Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Storing Up Treasures in Heaven: Stewardship as a Way of Life

by Christine Ann Amante

Stewardship. Some friends say it’s too big a word, almost like those seemingly distant virtues we do not commonly hear in our Christian Living or Religion class. Unlike the popular Faith, Hope and Love; stewardship as a virtue or even a term is as infrequently discussed casually as ‘chastity’.

But really, stewardship comes out in everything we do; and the concept is quite simple to understand. The simplicity of stewardship, though, does not guarantee that it is always easy to live by.

The Creation Story in Genesis gives us probably the earliest example of the stewardship command from God. Genesis Chapter 1 goes, “God said to them: Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and all the living things that crawl on the earth.”

God has given us everything we need, as well as the authority to “rule over” His creation. In return and out of love, we prove Him worthy of the trust He has given us by being good caretakers of our resources. This is stewardship.

5 Things You Need to Know About Stewardship

  1. Stewardship is acknowledging that everything comes from God.
  2. Stewardship is being responsible for our God-given resources of time, talent and treasure.
  3. Stewardship is a joyful expression of love for God and neighbors.
  4. Stewardship is giving your best.
  5. Stewardship should be a way of life.

It is somehow easy to benchmark where a person is at as to the life of stewardship – simply looking at where and how you are spending most of your time, using the skills God has given you, and allocating your material resources. Good stewards understand the importance of using their resources wisely, whether it be time, talent or treasure. And being one entails a lot of prayer and discipline.  

Now that is the bigger picture. From here on, we will narrow the concept down to the stewardship of TREASURES.

Setting Aside First Fruits  
The Bible tells us a way to honor God with our material resources. This practice, called tithing in the olden times, consists of setting aside first fruits for the One who deserves it most – the Giver of all gifts.

The truth is God, being God, does not need our money. He created everything, including money, for our sake. But this is the message of stewardship. We give back what we can afford for the building up of His Kingdom on earth, while we store up treasures in heaven.

BAPP: A Stewardship Program
The Balik Alay sa Panginoon is the Diocese of Cubao’s Stewardship Program that aims to cultivate a spirituality of stewardship among the local church’s parishioners whilst attaining the pastoral goals and needs of the parish.The BAPP member commits a certain amount given on a monthly basis. The regularity of the practice instills discipline that cultivates commit-ted stewardship.

Over the years, donations to BAPP have supported various pastoral projects and pro-grams including ROLP formation programs, relief aid to disaster survivors, church repairs, and purchase of new equipment, among others.

Friend, if you wish to commit your First Fruits to the Lord, our BAPP family will be more than glad to guide and walk with you in this meaningful journey of stewardship. For quick answers to your 
questions about BAPP, feel free to approach Sis. Nelly Francisco after Sunday or weekday morning masses.

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