God Calls You

 How do you respond when God calls you? Are you quick to say, “Here I am” as Abraham said in Gn 22:11 and Jacob in Gn 31:11? Or, do you cringe a little, and worry about what His call might mean, what it might cost?                                                                                                                                                                                                           

We hear a great message from St. Paul in Romans 8:31-32 where he tells us, “If God is for us, who can be against us?  He who did not spare his own Son but handed him over for us all, how will he not also give us everything else along with him?”

God calls us to be good stewards of all of His gifts. That means we recognize and admit that everything we have is from God. We are to receive His gifts gratefully, develop them and manage them well, and share them with others. We are to be more concerned for others’ needs ahead of our own. And we are to be obedient to God’s commands, believe with faith and hope that He loves us and wants what is best for us, and trust that He will provide. 

So, what will your response be? Does your response change if you think the call will take too much time and effort? Do you hesitate if that call costs you money? Could you sacrifice your only son? That’s a tough one – to have to choose God over my children.

Living stewardship and giving courageously requires our unqualified, heartfelt response to God, “Here I am, Lord. Count on me.” And why wouldn’t we? After all, if He is for us, who could possibly be against us. We can trust that He will give us everything else along with Him! 

Photo by Robert Davis

In the Desert with Jesus

Jesus was driven into the desert as we read in Mark 1:12-13, “At once the Spirit drove him out into the desert, and he remained in the desert for forty days, tempted by Satan.” And this – right after being baptized. He trusted that God would provide for Him during those 40 days. To help Him get through it, surely He clung to the words God said to Him on coming up out of the water, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased (Mk 1:9-11).” 

Living a stewardship way of life, putting God first in every area of our life, giving courageously of our Time, Talent, and Treasure, requires that we trust God. To live stewardship requires that we believe in our core that we are His children. And so we cling to His promise to provide, even in the midst of our desert, our trials and temptations. We know that God does not tempt us. Rather, we are tempted by our own desires (Jas 1:13-14). To help us stand firm and be confident that we can, in fact, trust God, we too hear Him say, “You are my beloved.” 

So, don’t give in to the temptation of thinking you can’t afford to give, or that you need to buy things to be happy. Instead, be courageous, give generously. Be confident in your position as a child of God, and trust in His provision for you. Give and be a part of the majestic mission of the church to serve the poor and make an impact in your community. See if in doing that you don’t begin to have the sense of peace you truly seek. 

                                                                                                                                                                               Photo by Marion from Pixabay

Do Everything for the Glory of God

1 Corinthians 10:31   So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.

What do you have that you haven’t been given (1 Cor 4:7)? God gives us everything. Every single thing.

Think of all the gifts and blessings God gives to you: your talents and abilities, drives and desires, every moment of time to use and enjoy these, and every dime of treasure you earn when you employ your time and talent. Everything!

What do you do with these gifts? How do you use them? We know from paragraph 226 in the Catechism that we are to make good use of created things; to use them only insofar as they bring us closer to God. How we use our time and talent and how we spend our money impacts our relationship with God. It is important to get this right. In Luke 16:11 Jesus tells us that if we are not trustworthy with dishonest wealth, who will trust you with true wealth – which is eternal life!

So, in whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God. 

Entrusted with a Stewardship

1 Corinthians 9:16-17  If I preach the gospel, this is no reason for me to boast, for an obligation has been imposed on me, and woe to me if I do not preach it! If I do so willingly, I have a recompense, but if unwillingly, then I have been entrusted with a stewardship.

God called Paul to preach the Gospel, but preaching the Gospel may not be your charge. God gave Paul the gift of oratory, and so he felt obligated to preach. And like with Paul, God gives each of us unique talents and abilities. As disciples, we should feel obligated to use them for the good of His kingdom. 

What talents and blessings has God given to you? He entrusts you with their stewardship. What does that mean? The Church defines “stewardship” as:

  • Receiving God’s gifts gratefully.
  • Tending and Managing those gifts as best we can.
  • Sharing them in love and justice with our neighbors.
  • Returning them with increase to the Lord.

Doing this is being a Disciple. Doing this is how we live a “stewardship life.” God is counting on you. Can He trust you with the stewardship of the gifts He’s given you?

Photo Credit: Robert Davis

Have Stress and Anxiety?

St. Paul tells us in 1 Cor. 7:32, “I should like you to be free of anxieties.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              How much stress and anxiety do we bring on ourselves by insistently worrying about having enough, constantly striving to obtain more things and achieve more?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

And when we get it, then what? Usually more stress and anxiety. This is not what God wants for us. He wants us to be free of anxieties. Jesus tells us 4 times in Matthew 6 to stop worrying.

How do we rid ourselves of this kind of stress? By putting God first in our lives, in every facet of our lives – including with money. Putting God first in our finances prioritizes our spending. Giving to God gives us purpose by  making us a part of the mission of the church. Something bigger than ourselves. Something majestic.  Something beautiful.

Try this – instead of worrying about getting more things, bring it to God in prayer. Pray to God about the things you want and the accomplishments you want to achieve. Leave them with Him. Then get on with using the talents He gave you to the best of your ability. And give to those ministries that serve the poor. Give to God first and trust Him to provide. 

 

Photo credit: Robert Davis