Summary: This is the final key to unlocking the door to revival in our lives and in the church. But it is the least used key in the Body of Christ because it’s the hardest to pick up and use in the lock.
Key 7 to Revival – Sermon 7 “Godly Stewardship”
Summary of the other 6 sermons in the series the 7 keys to Revival. Prayer and Fasting, Taming the Tongue, Unity in the Community, Reverence for Communion, Authentic Worship, and Teamwork.
Opening Video Illustration: Shindlers List
Oskar Shindler saved 1,000 of lives by his sacrifice of Finances, Time and Resources. The descendents of the Shindler Jews is well over 6,000 today as a result of his commitment to save those condemned to die. This scene portrays his grief over not selling his car and some final possessions to save a few more lives.
Objects on Stage: Clock = Time, Money = Finances, Books, car = Resources – I believe in a principle I will call 10 3rd power. The Clock represents our time and parallels to the one who actually gave us all the gift of time – His name God the Father. The second object is money, which represents Jesus Christ the one who gave the biggest sacrifice for you and me. He gave his precious costly life. The third items a book, family, car and the like represent resources that we possess and parallels what the Holy Spirit gives to us God’s resources.
For those who recall your math 10 to the 3rd power is not 10+10+10=30. It is 10x10x10=1000. I believe we need to give 10%of our time to God, 10% of our finances to Christ, and 10% of our resources to the Holy Spirit.
Thesis: This is the final key to unlocking the door to revival in our lives and in the church. But it is the least used key in the Body of Christ because it’s the hardest to pick up and use in the lock.
I Timothy 6:6-12 (NIV)
6But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. 10For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
11But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. 12Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
I Timothy 6:6-12 (The Message)
A devout life does bring wealth, but it’s the rich simplicity of being yourself before God. Since we entered the world penniless and will leave it penniless, if we have bread on the table and shoes on our feet, that’s enough.
But if it’s only money these leaders are after, they’ll self-destruct in no time. Lust for money brings trouble and nothing but trouble. Going down that path, some lose their footing in the faith completely and live to regret it bitterly ever after.
Hebrews 13:5 (NIV)
5Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,
“Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you.”£
Hebrews 13:5 (The Message)
Don’t be obsessed with getting more material things. Be relaxed with what you have. Since God assured us, “I’ll never let you down, never walk off and leave you,” we can boldly quote,
“God is there, ready to help;
I’m fearless no matter what.
Who or what can get to me?”
Today we are focusing our attention on the 7th key to revival (Pick out the seven keys and hold up the fat ugly brass one). We all say we want revival but many throw away the 7th key but you cannot have revival without unlocking the 7th lock with this key. This is the final key that will unlock the door of revival in our lives, in our church, and in our community. It’s a subject that has held the church back from reaching the world for Christ. More Christians and ministers have fallen as a result of having an unbiblical view of this important topic. Listen to some recent statistics on how this key is laying in the corner ignored by the Church people:
· George Barna reports that giving to churches dropped significantly last year. In 2000, 70% of Christians gave to the church, compared to 84% in 1999. Barna’s survey also showed that while 32% of Christian claimed to have tithed, a check of the household income showed that only 12% actually did.
· The average Christian only gives 2.5% of their income to the Lord.