Sermons

Summary: A sermon on Christian stewardship.

Matthew 20:1-16

“Our Primary Stewardship”

By: Rev. Kenneth Sauer, Pastor of Parkview United Methodist Church, Newport News, VA

A young preacher had just finished seminary and had taken his first appointment in the hills of Kentucky.

Wanting to be effective in his preaching ministry, he walked into the pulpit on his first Sunday and preached

on the evils of smoking.

When he finished his message, some of the church leaders met him at the door: “We’re a little surprised that

you would deal with the subject of smoking because nearly half of the state of Kentucky raises tobacco. You

might want to think twice about talking about tobacco from this pulpit.”

The preacher thanked them for enlightening him.

The next Sunday he came back and preached against liquor and drinking.

With great ferver, he preached on the ills of whiskey.

The same group met him at the door when he was finished.

They said: “We think we need to tell you that you ought to be careful about preaching against alcoholic

beverages, especially since nearly a third of our county distills whiskey.”

“I didn’t know that,” the preacher replied. “Thank you for helping me.”

He came back the next Sunday to preach a stirring sermon on gambling--in any shape or form, the

lotto, racehorses, or any other.

The same group met him after the service: “We think we need to tell you that over half of our county raises

thoroughbred racehorses, so you want to be real careful about talking about gambling from the pulpit.”

Being a quick learner, the next Sunday, the young preacher preached against the evils of scuba diving in

international waters!

Obviously this young preacher took the easy way out...but this is not what we are called to do as

Christians....

Ultimately, this is why Jesus was crucified....because He said things that made people uncomfortable or

upset.

And Jesus often used parables in order to help men and women see the great truths of the kingdom of God.

John H. Westerhoff the 3rd once said: “If you are not feeling very uncomfortable after you have read a

parable in the Bible, just assume that you did not get it. It’s function is to turn your life upside down and get you

very upset. And most people are not upset about parables. That means that they did not get it.”

Let’s take a look at the parable we read this morning from the perspective of stewardship.

First of all...what is stewardship?

Stewardship is simply the wise management of God’s resources.

Psalm 24 says: “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.”

And as Christians, we are called to manage those resources.

So, stewardship is as much about living as it is about giving.

On Sunday, September 15th we at Parkview United Methodist Church are going to have Consecration

Sunday.

And during the weeks of August, I plan to preach a series of sermons concerning stewardship.

I want all of us to spend the summer in reflection and prayer....asking God to tell us and lead us and teach us

how we can become even better stewards for His Church.

When we joined the Church we promised God that we would be loyal to The United Methodist Church

(and locally to Parkview United Methodsit Church), and uphold it by our prayers, our presence, our gifts, and our

service....

....And I believe that God will hold us accountable by how well we upheld our end of that bargain...

....because it is our responsibility to always be reaching out to lost souls with the gospel of our Lord Jesus

Christ.

And the better we are at being good stewards by our prayers, our presence, our gifts and our service...the

more possible it is for us to be able to reach the world with what is our primary stewardship--the most valued

treasure of all--something we possess through the gift of faith--that is the life-changing gospel of Jesus Christ

to those people who have not yet recieved it.

Stewardship--in a nutshell--is what a person does after he or she says, “I believe.”

In our parable for this morning, God the Father is portrayed as the owner of all things....

....and we are His managers.

The owner is God...

...The workers are us...

...The work is our calling....

....and the pay is the rewards we recieve for our faithfulness and productivity.

The problem in the parable is the attitude the people have about their money.....

....and wrong attitudes contribute to money problems in the church, but the solution to money problems is

not getting more money than someone else.

A little boy had two quarters, one for ice cream and one for the church offering.

Unfortunately, he accidentally dropped one of the quarters into the storm sewer.

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