2 Kings 12:4-7 One day King Joash said to the priests, “Collect all the money brought as a sacred offering to the Lord’s Temple, whether it is a regular assessment, a payment of vows, or a voluntary gift. Let the priests take some of that money to pay for whatever repairs are needed at the Temple.” But by the twenty-third year of Joash’s reign, the priests still had not repaired the Temple. So King Joash called for Jehoiada and the other priests and asked them, “Why haven’t you repaired the Temple? Don’t use any more money for your own needs. From now on, it must all be spent on Temple repairs.”
2 Kings 12:13-16 The money brought to the Temple was not used for making silver bowls, lamp snuffers, basins, trumpets, or other articles of gold or silver for the Temple of the Lord. It was paid to the workmen, who used it for the Temple repairs. No accounting of this money was required from the construction supervisors, because they were honest and trustworthy men.
We have been studying about stewardship in our Sunday School class, and this morning, the scripture above was part of our reading. The biblical view of stewardship is defined as “utilizing and managing all resources God provides for the glory of God and the betterment of His creation.” (wikipedia.org) This Old Testament scripture from 2 Kings reminds us that we have to make a commitment to future-focused stewardship. We are to be good stewards for Christ, and yes, we must be good stewards for the here and now, but we must keep our hearts and mind focused on the prize. We must remember that our stewardship should be always focused on Christ and following His plan. When we do what Christ wants us to do, we begin to become the person He wants us to be. The problem we run into is that old problem of good intentions. We intend to do something, but our good intentions are not enough. We have to actually do what needs to be done.
An example that I gave my class was that I had a good intention of cleaning my closets and organizing my bedroom Friday because we will be redoing the flooring in there soon. I did get started. I cleaned out from under the bed, and I did sort through a few things and throw out some unwanted items, but I didn’t finish. I didn’t complete the job. Then I intended to finish up this organizing chore the following day, however, instead of completing the task at hand, I went out and bought a bunch of flowers and some lettuce and spent the afternoon planting my flower beds and my lettuce beds. We then had the kids over for a fish fry and spent the evening enjoying their company. Yes, I intended to accomplish a certain task this weekend, but I did not do what needed to be done to complete that task. Now, the task is still there waiting for another day…
In the scripture we just read, King Joash commanded the priests to use the money that came into the temple for needed structural repairs of the temple, but twenty three years passed and still no maintenance had been done. There were good intentions, but nothing was getting accomplished. Finally, the King ordered the priests to hand the money directly over to the workers who were doing the repairs, and the work was completed without delay. The workers were being good stewards with the resources, and they did what needed to be done.
If we are to be good stewards for the kingdom, we can’t sit around making excuses, procrastinate, or wait for better opportunities or for circumstances to change. We have to stop saying, “I’ll do it one of these days” or “I’m fixing to do that.” We say, “If this” or “But that”, and we make excuses all day long. There is an old saying that comes to mind, “If ifs and buts were candy and nuts, we’d all have a Merry Christmas.” They aren’t candy or nuts, but rather used as a means to make excuses that prevent us from completing the task at hand. If we are going to be good stewards or servants for the kingdom of God, we have to be ready to do what needs to be done when it needs to be done. We can’t say we will do something and not show up. We can’t make commitments and not follow them through. People are counting on us, and we must put action to our intentions.
A few days ago I wrote about a servant’s heart. A good steward is truly a good servant. A servant completes their tasks, fulfills their responsibilities, and keeps their promises. A good servant completes their commitments. They are trustworthy and dependable. As a child of the living God, we must commit to be good servants. It is almost countercultural to be faithful these days. Most people don’t even know what the word commitment means, but we do, and we know that because we love Christ we must be faithful in our commitments. The best way to show our commitment is to be a faithful servant. When God gives us a job to do, we need to give it all we have. And He has given each and every one of us the charge of spreading the gospel to all of the nations. We have sat around far too long waiting for someone else to do the job. We have put it off for way too many days. There will never be a better time than right now. This world is lost. People are dying, and sadly they are dying without the promise of eternity with Christ. It is time to put our good intentions to action. Let us do what needs to be done for the glory of our Father. Be a good steward and seek the will of God and act on that will. God will provide the means. You only have to be a good steward and follow His will.
Today, may we walk out the door putting action to our good intentions. Let us get out there and do what needs to be done for the glory of God!