Sermons

Summary: Stewardship is an issue of sincerity that depends more upon what is in our hearts than what is in our wallets.

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IN HIS BOOK “THE DISCIPLINE OF SERVICE,” RICHARD FOSTER WROTE: “SELF-RIGHTEOUS SERVICE COMES THROUGH HUMAN EFFORT. TRUE SERVICE COMES FROM A RELATIONSHIP WITH THE DIVINE OTHER DEEP INSIDE.

SELF-RIGHTEOUS SERVICE IS IMPRESSED WITH THE "BIG DEAL." TRUE SERVICE FINDS IT ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO DISTINGUISH THE SMALL FROM THE LARGE SERVICE.

SELF-RIGHTEOUS SERVICE REQUIRES EXTERNAL REWARDS. TRUE SERVICE RESTS CONTENTED IN HIDDENNESS. SELF-RIGHTEOUS SERVICE IS HIGHLY CONCERNED ABOUT RESULTS. TRUE SERVICE IS FREE OF THE NEED TO CALCULATE RESULTS.

SELF-RIGHTEOUS SERVICE PICKS AND CHOOSES WHOM TO SERVE. TRUE SERVICE IS INDISCRIMINATE IN ITS MINISTRY. SELF-RIGHTEOUS SERVICE IS AFFECTED BY MOODS AND WHIMS.

TRUE SERVICE MINISTERS SIMPLY AND FAITHFULLY BECAUSE THERE IS A NEED. SELF-RIGHTEOUS SERVICE IS TEMPORARY. TRUE SERVICE IS A LIFE-STYLE. SELF-RIGHTEOUS SERVICE IS WITHOUT SENSITIVITY. IT INSISTS ON MEETING THE NEED EVEN WHEN TO DO SO WOULD BE DESTRUCTIVE.

TRUE SERVICE CAN WITHHOLD THE SERVICE AS FREELY AS PERFORM IT. SELF-RIGHTEOUS SERVICE FRACTURES COMMUNITY. TRUE SERVICE, ON THE OTHER HAND, BUILDS COMMUNITY.”

STEWARDSHIP HAS LONG BEEN THE HALLMARK OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH. THE WONDERFUL THING ABOUT CHURCH STEWARDSHIP IS THAT IT ENCOMPASSES MORE THAN MONEY.

WHEN WE SERVE THE WORLD THROUGH CHRIST’S CHURCH, WE ARE NOT ONLY GIVING OF OUR “TITHES AND OFFERINGS,” BUT WE ARE GIVING OF OUR TIME, OUR RESOURCES, AND OUR EFFORT.

AS CHRISTIANS, WE KNOW THAT SERVING CHRIST’S CHURCH IS NOT FOCUSED JUST ON THE AMOUNT THAT COMES OUT OF OUR WALLETS, BUT ON THE SINCERETY OF WHAT IS COMING OUT OF OUR THE DEPTHS OF OUR HEARTS.

“WHAT” IS IN THE HEART WILL ALWAYS BE MORE IMPORTANT THAN WHAT IS IN THE WALLET OR CHECKBOOK. OUR SCRIPTURE PASSAGE TODAY MAKES IT ABUNDANTLY CLEAR TO US THAT WILLINGNESS TO GIVE IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE ACTUAL ACCPLISHMENT OF THE GIVING ITSELF.

SIMPLY PUT: THE ATTITUDE OF OUR HEARTS AND THE WILINGNESS OF OUR SPIRIT WILL BE THE CRUCIAL FACTORS IN DETERMINING THE DEFINITION OF PROPER GIVING.

ONE OF THE BEAUTIFUL EXAMPLES OF THIS GIVING COMES FROM THE OLD TESTAMENT ACCOUNT OF GIVING OF GIFT TO BUILD THE TABERNACLE IN EXODUS 35:4-29.

MOSES GATHERS THE PEOPLE AND EXPRESSES TO THEM THE LORD’S COMMAND TO BUILD A TABERNACLE THAT INCLUDES THEIR ASSISTANCE. THE PEOPLE WOULD HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO GO HOME AND GATHER WHAT IS NEEDED TO BUILD AND FURNISH THE TABERNACL OF GOD.

MOSES SAYS IN VERSE 5, THAT “EVERYONE IS INVITED TO BRING THESE OFFERINGS TO THE LORD….” MOSES GOES ON TO LIST ALL THE ITEMS NEEDED AND THEN GIVES THE PEOPLE THE CHANCE TO REPSOND. THE PEOPLE GRACIOUSLY DO SO.

IN VERSE 20, WE ARE TOLD THAT, “…ALL THE PEOPLE LEFT MOSES AND WENT TO THEIR TENTS TO PREPARE THEIR GIFTS. IF THEIR HEARTS WERE STIRRED AND THEY DESIRED TO DO SO, THEY BROUGHT TO THE LORD THEIR OFFERINGS OF MATERIALS FOR THE TABERNACLE AND ITS FURNISHING AND FOR THE HOLY GARMENTS.”

IN ALL THAT WAS GIVEN AND PROVIDED, THE VERSE THAT STRUCK ME THE MOST WAS VERSE 22, THAT SAYS, “BOTH MEN AND WOMEN CAME, ALL WHOSE HEARTS WERE WILLING.”


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