For our stewardship emphasis in 2017, we’ve been focusing on the theme “Disciples Living as Grace-filled Stewards.”  Jesus knows each of us by name, and He calls us to be His disciples (John 15:16).  A disciple is a follower.  “While walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen.  And He said to them.  “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:18-19).  When Jesus asked His 12 disciples to follow Him, He meant for them to leave something or someone or some place behind.  In order to follow Jesus, some of the disciples left their fishing nets and families.  Matthew left his tax position and the opportunity to make large sums of money.

In Matthew’s Gospel, we read about a disciple who appeared to want to follow Jesus, but he put other things ahead of that commitment, saying, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father” (Matthew 8:21).  Many disciples walked away from Jesus after Jesus said the following: “Whoever feeds on My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.” After hearing this, they said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?”  And many no longer wanted to follow Him (John 6:52-66).

A disciple is also defined as a learner.  Disciples listen, learn, witness, and serve.  Disciples nurture their faith by spending time reading and studying God’s Word, praying, attending worship services, and participating in the Lord’s Table.

A disciple is given the honor and responsibility to be a steward.  As stewards, we manage all that God entrusts to us.  We understand that all we are and have are gifts by God’s grace.  By grace, we faithfully manage His creation and His blessings.  As stewards, we seek to manage all that has been entrusted to us according to God’s will and for His purpose.  It is a great blessing to be stewards of the gospel.  With the Holy Spirit working in and through us, we can faithfully and boldly proclaim the gospel to those around us.  Paul tells us that we should share our faith so that we “will have the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ” (Philemon 6).

We hope and pray that our stewardship emphasis is a blessing to you and your loved ones.  We thank you for your prayers that have helped make this an enriching time for our members as we grow by God’s grace to be even more faithful as His disciples and stewards.