Edification in Marriage: I am a steward of God’s grace to my spouse
Stewards of Christ’s Creation
In the original design, husband and wife were to work together as stewards of Christ’s creation. The fall separated humankind from God, as well as man and woman from each other. Now we spend our energies trying to understand our differences instead of embracing Christ’s redemptive work that is the only means to reunite the broken. People, the highest and most dignified of creation, are called and equipped to be the most effective within God’s economy as stewards of grace.
Grace may only flow forth from a fountain set in the Rock, capable of producing the sweet waters of redemptive love. A heart in tune with God’s Spirit and the direction of His will, possesses passions and concerns for their spouse unnatural to this present world. Holy Spirit interaction turns our soul toward selfless resolve in seeking His good pleasure through the outpouring of grace.
Stewards of Jesus’ Flock
Jesus warns of the hireling who lacks loving commitment to both his responsibilities and the sheep but values his own life above the helpless and needy.
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep. A hired hand will run when he sees a wolf coming. He will abandon the sheep because they don’t belong to him and he isn’t their shepherd. And so the wolf attacks them and scatters the flock. The hired hand runs away because he’s working only for the money and doesn’t really care about the sheep. (John 10:11–13 NLT)
In a world valuing prestige, God’s people are called to value one another instead of managing our own interests. Hurt, frustration, anger, envy, greed, and thievery seize the heart of disloyal overseers.
Stewards of God’s Holy Spirit
As stewards, we manifest God’s grace mediated to our mate through our loving disposition. A steward of God’s Holy Spirit possesses a repository of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control (Gal. 5:22) evidencing the image of Christ and the character of godliness. Stewardship exists by virtue of God’s love and mercy as a means to convey God’s grace to others, seeking the godly best on behalf of the interest of all. In daily living a steward understands the nature of the need and seeks to minister through the sundry resources given by the Spirit of God. Identity insists that such is inherently characterological to our soul, expressing the desire of the divine to our beloved, remembering that grace edifies the believer by enabling us to live in accord with the Spirit of God.
Stewards of God’s Grace
Recognizing his position as a steward of God’s grace in Philemon 3, Paul prays for “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (ESV).
An appeal for grace is an entreaty to God to supply His unmerited favor to meet fresh needs. Paul wants the Lord to provide the sufficiency of His power, guidance, wisdom, quality and tone that is an elixir of spiritual life. Grace in its new bounties will lift Philemon to experience and show God-honoring attitudes, words and actions in dealing with the issues of life.1
Paul’s continuing prayer indicates the results of a life responding to the grace of God.
“I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers, because I hear of your love and of the faith that you have toward the Lord Jesus and for all the saints, and I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ.” (Philem. 4–6 ESV)
❏ I ministered grace to my mate when . . .
1 Jim Rosscup, Exposition on Prayer: Igniting the Flame to Fuel Our Communication with God New Testament Volume 2 (Galatians thru Revelation) (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2011), 2400.
(excerpts from Marriages that Minister by J. Kirk & Melanie D. Lewis)
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