Are You a Good Steward?

Day 321 

Ezekiel 35:1-36:38; James 1:1-18; Psalm 116:1-19; Proverbs 27:23-27

Are You a Good Steward?

In Papua New Guinea, where I grew up, you could ask any person if they know who owns something, whether it was a house, bow & arrow, garden, or a canoe, and the response would be, “Yes I can tell you.” “How do you know?” would be my response. “That is easy. So-and-so owns it because they made/built it. So it belongs to them.” I am afraid we have lost this perspective today because we seldom make the things we own. Most of us didn’t make our cars, build our homes, or grow our own food. Instead, we have a sense of entitlement because we worked hard to be able to buy our things. This eats away at our sense of stewardship. With stewardship comes a sense of responsibility & accountability because we are entrusted to manage what does not belong to us. They belong to the one who owns them. This is true in our lives today. God created us and because He did, He owns us and every aspect of our lives. We are all simply His stewards. The Proverbs today reminds us to know exactly where we stand and to pour our hearts into caring (being a steward) for what we have been entrusted with—our things, our family, our money, our time, our thoughts, and our actions. The challenge for today is, are you being a good steward in every aspect of your life? What areas of your life do you find this to be the most challenging?

Brent Tallman
St. Peter’s Episcopal Church
Lake Mary, FL

Entertaining Angels

Day 320 

Ezekiel 33:1-34:31; Hebrews 13:1-25; Psalm 115:1-18; Proverbs 27:21-22

Entertaining Angels

The Author of Hebrews gives us a wealth of life lessons in today’s passage. These verses cover love, marriage, money, leadership, and how to live honorably. In verse 2, we are reminded to show hospitality to strangers as some may have entertained angels without knowing it.

It is easy to show hospitality when we know who someone is. If a famous person announces they will be coming over for dinner, it would definitely put into action a plan of cleaning, preparation, and perfection. The status of the person demands the attention to every detail, and everyone in the house would be on their best behavior! The idea of an angel coming to dinner is quite a scene to think about. Yet, there are many times we may have entertained angels without our knowledge.

If we put into practice the reminder of verse two, we can learn to treat every stranger who comes into our path with godly hospitality. This change of attitude allows each person we come in contact to be an important person for that second we come in contact with them. Whether that moment is passing someone on the street, waiting in line at the store, or even that awkward moment in the elevator, we can use that opportunity to show hospitality. The result is that each person we meet can also come in contact with God’s love through us, and we may also find ourselves entertaining an angel!

Emily Tallman
St. Peter’s Church
Lake Mary, FL

Tremble at the Presence of the Lord

Day 319 

Ezekiel 31:1-32:32; Hebrews 12:14-29; Psalm 113:1-114:8; Proverbs 7:18-20

Tremble at the Presence of the Lord

“Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord,
    at the presence of the God of Jacob.” – Psalm 114:7

This quote from Psalm 114 is an amazing summary of the themes we follow in the passages from Ezekiel and Hebrews. In Ezekiel, in the allegory of the cedar, Egypt is compared to the splendor of a great cedar of Lebanon—seeing itself as incomparable, thus rivaling God. But God will cut it down. In Ch. 32 verses 7 & 8, recall the day of the Lord in which God will overcome all that opposes Him.

Our reading from Hebrews is filled with warnings for those who “…(fail) to obtain the grace of God.” The two covenants are contrasted, recalling the terrifying presence of God at Mount Sinai. Our eternal destination, however, is Mount Zion—the heavenly Jerusalem with all its mighty splendor, with legions of angels, the spirits of the righteous dead, and God, the judge of all with Jesus, the “mediator of a new covenant” through His blood.

The powerful warning paragraphs that follow demand our prayerful attention:

“See that you do not refuse the one who is speaking; for if they did not escape when they refused the one who warned them on earth, how much less will we escape if we reject the one who warns from heaven! …for indeed our God is a consuming fire.” – Hebrews 12:25, 29

Dear Father, grant us the grace to humble ourselves before your holy presence.  Amen.

The Rev. Janice Miller
St Peter’s Church
Lake Mary, FL