Wednesday, September 5, 2007

"Giving Our Way to Prosperity" (Lesson Nine)

Paul wrote these words to the church in Corinth: "Moreover it is required in stewards that a man be found faithful" (First Corinthians 4:2). That verses serves as the basis for lesson nine of V.P. Black's book. The lesson is simply titled, "Faithful Stewardship," and the stated purpose is "to get a better understanding of what it means to be a faithful steward" (51).

I find one of the introductory paragraphs in this lesson to be extremely interesting. While this study, obviously, is about giving, brother Black reminds us of the fact that stewardship is just part of our Christian walk, but it can serve as a sign of how the rest of our efforts for God are:

Stewardship of money is only a fraction of our full Christian stewardship. Giving is just a part of our stewardship of money. We must use wisely that which we do not give to the church. Faithful stewardship includes the whole of a thing, a part is never equal to the whole. Self and substance makes up true stewardship. The person who is very faithful in certain things and unfaithful in others is not a good steward. (51)

The point of this chapter is to remind us that we must use all God's blessings wisely. Wasting what God gives is not wise, nor is it Christ-like.

As I have done in most of the posts in this series, allow me to just list the sections that comprise this study:
  • The steward and his life (52)
  • Stewardship of time (53)
  • Stewardship of influence (53-54). What an overlooked area of study!!!
  • Stewardship of the Gospel (54-55)
  • Stewards of money (55)

We often have lessons on being good stewards of money, then, near the end of the lesson, throw in a statement like, "Of course, we need to be good stewards of our time and efforts, too." Look at that list of sections again. What a great series to preach or teach in a Bible class! We have lessons about influence from time-to-time, but do we ever talk about being a steward of our influence?

This lesson is simple, but, in my mind, is a good "break" from only talking about money. Students will enjoy this lesson about other areas where God has blessed us all, and will want to do better about serving Him in all these areas.