Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Part one in a series on stewardship


Part One

Seeing Money the Way God Sees It

November 1, 2009

Pastor Brian Matherlee

Once upon a time, a mother gave each of her sons two dollars and took them to a toy store to buy the beautiful, shiny marbles they had been asking for. The older son quickly figured out how many marbles he could get with his two dollars, chose the biggest and best of them all, and brought them to the counter in a brown paper bag. He was very happy.

Now, the younger son, who loved the marbles just as much as his brother, realized he needed a strong bag to carry them around in so he could play marbles with his friends. After choosing a sturdy little drawstring bag, he could buy only half as many marbles as his brother, but he was happy too.

The older brother thought so much of his small treasure that he would never let anyone else play with those shiny marbles—in fact; he wouldn’t even play with them himself. He would only look at them adoringly in the privacy of his own bedroom. Whenever he went anyplace, he gathered them up in the brown paper bag and clutched it to his side to be sure no one would get them.

The younger brother, on the other hand, went to the park every day and played marbles with his friends for hours and hours. At first, he lost many of his precious marbles to his friends, but he soon became good at the game and won back more than he lost—filling up his sturdy little drawstring bag.

One day, as the younger brother walked to the park, he found a beautiful marble on the sidewalk. He found another a few feet later, and another. He found marble after marble all the way to the park. He couldn’t fit all the new marbles into his bag, so he handed them out to some kids who didn’t have any and invited them to play marbles too. They had more fun than afternoon than any other day so far.

When the younger brother returned home for dinner, the older brother was in the kitchen staring mournfully at his brown paper bag—which was empty, with a hole in the bottom.

In God’s kingdom, everything is upside down and backwards: The first shall be last, the weak are strong, the foolish confound the wise. In the area of stewardship, those who give generously and use their resources have so much more than those who hoard.

This story is a simple version of one in Scripture:

Matthew 25:14-30

“Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. 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.

The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. So also, the one with the two talents gained two more. But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

“After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 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.’ “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!’

“The man with the two talents also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.’ “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!’

“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. So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you. 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? 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. ‘Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. 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. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

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