Summary: More than Enough Stewardship Sermon series, week 2.

“Giving Stories”

First off, I want to thank everyone who submitted their own “Giving Stories.” It makes a huge difference and I’m glad you took the time. This next week, you have another opportunity to help with the sermon. The assignment is “Celebration Sunday.” We will be celebrating all the wonderful things God has done for our Church and all the wonderful things God is doing through our church.

Is there a ministry that you have been a part of that you are particularly proud of? Is there something our church has done where you have truly seen God at work? If so… I would like to hear your “Celebration Story.” Too often I think that our church will do an awesome and amazing ministry and instead of reflecting on it and celebrating it… we whizz on to the next thing without ever looking back. This next Sunday will be the Sunday for us to celebrate those ministries. So please submit your stories… they can even be anonymous if you like.

With that, we are going to switch gears to our “Giving Stories.” Giving is something that really needs to be taught. And can any of you guess where most of us learn giving from? (Our Parents). And so it was with one of our parishioners. The story begins with the parishioner’s mother having an unfortunate accident that left her paralyzed for the final 8 years of her life. This was before the day of nursing homes and it required the expense and burden of a live in nurse. Dad was supposed to be retiring… now he wasn’t. Through it all though… he never once complained. His compassion… his attitude of giving would have a profound affect on this parishioner. It helped create a compassion in her… and as she grew up she naturally wanted to help others.

She now lives her life appreciating the life that God has blessed her with and she counts every single one of her blessing. You may recognize the story… it comes to us from our own Phyllis Tipton.

Our parents have a profound affect on how we view giving… how we view generosity… how we view service. So… when we are in the midst of talking about stewardship… we should also look to our heavenly Father to learn more about giving. Our heavenly Father is a generous giver who doesn’t know the meaning of the word “enough”… we talked about that last week. In last weeks text, it ended saying the giver is the one who is truly blessed, and that is the lesson I want to piggy back on now as I share two more giving stories with you.

Dear Pastor :p

Before we started tithing, I thought that there was no way we could afford to give so much of our income away. We needed that money for so many other things. But we trusted that if we responded in faith, God would respond faithfully. He has given us everything we need and more. There have been many times we didn’t know if we would be able to make ends meet, and suddenly something happens, and blessings appear from out of nowhere. By giving of our finances, we have been given the honor of seeing God working in our daily lives.

Dear Pastor,

We have really been blessed financially ever since we starting tithing. – Anonymous.

Matthew 25:14 - 25:29 IV

14 "Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. 15 To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16 The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. 17 So also, the one with the two talents gained two more. 18 But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19 "After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20 The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. ’Master,’ he said, ’you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.’ 21 "His master replied, ’Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ 22 "The man with the two talents also came. ’Master,’ he said, ’you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.’ 23 "His master replied, ’Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ 24 "Then the man who had received the one talent came. ’Master,’ he said, ’I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’ 26 "His master replied, ’You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest. 28 "’Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. 29 For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

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