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Summary: Message #4 in Series, "Pursuing Excellence," focusing on Excellence in our stewardship.

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Series: Pursuing Excellence

Message #4: “He Owns It All, Ya Know” -- Pursuing Excellence In Our Stewardship

1 Corinthians 10:26 -- "For the earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains."

BIBLICAL PRINCIPLES REGARDING POSSESSIONS...

1) Not Ownership, but Stewardship.

*Gen.1:28 - "God blessed them; and God said to them, ’Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’"

*1Cor.10:26 - "For the earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains."

Truths to remember:

a) With the exception of our own Wills, our own Choices, we actually Own Nothing.

*Lk.12:20 - "But God said to him, ’You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’"

b) Taking care of the Planet is part of our Christian responsibility to God as Stewards of God’s possession.

*Gen.1:28 - "God blessed them; and God said to them, ’Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish...and over the birds...and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’"

c) We don’t Take anything With us when we die except the Consequences of our Choices about Jesus.

*Mt.6:29-31 - "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."

d) God Gives us good things, but expects us to be good Stewards, Caretakers of what He gives us.

*Ja.1:17 - "Every good thing given, and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of Lights..."

*1Cor.4:2 - "...it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy."

2) Not the Last, but the First.

*Gen.4:3 - "...Cain brought an offering to the Lord of the fruit of the ground. And Abel...brought of the firstlings of his flock...And the Lord had regard for Abel and for his offering; but for Cain and his offering He had no regard."

Remember: God instructs us to bring to Him the First Portion of what we receive, not the Left-Overs.

*Ez.44:30 - "The first of all the first fruits of every kind and every contribution of every kind, from all your contributions, shall be for the priests; you shall also give to the priest the first of your dough to cause a blessing to rest on your house."

3) Not to Purchase Grace or favor, but to Praise God.

*2Cor.9:27 - "Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver."

Scripture provides 2 reasons for giving God our tithe:

a) Ministry giving.

*Mal.3:10 - "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house..."

b) Thanks giving.

*Jer.33:10-11 - "Thus says the Lord, ’Yet again there will be heard in this place...the voice of joy and gladness. the voice of those...who bring a thank offering into the house of the Lord.’"

4) Not to Impress (others), but to Express (love).

*Mt.6:2-3 - "...when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing."

5) Not just our Worldly Stuff, but our Whole Selves.

*Rom.12:1 - "...brethren, by the mercies of God,...present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship."

*1Pet.4:10 - "As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God."

BRINGING IT HOME...

God gives it all, and He owns it all...but He has blessed us and entrusts us with it all...to be excellent stewards.

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