Summary: A very small part of stewardship involves our money; it is about every aspect of our life!
THE ISSUES OF STEWARDSHIP
1. For the next several weeks, we will be looking at the subject of stewardship.
2. The word of God speaks often about the concept of “stewardship.”
3. But it seems that though stewardship is often misunderstood.
4. To most, it means they have to throw in their tithe each Sunday and support missions!
5. To many it conveys a sense of managing all their money matters wisely.
6. Stewardship, however, is a concept that goes way beyond spending money—in fact the use of money is a very small part of what it means to be a steward.
7. God has called each of us to be stewards!
8. In order for us to become proper stewards, we must first understand the issues of Stewardship.
9. ILL: Why did Shoney’s shut down in Carthage? They didn’t understand that they were all stewards!
• A steward is not an owner!
• “For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills” (Psalm 50:10).
• “The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the LORD of hosts” (Haggai 2:8).
• “Behold, all souls are mine” (Ezekiel 18:4).
• Demonstrate by giving a volunteer some money and asking him to invest it. Is it now his, or is it still mine? I am trusting him to take it an invest it, but he could be a dishonest steward and spend it or bury it!
• At Shoney’s, the managers were sitting around acting like they owned the place—all the while they were violating the wishes of the owner! One of the reasons servers live off of tips is to get them to do their job better!
A. As Creator God, He owns everything—He made it (Psalm 100:3).
• “Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.”
B. As Crucified Christ, He owns every believer—He bought us (I Corinthians 6:19-20)!
1. ““What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
2. God owns by body, bride, buildings, business, and billfold!
3. He owns my time, talents, treasures, etc…
4. He owns the first place in our hearts.
5. He owns the first day of our week.
6. He owns the first 10% of our gross income!
7. He owns the first part of our day.
8. Why do we continue robbing God?
9. Is it because of ignorance or rebellion (insubordination or insurrection)?
II. The Issue of Obedience (Luke 6:46; 16:13)
• “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46)
• “No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon” (Luke 16:13).
• Lordship is linked to obedience!
• If God is owner, and we are convinced of that—we had better do what He wants us to do with His stuff!
• Obedience involves:
A. Action (why call me “Lord…” and do not…)
• Ro 6:17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
• Eph 6:6 Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.
C. Timeliness—delayed obedience is disobedience!
III. The Issue of Operation (Matthew 25:21, 23).
• Stewardship implies objectives.
• We were left on earth after salvation for some reason!
• We have been given gifts to accomplish those jobs and desires of the Master!
• Ill: Shoney’s was there to feed the public. In the meantime I made a pretty good living waiting on tables. The managers made good wages for orchestrating the employees and offering PR to the customers of the restaurant. When the employees and managers got their focus on getting instead of giving, the restaurant stopped getting and eventually shut down!
• If we act as conduits of God’s grace, He will give and give and give as we give and give and give.
• If we choose to become basins instead of conduits, our lives will begin to stagnate and God will have to stop sending blessings our way and will divert them to another conduit!
• Last year, I preached one message on each of these areas—I won’t do it the same way this year, but here is how stewardship operates, and how God chooses to bless His people!