February 17, Friday

The AMI QT devotionals for February 13-19 are provided by Christine Li. Christine graduated from University of Pennsylvania and currently lives and works in New York City. She attends Remnant Church in Manhattan.

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT FOR TODAY

Stewardship in Our Daily Lives

1 Corinthians 4:1-2: Now it requires that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.

17Once, I had a friend who was going on a trip, who needed to borrow a point-and-shoot camera. I agreed, since I wasn’t in need of mine. I thought I was so cool to be so generous, but I am embarrassed to admit that I ended up extremely anxious and on-edge for the duration of her trip. I was so relieved when it was returned to me, though I really should have been more trusting and known that my friend, who was extremely careful by nature, would have taken care of it on my behalf.

This is stewardship – taking care of what does not belong to you until it is returned to the original owner. And stewardship should be the theme of our lives on earth. We believe that God has gifted us with everything in our lives. But these resources, objects, and people are not for our own taking – they are our responsibility to guard and treasure for the day that He returns.

What is there that He has entrusted to us? Stewardship not only covers traditional resources we think of (time, money, etc.), but also other gifts: relationships, intellect, opportunity, etc. Do we see the people around us as gifts to be treasured and taken care of on behalf of God? When God gives us understanding, are we using that knowledge to benefit others or to just elevate ourselves? When He gives us opportunity, do we take it so that we can further His name, or are we using it to build our own kingdoms?

At the end of our lives, we will be giving an account to God of how faithful we have been with what He entrusted to us. So, how are we doing with stewardship? If the Master came back to visit today, would we have good reports for Him? Or would we have to make some changes so that we could, in good conscience, let Him know that we are being responsible?

To be clear – fear should not be our motivation to steward well; instead, stewardship is best an expression of love and affection for God. He has been so generous to give us so much each day, so let’s ask to be in-sync with Him. We want it to be our joy to take care of His work and His resources while we are on this earth.

Prayer: Father, thank You for Your many gifts in our lives. Teach us how to steward Your gifts and Your people wisely, Lord. Let us not use them for our own selfish gain, but give us hearts that will rightly protect and grow the things and people You’ve entrusted us with. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Song of Songs 5


LUNCH BREAK STUDY

Read Matthew 25:14-25: For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. 15 To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. 17 So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19 Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here, I have made five talents more.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 22 And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here, I have made two talents more.’23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 24 He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’”

Questions to Consider

  1. It is interesting that the master gives such different amounts to the servants. Do you think the master entrusted his property to the servants fairly?
  2. What do the responses from the account settling reveal about the first two servants?
  3. What motivates the third servant to hide his talent in the ground? Since we are cautioned away from his example, let’s reflect on which things we must steward better so we do not make the same mistake.

Notes

  1. It is interesting to note that God has given each person a different amount to be responsible for. However, the text says that the master distributed according to the servants’ abilities. He already knew their capacity. There is not a distinction at the moment of the worth of the servant; each one has a specific task he is appointed for.
  2. The first two were diligent in carrying out how to steward the money, and both were honest with the master about their earnings. Also, neither concealed any of their earnings for personal gain, showing that they fully trusted their master would take good care of them.
  3. The third servant’s decision to not work with the talent showed that he had little affecton for the master. As a result, he had no motivation to do something good with the investment since he had no personal care for the master.

EVENING REFLECTION

As you went through the day, were you able to identify things or people that God has called you to faithfully steward? Let’s ask Him for the integrity and strength to be faithful to the task tomorrow as well.

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