John Wesley: A Short, Uncertain Space

By Ralph Pauls –

Jesus once told a parable about financial dealings and a shrewd manager. “Give an account of your stewardship,” the manager is told in the story (Luke 16:2).

In his sermon, “The Good Steward,” Methodism’s founder John Wesley (1703-1791) wrote about the important issue of the responsibilities we hold regarding our financial resources.

“In so many respects are the children of men stewards of the Lord, the Possessor of heaven and earth: So large a portion of His goods, of various kinds, hath he committed to their charge,” Wesley observed. “But it is not forever, nor indeed for any considerable time: We have this trust reposed in us only during the short, uncertain space that we sojourn here below; … The moment the body ‘returns to the dust as it was, and the Spirit to God that gave it,’ we bear that character no more; the time of our stewardship is at an end. Part of those goods wherewith we were before entrusted are now come to an end; at least, they are so with regard to us; nor are we longer entrusted with them: And that part which remains can no longer be employed or improved as it was before.”

Reflecting on John Wesley’s words, author Gary Hoag writes: “The world wants each of us to think that life is a long journey during which we are our own master. Alternatively, God’s Word and John Wesley with passion teach us that life is a ‘short, uncertain space’ in which we serve as stewards of gifts, goods, and the greatest treasure of all, the gospel. Thus, we must live in a state of readiness to give an account for our stewardship. Are you ready?”

Those of us at Good News are so appreciative of the depth of generosity that our friends have shown through their financial support. We are grateful and count on your continued help.

Ralph Pauls is the director of strategic resources for Good News.

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