Thursday, December 31, 2015

Chosen For This





Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen YOU, and ordained YOU, that YE should go forth and bring forth fruit, and that YOUR fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, He may give it YOU.               (John 15:16)






As an individual believer, WE are part of the corporate body of Jesus Christ known as the Church. If the Church is to fulfill its mission in the world, then each member must recognize their part in God's plan. WE have a personal responsibility for the world. That responsibility goes beyond mere church affiliation or membership.  It is more than the giving of an offering and even more than tithing. 

Our mission becomes our personal responsibility to the world as we move from being a spectator to becoming a participator in God's plan for the nations.

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  Matthew 28:19

When Jesus said "Go Ye into all the world and preach the Gospel" and "YE shall be my witnesses," He was talking to a group of His followers. But as with every group, this group was made up of individuals. When Jesus said "Go Ye", it was not meant in just a collective sense, it was not only a group challenge, but also an individual challenge. Each member of the group was to accept the challenge personally. If the individuals within the group failed to respond, then the group would fail.

The challenge to go to the nations of the world is now assumed by the body of Christ; the Church. But the Church is made up of individuals and it will only be effective in meeting this challenge as each person personally responds to the Great Commission.

In the early church, each person took personal responsibility for spreading the Gospel. Cross-cultural evangelism was done by laymen who were not full-time clergy. Some of the greatest evangelistic campaigns were conducted by these laymen. Acts 6 and 7 illustrate this with the accounts of Philip and Stephen. They were both laymen, mightily used of God to spread the Gospel.

When persecution came against the Church at Jerusalem, believers were scattered throughout Judaea and Samaria. The Bible records:

Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word. (Acts 8:4)

Each believer accepted the challenge to teach faithful men and women who would be able to teach others also:

And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.             (II Timothy 2:2)

This unbroken cycle of spiritual reproduction resulted in continuous multiplication of believers.

The idea of the home as a center of spiritual development is not new. From the giving of God's law to man, the home was intended to be a training center:

And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart.  And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house. . .

And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house and on thy gates. (Deuteronomy 6:6,7,9)

Every home in the early church was a center of evangelism. Believers taught the Gospel not only in the temple, but daily in the home:

And daily in the temple and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ. (Acts 5:42)

The evangelistic thrust of the home groups was apparently so successful that when Saul was trying to crush the church he did not feel he could do it by just concentrating on the temple. He also entered every house to stop the spread of the Gospel:

As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison. (Acts 8:3)

The vision of God's plan for the cross-cultural spread of the Gospel was given in a home as Peter prayed on the rooftop.   As a result of the intervention, the first message to the Gentiles was preached in the home of Cornelius (Acts 10).

The great cross-cultural evangelism of  Paul was discipled by Ananias in a home (Acts 9). Paul taught both publicly and also house to house during his ministry:

And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed we, and have taught we publicly, and from house to house. (Acts 20:20)

Paul's final days of ministry were in a rented house where he received all who came, teaching and preaching to them:

And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him.  Preaching the Kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.   (Acts 28:30-31)

Jesus declared that His house was to be called of all nations a house of prayer:

And He taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? (Mark 11:17)

What were the results of this "every person" and "every home" approach in the early Church? They reached their world with the Gospel. The enemies of the Church themselves declared:

These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also. (Acts 17:6)

What would be the results if every believer followed this pattern today?  If each believer would reach just one person each year, disciple them, and have them pledge to disciple one person each following year, the world could easily be reached with the Gospel.

Much of the population of the world is yet unreached by the Gospel. But God has provided a strategy that, if employed by each professing believer, would easily complete the task of spreading the Gospel of the Kingdom.

There is a new movement growing throughout the world today. It is not a denominational or an organizational movement. It is a group of believers who have come to recognize their personal responsibility in spreading the Gospel to the nations of the world.  This group is composed of people of many races, cultures, languages, and religious denominations. The one thing they have in common is their personal commitment to become a World Christian. A World Christian is one who. . .

*        Acknowledges the God revealed in the Holy Bible as the one true God
*       Acknowledges the Holy Bible as God's written Word.
*       Has personally accepted God's plan of salvation through Jesus Christ.
*       Has adopted a Biblical World View.
*        Has personally accepted the challenge to take the Gospel to the nations of the world.

 This does not necessarily mean a World Christian will leave their own nation to go to another culture, although they are willing to do so if God should so lead. What it does mean is that they are committed to spreading the Gospel right where they are, in their own village or city. They are also committed to sending others to the unreached peoples of the world. Whether in full-time ministry or a secular occupation, the first priority of a World Christian is spreading the Gospel.

The people who have accepted this personal challenge have made a special commitment to God. This is what they have pledged:

"By the grace of God and for His glory, I commit my entire life to obeying the commission of Jesus Christ :

And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.  Matthew 28:18-20

Make up your mind that wherever and however God leads you, giving priority to those peoples currently beyond the reach of the Gospel; endeavor to share this vision with others.

Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man's foundation:  But as it is written, To whom he was not spoken of, they shall see: and they that have not heard shall understand.  (Romans 15:20-21)  

As believers ready to accept the challenge of Jesus and become actively involved in God's plan as a World Christian we must be in right position:

  Ø   PREPARE FOR THE CALL OF GOD:

*      Present yourself a living and sanctified sacrifice to the Lord (Romans 12:1-2)
*        Be sure there is no sin which will interfere with your spiritual hearing or eyesight (Ephesians 1:18; Colossians 1:9)
*       Eliminate preconceived personal plans and ambitions (Psalms 25:9)
*      Form the habit of daily prayer and Bible study (Joshua 1:8; Psalms 77:12; 119:15,25,45)
*      Wait patiently on the Lord and expect Him to direct every step of your everyday life and activities. He will make His will and calling sure (Proverbs 3:6; Psalms 23:3; 32:8; 37:5,7)




(Biblical Studies) 

02/20/17

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

According to HIS Glorious Power





That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Colossians 1:10-14







Praise God for yet another day that He has made.  We should certainly rejoice and be glad in it.  

Every morning when I open my eyes I thank God for another day in which He chose to keep me.

I will bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me, bless His holy name.  Praise God from whom all blessings flow!  And again, thank God for Jesus, the sacrificial lamb, who made salvation possible for us.

There are many believers in Christ who have been wounded and have never allowed that wound to heal.  The wound may have come before Christ or after but when ever it came, we must take the steps to allow God to put us in a position to be healed.  We can not serve God in a broken or hurt state.  My prayer today is directed toward spiritual healing among believers in the body of Christ. 

Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water."    "Sir," the woman said, "you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water?   Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his flocks and herds?"  Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."   The woman said to him, "Sir, give me this water so that I won't get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water."  John 4:10 – 15

If the body of Christ, those of us who are proclaiming the name of Jesus, would think on Jesus, as He instructed the Samaritan woman, and the well of living and eternal water and tap into it, we would have a consistent flow of the Holy Spirit and all that comes with it.  Out of that well flows hope, peace and power which fills us with such  joy in the power of the Holy Spirit that it transcends all understanding.  Through that well of living water, we do not have to be anxious about anything.  When we tap into that well, our fruit in the holy spirit, love, joy, peace, longsuffering, faith, goodness, gentleness, meekness and temperance blossoms.  When we tap into that well, we put our faith in God, we trust that we can do all things through and in the name of Jesus Christ.  We trust that what is impossible with man is made possible with God.  

But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.  (Matthew 19:26)  

We understand that Jesus paid it all; that he was the final sacrifice and that when He ascended into Heaven, He sent the comforter to keep and sustain us; 

Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.  John 16:7

If only we will tap into Him; the source; the well that contains living water.  The well that never dries up, never becomes stagnant; never becomes tainted; our eternal ever flowing source. 

God said that He would never leave us nor forsake us.  He is not dead; He is eternal; He is alpha and omega, the beginning and the end and He sent us the comforter; the spirit of power, not fear!  

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.  2 Timothy 1:7

There is absolutely nothing that we may go through that when we call on the name of Jesus, He won't help us bear.  God tells us in in His word that we have nothing to worry about, nothing to fear for; that we should be of good cheer because He has already overcome the world.  

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.    John 16:33

We just need to place our faith in Him and lean not to our own understanding.  Having said that, this is my prayer on this morning:

Dear heavenly father, we come to You this day with grateful hearts and praise on our lips that You kept us just one more day; that You allowed us to wake this day with our health and our strength and clothed in our right mind.  We thank You because we have a continued mind to serve You.  And because we serve and trust You Lord, we have a blessed assurance that You are our refuge and our fortress; no battle is too big or too small for You to handle; and heavenly father when our situations, cares, concerns and issues overwhelm us, we thank You because we can hide in the shadow of Your wings, o mighty God, we can have safety in the shelter of the most high.   We can say with assurance that this battle belongs to You God; in You will we trust.  We thank You heavenly Father for a steadfast desire to serve You despite whatever obstacles come up against us  -  knowing that You say in your word to arm ourselves for suffering even as our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ suffered. 

Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;  1 Peter 4:1

We know that this is a suffering way, that even as Jesus suffered, we must suffer also.  But Lord, we thank You that we have a well of living water.  A place where we can go and find rest and shelter and be replenished by that living water.

We thank You heavenly Father for Your wings of comfort and protection. You tell us in Your word to be careful for nothing; but in everything we do, by prayer and supplication and with thanksgiving, we are to let our requests be made known to You. We thank you because we know You hear our prayers and our supplications and that You will answer us. We thank You Lord, for we know that if we seek Your kingdom first and Your righteousness, that You will come down and see about us. Help us to run this race with perseverance. Help us to fix our eyes on Jesus, who is the author and perfecter of our faith. We want to hear You say, ‘well done, my good and faithful servant, enter into my rest’. A place where there is peace and joy forever more. Help us not to grow weary in our good works, to have patience and wait on You for all things.  Help us to change our desires from material to spiritual.


Help us dear Lord to throw off everything that hinders us and break every yoke of sin that so easily entangles us.

We ask Lord that You help us to keep our minds stayed on You.  Help us to be prayerful in our actions so that we are pleasing in Your sight.  There is none greater than You Lord.  It was You who sent us Your son to purchase our salvation.  We thank You Lord for the comforter, the precious gift of Your Holy ghost that was sent to keep us and intercede on our behalf.  And with the Holy ghost and the name of Jesus, we are victorious, we are more than conquerors because there is power in the name  of Jesus, that in the name of Jesus there is victory, there is healing, there is salvation.  At the name of Jesus, demons flee, yokes are broken, strongholds are cast down, souls are saved.  Through the name of Jesus and the precious Holy Ghost within us, we are more than conquerors, we are  overcomers and we are no longer victims – but we are victorious through You!

Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.  Romans 8:37

Dear heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus, we plead the blood against everything that is not like You.  We ask that You command Your angels to guard us in all our ways; in our coming in and in our going out; to protect us from all hurt, harm and danger of those things seen and unseen.  Lord we ask that You continue to watch over our spiritual leaders and that you keep us lifted up and sustained in You as we complete the assignment you've given us.

Dear God, we thank You for great and everlasting faithfulness!  We thank You for Your goodness and for Your mercy.  We know that when we walk in obedience according to Your word that You will supply every need we have according to Your riches in glory.   We thank You for providing the living water that flows through us.  It is through You that we live, move and have our being.

We need You, oh God, in our lives.  Remember all the prayer requests that have gone up before you; all of those who are suffering both physically, mentally and emotionally.  We pray, oh Lord God that You bring peace and deliverance to those that are troubled, that You bring comfort to those in sorrow, healing to those who are sick.  We pray, in the precious name of Jesus, that You bind everything that is contrary to Your will.   

And now as we prepare to begin our day, Lord we pray that You be with us, that you lead us and guide us, give us wisdom and knowledge to speak and act according to Your will; that we may be laborers in Your field today; that Your manifested glory be revealed through us dear God. 

We ask all these things and we thank You for all things, in the matchless name of Jesus we pray, amen.

Thank God for this prayer today; hopefully something was said that will bless us and keep us today and that our minds will be in perfect peace with the Lord.

The God who made the world and everything in it, this Master of sky and land, doesn’t live in custom-made shrines or need the human race to run errands for him, as if he couldn’t take care of himself. He makes the creatures; the creatures don’t make him. Starting from scratch, he made the entire human race and made the earth hospitable, with plenty of time and space for living so we could seek after God, and not just grope around in the dark but actually find him. He doesn’t play hide-and-seek with us. He’s not remote; he’s near. We live and move in him, can’t get away from him! One of your poets said it well: ‘We’re the God-created.’ Well, if we are the God-created, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to think we could hire a sculptor to chisel a god out of stone for us, does it?   “God overlooks it as long as you don’t know any better—but that time is past. The unknown is now known, and he’s calling for a radical life-change. He has set a day when the entire human race will be judged and everything set right. And he has already appointed the judge, confirming him before everyone by raising him from the dead.”  Acts 17:25-31 [msg]

God bless you all and have a wonderful Jesus-filled day.

Elder C. L. Henry

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Good Stewardship




And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. (Genesis 1:28)




The first message from God to man was on the subject of Stewardship. God told Adam and Eve of three important tasks they were to fulfill:

1.         Maximize resources by "multiplying" to accomplish God's purpose and plans.
2.         Minimize disorder by "subduing".
3.         Maintain order by "ruling" (dominion).

The greatest example of leadership in Stewardship is of course our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He is the model for all believers to set the tone for unbelievers and newly born again Christian believers. We, as believers are to set the example by leading like a servant and a shepherd.

Apostle Paul took his role as a servant and a shepherd as the addressed the Hebrews:

For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.  Hebrews 5:12

Apostle Paul lets us know that we should always be abounding in the word of God that we may show the way to others.

Every necessary quality of a spiritual leader was evident in the life of Jesus Christ. Every task a spiritual leader must perform was illustrated by Him. He set an example in His training of those he chose as His disciples so that they could continue the work that He stared.

God does not consider stewards successful because of their education, natural ability, or personality. They are successful because of their faithfulness. The main requirement of stewards is that they are faithful:

And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.  2 Timothy 2:2

Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.   1 Corinthians 4:2

Consider this parable that Jesus told which speaks of faithfulness in Matthew 25:14-30 about servants whose master gave them resources called "talents", which in this case was money. They were told to be good stewards and use the funds wisely. Those who did so were called "faithful" and were rewarded. Those who failed were judged and held accountable.

The ministry of good spiritual stewardship involves leading others to accomplish great things for God. Stewardship is inclusive of many things, among them:

  Ø  Recognizing The Importance Of The Anointing To Lead: Anointing by God for stewardship is more important than education, talents, and experience.

  Ø  Meeting Biblical Qualifications For Leadership: The Stewardship of stewardship begins with the Stewardship of self.

  Ø  Learning To Lead Like A Servant: Spiritual leadership is not flashy public relations and a charismatic platform personality. It is humble service to those you lead. Serving is what sets Christian leadership apart from worldly leadership.

  Ø  Learning To Lead Like A Shepherd: The qualities of a shepherd in the natural world are what Jesus used to describe spiritual leadership.

  Ø  Understanding The Basic Tasks Of A Spiritual Leader: These include the difficult areas of decision-making and solving conflict and discipline problems.

  Ø  Training Leaders And Followers: We all lead in certain situations, but everyone is a follower in other situations. Leaders must have followers. Both leaders and followers must be trained.

  Ø  Applying Principles Of Spiritual Success Taught In God's Word: These principles will assure successful Stewardship of spiritual resources.

  Ø  Avoiding Violations That Cause Failure In Spiritual Leadership: Failure in leading and following results from violations of Scriptural principles.

  Ø  Understanding Principles Of Biblical Organization: These include leadership positions established by God and those developed because of practical needs of the Church.

Stewardship is not fixed, rigid, or based on worldly patterns. Good stewardship is  flexible to accommodate the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Stewardship exists for the purpose of achieving God-given purposes and plans, not to create a rigid corporate, institutional structure. Organization in the Church is really more like a living organism. The Bible compares the Church to the human body, with each part working together.

From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.  Ephesians 4:16

You cannot be elected to leadership in God's organization. You may be elected or appointed by man to an office, but no leader is ever made by appointment or election. You must be called and equipped by God for the work of the Kingdom.

Stewardship  involves position, for example, positions like apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, and teacher. Leadership also involves function. Its main function is equipping others for the work of the ministry. Leadership also concerns the relations of stewards with their followers.

Selection and promotion as a leader comes from God:

For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south.  But God is the judge: He putteth down one, and setteth up another. (Psalms 75:6-7)

Stewardship involves analyzing your ministry in order to establish purpose and plans.

Stewardship also involves the following areas:

  Ø  Formulating A Purpose For Ministry In Harmony With That Of God: If you do not know your purpose and have a vision, you cannot lead others.

  Ø  Making Plans To Achieve The Purpose: You will never achieve your purpose if you do not plan to do so.
    
  Ø  Organizing People And Procedures To Implement The Plan: Stewardship involves motivating and supervising people as they accomplish tasks which are part of God's purpose and plans.

  Ø  Perfecting The Plan Through Evaluation: The Lord's work should be done with excellence.

Here are some reasons why spiritual stewardship is important:

  Ø  Provides Purpose And Direction:  If you are to be successful in ministry, then you must have a purpose and plans in harmony with those of God and be able to communicate them to others. When you know your specific purpose for ministry and make plans to fulfill that purpose, then you can lead others. Leaders must know where they are going in order to guide others. Guidance and unity in ministry involve common purpose and direction.

  Ø  Eliminates Confusion:  When there is proper direction, confusion is eliminated:

For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. (I Corinthians 14:33)

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. (Ephesians 5:1)

If God's activities are not characterized by confusion, the ministries of His servants should not be either.

  Ø  Permits Proper Decisions:  Decisions determine your destiny. This is true even of salvation. You make a decision to either accept or reject the Gospel and your eternal destiny is determined by your decision.

Your present life and ministry is determined by previous decisions you have made. You either made decisions by thoughtful planning or on the spur of the moment. Good stewardship permits you to make proper decisions with the guidance of the Lord.

  Ø  Establishes Priorities For Ministry:  Priorities are things which are more important than other things. They are the things which take first place in your time and attention. You will have priorities in life whether you consciously determine them or not. You will establish priorities either by drifting into habits that become a way of life, because of pressure of circumstances or people around you, or by a definite decision based on God's purposes.

  Ø  Permits Action Rather Than Reaction:  Many ministries are occupied with reacting to urgent matters in the present instead of planning for the future. This causes leaders to react rather than act with wisdom and purpose.

Without a strategy or plan, you do not know what you are doing in ministry, why you are doing it, or how it is to be done. Because you have no organization and direction, you have nothing to commit to, no way to evaluate your effectiveness for God, and you are easily persuaded to react and quit in crisis times.

Good stewardship transforms desire to demonstration and visions to reality. It helps you determine what you are to do and how to do it in order to fulfill God's purposes.

  Ø  Establishes Accountability:  In the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30, the servants were accountable for all that was entrusted to their care. Their master had a plan, communicated it to them, and they were to fulfill it by investing the funds they were given.

You are accountable not only for knowing God's will for your life and ministry, but also for doing it:

And that servant, which knew His Lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to His will, shall be beaten with many stripes. (Luke 12:47)

If you do not wisely manage the ministry with which you are entrusted, you will be held accountable.

  Ø  Permits Evaluation:  Stewardship includes evaluation to see if you are fulfilling God's purpose and plan. Understanding Biblical principles of success and reasons for failure permit such evaluation.

  Ø  Permits Wise Use Of Spiritual Resources:  Good stewardship helps you manage spiritual resources properly and enables you to be a proper steward of funds, material possessions, people, and spiritual gifts for the work of God's Kingdom.

  Ø  Prepares You To Enter Open Doors:

For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries. (I Corinthians 16:9)
     
When God opens doors, you must be ready to walk through them and face new challenges. This is not possible without proper preparation. Read the parable of the wise and foolish virgins in Matthew 25:1-13. God opens doors, but they do not stay open forever. They open and wait for you to enter. Then they close, sometimes never to open again.

  Ø  Harmonizes Ministry With God's Will:  The first question of the Apostle Paul after his conversion was, "What will you have me to do?" He was asking God, "What is your plan for my life and ministry?" Wise stewardship brings your life and ministry in harmony with God's purpose and plans.

God calls us to be good stewards.  God told King Saul:

But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the Lord hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the Lord hath commanded him to be captain over His people, because thou hast not kept that which the Lord commanded thee. (I Samuel 13:14)

God still searches for men whom He can use as leaders:

And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land; that I should not destroy it; but I found none. (Ezekiel 22:30)

For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars.  (II Chronicles 16:9)

Becoming a good manager takes time and effort:

Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. (I Corinthians 3:13)

Wood, hay, and stubble all grow above the ground. It is easily produced and can readily be seen by man, but it is easily destroyed. Gold and silver are precious metals produced under the ground. They are not readily seen by man, but they are more lasting.

Flashy, popular, secular stewardship is like the wood, hay, and stubble. It is seen of man and easily produced through natural talents and abilities. Godly stewardship is like gold and silver. It is produced by the power of the Holy Spirit in the inner, hidden man. But it is infinitely precious and durable.

(Biblical Studies)