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By C. S. Medbury

Texts.— (2 Cor. 8:1-9; 2 Cor. 9:6-15; Luke 16:1-13; Matt.
By C. S. Medbury

Texts.— (2 Cor. 8:1-9; 2 Cor. 9:6-15; Luke 16:1-13; Matt.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Oct 25, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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CHRISTIA STEWARDSHIPBy C. S. MedburyTexts.— (2 Cor. 8:1-9; 2 Cor. 9:6-15; Luke 16:1-13; Matt.25:14-30.)THE parables of our Lord give to us spiritual truths in thesetting of familiar, every day experiences. Our heavenlyFather's forbearance and love are taught in the parable of the prodigal son. The importance of a right attitude towardthe truth is emphasized in the parable of the sower. God'scare of the individual finds wonderful expression in the par-able of the good shepherd. The value of the kingdom is re-vealed clearly in the parables of the hid treasure and the pearlof great price. In just the same way our relationship to Godthrough our possessions is made known, from heaven's view-point, in the parables of the steward and the talents.A recognition of the force of other -parables binds us toaccept the Savior's plain teachings as to our stewardship. Itwill not do to praise the Master's revelation of a Father'slove and then set at naught his teaching as to our practicalrelationships to that same Father in the consecration of ourmeans to the doing of his work. And yet we are pitifullyslow to grasp the fact that it is entirely inconsistent to acceptall that Jesus says about love's gifts to us and then to disre-gard his teachings as to the call for our gifts of love toothers. Strikingly has some one said, that the next greatstruggle within the church will be ''the battle of steward-ship." "We may be thankful that the lines for that battle arealready drawn and the issue is not in doubt.The Fundamental MisconceptionThere is a fundamental misconception in the view of multi-tudes of the Disciples of our Lord as to their relationship to
322 THE EW LIVIG PULPITtheir possessions. We constantly boast of our ownership,when this ground of boasting is really denied us altogether.Let the Scriptures be heard, "Behold unto Jehovah thy Godbelongeth heaven and the heaven of heavens, the earth, withall that is therein." (Dent. 10:14.) "The silver is mine andthe gold is mine, saith Jehovah of hosts." (Haggai 2:8.)"For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon athousand hills." (Ps. 50:10.) And even beyond these strongwords it is strikingly significant to hear Paul say "ye are notyour own; for ye were bought with a price." (1 Cor. 6:19,20.) How little warrant do these ringing words of Holy Writleave us for our pitiful pride of possessions!The real problem is not that we give more or upon a differentplan, but that we give with a radically different conception of our relations to our possessions. We are not owners butstewards. What we have we hold in trust. The recognitionof this would transform religious conditions. A new day willdawn when a sense of actual accountability to God for all ourresources comes to possess the Discipleship of Jesus.Obligations of StewaedshipThe obligation of a steward is so to use trust funds as toadvance the owner's interests — to increase his holdings. Asteward is "not a slave but a trusted agent, a representative,a trustee," This is our amazing relationship to God. In theaffairs of men the matter is clearly understood. The stewardor trustee is constantly careful of "the goods" he handles. Aday of accounting is always before him. He wants the praiseof the owner for his business wisdom and his integrity inhandling the property entrusted to his care. He shrinksfrom the possibility of a charge of "wasting his goods." Itis clearly before him that the owner has the perfect rightto ask an accounting and the privilege of telling him that he"canst be no longer steward" if there is anything in his con-duct that is unsatisfactory.
By analogy carry these things over into the realm of ourrelationship to God. What of the year that is past? Every-CHARLES S. MEDBURY 323one of us has been a steward of the treasure of God. We havehad health and strength and friends and time and money.Some of us, by kindly providences, have been granted specialgifts. We have had the power of public speech. We havehad the ability to play or sing. We have had the ability tothrow scenes of beauty upon the canvas or to chisel forms of grace from marble. We have been permitted attainments farbeyond the rank and file in educational lines. We have beenentrusted, beyond our fellows, with a knowledge of the worldand its life which is of incalculable value. Our incomes insome instances have been great. The return from invest-ments has been fortunate. What has it all meant to our Godfrom whom the health has come and who has given us the timeand means we have enjoyed? By our use of treasure withwhich he has intrusted us, have the interests of God been ad-vanced in the world, have his spiritual holdings increased?If not, we may well fear the accounting, as we shall surely facethe just charge of "wasting his goods."And it must be remembered that we are dealing with onewhom we cannot deceive. He knows us now individually asclearly as the rich man in the parable knew the wastefulsteward of old. As in the olden days "the hire of the laborers"which was "kept back by fraud" (James 5:1-5) cried out andreached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth, so every evasion andsubterfuge is known today and all mistreatment of othersrevealed. And so, too, is our selfishness and our sinful self-indulgence a matter of definite knowledge. We may explainsituations so that men may think us generous even when weare hiding the bounty of God. But we cannot deceive theLord himself.The Christian Conception

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