In this week’s show, Vince lays out in layman’s terms what stewardship really means.
Being a good steward over what we are given – both physical items we own, as well as spiritual gift – boils down to what we read in Matthew 25:14-30,
14 “It will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. 15 To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16 The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. 17 So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. 18 But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.
19 “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20 The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’
21 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
22 “The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’
23 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
24 “Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’
26 “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.
28 “‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags.29 For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
A few of things that jump out of this passage are:
The master gave according to his servants’ strengths. So, the reason why some people are given more to deal with in life than others may be proportionate to the strength that we have within our faith. God never allows us to experience more temptation than we are capable of dealing with.
So with that in mind, while you may be dealing with a situation in life that is more difficult than the situations I am dealing with, in some respects this is a compliment to you from God – you are stronger than I am at this moment. This doesn’t mean that I won’t eventually get there, but I’m just not there yet.
Another thing that I see in this passage is that your strength can be another person’s weakness. You should use your God-given strengths to help other Believers. We easily see this in everyday friendships where one guy will be good at something and help his buddy out, and sooner or later that second buddy will need to help out in another area where he has strength.
Finally, it’s important to remain motivated. We need to be willing and able to use our past or current difficulties to reflect God’s glory and power. If you have ever heard a Christian say something to the effect of, “Well… the world’s going to hell in a handbag, and there’s nothing I can do. I know where I’m going, so I’m just going to mind my own business and wait for my day in heaven!”… that’s an example of the wicked servant! They were given a “bag of gold” by God, their Master, and all they are doing with it is burying it in the ground. They should be using everything that they have been given to further God’s kingdom.
Now, this “bag of gold” could be a bank account full of money, it could be an empty bank account, it could be cancer or PTSD issues, it could be literally anything big, small, good or bad. The question is: What do we do with what we have and go through? Do we focus on ourselves, or do we reflect God?
Al this to say, It’s one thing to overcome your hardships; and it’s a completely different and more important thing to give God glory as you go through them.
Next, Justin and Vince are joined by Retired Colonel Bill Coate, author of YOU: The Last Best Hope to Restore Our Nation.
Now, Bill grew up in a typical, Americana, patriotic family and town. After serving about 25 years in the Marine Corps, he looked around and realized that the values and priorities that he had grown up with – the same ones instituted by our nation’s forefathers, were no longer being upheld by our society.
John Jay, the first Supreme Justice of the US Supreme Court said:
“It is the responsibility of every citizen to read and study the Constitution so that they can pass on freedom to the rising generations. For if a man understands his rights, he will soon realize when they are being violated and do something about it.”
After reading this, Bill realized that our problem that is causing a downhill slide in our nation is ignorance. And the missing ingredient to solve the ignorance problem is courage. Too few people are brave enough to stand up, speak truth and suffer the consequences – which are typically no more than spiteful words. As a kid, we used to say, “Sticks and stones may break by bones, but words will never hurt me!” Yet today, people behave as if words can kill them!
Tie this together with the fact that not enough people even know their own rights, and now we have an entire society of people who are too afraid to speak up, and don’t even know what they should be speaking up about.
This lack of courageous leadership that Bill writes about really seems to be key. As Bill writes:
“I am more afraid of an army of a hundred sheep led by a lion than I am of an army of a hundred lions lead by a sheep.”
In other words, if you don’t step up and lead courageously, you will end up being led by your inferiors. After generations upon generations of this, we now have this “us vs. them” political environment, where people identify themselves as either Republicans or Democrats… or Conservatives vs. Liberals. No one is out there, rising to leadership, identifying themselves as simply American, holding to the values that made this country great.
Bill likes the message of the book, The 5,000 Year Leap by W. Cleon Skousen, which boils down to this: The Pilgrims landed on the shores of New England in the same transportation and with the same tools that civilization had had for 5,000 years. Yet, within 200 years after signing the Constitution, we were landing men on the moon. This isn’t simply because Americans were smarter, but because for the first time, a culture had complete freedom and able to innovate and create without being oppressed by their central government.
According to Bill, the opposite is occurring in our country today.
So, the key is to first understand what is going wrong; and then second, have the courage to stand against it. But this cannot happen if we are not held to ultimate accountability… which can only happen if we surrender to God.
To argue against this, many people turn to Romans 13, which starts out:
Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves
These people basically hold that no matter what our government officials rule, we should go along with it, as obedient servants to them and God. However, this is a misinterpretation of God’s Word. We are never called to obedience of ungodly leadership of any sort. Throughout the history of the Bible, any people who stood against God’s will were eventually beaten down – including Israel.
And even according to secular rules, if a Marine is ordered to do something illegal by their commanding officer, they will be held accountable for their actions, even if they were “just following orders”.
So, if we have a nation that is doing ungodly things, and we Christians follow in lock-step, we will be held accountable.
What’s incredible is that the Christian Church is still the largest and strongest social organization in America, and could make the changes needed, if its leaders would courageously stand up for Biblical truth.
But, the Church has its unique obstacles, too, such as the Johnson Amendment from 1954, which prohibits pastors from addressing political issues from the pulpit. Yet, if we look to the example of America’s founding fathers, it was their pastors’ DUTIES to call out the government for their illegal and unethical missteps. This guided their congregations to vote in accordance to Biblical truth.
One Biblical truth is that freedom actually only comes from God. Our founding fathers understood this. Today, we hear politicians talk over and over again about “fairness”, but “fair” is not mentioned anywhere in our Constitution. Fairness only works in fairy tales.
The Constitution is concerned about justice for all… not fairness for all. Fairness cannot provide mercy, but justice can. This means that we can still hold people accountable for their decisions and actions, but their punishment can differ based on the circumstances and/or mercy. However, if you simply applied “fairness” as the governing rule, then justice will inevitably be hampered.
So, what can we do to reverse this course?
The first step would be to get the proper leaders in office. Starting with the local, then escalating all the way to the federal level, we need proper, courageous leaders.