Summary: Sermon two in stewardship series. Show what stewarship is an important part of our Christian lives.
9/7/03 FFWB Louisville
A College student had the following message on his dorm answering machine:
“Hi! This is Fred. If it’s the phone company, I sent the money. If it’s Mom or Dad, please send money. If it’s the financial office, you didn’t loan me enough money. If it’s my girlfriend, leave a message-- and don’t worry, I’ve got plenty of money.”
That is a pretty good description of the way too many Christians treat stewardship. I have no money, except for those things I want to have money for. I understand that there are people that honestly have trouble making the ends meet from month to month and I am not talking about those who fit into that group. I’m talking about people who can find the money to buy what they really want to buy when they want to buy it, but don’t consider stewardship important enough to worry about.
Stewardship is important, because it directly relates to our relationship with God.
I said this last week and on Wednesday night and will say it now – A person who does not practice good stewardship, of their time and talent and money, can not have a wonderful and strong relationship to God. I’m not saying their not Christians, I know many people who I sincerely believe are Christians, but are also poor stewards. What I am saying is that those Christians will never be really mature, strong and close to God. Harsh words, but true none the less.
I want us to start viewing stewardship in a holistic way. I want us to comprehend the way it relates to impacts our entire
Christian lives. I don’t think most Christians have a well-rounded view of stewardship. That is mainly to blamed on pastors who avoid the uncomfortable topic. These are not fun messages to preach and the danger of being labeled as one of those preachers who only care about money is very real. As a result many preachers on talk about money rarely and briefly.
I. Good stewardship is important, because it an act of worship.
a. Gen. 28:16-22
16 And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew it not.
17 And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.
18 And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it.
19 And he called the name of that place Bethel: but the name of that city was called Luz at the first.
20 And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on,
21 So that I come again to my father’s house in peace; then shall the LORD be my God:
22 And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God’s house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.
b. II Cor. 9:12
For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God;
Both passages connect the act of giving to God with the worship of God.
After attending church with his father one Sunday morning, before he climbing into bed that night a little boy kneeled and prayer, “Dear God, we had a great time at church today, but I wish you had been there. (from Illustrations for preaching ed. Michael Green)
In don’t think the problem is that God didn’t show up; the real problem is that we don’t show up. We may be here in body, but not with a worshipful heart. That is especially true when it come to the offering.
We tend to treat the offering as a necessary evil. We have to pass the plate in church—that’s just part of going to church. We ought to the offering as a vital part of our worship! Giving to God during the offering is a very real, concrete way that we can show our love for God and our humility. It is an acknowledgment that God owns everything we have and we gladly give it back to Him and His kingdom. The offering is a time for worship! It is not time to take a restroom break, get a drink or tell the person next to you a joke. We should be focused on God as much or more during that time as we are through any other part of the worship service.