- God’s Stewards are children of God
- God’s Stewards are managers not owners of life’s resources
- God’s Stewards are saints and sinners
- God’s Stewards are uniquely singular, yet profoundly plural
- God’s Stewards of in the world, but not of the world
- God’s Stewards are loved and loving
- God’s Stewards are served and serving
- God’s Stewards live with awareness of present, future, time & eternity
“Diamonds in the Rough” Devotion on Stewardship by Pat Swartz
This morning as our eyes focus on a new era of ministry at Peace Lutheran Church we are reminded that though we often cannot see in ourselves what the Creator sees in us, He has perfect knowledge and perfect understanding.
Therefore it follows that He sees us with different eyes. Eyes that penetrate deeply… deep into that place within each of us that is hidden from other eyes, into a place known only to Him and by Him. A place in which there is a spark, a white fire, untouched and un-owned by this world, which He the Creator called the soul.
There, deep within each of us it struggles to survive in a world plagued with sin and chaos, at war with the other planes of human existence. The eyes of the Creator travel unerringly to this secret place. This is what He came to seek and to save. The soul …That intangible, untouchable core of the human spirit.
He spies it, winking and blinking rather feebly in the dark…..like a diamond in the rough. With loving hands He reaches out, and with the sacrifice of His Son He sloughs off the dirt and dust that cover the soul and sets it free to shine. He brings it out of the darkness of ignorance, cruelty, despair and indifference and sets it in the dazzling light of His presence.
God himself is like the Crown Jewel of all diamonds. He is like a prism and what you see depends on how you turn the jewel…Turn it in faith and see the greatness of God. Turn it in love and see the warmth of God. Turn it in hope and see the eternity of God. The closer you look the more facets of him you see.
Yet he finds in us a preciousness that only His Son could salvage. Surely, when Christ walked this earth He saw and experienced the greed, the prejudice, the fear that permeates our everyday life and repeats itself over and over each night on the evening news.
Back in His day, Jesus must have walked the dusty roads of the Judean desert mingling with the throngs of Jews, a people perpetually in subjugation to one foreign power or another, and said to himself, “These are my people. They are diamonds in the rough; to be sure, some of them may be Zircons! But, these are the very ones I have come to save.” Even then, He saw diamonds sparkling back at him.
We know we are not worthy because of anything we see in ourselves, but we are made worthy because of the love that we see reflected back at us through His eyes. In the Book of Revelation it is said that when Christ comes His eyes will penetrate like flames of fire…perhaps like white fire, like diamonds, for those who love Him.
A poem by Danette Kettwich sums it up perfectly:
I was once a hopeless, lost diamond, concealed in the dark.
In a wretched and dismal cave where, no light could touch my heart.
The Lord reached in and found this rough and filthy stone.
From out of the immense darkness, He claimed me as His own.
He set to labor immediately, His love always prevailed.
The reductions made with clarity, using a hammer and three nails.
The cuts were not without, struggle, growth and pain,
But with each came a brighter glow; a new lesson gained.
After the cutting was complete, His brilliance now could shine.
Luminous for all to see, a radiant diamond now refined.
I am far being from flawless; He’s perfecting my luster still,
This diamond in the rough, being transformed within His will.
I occasionally become tarnished, I still can find the dirt and grime,
But He always finds and inspires me, once again to shine.
I know someday I will reflect, with His pure and flawless light,
In the radiance and presence of Jesus, the Illuminator of my life
We Pray: Father, we thank you for your unconditional love which shines on all of us. We ask that you send your Holy Spirit among us today while we gather together to explore the ways in which we, who are surely God’s diamonds in the rough, have been shining and hopefully will continue to shine through service and ministry. AMEN.