We’re a month into a new year, and discipleship is at the forefront of my mind. When we join a United Methodist Church, we profess our faith in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth; in Jesus Christ his only Son; and in the Holy Spirit. We make known our desire to live as disciples of Jesus Christ.
We covenant together with God and with the members of the local church to keep the vows which are a part of the order of confirmation and reception into the Church:
“To renounce the spiritual forces of wickedness, reject the evil powers of the world, and repent of our sin;
To accept the freedom and power God gives us to resist evil, injustice, and oppression;
To confess Jesus Christ as Savior, put our whole trust in his grace, and promise to serve him as our Lord;
To remain faithful members of Christ’s holy church and serve as Christ’s representatives in the world;
To be loyal to Christ through The United Methodist Church and do all in our power to strengthen its ministries;
To faithfully participate in its ministries by our prayers, our presence, our gifts, our service, and our witness;
To receive and profess the Christian faith as contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments.” (from The Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church, ¶217) #6 stands out for me: “To faithfully participate in its ministries by our prayers, our presence, our gifts, our service, and our witness.” Another way to state this is that we covenant to be good stewards…we covenant to be faithful disciples of Jesus Christ. What does this look like when lived out in real life?
A good steward/faithful disciple of Jesus….
Makes a personal relationship with Jesus Christ his/her #1 priority
Regularly seeks out God in prayer and devotion
Reads and meditates on God’s Word (God’s love letter to us!)
Faithfully attends (as physically able) opportunities for worship and praise
Routinely shares with others what the Lord has done/is doing in their life
Cheerfully gives a tithe of what the Lord has given
Serves the poor, the hungry, the hurting, and the lost as if that person were Christ himself
This month, we are going to be reflecting on what it means to be good stewards in every aspect of our lives, and at the end of the month, we will all be invited to fill out a pledge card for 2022.
Too often, we think that stewardship is only about finances. That’s simply not true, and I ask for your forgiveness if I have left that impression with any of you. I also ask your forgiveness for being reluctant to talk about the financial aspect of stewardship. The Holy Spirit has convicted my heart about that, because the truth is there is great joy in being extravagantly generous with the blessings the Lord has given to us.
Please join me in studying stewardship through the lens of Scripture on Mondays at 6:30PM via ZOOM beginning January 31st or on Tuesdays at 10AM via ZOOM beginning February 1st. I am also happy to make these studies in-person…just contact me via calling/texting 219-669-4201 or emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll make it happen!
I’m thankful to grow with you in our discipleship!
Living in the Grip of God’s Grace,