thought for The Third Sunday after The Epiphany

2 Kings 5:15. Elisha refused to accept the payment, lest Naaman depart thinking that he had paid God for His kindness, that the account between him and the Lord were settled. Have we considered our offerings and charity as Naaman had first thought? How could our Father be repaid for His wisdom and riches. Freely have we received all things, and freely we share all things; for our Lord Himself says: "It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35).

 

Stewardship Thought for The Second Sunday after The Epiphany

Ephesians 5:28. The command of love among all of us, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself", has its own specific reflection in marriage: "In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies." And both proceed from how Christ Jesus has loved us: "By this we know love, that He laid down His life for us" (1 John 3:16). A true and faithful stewardship arises from Jesus Christ's stewardship of His own life.

 

Stewardship Thought for the Epiphany of Our Lord

Isaiah 60 and Ephesians 3. Stewardship covers both the temporary treasures of this life, offering earthly riches to our Creator in order to demonstrate that we rely on Him for all things and that He is worthy of all praise and honor, and also the eternal treasure of God's mystery, supporting the declaration and teaching of His lavish grace to all the nations.

 

Stewardship Thought for the Second Sunday after Christmas

The patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) offered sacrifices to the God whom had called them out of idolatry and promised to them family and land, and that the blessing would come from them for the nations. For His goodness and for the provisions for their daily lives, they offered the sacrifice of praise. Our offerings--the sacrifice of the best--reveals the faith that says God gives to my mind understanding, my hands strength, my fields produce, my family joy and peace. It is our duty to give Him thanks and praise. Genesis 46:1.

 

Stewardship Thought for the First Sunday after Christmas

Luke 2:37. While we might initially approach stewardship in the categories of treasures and talents, Anna teaches us that stewardship of time is first of all about hearing the Word, accompanied by prayer and fasting. In order for a robust life of faith to be shaped and to mature, time must be set aside for the Word to be heard and read, marked and learned, so that the life of Christ Jesus continues to abide in us, for without Him we can do nothing.

 

Stewardship Thought for the Fourth Sunday of Advent

Philippians 4. The unequalled treasure that our Father has given to us (His kingdom, joy, contentment) cannot be seized by the wealthy, the proud, the mighty, for they cannot perceive the imperishable. What God speaks to us--His peace--will guard what He treasures, our hearts and minds. Use the lesser, the perishable, to serve what our Lord treasures.

 

Stewardship Thought for the Third Sunday of Advent

Isaiah 40:8. How careful we are to manage the temporal riches of this life. Rightly so, for they are gifts from God to support His purposes of life in body and spirit. Now, if we pray for faithful management of those possessions that perish, how much more, then, do we pray for diligence and wisdom and faithfulness as we hear and receive and learn and teach and speak the eternal Word of God.

 

Stewardship Thought for the Second Sunday of Advent

The temporal gifts of life, especially time and the opportunities to hear the Word, may be squandered; all of us will be tempted and some will be ensnared by foolishness, expending their hours in dissipation and imprudence. Spend your talents on that which is worthwhile; give to your hearts and ears time to hear the Word; and use the occasions of your vocations to bring honor to the God who has entrusted to you His treasures and to serve those that are in need. (Luke 21:34)

 

Stewardship Thought for the First Sunday of Advent

Be it ever so lowly as a donkey or a Saturday afternoon hour, may we offer them, according to God's mercies, in the humble service of our Lord and His reign, knowing that the temporal possessions will fail and only that which is done to honor and laud Him will endure. Let us then lay before Him not only our cloaks and palm branches but our most precious treasures indeed our very lives accompanied by strains of Hosanna! (Matthew 21:1-9)

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