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On February 17 we will join Christians around the world in observing the season of Lent. Lent is a deeply spiritual time as we reflect on the tremendous love and sacrifice of Jesus for us so that we might have forgiveness of sins, life and salvation. The price of our redemption was overwhelming. As Dr. Martin Luther said in explaining the second article of the Apostles Creed “Jesus, my Lord, has redeemed me a lost and condemned person, purchased and won me from all sins, from death, and from the power of the devil; not with gold or silver, but with His holy, precious blood and with His innocent suffering and death.” As Jesus Himself said, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

Dr. Luther went on with his explanation to state that Jesus made this supreme sacrifice “so that I may be His own and live under Him in His kingdom and serve Him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, just as He is risen from the dead, lives and reigns to all eternity. This is most certainly true!”

In Jesus we have been redeemed from all sins, including the sin of selfishly wanting to use all of God’s blessings for our own needs and wants rather than using them to His glory and the welfare of our neighbor. Selfishness is not part of good stewardship! Here is a definition of good and godly stewardship: “God’s redeemed stewards, in cooperation with and encouragement from fellow redeemed stewards, freely and joyfully manage all of life and life’s resources for God’s purposes.”

Lent provides us with an excellent opportunity to reflect on what is really important and worth spending our lives and resources on. During this 2010 season of Lent may God’s Holy Spirit help us to understand that God wants to use us as instruments in His hands to touch the lives of others in ways that make an eternal difference. As we are led to accept this truth we will better understand what it means to use our time, our skills and talents, and our financial resources in loving and sacrificial ways.

What a time of spiritual growth the season of Lent can be for us as we strive to spend our lives and resources on things that really matter and last beyond our lifetimes. God’s redeemed stewards want to make this world a better place because we have been here. May the love and sacrifice of Jesus so impress us that we will want to reach out in loving and sacrificial ways.

Saint John’s Stewardship Board promotes the development of good stewardship and giving patterns among the members of Saint John’s.