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Summary: In the end, the key to understanding stewardship comes down to two vital principles: Ownership and lordship. This sermon helps people grasp these principles through a unique illustration and a word picture.

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French Fries and Interior Decorating

Series: Prove God Stewardship Series, Sermon #1 of 3

Chuck Sligh

January 12, 2014

A PowerPoint presentation of this sermon is available by emailing a request to me at chucksligh@hotmail.com.

The French fries illustration was borrowed from Glenn Newton’s sermon Who Is the Source of My French Fries? on SermonCentral.com.

TEXT: 1 Chronicles 29:16 – “O LORD our God, all this store that we have prepared to build thee an house for thine holy name cometh of thine hand, and is all thine own.”

INTRODUCTION

Let me preface today’s sermon with three statements that will undergird everything I’ll talk about today and over the next two Sundays:

• First, God wants believers to tithe a full 10% of their income to their local church. – I will prove in the last sermon in the series that tithing preceded the Law of Moses, was commanded in the Law, and is the baseline of giving in the New Testament age.

• My second preliminary statement is this: God promises to bless immeasurably those who tithe and bring a curse on those who do not. – I will also document this later on.

• Finally, God wants you to test Him on this promises to bless you for tithing; to literally PUT HIM TO THE TEST to see if He will indeed bless you for faithfulness in tithing.

I believe that God will prove Himself true if you will put Him to the test. I believe it so much that in the last sermon of our series, I’m going to give you an opportunity to participate in a plan to promise to tithe faithfully for 6 consecutive months, and if God has not blessed you in return, we offer a money-back guarantee.

No kidding!—Grace Baptist Church will actually refund your money. How can you lose with an opportunity like that?

With those honest, up-front remarks as to what we have in store for us, let us begin. Before we do, though, we need to examine the biblical teaching of stewardship.

In Matthew 25, Jesus told the parable of a landowner who had to go on a long trip. He had three servants to whom he entrusted his wealth and property and who he charged to invest and make a good return on his investment. That’s where we get the idea of Christian stewardship to begin with.

A steward is someone charged with the care, supervision and management of treasure or property that belongs to someone else. These men were stewards of the owner’s property and you and I are stewards of everything that God has put into our care—our money, our talents, and our time.

The master gave one servant 5 talents (which was a particular denomination of money); to another one he gave 2 talents; and to the third one he gave 1 talent. The first two servants went out and wisely invested the money the owner had placed into their care and doubled their investment, but the third one went out and buried his money, fearing that it would not make a good investment.

When the owner returned, he rewarded the first two servants because they had been good stewards with what He had put in their care; but he severely punished the third one because he had made no increase in what was put into his care.

There are four important principles of stewardship to see from this parable:

• The first is that what we have is not ours.

The money was not the servants’, it belonged to the master. I’m going to talk about that more a little later.

• The second principle we see is that we must invest what we have been given.

What has God put in our care to make a good investment for Him?...

1) First, God gives us TIME.

Each week we’re given 168 hours, to INVEST for eternal dividends not to SQUANDER in things that have no lasting value. Perhaps Missionary C.T. Studd said it best when he said: “Only one life; twill soon be past; only what’s done for Christ will last.”

2) Second, God has given each of us TALENTS to use for God’s glory and make a good return on His investment in us. – Are you investing your talents and abilities to advance God’s kingdom, or only for yourself?

3) Finally, God has given each of us TREASURE to be invested for His glory.

God wants us to invest money in the Kingdom of God, not squander our income on unnecessary things that will not last. Jesus said, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.” (Matthew 6:19-20)

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