Summary: Stewardship suggests to most people simply tithing-- tithing is just the beginning of stewardship.
Grant Avenue Baptist Church
2215 Grant Avenue
Redondo Beach, CA 90278
Pastor David Wilson CELL: 310-213-4586
Pastor David Wilson email firstname.lastname@example.org
For the first month of 2012 we will place a heavy emphasis on Stewardship. We have designated January as stewardship month. Some believers become uncomfortable with the word “stewardship” because so often it is used to describe a financial campaign to increase tithes and offerings.. That is not our goal. Our goal is to preach the whole Word of God and oftentimes our approach to stewardship is careless in our effort to avoid the appearance ot televangelists who want to reach into your pocket.
First, we need to establish several principles before we even begin. Stewardship is more than just tithing. Yes, we will talk about tithing, for it has its place in the believer’s life. There are several principles I want to establish about proper Christian Stewardship before we actually get to the message. Be forewarned, these principles will be covered again next Sunday so I suggest you make a note of them.
Stewardship Principle # 1: As a believer, I belong to God. Therefore, all that I have also belongs to God.
The apostle Paul reminds us that our own bodies, our flesh, are most certainly not ours to do with as we please. He writes in I Corinthians 6:18-20
“Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually sins against their own body. Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”
Stewardship Principle # 2: I am not free to use that which is entrusted to my care in a manner that is contrary to God’s will.
That principle was covered in the passage we just referenced. However, let me expand upon it with a silly illustration. If you rent a home you might call it your house, but it really belongs to the landlord. You have a responsibility to provide reasonable care. You cannot suddenly decide without the landlord’s permission that you are going to paint the walls black and place glow in the dark stickers on the wall with psychedelic colors. If you decide to paint, it is only right that you include the landlord in the discussion of color schemes, etc. After all, it is his house, you just have the privilege of living there.
Proper stewardship is more than thinking of money. It is thinking of possessions, time, energy, recreation, and really—every area of your life.
Sometimes stewardship is where you serve, where you attend church. Phillip probably would have loved to stay in the revival that was going on in Samaria. It probably seemed like it would have been God’s will for him. However, God, all-knowing, all-wise, led Phillip out to a lonely road where he met one soul that was ready to be witnessed to. Part of stewardship is learning to discern God’s will with my time and efforts.
Stewardship Principle # 3: Proper stewardship puts God first.
I’ve got a little abbreviation that I’m using for that principle. I don’t know if I heard it somewhere else, but it has stuck with me for the last few weeks as I prepared for this series of messages. That abbreviation is “PGF” and it stands for PUTTING GOD FIRST.
Now, we can begin this morning’s sermon, and our text is found in Matthew 6. We will begin reading with verse 25 but I want to give you some context. Jesus has just spoken about the need for believers to lay treasure up for themselves in heaven and described how earthly material possession decay, rust, or can be stolen. He then warned that material possessions can become a god and warns us to recognize that we cannot serve God and money (material gain) at the same time.
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? 28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.”