WHMBC VBS 2007 – Treasure #2 – Stewardship
Yesterday we looked at how we can find the treasure – Map – Bible. Compass – God. Shovel – Christians
How do we use what God has given us - Stewardship is not about your money, it is about your life.
Stewardship is about how we manage our time and our talents. It is about giving to God the best of who we are and what we have received.
Matthew 6:21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Stewardship is about who is in charge of your life.
Tonight I would like to look at where our treasure is. There are two simple answers to this question. Our treasure is either on earth or it is in Heaven? The Lord said that where our treasure is that is where our heart will be.
We often speak of our possessions, but according to the Bible, God owns it all and we own nothing, we are stewards of everything God entrusts to us.
Psalm 24:1 The earth is the LORD’S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it is His.
It is not wrong to possess things but it is wrong for things to possess us.
We are stewards and not owners. Have you ever looked after something for someone? I borrowed Bro. Billy’s car – I drove it, put gas in it – I did everything that I would do in my car. I was borrowing it. When I go home I’ll have to give it back.
That’s what we do with what God has given us - borrowing them – therefore when we give to Him all we are doing is giving back to God what belongs to Him in the first place.
Jesus gives us four tests to help us determine the accurate answer to this question of "where’s your treasure?"
I. How long will it last? – Matthew 6:19-20
When you store all your treasure on earth, what happens?
Moths eat holes through your Nike / Levi’s.
Rust weakens and ruins your skateboard, bike causing disintegration and uglification of all your nicest stuff.
Thieves will break a window to steal your x-box, PS3, jewellery and DVD.
Then, eventually, you die and leave it all behind. Hang on preacher, that’s a bit gloomy – we’re only teens, we don’t want to think about death!!!
You have to plan for the future!!! When I started work they told us to pay into a pension fund – money for retirement. I didn’t want to – I wanted my money and ALL of it – I thought, “Plenty of time to do that when I’m older”
Time comes around quick, you might be teens but before long you will be as old as Bro. Billy, your eyesight goes and your hair falls out – Plan for the Future. Trust Christ as your Saviour before time runs out.
How long will your treasure last? Not long if it’s on earth. That is why Jesus advises us to store up our treasure in heaven instead of on earth.
Heaven is a much safer place to stockpile your wealth because in heaven there are no moths, no rust, and no thieves. Once you get your money transferred to heaven, it is safe and secure for all eternity. It is permanent. It will last forever.
II. What excites you the most? - Matthew 6:21
If you choose to store up your treasure on earth, your heart will be focused on things of the earth, and you will love it here on earth so much that you will tend to drift away from God.
But if you choose to store up your treasure in heaven, then your heart will be more excited about heaven, and as a result, you will end up growing closer to God.
Do you understand how this works? Whatever you invest your time and money in will become very important to you.
If you invest money into baseball that is what will take up your time – before you know it you’ll be missing church to follow your team. You’ll be keeping all your money for the next ticket or cap or mit…
Have you ever read a book that you just couldn’t put down.. If you invest your time solely in a book – you’ll find that you don’t have time to read the Bible.
Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
The same thing works in your relationship with God. When you choose to heavily invest in God’s purposes, you will find that your life will be blessed by God.
When you give to support a missionary, you’ll more likely pray for that person every day. When you give money to build a gym, you’ll be thrilled when you hear reports of the people who met Christ there. Wherever you put your treasure, that is what you will be most interested in, for that is where your heart will be.
When the builders of a proposed bridge across the Niagara Falls began construction in1847, the first matter at hand was how to span the river w/ the suspension cables. Launching a simple kite, the builders were able to get a thin string across. Using the string, they drew a rope across, which was followed by a larger rope, then a small cable, and finally a cable heavy enough to use as support in building the bridge. When it was completed, the huge structure, that could support a train, showed no signs of having once been launched by a simple kite!
This story reminds us that to do a great work you must begin small and keep it simple. This is one of life’s foundational truths. We don’t have to make life complex. The same is true with stewardship. God intends it to be rewarding, fulfilling and exhilarating.
III. Where do you focus your goals? – Matthew 6:22-23
The question here is, where do you focus your goals - on material things, or on spiritual things? Jesus talks about our focus in Matthew 6:22-23
If your eyes are bad, if your spiritual eyes are covered over with cataracts, then you are living in spiritual darkness. You can’t see properly. Everything’s out of whack. You end up adopting false and foolish goals for our life because you are spiritually blind.
What causes your eye to be bad? Materialism. When your number one focus is on the worlds treasures, it ruins your spiritual life. When you take your eyes off the Lord you’re in trouble.
Keep your eyes on the Lord.
IV. Who do you serve? – Matthew 6:24
The fact is, most people on earth serve Money as their god. It is a natural trap to fall into. We tend to worship that which we think will bring us the most security and comfort in life. When we trust in money on earth to give us security and comfort, we are living by sight, and we will worship the god we see.
Some people worship Brittney Spears as their god – they dress like her and talk like her
Exodus 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
On the other hand, when we trust in God in heaven to provide for our security and comfort, we are living by faith, and we will worship the God we cannot see. It’s got to be one or the other. Each of us has to choose.
There is only one way that we can show that we are refusing to serve Money as our god. That is by choosing to serve God with our money.
There is only one way that we can show that we refuse to worship Brittney as our god – stop acting like her and start acting like Christ.
What is your priority your possessions on earth or your treasure in heaven?
C.T. Studd was a wealthy Englishman who sold his entire estate, gave the money away, and then went to the mission field to serve Christ. He summed up what motivated him in these words: "Only one life, ’twill soon be past. Only what’s done for Christ will last."
The question is not whether or not you should store up treasures for yourself. That answer to that is—yes, you should!
The whole issue hangs on the issue of where you are going to store them, on earth or in heaven.
Jesus says hoarding your treasures on earth is foolish, but hoarding your treasures in heaven is smart.
The exciting thing is, when we give to God, we really don’t lose anything at all; we are simply pushing it on ahead. We are making an investment in the building up of God’s kingdom now that will pay back vast eternal riches to us as dividends later on.
This fact is beautifully illustrated in the story of a sailor who was shipwrecked on a South Sea island. He was seized by the natives, carried shoulder-high to a rude throne, and proclaimed king. He learned that according to their custom the king ruled for a year. The idea appealed to the sailor until he wondered what had happened to all the previous kings. Then he learned that when a king’s reign ended, he was banished to a lonely island to starve to death. So, knowing he was king for the year, this sailor began issuing orders. Carpenters were to make boats. Farmers were to go ahead to this island and plant crops. Builders were to erect a home. When his reign finished, he was exiled, not to a barren isle, but to a paradise of plenty.