Summary: A semon series focusing on Time, Talents, and Finances. Focusing on: God has been so great, has given us so much.. let us give back to him of our Time, Talents, and Finances.
The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you. Suppose one of you has a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Will he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat?’ Won’t he rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink?’ Will he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’”
Time (Stewardship 2007)
It is stewardship time again. For many churches it means one Sunday during the year where the pastor gets up… and if the pastor is brave enough… he or she begs for money. Well… that is not what I do. My theology based on discipleship makes for a much deeper understanding of what stewardship means.
When I look to the scriptures as a whole… there are three recurring themes of stewardship that keep coming up over and over and over again. These are the things that God has so graciously given us… and he has called us to use them wisely… and to use them in service to him. These three things… are time… talents… and finances. Each of which God has given to us in great abundance. Today… we will look closer at the gift of time.
Imagine there is a bank that deposits $86,400 into your account every single morning. Imagine that no matter what is left over that night… the balance goes back to $0, but every morning another $86,400 shows up. It is “use it or loose it.” What would you do? Draw out every cent… every single day of course!
Each of us has such a bank. Its name is TIME. Every morning, we are credited with 86,400 seconds. We don’t get a single second more… and any second we don’t use wisely… is lost forever. Time carries over no balance. It allows no overdraft. It doesn’t allow for any “rollover minutes.” You can’t keep time in a bottle. There is no going back. There is no drawing against the "tomorrow.” You must live in the present on today’s deposits. The clock is running. Make the most of today.
Now… by making the most of your day… I don’t mean that we need to cram as much stuff as we possibly can within 24 hours… that’s not the way to live. You’ve heard me give sermons on the importance of rest and relaxation… and I still strongly believe that. The thing that we need to strive for… is living the balanced life.
Many of us try to cram 40 hours worth of work into a 24 hour period… we get people who stay up way too late… sleep till the last second possible… jump in the shower… jump out… jump out the door… jump into the car… eat breakfast… shave or put on makeup… and make a few phone calls… all while driving to work. We jump… we jump… we jump.
As I study Jesus’ life I am amazed that He never seemed to be in a hurry. Although He was doing the most important job in history (redeeming the world), and although He knew He only had a few years to do it, He never ran. He made time to consider the flowers and the birds of the air. He had time to put his hands on the little children and bless them. Time was His friend.
Wouldn’t it be nice to live like that? What was his secret? As I look to scripture… I see time and again… it is a balanced life… it is a purpose filled life… with God’s purpose always at the heart of it all. So you want to know how to really make life count… how to turn time into you friend instead of your enemy… then live for the right reasons!
In our scripture text today, Jesus gives us these words… “So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’” Jesus is talking about what I would call… bare minimum Christians… bare minimum Christians ask questions like “What do I have to do?” “What am I required to do?” “How many Sundays can I skip before someone notices?”
Yet we are called to be so much more than bare minimum Christians…
I, therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all lowliness and meekness, with patience, forbearing one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all, who is above all and through all and in all.