Word of the Month

Good stewardship

September 2004

A house that has been built through wisdom and established by understanding, will be filled with all precious and pleasant riches through knowledge, wisdom, and good stewardship. This King Solomon experienced. But it also applies on a spiritual level.

Wisdom comes from the fear of the Lord. Whoever builds his spiritual house upon this will have a stable foundation. And whoever cares for it with understanding - in the figurative sense, with understanding for God's will and plan - will not only keep it, but also expand and complete it.

Good stewardship, spiritually speaking, means making proper use of God's word and grace, as well as gathering, increasing, and utilising spiritual goods. It also means loyally helping along in God's work, following, and maintaining unity with those whom the Holy Scriptures describe as "stewards of the mysteries of God": the apostles of Jesus. They see to it that the gifts of heaven are constantly supplied to all children of God around the world who heed God's will. Good stewardship implies that all receive everything - not one everything and the others nothing.

That is how the chambers of our hearts can be filled with precious, pleasant riches. Chief among these is our childhood in God. There is nothing more valuable or more perfect than this! A peaceful soul, a balanced emotional life, and a joyful spirit are further gifts that comprise this precious wealth. In the end time there is a danger that we might become tired and superficial, begin to lose interest, or lose our first love because there is so much injustice. The Word from the altar and fervent prayers are the best antidotes for this.

What would these precious riches be without a high degree of knowledge - which gives wings to our faith - or patience, or trust in God and the messengers of Jesus or, to crown it all, our hope in the imminent return of Christ?!

The son of Sirach already knew: "Where no hedge is, there the possession is spoiled." In order to protect our spiritual riches we need the fear of God to form a protective hedge around our heart. We fear God out of love when we recognise and acknowledge His majesty and elevated magnitude, when we continue to have faith, and always endeavour to act according to the will of the Most High. There are many spirits out to rob us of our precious riches. Let's be watchful and take strength from the services to counteract their evil intentions.

(From a service by the chief apostle)