The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another,as good stewards of God's varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4:7-11 As a preacher, the "right" of ownership for my family and I is limited. We have not owned or rented a home in about 8 years, much of our furniture is either borrowed or donated, our "new" vehicles have not been new in decades, and often times, we learn to make due with everything we have. I'm not saying this to garner sympathy: it's a life I enjoy, as it reminds me, constantly, that nothing I have is mine. I'm not speaking in terms of ownership, after all, I own my vehicles, several pieces of furniture, and the clothes on my back. What this reminds me of is that my wife, my kids, my home, my livelihood, everything that I can claim as my own is not really mine: it is a blessing the Lord has given me, and so what I must do is keep in mind that it is all from the Lord, so no matter what I do, everything that is "mine" needs to be used for the Lord. I need to be a faithful manager. It reminds me of the Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25. The Master went away, entrusting his servants with some of his property, awarding each an amount according to the ability of that servant (one had 5 talents/bags of gold, another 3, and the last 1). He didn't just hand it to them for them to hold a lot of money, he expected a return on his investment with these three servants. Upon his return, he found 2 of the servants had doubled the investment, while the last buried his one talent. The first two were rewarded with a party, as well as an increase in favor, power, and responsibility, while the last was taken away and put out of the Master's House, forever. What does this all have to do with us? Everything. Everything the Lord gives us is a blessing, but to be wise managers, those blessings are to be used to bless others. Paul reminds us that even our bodies are sacred: Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own,for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). So let us, then, be wise, using all God has given us to invest in eternity. Our families, jobs, money, possessions, even our very lives, everything we have and are to build the Kingdom, that as many as possible may be saved, and hear alongside us "well done, my good and faithful servant." This comes only as a result of faithful management.
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