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In our Bible passage this morning, we read about Joash. He was a good king (righteous, or accepted by God). For 40 years he ruled over Godˇ¦s people in the late 9th century BC and he repaired the crumbling temple at Jerusalem. His collection plate was a chest, placed to the right of the altar.
That chest was a reminder of the overdue tithes and offerings Israel should have been paying. Nobody likes that kind of reminder.
In the Christian scriptures, Jesus mentioned money often.
„« In fact 16 of the 29 stories (parables) Jesus told were about the use of money.
„« In the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, one verse in six is about money.
„« Jesus talked far more about money than heaven or hell. That alone should alert us to the importance money holds. We cannot ignore that!
What we do with money represents the resources of our lives, and the worship of our souls, and our love of God.
Let me inject my disclaimer at this point. I do not look at the personal giving records of the members of this church. In fact I have never done that in any church. I donˇ¦t even know where theyˇ¦re kept.
Since I know nothing about how much, or how often you give, I want you to cut me some slack this morning. If the sermon seems to point directly to you, be certain the arm that is attached to that ˇ§pointerˇ¨ is not mine.
So, with all the disclaimers and background duly observed here, come with me to the chestˇKthree drawers in this chest;
WHY WE GIVE WHAT WE GIVEˇK
HOW WE GIVE WHAT WE GIVEˇK
AND WHEN TO MAKE A COMMITMENT TO GIVE!
This morning we see the WHYˇK Three reasons why we must keep money stewardship in focus:
Itˇ¦s a LORDSHIP MATTER
There are some things God requires.
2 Chronicles 24:5And he gathered together the priests and the Levites, and said to them, Go out unto the cities of Judah, and gather of all Israel money to repair the house of your God from year to year, and see that ye hasten the matter. Howbeit the Levites hastened it not.
The Bible passage tells us God wanted the temple repaired. It takes financial support to do that. When the priests were too reluctant to get it done, Joash set up the collection chest and made it a decree. Then the people gave, and the temple work was finished.
2 Chronicles 24:14 And when they had finished it, they brought the rest of the money before the king and Jehoiada, whereof were made vessels for the house of the LORD, even vessels to minister, and to offer withal, and spoons, and vessels of gold and silver. And they offered burnt offerings in the house of the LORD continually all the days of Jehoiada.
It costs to do ministry Godˇ¦s way. It was a worthy project and they got the job done. This was good ˇV that the temple was restored! But, after he finished the project Joash ran into a problem ˇV he found out that obedience is not a one-time-and-then-youˇ¦re-done thing! Men stumbleˇKand big men, even like Joash, stumble big.
Think with me through some of the stumbling issues connected with stewardshipˇK
1. SOME MEN STUMBLE BECAUSE OF PRIDE
2 Chronicles 24.17Now after the death of Jehoiada came the princes of Judah, and made obeisance to the king. Then the king hearkened unto them.
Joash had been a good king. But his mentor, Jehoiada passed from the scene, and Joash thought he could handle success. Joash
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