In the Image of God: Discipline

Day 2: Discipline Requires Stewardship

Matthew 25:14-30, Philippians 2:8

How are you using the gifts you’ve been given? Are you a good steward?

There are a lot of ways you could respond to these questions. You puff out your chest and list all the good things you’ve been doing lately. You could be hard on yourself and consider all the ways you need to improve. You could avoid the question altogether and remind yourself that it doesn’t really matter what you do because Jesus has grace for you.

Evaluating our stewardship is tricky. It can be easy to slip into a works-righteousness mentality. When we think about what we’ve done (or not done) for the kingdom of God, we can easily be tempted to find our worth there. But we don’t earn salvation by doing things. Our salvation isn’t dependent on our stewardship. Our salvation is dependent on the stewardship of Another.

Jesus was and is the perfect steward. He gave of Himself completely. Holding nothing back, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross (Philippians 2:8). By His blood we are saved. By His blood we are forgiven and made new. By His blood we look and live differently.

When we understand the way Christ stewarded His life to secure our salvation, we then can see all the resources we have for what they really are—gifts. Our talents are gifts. Our friends are gifts. Our eyesight is a gift. Our words are gifts. Our money—no matter how hard-earned—is also a gift. Our houses, our brains, and our time are all gifts.

Gifts are meant to be given. Talents are meant to be used. The gifts God gives are not meant to be hoarded or wasted; they are to be invested for the glory of God according to His good and perfect will. How are you using yours?

We aren’t saved because we’re good stewards; but because we are saved, we can be good stewards. What talents have you been given? What gifts can you extend to others? When we live as generous stewards, understanding the kindness of the One who has blessed us, we are free to live, serve, and give boldly, knowing that the Lord will never run out of resources— and because He won’t, neither will we.

May we trust Jesus with the gifts we’ve been given. And may we sow wisely, investing all that we have for the glory of God.

written by Billy Jack Brawner