Summary: What all is involved in being a faithful steward of life?
THE STEWARDSHIP OF LIFE
Introduction: A steward is someone who manages what belongs to someone else. “All” of life is a stewardship issue! Remember it is required of a steward that he be found faithful.
In chapter 11 Solomon teaches us about this subject. What all is involved in being a faithful steward of life?
I. Make An Investment (1-2)
See Matthew 6:19-24, 33. Are you investing your time, talents and treasure in god’s kingdom – His work and church?
A. The Requirement (v1) – “Cast” = not throw, but send. It’s the picture of someone who engages in commercial enterprises involving overseas trade (waters). Solomon says release it, let it go. Ask God to send you into his kingdom. “Here am I, send me.” Give all you have to further His cause. I’m afraid our pews are full of “rich young rulers.” They look good, but in reality, have missed the kingdom!
B. The Result (v1) – Trust me, it won’t sink but will eventually pay off. Proverbs 19:17, 21:13. God has a long memory.
C. The Regions (v2) – “Portions” = not a pitiful and pathetic few. “Seven/eight” = diversify, expand. “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”
D. The Reality (v2) – Just because we are generous does not immune us from problems or disasters. Bad things, misfortune, pitfalls and hardships may come but give yourself anyway and trust the results with God. He has promised to repay!
Let me note three observations here.
1. Don’t expect your ship to come in if you’ve sent non out.
2. You cannot reap what you do not sow (generally speaking).
3. Why should God be generous with us if we are stingy with him?
II. Deal With The Inevitable (3-4)
Disasters and storms are inevitable. It’s part of life. The storms (cloud and rain) and the wind (blew the trees over) cannot be avoided. What’s the point here? Don’t use the possibility of disaster or misfortune as an excuse for inactivity. If you magnify every difficulty or hardship, you won’t ever work. If we sit around and wait for the ideal circumstance trying to avoid adverse conditions, we won’t ever get anything done.
III. Trust The Invisible (5-6)
Enjoy life to the fullest! But how?
A. Love (v7) – “Light/sun” = describes the warmth of God’s love. He gives us permission to enjoy him and ourselves. He can lift the doom and gloom. I wonder how many can’t receive God’s love because they are “mad” at Him for any number of reasons.
B. Laugh (v8) – Let happiness pervade your whole life all of your days. Every day is a gift from God – laugh a little. Happiness is a choice! Some young people can’t be happy (parents/peer pressure/hormones). Some married people say “I’m just not happy in my marriage.” Quit looking for someone else to make you happy. It’s your choice. Parents, singles and senior adults come up with the same line, “I’m not happy.” Why? Because you choose not to be happy.
C. Live (v9) – This is not a hedonistic agenda. Swindoll writes, “God inserts just enough warnings to keep us obedient.” Don’t go wild with your liberty. Be balanced. Judgment day is coming.
D. Lose (v10) – “Anxiety” = vexation. This is anger mixed with resentment which leads to a rebellious spirit. Put away the things that would bring the body pain.
Conclusion: Make the investment. Deal with the inevitable. Trust the invisible. Accept the invitation. Be a good steward.