Summary: This is the fourth message in a series on understanding and doing the will of God. The fourth essential element of the Christian life is good stewardship.

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Intro: When the builders of a proposed bridge across the Niagara Falls began construction many years ago, the first matter at hand was how to span the river w/ the suspension cables. Launching a simple kite, the builders were able to get a thin string across. Using the string, they drew a rope across, which was followed by a larger rope, then a small cable, and finally a cable heavy enough to use as support in building the bridge. When it was completed, the huge structure, that could support a train, showed no signs of having once been launched by a simple kite!

Trans: This story reminds us that to do a great work you must begin small and keep it simple. This is one of life¡¦s foundational truths. We don¡¦t have to make life complex. The same is true w/ stewardship. We don¡¦t have to make it burdensome ¡V God intends it to be rewarding, fulfilling and exhilarating.

Trans: Last year, I shared a sermon on stewardship where I shared 2 base concepts.

1 Stewardship is not about your money, it is about your life.

Note: Stewardship is about how we manage our time, talents, etc. It is about giving to God the best of who we are and what we have received.

Verse: Where your heart is there your treasure will be. Mt. 6:21

2 Stewardship is about who is in charge of your life.

Verse: You shall have no other gods before Me. Ex. 20:2

Note: To address the issue of who is in charge, God requires His people to give the tithe. The Tithe simply reveals who is on the throne.

Quote: We show God that He is first in our lives when we give Him the best of who we are and what we have possessed.

Story: I heard a story of a missionary in Africa who received a knock on the door of his hut one afternoon. Answering, the missionary found a native boy holding a large fish in his hands. The boy said, ¡§Reverend, you taught us what tithing is, so here ¡V I¡¦ve brought you my tithe.¡¨ As the missionary gratefully took the fish, he questioned the boy. ¡§If this is your tithe, where are the other nine fish?¡¨ At this, the boy beamed and said, ¡§Oh, they¡¦re still back in the river. I¡¦m going back to catch them now.¡¨

Define: Compound word - meaning law and house ¡V Stewardship is managing one¡¦s house or managing the affairs of another.

Trans: Concerning stewardship, let¡¦s start small and let¡¦s keep it simple. Our aim is to grasp the essential principles which undergird a strong Christian life. Yet while these truths are simple, they are also ¡§non-negotiable.¡¨

I God¡¦s Owns Everything

Idea: We often speak of our possessions, but according to the Bible, God owns it all and we own nothing ¡V we are stewards of everything God entrusts to us.

Verse: The earth is the Lord¡¦s and everything in it. Ps. 24:1

Truth: We are stewards and not owners ¡V thus giving is nothing more than managing His assets and resources.

1 It all belongs to God.

2 God gives His property to us for our enjoyment & investment.

3 To keep perspective, God asks that we give Him the first 10%.

4 Those who live by the ownership principle, God blesses.

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