We Are All God's Stewards

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BY FLOYD W.TOMKINS,S.T. D. St. Luke xii. 42-48
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  WE ARE ALL GOD'S STEWARDS BY FLOYD W.TOMKIS,S.T. D. St. Luke xii. 42-48PrayerO, Lord, by all Thy dealings with us,whether of joy or pain, of light or darkness, letus be brought to Thee. Let us value no treat-ment of Thy grace simply because it makes uahappy or because it makes us sad, because itgives us or denies what we want; but may allthat Thou sendest us bring us to Thee, thatknowing Thy perfectness, we may be sure inevery disappointment that Thou art still lovingus, and in every darkness that Thou art stillenlightening us, and in every enforced idlenessthat Thou art «h'n uMngus; yea, in every deaththat Thou art giving us life, as in His deathThou didst give life to Thy Son, our Saviour,Jesus Christ. Amen. — Phillips Brooks.The beautiful prayer with whichwe open our study teaches the full25Jfollowiiifl CbriBtmeaning of life. That meaning wamust grasp and hold if we would be  strong men and women. It is im-possible for a man to live a true lifewho does not understand what lifemeans. And although there aremany mysteries and troubles whichwe cannot undertake to explainsingly, yet taken together with therest of human experiences they forma mosaic which any man can see andenjoy if only he will open his eyesand exercise his reason.The word stewardship is a keyto unlock life. God has placed everyman here with a charge to fulfill.The power he possesses is granted tohim that he may be able to do hiswork. His faithfulness is measuredby his keeping this charge constantlyin mind, as the musician keeps histheme constantly in mind throughall the variations and treatments.He masters life just in proportion tothe fidelity with which he advances26®ur Stewar&0b(phis work. His crown of victory atlast will depend upon his loyalty andeffort as a steward of God.There are two or three encourag-ing features of this stewardshipwhich we will study. The first is  Association.I. If God has thrown me into theworld and given me a task just toprove me, or to test me, or even towatch me, as an old-fashioned school-teacher used to do when he gave asum on the blackboard to his pupils,then I can find no inspiration in liv-ing. The reason modern teachinghas made such an advance is becausemasters have lost their old watchdogcharacteristics, and impressed upontheir scholars the usefulness of allthey are asked to do. And thereason religion is so much more at-tractive to-day than it used tobe is because it has been unfolded,and we can see what it all means.27Ifollowing CbrfstI am here to do something, and thatsomething needs to be done, and indoing it I am working with myheavenly Father. The steward of old was not a mere slave ; but heentered into the Master's plans andhopes. So we can enter into God'splans and know that we are associatedwith Him in carrying them to aglorious completion. This idea of association is a part of modern en-lightenment. Political Economyteaches the necessity of common  effort for a common end. The work-man must understand that he isworking with as well as for his em-ployer. The clerk must know he isnot a machine, but a co-laborer withthe man who has called him.Profit-sharing is one of our modernsuggestions which has grown out of this truth of association; thesteward has a right to share in theresults he has helped to bring. Thedisuse of old terms — slave, and28©ur StewarDsbfp hired man, and hands — showsthat we are becoming more trulybrothers. ow take the same truthand apply it to life as being the re-lationship between ourselves andGod. I am working with God aswell as for God. I am not His slave,or His forced workman, or onewhom He allures with glowingpromises, but His son. His steward,His friend, guarding His interestsand mine, helping His world andmine, trying to care for His childrenwho are my brothers. I find greatinspiration in this view of life.And again, the steward had back of him in all that he did the
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