How to Be a Good Friend and a Good Steward


February 3, 2018

1 Peter 4:7-11

Now the end of all things is near; therefore, be serious and disciplined for prayer. Above all, maintain an intense love for each other, since love covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without complaining. 10 Based on the gift each one has received, use it to serve others, as good managers of the varied grace of God. 11 If anyone speaks, it should be as one who speaks God’s words; if anyone serves, it should be from the strength God provides, so that God may be glorified through Jesus Christ in everything. To Him belong the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.

I was reading Dr. Charles Stanley’s In Touch Ministries devotional yesterday in which he talked about accountability.  We need to constantly assess ourselves if we want to improve our Christian walk.  Accountability is tough sometimes, to God, to each other or to ourselves.  
In it here’s what Dr. Stanley had to say: “If you have been in the church for any length of time, you’ve probably heard that it’s wise to be accountable to another Christian. Finding a reliable and spiritually mature believer to take on this role is one means of protecting ourselves from temptations that could easily entrap us. When we know we’re going to have to answer to someone for our choices, we are far less likely to yield to sinful desires.
But ultimately, there is an even greater motive for righteous living. Unlike a spouse or close friend who may be able to help us make right choices, our all-knowing God sees even more than our actions—He discerns our intentions as well. It may be possible for us to fool people, but we can never hide from the Lord.
I’ve mentioned from time to time, that I used to tell my high schoolers in Sunday school class “When you are around you friends at school you should act like Jesus is standing beside you in how you act: because He is!”  Your friends know (or at least they should know) that you are Christian and will judge all Christians by what they see you do and say.  Holding yourself to this higher standard makes you accountable in this way and a better steward and witness.
The other thing Dr. Stanley said was; “Peter admonishes us to be good stewards of God’s grace (10 Based on the gift each one has received, use it to serve others, as good managers of the varied grace of God.)  [1 Peter 4:10]  In the apostle’s day, a steward was a household manager—he himself didn’t own anything but was responsible for his master’s possessions and affairs.
In essence, that’s what the Christian life is like. Every possession, privilege, and duty we have has been given to us by God. And as stewards, we are accountable to the Lord for the way we serve Him, what we say, and how we treat one another. The goal is God’s glory—not our rights, comforts, or pleasures.
Proverbs 27 tells us; 5 Better an open reprimand than concealed love. The wounds of a friend are trustworthy, but the kisses of an enemy are excessive.  [Proverbs 27:5-6]  What it’s saying is it’s essential to keep those kinds of friends around you that are not afraid to hold you accountable because they are the ones that will help you and in turn allow you to reciprocate in staying on track, living as good stewards of all that God provides.  20 The one who walks with the wise will become wise, but a companion of fools will suffer harm.  [Proverbs 13:20]  

Let me close with this: just as todays verse 8 says; Above all, maintain an intense love for each other, since love covers a multitude of sins.  We need to remember what Christ told us about how we are to love each other; 12 This is My command: Love one another as I have loved you. 13 No one has greater love than this, that someone would lay down his life for his friends.  [John15: 12-13]

One way we show that love is by helping each other to remain good stewards of God.

~Pastor Floyd Banks