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One of the challenges we face as Christians is to be as thankful as we ought to be for God's blessings. It is a pleasant challenge, of course, but it is still a challenge. We must not take our blessings for granted. As richly blessed as we are, we need to be more grateful for God's goodness.
But gratitude is not enough. We are to be good stewards of the blessings God gives us. There is nothing we have that did not come from God, and He gave us these things for more than just our personal enjoyment -- they are to be used as resources in His work. When we look at our blessings in that way, it is obvious that we should be careful how we use them.
If our blessings are entrusted to us as resources, there are some questions it would be good to ask. How can we use them most efficiently, with a minimum of waste? How can we get the most use out of them in the time that is allotted to us? What would the Lord want us to be doing with these things? Out of all the things we could do with these blessings, what would bring the most glory to God? And how can we use them so as not to be "ashamed" (2 Tim. 2:15) at the judgment?
These days most of us are very busy. And the busier we are, the harder it is to keep from developing "tunnel vision." We become so absorbed in our own activities that we become oblivious to anything outside of our own needs. We may regularly thank God for supplying our needs, but rarely do we think of anything beyond the boundaries of those needs. But in the Lord, we are a part of a work much bigger than any of us individually, and we are to keep the Lord's work at the forefront of our minds in every decision we make. Life is not just about personal pleasure -- it's about glorifying God by participating in His work.
At judgment, we will have to account for our use of all that God blessed us with. For those who have lived selfishly and used their blessings simply to enhance their own lifestyle, that judgment will be a time of tremendous regret. This week, let's think about our stewardship in God's work. He blesses us abundantly, and with that abundance we can do great things in His name. Before the time of accounting comes, let's decide to use every one of His blessings to the best of our ability.
Monday: James 1:17
Key Idea: We are richly blessed by our Heavenly Father.
Questions for Family Growth: According to James, where does "every good gift and every perfect gift" come from? What does Paul say in Eph. 3:20,21 about how "abundantly" God is able to bless His people? At the end of Col. 3:17, what are we commanded to do?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 28:18.
Tuesday: Matthew 25:14-30
Key Idea: Our blessings come with responsibilities, and we are accountable for their use.
Questions for Family Growth: What did the servant do who was described in v.18? What kind of servant did the master say he was in v.26? What description of this servant was given in v.30? As servants of the Lord, how can we avoid being "ashamed," according to Tim. 2:15?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 28:19.
Wednesday: 1 Corinthians 4:1,2
Key Idea: We must be good stewards of the things that we are blessed with.
Questions for Family Growth: What does it mean to be a "steward"? In v.2, what character trait must a steward have? In the Lord's work today, what are some practical ways that we can be better stewards of the blessings the Lord has given us?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 28:20.
Thursday: James 4:1-3
Key Idea: Our blessings must be used not just for ourselves but for the good of those around us.
Questions for Family Growth: In v.3, why did some not receive their requests from God? What does it mean to "spend it on your passions"? In 1 Cor. 12:7, what did Paul mean when he said that certain gifts were given to the church "for the common good"?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 28:21.
Friday: 2 Corinthians 12:15
Key Idea: In the Lord's work, we must be willing to spend our blessings and be spent.
Questions for Family Growth: What did Paul mean when he said, "I will most gladly spend and be spent for your souls"? With regard to God's blessings, at the end of our lives shouldn't we want to have used up and "spent" every resource the Lord provided to us while we lived?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 28:22.