Summary: Part 1 in a stewardship series. People are why we give.
GIVING WITH A PURPOSE
Part 1-Passion for People
Pastor Brian Matherlee
Sunday, January 7, 2007
Over the next several weeks we will be talking about the Biblical teachings of stewardship. What is stewardship? It is the faithful honoring of God with our personal resources.
The key verse of Scripture I believe sums up the reason we must honor God with resources we have control of is Psalm 24:1, The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.
God deserves faithfulness from every person and faithful use of every thing because God made it and gave it. We will talk about the use of our time, our ability, and our financial resources over the next several weeks but today I want to begin by talking about the motivation God had in giving—people!
We honor God with our time, talent and treasure when we give in each area because we love people. 1 Corinthians teaches that we can do many things in life, and even do them well, but it we don’t love…it’s a waste.
Our stewardship begins with how well we handle the greatest story ever told. We can give time, ability and money to a cause but if it is not given with the life changing message of Jesus Christ it isn’t what people need the most. (Draw attention to our purposes on the back of bulletin)
Acts 5:20, “Go, stand in the temple courts,” he said, “and tell the people the full message of this new life.”
a. Ten thousand steps-that’s more or less how many the average person takes in a day. It adds up to 115,000 miles…4 times around the earth. (info taken from Bill Hybels, “Just Walk Across the Room)
b. How many of those steps are worthwhile?
c. Jesus made two absolute statements to the disciples regarding the steps they were to take.
i. Matthew 28:18, Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go…”
ii. Acts 1:8, “you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
“Stand in the temple courts”
a. Read 19-21a this is one of three "opening of the prison doors" stories in the book of Acts (cf. 12:6-11; 16:26-29). The "angel of the Lord" denotes God himself in his dealings with humans (cf. Ex 3:2, 4, 7; at al.). By divine intervention, then, the apostles were released from the public jail and told by God to go back to the temple and persist in preaching the message of new life to "the people" (i.e., the nation of Israel), in spite of the Sanhedrin’s attempt to silence it. --Zondervan NIV Bible Commentary (2 volumes), Pradis CD-ROM:Ac 5:19, Book Version: 5.1.50
b. 3 things to note about where God sent them to stand:
i. They stood in the face of reprisal (Acts 5:40 They called them in and had the apostles flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus and let them go.)
ii. Robert Barrantes is a pastor in San Jose, Costa Rica. When he first felt the call of God to plant a church he knew it would be a challenge. God called him to begin a church in one of the toughest parts of San Jose. He came up against severe opposition from the drug peddlers, pimps and bar owners because the people were being saved and their business was drying up. One person was so desperate that he confronted Robert to kill him but God protected him. Our stand will probably not be in the face of such physical opposition—but it will be a test nonetheless.