Be a Good Steward


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Reposted from Radical Mentoring

Stewardship’ is an old-school word. Churches ruined it by always associating it with money and giving and building campaigns. But we shouldn’t give up this word. It’s important.

A steward is a manager of assets he doesn’t own. Stewardship is about being between the owner of the asset and eventual user of the asset. If you’re a wine steward, you manage the wine inventory for the owner and you make sure it gets to the end user just as the owner wants. Stewards receive whatever they’re entrusted with, manage the assets while in their charge, and then pass them on when they’re supposed to. Good stewards manage assets with excellence and in accordance with the owner’s wishes. While his compensation is from the owner, the steward gets a huge kick out of seeing the eventual ‘consumer’ enjoy what he’s taken care of.

You are a steward of your experience. It’s an asset uniquely given to you. No one else has your experience. You’ve had some wonderful experience . . . things you’ve learned, stuff you’re proud of and happy to talk about. But you’ve also had some painful experience . . . self-inflicted wounds with collateral damage. Defeat and loss, some by bad decisions, some served up by others, some just by circumstance. All your experience is useful if you’re a man who wants to learn, grow, gain wisdom and build your faith.

But even more important is leveraging your experience to help others. That’s what mentors do. As a mentor, I try to stay with what the Scriptures say and my personal experience. I love Hebrews 5:14 which brings these together . . .

“But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.”

Good Christian mentors constantly use Scripture to train themselves to make good decisions and to distinguish good from evil. They didn’t just look it up in the ‘Good Book.’ They’ve read, digested, tested and proved the value of Biblical Truth. They’ve come to see their experience as God sees it. Some regrets, lots of forgiveness, amazing grace and mercy, all moving toward overwhelming gratitude. Truth may have entered through their heads . . . through church and reading and Bible study, but Truth has been burned into their hearts through personal experience.

God wants that truth shared to help others. A good steward of his experience is willing to share his screw-ups as well as his ‘wins.’ If a younger one can learn from you and avoid the mistakes (i.e. sin) and pain (i.e. consequences) you endured, doesn’t God smile? Isn’t He glorified when sin is avoided?

We must live, watch, read, pray and ask God to teach us what He wants us to learn from our experience. Then we must become good stewards of that experience, humbly offering it to those who are coming behind us. Remember . . . worst case, your experience can always be used in a good way as a bad example . . . “Here’s what not to do!”

Will you sit alone with your wealth of real-life experience and never share it? Will what you’ve learned die with you? Will you avoid the inconvenience of selflessly investing in younger ones, remaining paralyzed by ‘what will they think of me?’ and ‘I don’t have time’? Will you face Jesus as a horrible steward of your experience, explaining why you buried your talent instead of investing it?

Or will you humbly reach out, connect and begin the journey of mentoring someone now?

Scripture: But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. (Hebrews 5:14)

From A Mustard Seed


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Reposted from The River Walk

“You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.” (Matthew 17:20)

I remember going to a conference when I was a student at Central Bible College. Tommy Barnett was doing a leadership seminar and Nixa Assembly was sending its ministry team to go and hear him. Pastor Barnett was speaking on faith, I don’t remember the specifics, but at the end everyone was to write their dream on a little piece of paper, go up and leave it at the altar, and pick up this mustard seed in exchange.

Up to that point I’d never seen a mustard seed before. I knew conceptually that they were small. I’d been told so in countless Sunday School classes. This little seed was tiny. I’d say it was less than half the size of the little bullets you would use for a BB gun. On the flip side I knew that mustard trees were a pretty good size. I saw them on those Sunday School flannel graphs. I just didn’t realize how big they really can grow. From a seed that is less than two millimeters in diameter can grow a plant up to twenty-five feet high and nearly twice as wide,

There are different gifts given to different people in the church. Some people have faith. I can look at them, listen to them, and I am amazed. I’m more of a “trust, but verify” type of guy. You might say my faith is as small as a mustard seed. Good thing that is enough. I remember there used to be a magazine called Mountain Movers. It was chuck full of miracle stories of missionaries in other parts of the world. Each of those stories seemed to have two things in common, the missionary needed, God provided. There would come a point when a missionary realized they couldn’t possibly do what needed done, and then God would step in. Sometimes it was protection, sometimes provision, sometimes healing, always God would move.

I don’t need a lot of faith to see God do the miraculous in my life. All I need is to attempt the impossible. If I am always doing what is easy, if I am always living in the safe and the comfortable, I will never see a miracle. There won’t be any need. It is only when I step out that I will see Him step in. If I want to see Him move in big ways, I need to take my tiny faith and attempt big things with it. It will grow, but only when plante

Learning to Love


Most people love those who love them, yet God loves and seeks the good even of people who are His enemies - Tim Keller
Most people love those who love them, yet God loves and seeks the good even of people who are His enemies – Tim Keller

Reposted from Learning To Be Full Of Grace And Truth

The question is, are we learning to love in the same way?

You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect (Matthew 5:43-48, NIV).

Hope for Hurting Parents When Kids Rebel


Reposted from Pastors.com

As a pastor, more than other people, I see the hurt and the heartbreak that happens in a family when a child rebel-400x267makes rebellious and destructive decisions. And thankfully, there’s a story in the Bible that offers us a lot of insight.

What has often been called “the story of the prodigal son” is really a picture of how God shows his holiness, his goodness, and his kindness to his children – both of his sons were rebellious in their own ways. Some of the insights we learn about parenting from this story might surprise you.

The story, found in Luke 15:11-32, unfolds in three stages.

Stage 1: Rebellion.

Beginning in verse 11, “Jesus said, `There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them. Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living.’”

Stage one is rebellion. In every parent-child relationship, there’s going to be a struggle. It’s a struggle for control, a power struggle.

At birth, as a parent, you are 100 percent in control. But as your child grows, the power gets transferred. Your control is not permanent. Kids want control sooner than we want to give it. They think they deserve it sooner than we’re ready to give it out. Kids have a sin nature. If you don’t believe that “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God,” you’ve never been a parent.

So what do you do when a child is legally independent and you can’t control them anymore?

  1. Let them go.
  2. Let them make their own mistakes.
  3. Let them experience the consequences of their own choices.

There is a price tag for rebellion. Galatians 6:7 says, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows” (NIV).

How do you as a parent feel when your child rebels? Guilty? Embarrassed? We tend to practice a lot of self-condemnation when our children rebel, but you are not the only influence in your child’s life. Your child has choices that he makes. She has friends that she chooses. He has teachers that you don’t control. She has books and movies that she sees. He has all kinds of influences and choices.

Stage 2: Regret.

Back to our story. Verse 17 says, “When he came to his senses…” You might be praying for that sentence in your child’s life. When is my kid going to wake up? When is he going to come to his senses? When is he going to see that he’s ruining his life? You’re praying for that.

“When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and I will say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.””

Notice the change in attitude. He goes through a process of re-evaluation, regret, and repentance.

What do you do during this stage, while you’re waiting for your child to come to repent? Three things.

  1. Pray for your child, non-stop.
  2. Commit your child to God’s hands.
  3. Wait patiently.

Stage 3: Return.

Verse 20 says, “So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.”

Remember that in this story, this is the ideal father responding. This is God. This is not a typical human being. This is what God would do.

In fact, it is what God does to you in your rebellion. It’s a model for us.

  1. Love them faithfully, stubbornly.
  2. Accept them unconditionally and affectionately. (This doesn’t mean you approve of their actions.)
  3. Forgive them completely.

Verse 22 says, “But the father said to his servants.`Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate!’”

What I like about this father is he didn’t rub it in. He didn’t keep reminding his son, holding it over his head the rest of his life. The father gave him a second chance. He forgave him completely.

This story shows how God deals with our rebellion. That’s the primary purpose of it. We’ve taken matters into our own hands. The Bible says that we’ve all sinned and we’ve all done our own thing. We’ve messed up our lives. But God says, “Come on home!” God gives us another chance.