It’s been well-said that Christianity is a “bookish” religion.
While this has a negative connotation in some respects, I find it to be extremely interesting in its contrariety to the common notion that Christianity is only for cavemen, the misinformed, and those who just don’t know any better.
The truth is that Christianity is not a blind faith. It is based on the knowledge of and trust in a Person who lived and acted in real history, claimed to be God, and validated His claim by bodily rising from the dead in fulfillment of prophecy.
In fact, Colossians 2:3 says, “In whom [Christ] are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” The Bible seems to be saying here that all knowledge is found in the person of Christ!
We should be careful as Christians to understand our role as stewards, or managers, of God’s gifts and blessings. Certainly, one area we often fail to consider regarding stewardship is knowledge.
In this new year, I want to bring this top of mind both in my own life and ministry. The concept of stewardship is based on the fact that one who is faithful in managing little will be given more to manage (Luke 16:10).
This should cause us to pause!
Could it be that if we are faithful to God in stewarding the knowledge He has given us, He will allow us to learn and retain even more? That is an exciting thought.
Scripture seems to bear this out in the story of Solomon. King Solomon could have asked God for anything, but chose to ask for wisdom. God not only gave him the wisdom he so desired, but lots–and lots–and lots–of other things too! King Solomon, in fact, was one of the richest persons (in context) to ever live.
Could it be that building habits of stewarding knowledge will yield similar results? Your reward may not be physical in the same sense that Solomon’s was, but nevertheless, “He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).
Habits vs. Resolutions
I very intentionally used the word habits in the title of this blog post.
The fact is, we just don’t keep New Years’ resolutions.
I mentioned this briefly a few weeks ago, and this is a fact backed by good scientific research.
The article I just linked to takes care to mention how to build lasting habits, but I’d like to provide an idea of my own: build habits based on biblical truth and practice.
Daniel 6:10 gives us a window into the prayer life of Daniel the prophet:
“Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.”
Notice the phrase, “as he did aforetime.” It’s not likely that Daniel’s habit was a result of any special instruction from the Lord; and we know for certain that there is no biblical commandment regarding the frequency of prayer.
It seems that this was simply a practical point of Daniel’s faith-life.
There are numerous other biblical examples. Pastor Brandon Hilgemann (ProPreacher) has built his entire morning routine based on the apparent morning rituals of Jesus, namely:
- Jesus got up early, before the sun.
- Jesus left the house and walked somewhere.
- Jesus spent time with God alone.
It’s all about your “why.” I’ve found that my inner motivations are not strong enough to inspire me to action, unfortunately. Biblical principles, however, tend to help me to push past reservations and do what needs to be done.
In that spirit, consider adopting these three biblical habits that will help you to become an even better steward of the knowledge God has so graciously given you:
1. Cling to the Scriptures
You might be tempted to glaze over such an obvious habit (cue Captain Obvious commercial).
But I didn’t use the word “cling” solely for the sake of alliteration.
It’s a good thing for you to read your Bible, but I am advocating for something that goes much deeper.
In this new year, and in the midst of a disintegrating culture, we need now more than ever to have faithful defenders of our worldview proclaiming Christ!
But we must be careful not to sacrifice truth on the altar of evangelism. What I mean by that is, for the same reason you would not regularly attend a strip club to win the patrons to Christ, so should you not espouse the vain and empty philosophies of the world to do so.
2 Corinthians 6:16-17 says, “And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”
The Bible teaches separation from. However–and this is often missed–the Bible also teaches separation to. Ephesians 2:10 teaches, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16).
Therefore, we should allow biblical truth to infiltrate, permeate, and even dictate every area of our lives–not only those we find most convenient.
We ought to habitually cling to the Scriptures, and draw from them the precious pearls of knowledge found within.
2. Carefully Organize Your Thoughts
Paul Chappell argues in his book Stewarding Life, “When you consider that we have the opportunity to successfully live with a divine mission and invest our lives in eternal purposes, anything less is a tragic waste.”
The written context is “time;” however, I believe we can draw a meaningful application for our purposes.
Would it not be tragically wasteful to coast through life without careful, critical thinking? Many are headed for hell as I write this because they have not taken the time to carefully consider the logical problems with their worldview.
How much more should we, as Christians, desire to please the Lord by stewarding our thoughts?
The Apostle Paul argues that we should bring every thought into captivity (2 Corinthians 10:5).
Here are a few practical steps you can use to carefully organize your thoughts:
First, decide on an outcome. Henry Ford famously said, “Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.” What are you working towards? What does “success” look like? It could be that you want to memorize a book of the Bible. Perhaps you want to defend your faith better against cultic versions of Christianity? Decide to what end you should organize your thoughts this year.
Second, develop a system. Develop a systematized process for organizing and parsing through your thoughts. This is one major reason I blog. Someone once said, “Thoughts disentangle themselves passing over the lips and through pencil tips.” I have also developed a template for quick recollection of certain arguments. I will be sharing this with you all in a few weeks.
Finally, devote your time. What gets scheduled gets done. I preach a message titled “C.L.A.I.M. Christ first.” The “C” stands for calendar! Time is a precious commodity, but it’s also a gift from God. Steward it wisely and devote much time to your learning and thought-organization.
3. Contend for the Faith Regularly
I’ve never really been a car guy.
Something that has always puzzled me is someone spending thousands of dollars on a car only to let it sit in a garage for 50 years and hardly even drive it.
I suppose you could make the case that by keeping the car pent up he is practicing good stewardship, but we cannot make such a case for the Christian who accumulates knowledge and stores it in the “garage” of his mind.
Knowledge of Christ should be shared!
Luke 11:33 explains this using a logical illustration: “No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light.”
Jesus said in Matthew 5:14, “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.”
We could further argue using Jesus’ so-called “Parable of the Talents.” Point being, don’t just sit on the knowledge God has given you–share it with somebody!
Not only is it a Scriptural command to be a witness (Mark 16:15), and not only is this to be considered wise stewardship (1 Thessalonians 2:4), but this is also a great way to organize your thoughts.
Some of the best advice I’ve received is to “be caught off guard only once.” In other words, the first time you are challenged with a new question should be the last time you are unable to answer it.
Remember though–this goes deeper than just making a resolution. The goal is to form a habit of doing this.
By habitually sharing our faith with others (be it in person, through social media, etc.), we’re not only mindful of what Christ has done for us but also the power with which He transforms lives.
One cannot hear the gospel and remain unaffected. He will make a choice–for the good, or for the bad. While it is not our job to persuade that choice (because we are unable to–this is the work of the Spirit), we are still called to share, contend for, and defend the gospel.
By practicing these three biblical habits this year–clinging to God’s Word, organizing your thoughts, and defending the faith–you will begin to see a more fruitful life and ministry.
Questions? Feel free to comment below and start the discussion, or click the blue button on the right (desktop only) to ask a question with a voicemail. We will do our best to answer in an upcoming post. Thanks!