Summary: Stewardship is a reflection of my relationship to my God and Savior. It is the management of my God-given resources for His glory & for the good of others. From an outline by Gerald Flury, 9/2002.
NOTE: The outline and 3 of the illustrations are taken from the very helpful sermon “STEWARDSHIP IS LORDSHIP” by Gerald Flury from September 2002.
LORDSHIP AND STEWARDSHIP - Proverbs 3:5-10
INTRODUCTION: When we think of stewardship, we often consider it merely as a matter of our giving of money to God through the church. While the giving of tithes and offerings is an important aspect of stewardship, it is secondary. Stewardship is a reflection of my relationship to my God and my Savior. It is the way I what God has given me. It is the management of my God-given resources for His glory & for the good of others. Proverbs 3:5-10 contains a pattern for stewardship that asserts loudly and clearly “Stewardship is Lordship!”
I. MY HEART – HIS HEART (“Trust in the LORD with all your heart”)
At the heart of every true act of stewardship, every work of ministry, every acceptable act of worship is the heart, a heart close to God.
PR 23:26 My son, give me your heart and let your eyes keep to my ways.
The Hebrew "leb" is a broad, inclusive term. In our culture we tend to divide a human being into isolated functions, such as the spiritual, the intellectual, the emotional, the rational, and the volitional. But Hebrew thought maintains the unity of the person. It looks at a human being as a whole and expresses all of these and other inner human functions by use of the word "leb". In the OT the heart is thus the conscious self--the inner person with every function that make a person human.
The Greek "kardia" is used in the OT sense, with all the meanings found there. The heart of man is his very person: his psychological core. The conscious awareness each of us has that makes us persons; and the spiritual dimension of responsiveness or unresponsiveness to God are both expressed by the word "heart."
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart”
Luke 12:34 "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
Matthew 22:37 Jesus replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.”
Are your will and emotions and thinking all directed to Christ? Are they His? If not, He is not really Lord. We need to give Him our all.
Vince Lombardi believed that mental attitude counted for 75 percent of the ingredients of winning. Everyone wants to win, but most people don’t believe they can, and therefore give up before they have tried. The more you believe you can win, the harder you will work. The harder you work, the more you will believe you can win, and the longer you will persist until you succeed. --Ari Kiev, A Strategy for Success (New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc., 1977), p. 39.
To him it was a matter of real heart.
We all know about Cal Ripken Jr. and his remarkable string of consecutive baseball games. NBA fans recognize the name of A.C. Green as the active player with the longest run of games played without missing one, and they know that he is third all-time on the ironman list.
But have you ever heard of Frances Cameron? What she did makes both Ripken’s and Green’s records pale in comparison, simply because what she did has eternal significance. She’s not a shortstop or a power forward; she’s a Sunday school teacher. And her consecutive class record spans over seventy-two years. As Steve Farrar writes in hid book, Point Man: “She’s been studying her lesson and presenting God’s word to her students ever since Herbert Hoover was President, before Babe Ruth hit sixty home runs, and before there was television, modern Israel, the United Nations, and night baseball.” -- Steve Farrar with Dave Branon, Point Man: Taking New Ground (Sisters, OR: Multnomah Books, 1996).
Jesus clearly had her heart.
II. MY MIND – HIS MIND (and lean not on your own understanding)
The Bible teaches that sinful humanity has lost the ability to perceive truth about God. The natural mind is hostile to God (Ro 8:6-7).
Ro 8:6-7 “The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.”
The capacity to perceive has become corrupt and futile through man’s choice not to respond to God’s self-revelation. Even the organ of perception is twisted and darkened, alienated from God.
The solution is found only in a renewal of the mind, a renewal that comes as a result of a faith commitment to Jesus. Only when God completely changes our thinking are we able by faith to respond to the gospel & begin to grasp reality as God knows and has revealed it.