Summary: Followers Are Good Stewards part 2 of 3
Followers Are Good Stewards
Part 02 of Lesson 09 of the Follow Me Series
1 Tim 3:14 These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly:
1 Tim 3:15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
Rom 11:29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
Rom 12:4 For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: Rom 12:5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Rom 12:6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Rom 12:7 Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; Rom 12:8 Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that showeth mercy, with cheerfulness.
Part Two: SPIRITUAL GIFTS (TALENTS)
The second part of this study pertaining to followers being good stewards is about our spiritual gifts or as some call them talent(s). Many stewardship studies are called the “Three T’s” Of Stewardship: Time, Talent, and Treasure. The word talent, as used in the parable of the talents, Mt 25:14-30, is not to be confused with natural talent. As we shall learn, there are differences in natural born talents and spiritual gifts. Though different, they do have commonalities:
§ You received both at birth. The natural talent came at with your natural birth. The spiritual gift(s) was given at your second birth
§ Both are to be used for the Lord.
§ Both can cause the holder to sin.
§ Misuse of either can cause a brother to stumble.
Have you ever considered why individual Christians and local church bodies seem powerless today? When you watch the world news or read the paper, one thing is abundantly clear and that is sin runs rampant.
In a society where we have the freedom to attend church, have more bibles available than at any other time in history, with more churches than ever before, the influence of the local church and the words of God seem powerless to change society.
What changed? It was neither God nor His word. Those changes that weakened must have occurred in the church and in the lives of those that attend. The problem lies in man and how we respond to the Lord.
I. GIFTS GIVEN.
The Lord has equipped us with everything we need to do all that He wants done. He gave us armour for spiritual warfare, Eph 6. He gave His word to empowers us, 2 Tim 3:16-17. He supplied us with His Holy Spirit to refresh us in our labor of love. He also gave us gifts to use. The fault, therefore, does not lie with the Lord. We are excuseless for being as we are.
Our problems are manifold.
1. We are not adept with the (s)word of the Lord, Heb 12:5. We pick it up and for reasons we cannot fathom, that old book seems strange in our hands. As we walk out the door, we tuck it under our arms so that the world will not see it.
2. Our spiritual armour, though several years old, is still like new. The reason for it retaining its original luster is because it has not delivered us in battle. We surrendered a long time ago. Our armour has collected more dust and rust than it has dings and dents, Eph. 6, from battles fought and won.
3. The Holy Spirit has been quenched so long that when we feel His stirring, we wonder if we are even saved, 1 Th 5:19 Quench not the Spirit.
4. Satan is not bothering us, for we are not doing anything.
5. Our spiritual gifts have not been used in so long we forgot what they were.
Is it any wonder that our lives are in a constant state of disarray and that our churches look more like the world? Walk into a mall in Anytown, USA on Saturday, then walk into almost any church on Sunday morning, and note how folks are dressed at both places. The main problem that caused born again believers to become powerless is the world influenced the church more than the church has influenced the world, 2 Cor 6:17.
In the Parable of the Pound, Luke 19:13-28, the Lord told His servants to “Occupy till I come.” What this means is the church is an occupying army, Song 6:10 Who is she that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners? As such, we are not to take up residence in the world. We are only to occupy this planet while breath is in our body or until He returns.