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May 16, 2019

CBS brought back a new, hip version of Magnum PI this season.  It’s roughly the same premise as the original Magnum.  The setting is in Hawaii, and Magnum still drive’s Robin Master’s Ferrari (and routinely wrecks it).  But Higgins is a former British Intelligence Officer, and a woman.  I guess if you’d never seen the original it would be OK.  But for people in my demographic, this new guy is a step down from Tom Selleck in both stature and coolness.  And Higgins is a woman?  Well, that’s taken a bit of willing suspension of disbelief for me.  I’ve still got John Hillerman in my mind.  Sorry, ladies.  It’s really not about gender.  If she was at least his daughter or grand daughter…

So there’s a new Magnum PI.  What’s that got to do with anything, anyway?  Lot’s actually.  Magnum PI in both iterations is a great picture for one of the most important assignments we’ve been given by God for our lives.

Jesus and Paul both talk a lot about this.  Peter does, too.  It’s all through the Bible, from Genesis through Revelation.  You’ll see it when you know to look for it.  It’s a theme and one of the roles of every believer.

In Colossians 1:24-26, Paul writes about this theme as a bullet point on his job description.  24 I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church, 25 of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God which was given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God, 26 the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. (NKJV)

The idea I want to chase a little is there in verse 25.  I became a minister according to the stewardship from God The idea is stewardship.

It’s not a word you hear much today outside of church.  There is some leadership literature that has begun to frame effective leadership in terms of stewardship, and that’s a good thing.  But you will probably hear the word used most at church.  And when you do, you know somebody’s wanting to get in your wallet or checkbook.  At church, it’s almost always associated with the offering.  Offering’s about stewardship, but it’s only one of many things in a believer’s life that is about stewardship.

This is where Magnum PI comes in handy.  Both Magnum and Higgins are stewards of Robin Master’s property and goods.  Higgins does a much better job of stewarding it than Magnum.  Magnum pretty much just uses Robin’s stuff.  Higgins actually stewards it.  He takes care of it as if it were his/her own, knowing it’s not his/her own.  And that’s what stewardship is.  It’s managing what belongs to someone else as responsibly as if it were your own.

I believe every Christian has been made a steward, a manager of what God has put in their care.  This stewardship goes in every conceivable direction.  Your career.  You’re only a steward of the opportunities and responsibilities that are there in it.  Your physical possessions.  They’re not really yours.  They’re His.  You’re not the owner, you’re the steward.  Your money.  It’s not yours, either.  It’s His.  You’re supposed to manage it in a way that fits with His design.  The earth itself.  We’re just stewards.  We’re just manages of a magnificent created order.  Your relationships.  You are a steward of every relationship you have.  And at the top of that heap is your marriage, if you’re married, and your kids, if you’ve got any.

The NIV has 1 Corinthians 4:2 as, “Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.” The New King James, “…it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.”

Every steward has been given a trust.  No trust, no stewardship.  And with the trust comes responsibility.  This is huge in a world where success is the point, and is measured by outward standards, and where loyalty and faithfulness get crowed out by better opportunities and the best option in a push to the top.

Paul wrote that the requirement for a steward isn’t success, it’s faithfulness.

Faithfulness will not always look successful.  In fact, there are individuals who have climbed the ladder of success by not being faithful to anyone or anything but themselves and their own aspirations.  They’ve climbed over people on the way up, and pushed others off the ladder, with no apparent remorse.  They really didn’t care, because being a nice guy wasn’t going to get them to the top.  Nice guys finish last.  But when they got to the top, in moments of self-awareness, they realized they had the ladder leaning against the wrong wall.

Unfortunately, there are those who get to the top and don’t have this moment of self-awareness.  Not in this life, anyway.  But there will be a moment of reckoning, when the Master will call them into account for their stewardship.  Their corner office and plush furnishings, their outlandish salary and lifestyle, their country club memberships, and the plaques and pictures of famous people on their wall won’t make any difference.  They’ll be, to quote Kansas, dust in the wind.  Don’t be that guy.

If you’re a husband or a wife, here’s where I want to land the plane.  How are you doing with stewarding your marriage?  How are you doing with the trust of this relationship?  This relationship is second in value and importance only to your relationship with Christ, so it merits your best attention.

If you’ve got kids, how are you doing with stewarding your parenting role?  The world (whether it knows it or not) is depending on you doing a good job with this.  There’s a ton at stake.

Whether you feel you’re doing well with this or poorly with it, I have good news.  Nobody wants you to be a good and faithful steward of your life and roles than God does.  In fact, He wants this badly enough to take you on as His partner.  He trusts you with this trust.  Every grace and power you need to be a faithful steward is available to you through Him.  So gratefully put your hand in His and keep walking faithfully with Him.

From → Marriage, Parenting

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