by Joseph MillerStewardship of Life Challenges-Part 1
Stewardship of Life Challenges-Part 1
Editors Note: The challenges for the stewardship of time, talent, testimony, and treasure included in this series could be, as the author suggests, gathered together for incorporation with stewardship-emphasis month messages, or spaced throughout the year-whether accompanying sermons or printed in congregational letters. Each challenge is in the form of a pledge designed to be considered by individual members of the church.
This series can be found at www.BuildMyChurch.com
Joseph Miller, who heads Discovering Life Ministries, is a church development consultant and publisher of The Church Planter-a Comprehensive Manual for Church Development.
Stewardship of Time Commitment
I understand the Bible to teach that God made time. It belongs to Him. My time is controlled by God (Ps. 31:15). It is a mark of spiritual maturity to value time as a precious commodity that is controlled in quantity by God while its quality depends greatly upon my right choices.
The Bible challenges me to consider the purpose of time, redeeming the time for God's glory by fashioning my life after the wisdom of the Word of God and not an evil world (Eph. 5:15, 16). This means that I must dedicate myself to proper time management by keeping Him in the center of my life (Col. 4:5). I must be devoted to Him so that my life will be lived to work out His purposes in honorable employment (Luke 10:41, 42). My needed leisure time should recreate me to fulfill His intended purposes in my life. Since time belongs to God, I can never obediently leave Him out of my plans for time.
In this biblical sense, every day of my Christian life is the Lord's day, while Sunday is that special Lord's Day of resurrection celebration that the Scriptures ask me to give wholly to corporate worship and service through the local church (1 Cor. 16:2; Acts 20:7; Rev. 1:10; Heb. 10:25). I must have proper worship to make work what I live to do for God, not just what I do to live.
This means that I must impose God-honoring priorities upon all my time. I should eliminate those things that waste my time by keeping me from my God-honoring priorities. Perhaps I should evaluate how I use each day and accept the changes the Holy Spirit prompts through the Word and prayer. Do I need more Bible study time and less other-reading time or less television time? Am I giving godly priority to the Lord's work and my family with my work schedule? Can I do something about that?
The Lord has given me the power of authority over His time entrusted to me. It is a responsibility with accountability to Him-a divine stewardship (Luke 14:28-30). Therefore, I am going to test my priorities (Hag. 1:5), and, by signing this statement, renew my commitment to my Lord to make my time count for eternity.
"Oh Lord, I want a fresh vision of You as my fellow Oarsman (minister) every hour of my life (1 Cor. 4:1). I know that human effort is futile when separated from spiritual emphasis. My time management will be centered around You. In Christ's name, Amen (so be it)!"
(Retain this as a personal reminder.)