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Ruth: Christian's stewardship – conclusion.

RUTH-2-180125
length: 61:40 - taught on Jan, 25 2018
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Class Outline:

Title: Ruth: Christian's stewardship - conclusion.

2:8-17; the lovingkindness of Boaz

 

So far in our doctrine of stewardship we have seen that Jesus, the Master, had made His disciples the servants of His ministry while He is away at the right hand of God and that He may return at any time. The servants are to be diligent and watchful until He returns. The faithful steward will be given many responsibilities and works.

 

MAT 5:14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.

 

MAT 5:15 Nor do men light a lamp, and put it under the peck-measure, but on the lampstand; and it gives light to all who are in the house.

 

MAT 5:16 Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”

 

Then we saw Paul describe the stewardship of the church age believer as a necessary compulsion pressing down upon him. The stewardship is compulsory but the doing of it is voluntary. It is compulsory in that there is no other way for us to live. Everything else is nothing. It is voluntary in that we, as good stewards, must choose and love our responsibilities and works.

 

MAT 6:24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will hold to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”

 

We then saw the Lord point out that mankind, including Israel’s leadership and people during His earthly ministry, was often convinced that they had other compulsory things to do that superseded their invitation to God’s feast. The result was that others would be invited.

 

MAT 6:33 “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.”

 

Then we saw that Paul was taught by God how to be well content with the compulsions put upon him that were unpleasant and caused him pain. At first Paul asked that such things be removed from his life, but God had answered him negatively, reminding Paul of what He had taught him many times that “My grace is sufficient for you.” Once that answer was acceptable to Paul, he began to see that he could actually glory in his infirmities; a far cry from wanting them to disappear. He then said that he took pleasure in his compulsions, even the insults, infirmities, persecutions, and anguish that came upon him for “Christ’s sake”. He realized that when such things made him weak in one way, that he found strength in another way, through Christ who strengthens us. It is important to remember that these infirmities and compulsions that are a part of our stewardship are for Christ’s sake. We are not talking about sin and the pain that it causes. It is not “I am sinfully weak, so I am strong.” That is only antinomianism.

 

MAT 5:10 “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

 

MAT 5:11 Blessed are you when men cast insults at you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me.

 

 MAT 5:12 Rejoice, and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

 

Paul’s stewardship took him through many miles of the Roman Empire and eventually into prison, where he discovered that imprisonment not only did not hinder his gospel, but caused it to abound even more as those all around the empire found new boldness to preach it.

 

And so, we come to conclusions about our own stewardship. Though none of us will have the geographical and numerical impact that Paul had, we will have impact. How could we not since it is Christ in us and the Holy Spirit in us who are working to perform their will.

 

It doesn’t take long to see that this plan of God’s stewardship is the only way available to us. Any other plan for life is meaningless. God’s plan for us is full of meaning. Any other plan is something like a bad or weird dream in which we did many things and met many people, but then woke up only to realize that it wasn’t real. When this earth passes away by the judgment of God, what will be left? Will it not also be like a dream that a sudden noise snapped us out of? But if we are good stewards, we know the difference between the dream and the real, between that which is meaningless and that which is meaningful. All other pursuits besides the plan of God are as temporary as an early morning dream.

 

We have recently seen in our study of the Book of Judges that there was no king and “every man did what was right in his own eyes.”

 

PRO 16:25

There is a way which seems right to a man,

But its end is the way of death.

 

God's will and plan, given to each of us by grace, is our only option in life.

 

ROM 8:31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?

 

ROM 8:32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?

 

Paul's stewardship was to be entrusted with the truth about the New Covenant in Christ's blood.

 

Paul was entrusted with something extremely important, much more important than the gleaners that Boaz's foreman was entrusted with. Paul was entrusted with the grace given to the church in the form of the New Covenant in Christ's blood. He was to spread that message to the Roman Empire and to write it down.

 

Every steward is entrusted with divine purpose and so every believer's responsibility is extremely important. We are to safeguard that which has been entrusted to us.

 

COL 1:24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body (which is the church) in filling up that which is lacking in Christ's afflictions.

 

He rejoices in his sufferings because his reward is to freely do what he is compelled by God to do, which is evidenced by doing it despite suffering.

 

If suffering causes us to neglect the will of God, then we reveal that we are only willing to freely protect our stewardship to a certain point. This gets us back to our Lord's parable. To be diligent while the master is away, during the second watch and into the third watch (3 a.m.) is to stick to our post or our task despite all fatigue, attack (the thief comes), and opposition; and to keep our watchfulness.

 

COL 1:25 Of this church I was made a minister according to the stewardship from God bestowed on me for your benefit, that I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God,

 

[hold your place]

ACT 9:5 "Who art Thou, Lord?" And He said, "I am Jesus whom you are persecuting,

 

ACT 9:6 but rise, and enter the city, and it shall be told you what you must do."

 

COL 1:25 Of this church I was made a minister according to the stewardship from God bestowed on me for your benefit, that I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God,

 

COL 1:26 that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations; but has now been manifested to His saints,

 

COL 1:27 to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

 

COL 1:28 And we proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, that we may present every man complete in Christ.

 

COL 1:29 And for this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me.

 

I was made a minister - compulsory stewardship

I labor and strive - freely performing it.

 

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