Sermons

Summary: The first in a series on Stewardship.

What is Stewardship or what is a Steward?

Stew•ard n. (SLIDE-silent read)

1. One who manages another’s property, finances, or other affairs (correlates with NT definition)

2. One who is in charge of the household affairs of a large estate, club, hotel, or resort.

Brian Kluth, National-International Generosity Speaker & Author

Dr. Towns teaches a stewardship lesson in the Pastor’s Bible Class at Thomas Road Baptist Church which is the most requested lesson of all he has taught. “Who Owns Your French Fries”? It is the story of a man who buys his little boy some french fries. Then the father does what all fathers do, he reaches over and takes one french fry to taste it. The little boy slaps his father’s hand and says, “Don’t touch my french fries.” The father thinks that his son is selfish. The father knows that he bought the french fries and they belong to him. The father knows that his son belongs to him. The father could get angry and never buy his son another french fry again to teach his son a lesson, or the father could “bury” his son in french fries. The father thinks, “Why is my son selfish, I have given him a whole package of french fries; I just want one french fry…

We’ll attempt to build a covenantal statement of stewardship as we go along. The first statement could read:

Stewardship acknowledges that God owns everything we have.

Psalm 24:1 “The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him.”

• Stewardship is our God-given privilege to be in management – God’s property, finances and affairs

• Stewardship is not only about money. It is so much more than that. As a matter of fact, if we cannot come to terms with the easier matter of money so that it continues to be a contentious, divisive subject, one over which we are selfish and self-justifying in our reasons for not complying with God’s directive, we are not ready to handle these deeper, more sacrificial issues of commitment, contribution, community and calling to the world, which we will consider in Romans 12.

Bill Bright of Campus Crusade for Christ offers, “God has placed in our trust a measure of time, a unique set of talents, and sufficient resources to carry out His will for each of our lives. Our task as faithful stewards is to manage those blessings in order to bring the maximum glory to His name.”

Are you ready to take a journey of faith and liberation? Let’s pray!

Romans 12 – the header “living sacrifices” is the summation of stewardship. It is the understanding that my very existence, possessions and response to life, is mine for the sole purpose of honoring God in every aspect of that existence and possession.

The point of our subject today is to realize that Stewardship is God’s call to you and me to experience freedom in life that cannot be known any other way than through a life of stewardship!

That summation, “living sacrifices” is broken down for us in Romans 12 where three lessons stand out.

1. IT’S ABOUT YOU AND GOD

Bill Bright, Campus Crusade, told the story of a friend, Arthur DeMoss, who was a godly businessman. His business reached half a billion dollars in assests.

An economic recession resulted in Arthur’s stock plummeting so that he was losing $3 million per day, and lost $360 million dollars in four months.

Bill tells that rather than becoming devastated and decreasing his gifts to God, Arthur increased his giving on every front. When asked why he did this he said, “The Lord gave me everything I have. It all belongs to Him and if he wants to take it away that’s His business. I don’t lose any sleep. I still have a wonderful family. I will do anything God wants me to do. If He takes away everything He has entrusted to me and calls me to the mission field, I’m ready to go. All He needs to do is tell me.”

Stewardship acknowledges that God owns everything I have.

Stewardship speaks of my relationship with God.

• Apostle begins by emphasizing the subject of relationship with God and to God.

• 12:1 “Therefore” – suggesting these comments in light of the earlier ones offered – 11:35-36…

VERSE 1…

Stewardship acknowledges that God owns everything I have.

Stewardship speaks of my relationship with God.

Stewardship requires my commitment to God’s will for me.

• Commentator Coffman of verse 1 – “{Paul} stoops to plead for mortal compliance with God’s will!” (e.g. “urge you”)

• Act of free will. Cannot coheres, force or manipulate into compliance – your free choice to obey or not obey.

• “Body” – Greek word soma meaning physical body. Going beyond an ideal it is an obsession of my living and priorities. We don’t speak the principle – we live the life!

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