Author Wednesday: Ardy Roberto on Stewardship

Posted: April 14, 2011 in Author Wednesday
Tags: , , ,

Life is not meant to be lived fast-forward.

Pause for a moment…

Read books that are good for your soul…

Reflect  on your life…

This is one of a series of articles written by our home-grown OMF Lit authors to help you reflect on the things that are essential, in the midst of a world that is constantly on the go. May you be inspired to

Pause. Read. Reflect

======================================================

“What have you done with my Son, Jesus?”

I don’t remember where I first heard that question thrown at me in an audience, but the question has stayed with me for many, many years.

When I reflect on the question–and Lent is always a perfect time to reflect on that question again–I realize that it’s a question of STEWARDSHIP.

Easter is a time of celebration. Jesus died but raised himself from the dead. He’s alive! It completes the Christmas story. We can now truly receive God’s gift to us–His Son, Jesus, because of the Easter resurrection story. If Jesus did not suffer and die for our sins and rise from the dead and ascend to heaven, we would still be sinners unable to save ourselves.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23 (TNIV)

So what have I done with God’s gift to us–Jesus Christ?

Since encountering Jesus in a very personal way through several crises and private moments (a financial disaster/bankruptcy, a delivered promise of healing to my wife) and inviting him to be Lord and Saviour of my life, I’ve always struggled with what to do with this gift of eternal life.

I am now assured of eternal life as a gift, and all I had to do was receive it sincerely. As a steward of this gift, I am compelled to share the knowledge of how others can also receive this gift of God’s love.

At the risk of sounding like a hippie, born-again “Jesus freak” I started writing letters to friends, college buddies and family (yes, there was no internet/email then). I told them that I had discovered something better than the cure for cancer. The letter was supposed to be a short 1 or 2 pager but it became an 8 page letter explaining how I, this former agnostic / new-ager / Hugh Hefner-Playboy publishing wannabee, had discovered the promise of eternal life and living joyfully in all circumstances.

The crux of my letter was John 3:16 — “For God so loved the world (hey,  all of us!) that He gave (okay, that’s the gift) His one and only son (no other than Jesus Christ) so that whosoever believes in him, will not perish (no expiry date for us!) but have eternal life (we’d live forever in the presence of God in heaven where he promises no more tears, no pain, just joy, dancing and partying, fellowship with God and his angels ; as compared to gnashing of teeth, pain, worms eating into your flesh, tormenting flames, xth degree burns, hard labor and gangship with Satan’s cohorts )” Note that all comments in parentheses are mine, of course.

Later that letter morphed into a booklet called “Ang Buhay na Hindi Bitin – How to live life content, happy and worry-free”. I printed 5,000 copies myself and my wife and I would give it away wherever we’d go: airports, restaurants, parking lots, etc. Later on we got led to offer it to a Christian publisher, OMF Lit. Since it was published about 5 years ago, OMF has printed, sold and given away more than 200,000* copies of “Buhay…” It has been a perennial best-seller for them but more than that, what matters to me are the letters that I get from readers who have encountered and received Jesus Christ through the booklet. From students to housewives, from office workers to toll booth operators, their letters are almost always the same: “Thank you for the book. I once was lost but now I’m found…” Thank you Jesus!

Encouraged by the response to my sharing God’s gift through the written word, I wrote two more books: The Heart of Healing and then Ang Pera na Hindi Bitin (How to manage your money so God entrust you with more).

In the Heart of Healing, I share about God’s gift of healing (my wife, Tingting was miraculously healed of life-threatening lupus) and how anyone could receive this gift of healing as well. In this book, I also encourage readers to be stewards of healing and health. (How am I managing the health that has been given to me…?) In “Pera na Hindi Bitin”, I share the blessings of obeying God’s word and financial stewardship. (How am I managing the money or business that has been entrusted to me? How am I managing the time that has been entrusted to me?)

Stewardship has then become something all encompassing. Webster’s defines stewardship as  “the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care”.

As writers are prone to, we can get too absorbed in our world of words and readers and sometimes forget the people closest to us. So now I ask myself, how am I handling the relationships and people that God has entrusted in my life to lead and develop and love. Have I multiplied the love that was given to me by God to love my wife, my family, my children, my friends? Or do I sometimes bury that love in the ground?

Stewardship is liberating if you think about it. We don’t own anything. Our life and everything given to us is on loan: money, possessions, relationships, people. But one thing that can never be taken away from us if we have truly received it, is the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ.

So this lent season, let’s ask ourselves:

What have I done with Jesus?

__

© Ardy Roberto 2011

ardyroberto.org

ardyroberto.com

======================================================

Ardy Roberto is an author, entrepreneur, speaker and international award-winning seminar producer. He cowrites a weekly column, MarketingRx, for the Philippine Daily Inquirer together with his father, marketing guru, Dr Ned Roberto.

Ardy, together with his wife, Tingting, is the co-founder and Chairman of Salt & Light Ventures, Inc. They are the only learning event organizers to have won both local and international awards for the seminars and conferences that they have produced and marketed.

He has written 3 books for OMF Literature: Ang Buhay Na Hindi Bitin, the Gintong Aklat finalist The Heart of Healing, and his latest, the best-selling Ang Pera Na Hindi Bitin.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s