Summary: Responsibility comes with the gifts God gives us. Adapted from a John C. Maxwell sermon.

Stewardship: The Missing Piece of Successful Living (3 of 4)

"If God Owns It All, What Am I Doing With It?"

January 19, 2003 FBC, Chester, Illinois Mike Fogerson, Speaker

(Originally preached by Dr. John C. Maxwell)


A We continue our theme of Stewardship we’ve been looking at this month.

a Two weeks ago we looked at the benefits of stewardship.

(Went through the entire bible and discovered that God wants us to be rivers, not reservoirs.)

b Last week we looked at Poverty vs. Prosperity theology and discovered that Stewardship is right in the middle. Takes the promises of the both views where we become MANAGERS of what God has given us. (Never owners!) With the job of manager comes great responsibility.

B Responsibility on crossword puzzle.

a Daniel Webster quote, "The most important thought I ever had was that of my individual responsibility to God."

*When Webster said this he was the Top statesman in America. At a banquet in his honor, attended by foreign heads of state, the top people in our government and he was asked what was his greatest responsibility. After he said it was his responsibility to God, he was so emotional he had to leave the room. When we returned he spoke for 30 minutes on his responsibility to God.

b This morning we are looking at RESPONSIBILITY, "If God Owns It All, What Am I Doing With It?"

*Many of us have never gotten to the point of know that God owns it all. We may know it, but we never embrace it.

*Palm Springs not long ago, a t.v. crew went up to a house and knocked on the door and asked the people if they could film a scene of a television show in their front yard. Agreed. The only problem was, the occupants of the house were renters...when the owner of the house saw the tire truck marks in the yard, trash..he was furious. How dare his renters assume the rights of the owner. We many of us do that with God. We are managers of what God owns and God owns all of it.

c If you made $400 last week, how much does of that is God’s? ($400)

*Some of you are doing the math and said "40." I haven’t done my job as pastor in teaching the principles of stewardship. You see, it all belongs to God.

C Today we’ll be looking at a text that I’ve preached from dozens of times in my ministry. (Master/Steward/talents..Biblical Principles of Money Management)

Let’s look at these principles....

1 God owns it all. (Everything is His, he has asked me to manage it. RESPONSIBLE)

Text: READ MATTHEW 25:14-19

There are two implications in this text:

(1) God has a right to do whatever He wants with the possessions He has given me.

(Job said, "The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the Lord.")

a Everything in my life is God’s and he can do what ever He wants with.

b The owner has the right, the "Steward" has all the responsibility.

c We read the Master gave one steward 5, another 2 and another 1 and think, that’s not fair. The talents belonged to the Master and he had every right to do with the talents what he wanted!

*The master had the rights, the stewards were responsible for handling the talents faithfully.

d In vv:19 we see the Master coming back and wants to know what the servants did with His talents. (God’s right is to know what were doing with what he’s given us.)

*IL. Some of us are like Dennis The Menace. He’s leaving church with his parents, shakes hands with the preacher and asks "Preacher, what are you going to do with that dollar my dad gave you?"

e Stewardship is the use of God given resources for the accomplishment of God given goals.

f When we make this leap (seeing God as owner of everything) we will see financial woes/difficulties differently. (Lose job, setback...God you’ve got a problem.)

*If we think we own the possessions God has given us, we don’t have it!

*My name is on the title of my Jeep as OWNER. But I don’t really own that Jeep. *My family, checking account,...all his.

(2) Every spending decision is a spiritual decision.

a Not only what we give to the Lord, but what we do with the rest of our money.

Ron Blue says: "You can’t fake stewardship. Your checkbook reveals all that you really believe about stewardship. A life story could be written from a checkbook. It reflects your goals, priorities, convictions, relationship, and even the use of your time. A person who has been a Christian for even a short while can fake prayer, Bible study, evangelism, going to church and so on, but he can’t fake what his checkbook reveals." *THAT’S WHY SO MANY OF US ARE SECRETIVE ABOUT OUR PERSONAL FINANCES.

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