This year-end issue of Dynamic Steward celebrates and presents the winners and honorable mentions that have resulted from our “Sacred Eloquence” Preachers and Writers Contest.

What a blessing it has been to receive the entries from our world divisions via email, fax or hand delivered. Each sermon has been worthy and reflective of deep thought, convictions and implications about stewardship.

The task of selecting our winners demonstrated that we have talent and gifts that are being powered by the Spirit with passion and persuasion. It is with deep appreciation to each participant that we say thank you for your contribution.

Commenting on the passage of Isaiah 55:11, J. Alec Motyer explicates that the Word of God “comes from the Lord himself and is the Lord’s chosen instrument to achieve his purposes. The Bible reveals his thoughts and ways, sets his targets, voices his promises and is powerful to achieve what it expresses” (Isaiah, an Introduction & Commentary).

Furthermore, the Word of the Lord does not return empty rather it produces transformation of heart, soul and life. It is effective in the mission of God, not because “the sinner responds and uses words of penitence and faith but because God has spoken” (ibid.).

The reformer Martin Luther also emphasized the significance of the proclaimed Word by drawing attention to the fact that—“when a minister was privileged to preach the Word of God, he was doing the same work for which Christ was ordained; for, as Luther loved to emphasize, the ministry of Jesus was a ministry of the oral Word” (Paul Althaus, The Theology of Martin Luther).

Therefore, in the sacred task of proclamation, God’s Word goes forth by means of men and women preachers and writers who embody the Word of God giving it expression in Sacred Eloquence. They do so as stewards of the gospel story.

In reference to our contest winners, the first place writer shared that his sermon, “What More Can We Be?”, was composed with his “total conviction, believing that stewardship is truly the basis of Christian life.” He also explained that it had been written for a general audience “in the context of the Philippine Adventist churches.” It is a fine exposition of stewardship that demonstrates much work done to define, explain and makes a call to choose Christian stewardship.

Gracefully written our second place winner points to the apostle Paul as a role model of stewardship as he expounds in “Secrets to Successful Stewardship.”

Creative, timely and insightful our third place winner focused on “Stewardship and the Family.” We have also included two honorable mentions thus continuing to share from the excellent selection that made our choosing winners an inspiring yet challenging task.

Reflecting upon this last quarter of the year, I would also like to acknowledge and extend a note of gratitude to our global stewardship leadership, their faithfulness, and inspiring efforts.

It is a joy to serve with you and I hope to meet many more of you in the coming year! As always I remain,

Alongside you in His service,

Maria Ovando-Gibson

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October–December, 2008

Sacred Eloquence