Summary: It is not our duration of life but our donation to life that counts. Giving has nothing to do with assets. Giving has everything to do with attitude.
Today we come to the conclusion of a series of messages on The ABCs of Stewardship. For the past four weeks we have been talking about stewardship, and today I want to talk about “Donation: The Reward of a Successful Steward.” The material for this message comes from Dr. John Maxwell.
In Luke 6:20-38 our Lord gives us some tremendous teaching on the subject of giving.
Basically his teaching is this: It is not our duration of life but our donation to life that counts! And what he means is this: It’s not how many years we live that counts; it’s what we do with those years that really counts!
If you died right now, what donation would you have made to life? Would you say, “I don’t think I have really done much with my life”?
Or would you say, “I have given my life to extend God’s kingdom”?
Have you been a contributor or a consumer?
A giver or a taker?
I have known people who have come to the end of a long life, and their whole life has been a life of consumption rather than contribution. Every single day of their lives they have taken, and never learned to be a giver.
On the other hand, I know people who have died in their youth, and their whole life has been a life of contribution rather than consumption. They gave, they contributed, and they made a difference.
My thesis for today’s message is this: Giving has nothing to do with assets. Giving has everything to do with attitude.
In Luke 6:20-38 our Lord was not teaching about our bank accounts, our homes, or our cars. No. He was teaching that some of the biggest givers in life often have very few assets, and some of the biggest takers in life often have very many assets.
Let’s read Luke 6:20-38:
20 Looking at his disciples, he said:
“Blessed are you who are poor,
for yours is the kingdom of God.
21 Blessed are you who hunger now,
for you will be satisfied.
Blessed are you who weep now,
for you will laugh.
22 Blessed are you when men hate you,
when they exclude you and insult you
and reject your name as evil,
because of the Son of Man.
23 “Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their fathers treated the prophets.
24 “But woe to you who are rich,
for you have already received your comfort.
25 Woe to you who are well fed now,
for you will go hungry.
Woe to you who laugh now,
for you will mourn and weep.
26 Woe to you when all men speak well of you,
for that is how their fathers treated the false prophets.
27 “But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.
32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ lend to ‘sinners,’ expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Luke 6:20-38)
I would like you to notice verses 20-23. Isn’t it interesting that in verse 20 there are those who have very little finances. In verse 21 they have very little food. And in verse 22 they have very few friends. And yet, our Lord says that they are blessed.
Now notice verses 24-26. Jesus goes from blessings to woes. Jesus talks about those who have finances (verse 24), food (verse 25), and friends (verse 26).