Summary: For the follower of Jesus, stewardship is the managing of the property of our Lord and Savior. This goes far beyond “stuff” and applies to our very lives – for the Scripture says that we were “bought with a price” (1 Cor 6:20;7:23). This message looks
NUTS AND BOLTS ABOUT STEWARDSHIP
THE LEVEL OF STEWARDSHIP
2 Corinthians 9:6-7 (NIV) 6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
1 Corinthians 10:31 (NIV) So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
INTRODUCTION: A steward is defined as, “a person who manages another's property or financial affairs; one who administers anything as the agent of another or others.” Thus, stewardship is the action of managing the property of another. For the follower of Jesus, stewardship is the managing of the property of our Lord and Savior. This goes far beyond “stuff” and applies to our very lives – for the Scripture says that we were “bought with a price” (1 Cor 6:20;7:23).
This morning, in our time together, I want to look at what might be considered a concern with regard to our faithful activity as stewards, contrasted with God’s desire for us as stewards.
PROPOSITION: STEWARDSHIP IS TO BE A CONSISTENT ACTIVITY IN OUR LIVES
I. OUR FLOATING LEVEL OF STEWARDSHIP – 2 COR 9:6
A. THE SIZE OF THE HARVEST IS RELATED TO THE SCOPE OF THE SOWING
1. SIMPLE AGRICULTURAL PRINCIPLE
2. EVERY FARMER FACED THIS DILEMMA EVERY YEAR
a. ENJOY WHAT I HAVE NOW
b. HOLD BACK SEED
c. LOSE SOME NOW AND LOOK FORWARD TO THE FUTURE HARVEST
3. SCATTERING IS RISKY, YET THE WORD OF GOD ENCOURAGES RISK.
Proverbs 11:24-26 (NIV) 24 One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. 25 A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. 26 People curse the man who hoards grain, but blessing crowns him who is willing to sell.
a. MEAGERNESS PRODUCES SMALL HARVESTS
4. SCATTERING IS RISKY, YET THE WORD OF GOD PROMISES AWARENESS
Matthew 6:26 (NIV) 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?
a. CONFIDENCE IN GOD SHOULD OUT WEIGH OUR CONCERN
SOME PRACTICAL THOUGHTS:
-- GOD HAS GIVEN US A VARIETY OF “SEED” FOR SCATTERING (TIME, TALENT, AS WELL AS RESOURCES)
-- GOD HAS COMMANDED US TO BE GENEROUS SOWERS IN EVERY AREA (GREAT COMMISSION, TITHING, BODY LIFE)
-- GOD HAS ENCOURAGED US TO BE RISKY NOW FOR THE FUTURE HARVEST AND WARNED US AGAINST HOARDING (THE PARABLE OF THE RICH FOOL, DOING IT ALL FOR THE GLORY OF GOD, TESTING OF OUR WORKS)
-- IT ALL POINTS US TO THE QUESTION OF WHAT HAVE WE DONE, WHAT ARE WE DOING, AND WHAT WILL WE DO WITH THE SEED GOD HAS GIVEN US?
NOT BEING A GENEROUS CHRISTIAN IS AKIN TO BEING A FIRE INSURANCE CHRISTIAN
NOT BEING A GENEROUS CHRISTIAN IS AN EVIDENCE AGAINST GOD’S FAITHFULNESS
ANANIAS AND SAPPHIRA WHO SOLD PROPERTY, PRESENTED IT TO THE CHURCH AS AN ACT OF FAITHFULNESS IN GOD’S PROVISION, YET IN REALITY HOARDED THEIR “SEED”. THEIR ACT WAS REVEALED TO THE CHURCH AND JUDGED BY GOD.
NOW, I AM NOT SAYING YOU AND I WILL EVER FACE THIS TYPE OF SITUATION, BUT I AM SAYING THAT GOD TAKES STEWARDSHIP SERIOUSLY!
WHAT IS GIVEN IS NEVER LOST FOR IT WILL YIELD FUTURE RESULTS!
II. GOD’S DESIRE FOR DELIBERATE STEWARDSHIP – 2 COR 9:7
A. THE BASIS OF OUR DELIBERATE STEWARDSHIP
1. OUR ABILITY TO PRODUCE
a. GOOD ADMINISTRATORS OF OUR TIME
b. GOOD ADMINISTRATORS OF OUR TALENT
c. GOOD ADMINISTRATORS OF OUR RESOURCES
2. OUR ABILITY TO BELIEVE
a. MUSTARD SEED FAITH
b. THE EVIDENCE OF THINGS NOT SEEN – HEB 11:1
3. OUR ABILITY TO EMULATE OF GOD
a. BE AS GOD IS
b. GOD IS A CHEERFUL GIVER
B. GOD’S PLAN FOR DELIBERATE STEWARDSHIP
1. GIVE WITH A PURPOSED HEART
a. PLANNED OR PRE-MEDITATED
b. THINK ABOUT THE NEED
c. THINK ABOUT WHAT THE LORD WOULD HAVE HIM GIVE
d. GIVE TO THE LORD THE AMOUNT THAT HE LAYS UPON HIS HEART
PRAY ABOUT A PLAN FOR GIVING AND THEN IMPLEMENT THE PLAN AND GIVING GOALS THAT GOD HAS GIVEN TO YOU.
2. GIVE WITHOUT PESSIMISM OR PEEVISHNESS
a. GRUDGINGLY MEANS WITH GRIEF, SORROW OR SADNESS
b. NON GUILT TRIP GIVING
c. THE TEMPLE HAD TWO CHEST FOR THE RECEIVING OF ALMS
1) THE FIRST CHEST WAS FOR WHAT WAS REQUIRED BY LAW
2) THE SECOND CHEST WAS FOR WHAT WAS GIVING WILLINGLY ABOVE WHAT WAS REQUIRED
3) OF THE FIRST CHEST, NOTHING IS SAID. GOD'S PEOPLE SIMPLY DID WHAT THE LAW REQUIRED. OF THE SECOND, MUCH IS SAID IN THE SCRIPTURES.