Summary: This is the second in a series of stewardship messages but can be used stand alone. This message looks at the stewardship principles that can be learned from a little boys lunch.
Building A Life of Christian Stewardship Pt 2
A Solid Structure
Last time we were together we began this series for stewardship month. We are talking about building lives of Christian stewardship. We came down to just a few truths to take home.
1) In the beginning God ¡V it all starts with God ¡V He is the owner ¡V and when we finally get hold of this idea we stop the conflict with God over what we do with the stuff we have.
2) We have been entrusted with God¡¦s stuff ¡V that means we are responsible to God for the use of that stuff and we will be held accountable for our use of it.
3) What we do with God¡¦s stuff is important to Him, to us, and to others.
Those three things form the foundation for a life of Christian stewardship.
This morning we want to begin building a solid structure on that firm foundation.
For that let¡¦s turn to a passage of scripture that is not often used in discussing stewardship but really is a stewardship message to build a life on.
Now let me ask you a question ¡V Who¡¦s the steward in this story? That¡¦s right it¡¦s a little boy ¡V a little boy who shares his lunch with Jesus. But notice that it all starts with Jesus.
Let¡¦s set the scene for a minute ¡V Jesus has been through one of the most trying days of His ministry. In one day ¡V he heard about the death of His best friend (john the baptist), His own life was threatened by Herod, He try¡¦s to take a day off and is mobbed by people and now a new problem arises ¡V how do we feed all these people? But look at Jesus ¡V Calm in the face of the storm ¡V He calls His disciples over and asks them a simple question ¡§where are we to buy bread, so that these may eat?¡¨ Philip always the pragmatist says to Jesus ¡§what are you nuts?¡¨ Well he doesn¡¦t say it that way ¡V what he says is ¡§half a years salary (200 days wages) wouldn¡¦t even give each of these people a mouthful.¡¨ But look at what verse 6 says ¡V It is perhaps the most wonderful of passages ¡V ¡§this He was saying to test them, for He Himself already knew what He was intending to do.¡¨
1) God has a plan ¡V He is never stumped. Jesus knew about a little boy who had a lunch pail probably sitting very close by. Jesus knew that He was going to perform one of the greatest miracles of His ministry before there very eyes. This miracle is one of only a couple recorded in all 4 Gospels. God has a plan ¡V the disciples don¡¦t know it, the crowd doesn¡¦t know it, the little boy doesn¡¦t know it ¡V but God has a plan.
„« Here is a structural truth for your life ¡V God has a plan for you ¡V
Psalm 139 says ¡§For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother¡¦s womb¡K My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them.
Jeremiah 29 says ¡§For I know the plans that I have for you,¡¦ declares the LORD, ¡¥plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.¡¨
You might not know it ¡V see it ¡V or understand it ¡V but God has a plan for your life. He has a plan for your lunch pail. I said last week that it is important to God what you do with your stuff ¡V why? Because it¡¦s His stuff. He has designed you with talents, gifts, abilities and has given you spiritual gifts, resources, and life ¡V because He has a plan for your life. But here¡¦s the rub ¡V I told you last week there¡¦s always a rub.
2) He is Counting on You ¡V v9 ¡V Notice that Jesus doesn¡¦t go grab a lunch pail from this little boy. Hey kid ¡V I see you have a lunch box ¡V hand it over. What is intensely wonderful to me is that this little boy ¡V obviously overhearing the conversation between Jesus and Philip ¡V approaches these adults and hands them his lunch pail. You know Philip probably scoffed at what the little boy brought ¡V rolled his eyes and smiled a polite smile ¡V I can even imagine that Philip offered this lunch to Jesus as an object lesson in futility. But somehow in childlike innocence he offers all he has and Jesus takes it. He planted a seed and Jesus grew a crop. His faith investment triggered one of the greatest miracles of Jesus ministry. Here are some stewardship principles we can learn from this little boy.