Summary: I want to talk to you this month on the theme of stewardship, which truly is the missing piece to successful living. I¡¦m excited about what this month is going to have in store for you and for me as far as our own spiritual growth ...
STEWARDSHIP: THE MISSING PIECE TO SUCCCESSFUL LIVING
The Benefits of Lifestyle Stewardship
Dr. John Maxwell
I want to talk to you this month on the theme of stewardship, which truly is the missing piece to successful living. I’m excited about what this month is going to have in store for you and for me as far as our own spiritual growth and development. This morning I’m going to be talking about benefits: “The Benefits of Lifestyle Stewardship.” We’re going to do a biblical overview. We’re going to look at several passages of Scripture and just see what God’s Word says about living a successful steward’s life.
Next Sunday, I’m going to talk to you about finding a balance as God’s steward and we’re going to talk about “poverty or prosperity, Which is biblically correct?” You run into some Christians and they walk around and they say, “You know, if you really serve God you won’t have anything.” And then there are others that say, “If you serve God; you’ll have everything.” You’ll hear poverty preachers and you’ll hear prosperity preachers. I can hardly wait to preach this message. For about three years, I’ve wanted to preach a message on this. I’m looking forward, next Sunday, to talking to you about when you really become a Christian, what’s going to happen to you financially? What’s going to happen to you in all these areas of your life?
The third week, I’m going to talk about accepting responsibility as God’s steward. I love the title of that message: “If God Owns It All, What Am I Doing With It?” We’re going to talk about that. We’re going to talk about the resources that God has given.
Finally, the last Sunday, we’re going to talk about becoming partners as God’s stewards. One plus one equals what? I’m looking forward to our time together.
Now on the inside, as you turn to the sermon, you’ll notice now we have three pages for note taking today. Folks don’t be discouraged. What you have to understand is I put an amazing amount of Scripture references in this section because I did not want us to have to take time to look up individual passages. So basically what I’m going to do is give you a biblical overview now of lifestyle stewardship with the Scriptures already there so you can follow along quickly so we can learn these nuggets of truth as fast as possible.
Luke chapter 6 is the setting for the story. Jesus is doing some marvelous teaching about really living a lifestyle of giving. We pick up with verse 27: “But I say to you, who hear; love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who mistreat you.” Whoever hits you on the cheek, hit them back. I just want to see if you’re following along. “Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also. Whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either. Give to everyone who asks of you and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back. Just as you want men to treat you, treat them in the same way. And if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you, for even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same thing. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount. But love your enemies and do good and lend, expecting nothing in return and your reward will be great. And you will be sons of the most high, for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. Be merciful just as your Father is merciful. And do not pass judgment and you will not be judged. And do not condemn and you shall not be condemned. Pardon and you will be pardoned. Give and it will be given to you, good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, they will pour into your lap for whatever measure you deal out to others, it will be dealt to you in return.”
1. This behavior is to be our lifestyle.
It’s apparent as you read these verses that Jesus expects us to live this.
2. This behavior sets us apart from the world.
Three different times, our Lord said that if we don’t live this high road of life of giving and sharing and loving. He said, “If you don’t live that high road, there will be nothing that will separate us distinctively from the sinner.” He said, “The sinners treat those who treat them well in return.” He said, "If you want to live a distinctive high road, you’re going to have to live this life of stewardship and giving.”