Summary: This is the second in a series of sermons looking at a Stewards view of life.

A Stewards View of Success

Matthew 25:14-30

Strike Three! Charlie Brown standing at the plate struck out again. As he walks to the dugout ¡V he says to Lucy ¡V I¡¦ll never be a big league player. I just don¡¦t have it. All my life I¡¦ve dreamed of playing in the big leagues, but I know I¡¦ll never make it. Lucy trying to be helpful says Charlie Brown, your thinking too far ahead. What you need to do is set yourself more immediate goals. Start with this next inning when you go out to the mound to pitch. See if you can walk out to the mound without falling down.¡¨ Success is truly defined in many different ways.

Some people define success by the health and welfare of their families.

Some by financial stability and affluence.

More and more we define success by the modern day slogan ¡§He who dies with the most toys wins!¡¨ But the scriptures tell us a different story. We started looking at life stewardship last week from this text - today I want to look at a stewards view of success. What is it that makes us really successful as stewards of God¡¦s creation.

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Scripturally Success is defined as

1) Few Things Faithful ¡V Remember the heart of this parable. Three slaves ¡V two stewards. What does Jesus commend these men for first. You have been faithful over a few things. First isn¡¦t it funny that Jesus would consider 75x your annual salary a small thing but really it is. Vast sums are nothing to Him. He owns it all. These men had been given management responsibility over their masters property. There is an expectation that they will be faithful to do with it what he would have done with it. To manage his affairs in a way that is consistent with his wishes. These first two men were few things faithful. Let me give you three clues to being few things faithful.

ƒß Be content with what you have ¡V in our culture we have an insatiable hunger for more. Prosperity has made paupers of us all. No matter what we have it¡¦s never enough. There is always something bigger, better, or nicer than what we currently have. Let me give you a hint folks ¡V the poorest of our people (all save the smallest fraction of a percent) are rich compared to world standards. While the world is struggling to survive we are struggling to pay cable tv bills, and car payments. Paul said I have learned the secret of being content ¡V what was it ¡V he understood that joy and success had nothing to do with posessions. I had everything to do with God.

ƒß Use what you are given for God¡V wicked slave is criticized for what? Doing nothing. He squandered his opportunity. He wasted his gift. He left his gift unopened and returned it to the giver. Not even the interest that the bank would have given. He did nothing. Folks success is in trying not accomplishing.

ƒß Become what God called you to be ¡V ¡§Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them.¡¨ God called me to be a Pastor ¡V I am trained to be a pharmacist. If I became the most successful pharmacist in the world. If I became an innovator of new methods and new possibilities. I would still be a failure. Share other examples ¡V if God calls you to be one thing and you are another you will never be a success.

2) Success is found in the Praise of God not of men ¡V Well Done, the master said to the slaves. Imagine what these men went through in their lives behind the story. The jealosy of peers ¡§ooo.. look who¡¦s the masters pet¡¨. The advice of others ¡V Don¡¦t take so many risks, don¡¦t stick your neck out, be careful, the master might get angry. The apathy of their friends ¡V Well we can¡¦t have this we¡¦ve never done it this way before. The truth is that there is only one person in all the world you really need to please ¡V no men it¡¦s not your wife. But let me say this if you begin to please God ¡V I can almost promise you your wife will be pleased with you. You know we spend an inordinate amount of time trying to please other people. Trying to impress them. But let me tell you a secret ¡V you can¡¦t please everyone. Because everyone has a different idea of what is good. I love it when you are happy with me ¡V I wish I could make all of you happy with me all the time. But the truth is no matter what I do some of you won¡¦t like it. I could worry myself into an asylum trying to please everyone. I have chosen to work at pleasing only one ¡V God. You see He called me, He equipped me, and He directs me ¡V If I please Him ¡V you might all be angry with me ¡V but I¡¦m still ok. Now we cannot use that as an excuse or license to sin ¡V but truth be told a Well Done from God is the best reward for a life lived that I can think of.

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