Entrusted with the Gospel
Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 2:1-13 that we have been “entrusted with the gospel….” This trust given by God is the heart of stewardship. Many think of stewardship simply as giving money, time, and talents. A closer reading of the scriptures reveals stewardship as encompassing the whole life, a way of life. Stewardship motivation comes from the gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ.
“We were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God, but also our own selves….” Stewardship of the gospel is personal. Giving money for outreach or missionary causes should be a priority, but stewardship also requires personal actions. In a time when competitiveness and personal responsibility are promoted as the cure for all society’s ills, a faithful steward, who cares for others “as a nurse taking care of her children,” stands in great contrast. Evangelistic opportunities such as sharing the gospel, will occur as those who in the “cloak of greed” question your motivation. We give the gospel entrusted to us, as Paul wrote, “not to please [others], but to please God who tests our hearts.” Our courage to declare the gospel is in our God, and not of ourselves.
Paul’s example of his stewardship of the gospel was to exhort, encourage, and charge each person to lead a life worthy of God. He emphasized that when the word was received, it was accepted for what it really is—the word of God. The word is at work in believers as stewards of the good news.
—Dr. Robert Craig
- How would you compare the way in which Paul fulfilled his stewardship trust of the gospel for the Thessalonians with that of the televangelist of today?
- What did Paul mean when he wrote, “we might have made demands as apostles of Christ”?
- Paul writes of suffering and shameful treatment which he faced in Philippi. What types of opposition do we face in our stewardship of the gospel in our time?
- What place does prayer have as we are entrusted as stewards with the gospel of Jesus Christ?
How Do I Act?
- Encourage your church to have some special event like a homecoming or a dinner. Then, invite a relative or close friend who has little contact with a church, to go with you. Encourage others to do this also.
- If you know of children near you who are not attending church, ask the parents if you may take them to your church, and let them know that you would be pleased to have them come as well.
- Each day of this month pray, giving thanks for a person or family of your church, and giving thanks that they have accepted God’s word for what it is.
- In what ways do you believe that God “tests our hearts”? Do you believe that you are to be used to call others to God’s own kingdom and glory? List some of those ways and listen for ways to expand that list.