Summary: We learn about three different attitudes with regard to stewardship.
Think of a person whom you greatly admire and respect. Do you have such a person in mind? Good. Now, what is it about that person that you appreciate so much? What is it that really draws you to them?
Let’s list the qualities and characteristics of the person whom you greatly admire. What is it that you really love about that person? Give me the one quality that draws you to that person.
You may have listed qualities such as loving, joyful, sense of humor, kind, encouraging, warm, honest, humble, godly, etc.
My contention is that the key thing that makes people attractive to others is their attitude. Almost all the qualities you gave me are attitudes. Isn’t it interesting that you have said very little about skills, abilities, talents, gifts or appearance?
Your attitude makes you attractive to other people. But not only does your attitude make you attractive to other people, your attitude makes you attractive to God. What makes you attractive to God is not primarily your skills or your abilities or your talents or your gifts or your appearance. God has given them to you, but it is your attitude toward them that makes you attractive to God.
For the next four Sundays I plan to teach about stewardship. I am calling this series The ABCs of Stewardship. Today I want to talk about “Attitude: The Response of a Successful Steward.” The material for this series of sermons comes from Dr. John Maxwell.
I want you to see several attitudes displayed in the Parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37. Here in this parable we will see how attitude guides the response of a successful steward.
By the way, please take note of the definition of stewardship that I am using. Stewardship is utilizing God-given abilities to manage God-given resources to accomplish God-ordained results.
Let’s read Luke 10:25-37:
25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
27 He answered: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” (Luke 10:25-37)
Some time ago, Closer Walk (a daily devotional guide) wrote about the widow (in Luke 21:1-4) who put two very small copper coins into the temple treasury. You remember Jesus’ statement, don’t you? “I tell you the truth,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others” (v. 3). Now listen to the comment:
"How is it possible to add together the offerings of countless rich men and declare their total less than two very small copper coins of a poor widow? How is it possible that so little could be so much? Jesus’ arithmetic is not hard to comprehend when you understand, as he did, that the secret of giving is not the amount that was given but, rather, what was given up. Attitude, not abundance, is the key.
"Jesus teaches us that liberality is determined not by the amount of our giving but by the attitude of our giving. Giving is not a function of cold numbers but the result of a warm heart."