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Psalm 24:1 ESV
The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein,
A woman who had finished her shopping and returned to her car to find four men inside it. She dropped her shopping bags, drew a handgun from her purse, and with a forceful voice said, "I have a gun, and I know how to use it! Get out of the car!" Those men did not wait for a second invitation. They got out and ran like crazy!
Proverbs 3:9 ESV
Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce;
The woman, understandably shaken, quickly loaded her shopping bags and got into the car. She just wanted to get out of there as fast as she could. But no matter how she tried, she could not get her key into the ignition.
Then it hit her: This isn't my car! She looked, and indeed her car was parked four or five spaces away. She got out, looked around to see if the men were near, loaded the bags into her own car, and drove to the police station to turn herself in.
The desk sergeant, after hearing her story, nearly fell out of his chair laughing. He pointed to the other end of the counter, where four men were reporting a carjacking by a woman with glasses and curly white hair, less than five feet tall, and carrying a large handgun. No charges were filed…
John 15:13 ESV
Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.
Todays message is about “The Law of Stewardship”.
Just as there are laws observed by science, laws that serve as a framework that our physical universe operates in such as “The Law of Universal Gravity”, “Laws of Chemistry”, and “Laws of Quantum Mechanics” to name a few, that God created, there are also Spiritual Laws of God’s Kingdom. That is what I am going to be sharing this morning. The law or principle of stewardship.
But what is stewardship?
Proverbs 27:10 ESV
Do not forsake your friend and your father’s friend, and do not go to your brother’s house in the day of your calamity. Better is a neighbor who is near than a brother who is far away.
Stewardship is basically the management of the things of God. To care for God’s creation, His possession. Managing everything God brings into the believer's life in a manner that honors God and impacts eternity.
David wrote in “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein”
Natural Realm Stewardship
In the beginning of Genesis, God creates everything and puts Adam in the Garden to work it and to take care of it. It is clear that man was created to work and that work is the stewardship of all of the creation that God has given him. We are called to steward this earth that God created for us.
Time- most valuable commodity?
Romans
Talent- How are we stewarding our talents to further the Kingdom?
Romans 12:6–8 ESV
Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
Treasure- Billy Graham said it this way: “Every person’s checkbook is a theological document. It tells you who and what they worship.” More importantly, Jesus said something very similar: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (). We are called to tithe our money. It is not our, it is Gods and most of the time all He asks for is 10%, but he may lead you to give more as the form as an offering, and that’s okay, it’s His, not ours. Honor the Lord with your possessions and with the first produce of your entire harvest. –
Friendships- “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”
1 Corinthians 12:8–10 ESV
For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.
How many of us are willing to die for the sake of our friends? I know that some parents are certainly willing to die for their children, but what about a friend? When we put on Christ, we are called to love one another, just as our Lord loves us.
One way to live out this sacrificial love amongst our friends is to be physically present for them. “Your friend, and your father’s friend, do not forsake; and do not go to your brother’s house in the day of your calamity. Better is a neighbor who is near than a brother who is far away” ().
Another way to exercise Christian Stewardship over our friendships is to pray with and for our friends. Just like in marriage, nothing strengthens a friendship like praying for one another.
Spiritual Stewardship
Matthew 25:14–30 ESV
“For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here, I have made five talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here, I have made two talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’ But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
Spiritual gifts:
Christ is clear. Loving God with our whole being is the most important and greatest commandment.
Our relationship with God is central to all other relationships. Understanding our vertical relationship with our Creator informs our horizontal relationships with others.
To apply stewardship to our relationships, we should first apply it to God
1 Corinthians 6:19 ESV
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own,
How to we steward our relationship with God?
Ultimately, God sent his Son to demonstrate the life we should live to honor God. Christ sets the example to love his Father, to love himself, and to love others. The life of Jesus demonstrates many ways to love God.
Consider these practical ways:
· Obedience – With respect to authority, we are to obey the will of the Father. In recognizing and submitting to our role as God’s servants and stewards of creation, we should rightfully respect the will of the Creator (). We are free in Christ to live according to God’s will ().
14 “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. 15 To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. 17 So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19 Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here, I have made five talents more.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 22 And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here, I have made two talents more.’ 23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 24 He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’ 26 But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’[1]
Colossians 3:23–24 ESV
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.
Again, A steward is one who manages the possessions of another. We are all stewards of the resources, abilities and opportunities that God has entrusted to our care, and one day each one of us will be called to give an account for how we have managed what the Master has given us.
Like the servants in the Parable of the Talents, we will be called to give an account of how we have administered everything we have been given, including our time, money, abilities, information, wisdom, relationships, and authority.
Matthew 25:21 ESV
His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’
Remember the story about the accidental carjacking granny? She thought it was her car, but it really belonged to someone else. The truth is: God owns everything. He owns that lady's car and the one she mistakenly got into. And He owns everything we call "ours." He owns it all.
2 Corinthians 9:6–7 ESV
The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
:
We all should long to hear the master say what he exclaims in :
Remember this: The person who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the person who sows generously will also reap generously. Each person should do as he has decided in his heart—not reluctantly or out of necessity, for God loves a cheerful giver. –
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