Summary: Fourth of four messages on stewardship. Based on UM congregational pledge and UM "Guidelines"
2 Samuel 24:18-25 On that day Gad went to David and said to him, "Go up and build an altar to the LORD on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite." So David went up, as the LORD had commanded through Gad. When Araunah looked and saw the king and his men coming toward him, he went out and bowed down before the king with his face to the ground. Araunah said, "Why has my lord the king come to his servant?" "To buy your threshing floor," David answered, "so I can build an altar to the LORD, that the plague on the people may be stopped." Araunah said to David, "Let my lord the king take whatever pleases him and offer it up. Here are oxen for the burnt offering, and here are threshing sledges and ox yokes for the wood. O king, Araunah gives all this to the king." Araunah also said to him, "May the LORD your God accept you." But the king replied to Araunah, "No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the LORD my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing." So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen and paid fifty shekels of silver for them. David built an altar to the LORD there and sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. Then the LORD answered prayer in behalf of the land, and the plague on Israel was stopped.
Matthew 14:13-21 When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick. As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, "This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food." Jesus replied, "They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat." "We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish," they answered. "Bring them here to me," he said. And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.
Christian Stewardship - Part 4
- So once again, let’s look back.
- We’re looking at stewardship through the lens of our membership pledge.
- Under the heading of prayer, we learned that a Christian steward is prayerful, content and trustworthy.
- When we looked at our presence for God and the church we found that a Christian Steward is loyal, obedient and sacrificial.
- And, last week we found that a gifted Christian Steward is generous, grateful and sharing.
- On that note, does anyone have a thought or discovery from last week’s Scriptures?
- (Allow for Feedback)
- Well, before we get into today’s message, there’s a story that I want you to hear.
- Let’s call it a cautionary tale.
- Charles Paul Conn writes about an actual experience one man had in the Deep South.
- He says, “When I lived in Atlanta several years ago, I noticed in the Yellow Pages, in the listing of restaurants, and entry for a place called the The Church of God Grill.
- The peculiar name aroused my curiosity and I dialed the number.
- A man answered with a cheery, ‘Hello! Church of God Grill!’
- I asked how his restaurant had been given such and unusual name, and he told me:
- ‘Well, we had a little mission down here, and we started selling chicken dinners after church on Sunday to help pay the bills.
- Well, people liked the chicken, and we did such a good business, that eventually we cut back on the church service.
- After awhile we just closed down the church altogether and kept on serving chicken dinners.
- We kept the name we started with, and that’s Church of God Grill.’”
- Now why do I tell you this story?
- Because, whatever we focus on, we begin to prioritize.
- Maybe, if we’re not careful, like the Church of God Grill, our focus could lead us to cut back on our service to God, our love for Him, or our loyalty to Him
- So let’s talk about that fourth thing we pledge, service.
- I didn’t feel the need to look this one up.