The Word Incarnate
Verse: John 1:1-18
Jesus the Word is the creator of everything; this is his world. This passage not only underscores Jesus’ full ownership of all creation as his rightful possession but also serves as a foundation of his love and providential care for all he has made. Jesus, the Creator of the world, was unwilling to leave his “very good” creation to the destructive powers of sin, but rather, he came to redeem his handiwork. The incarnation has profound implications for Christian stewardship. Pastor Robert Simms says,
In the wisdom of God, to redeem man from his sin required the Son to become a man himself … The Word himself had to become flesh. John’s Gospel begins with the astounding declaration of the act of God in becoming one of his own creation …
If stewardship, in its simplest implication, is about giving, then John 1:1 confronts the world with the most sublime gift ever given, the most astounding act of generosity that can be imagined. As a monument to the unsurpassed stewardship of the Son of God, the Incarnation rises high above the horizon of all other demonstrations of giving …
God presented his most valuable gift to man in the Eternal Word made flesh. Once in the world, Jesus the Incarnate Son then gave himself to the Father in complete submission and to the world as the Servant from God. In his earthly existence, Jesus was a steward charged with a divine mandate. Stewardship can be defined as “the obedient management of life and all its resources under the guidance of the Holy Spirit to the glory of God and the advancement of his kingdom.”
Jesus fulfilled his role of steward perfectly:
No matter how difficult the testing became, no matter how demanding the giving of self, no matter how costly in terms of friendship, following, or popularity, Jesus managed his life faithfully. When ultimately such perfect management meant giving up his life for the cause of the kingdom of God, Jesus was willing, and he did so. He made no exception to his total stewardship of life for anything, including his life itself …
Looking at a world filled with people facing the death sentence of sin, Jesus Christ laid aside the riches of heaven and came to be Savior. As he walked the earth, he continued to give his all, managing every opportunity, every gift, every resource, for the glory of God and the building of his kingdom. Even faced with death, he gave his last treasure, his own life, to save the lives of others. He went to the cross with no regret that if he had been a better steward, he might have done more. He had done everything God wanted of him, and he became the master steward, both Savior of humanity and example to those who would follow him.
Think About It
• How is the Word made flesh the most valuable gift ever?
• In what ways was Jesus a servant and a steward?
• How does the Spirit guide your endeavors as a steward?
Pray About It
Thank you, Lord, for the gifts of Jesus Christ and of the Holy Spirit, who enables me to be a steward of all you have entrusted to me.
This devotion is from the NIV Stewardship Study Bible by Zondervan. Used with permission.