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Summary: A sermon on stewardship.

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LUKE 16:1-13

"The Use of Money"

Ask almost any pastor what causes the most divisions within a church and

he or she will tell you money!

Money.

In our Gospel Lesson for this morning Jesus tells us that the children of

the world

those who are not saved

Those who live only for the present are truer to their admitted

principles and more consistently pursue their goals than those who see

"the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus

Christ."

John Wesley, the founder of Methodism often warned both the unconverted

and the converted against the dangers of riches:

"I fear, wherever riches have increased, the essence of religion, the

mind that was in Christ, has decreased in the same proportion."

Furthermore, Wesley insisted that we are not owners of our assets, but

stewards.

The original meaning of the word stewarda ward of the sty, a keeper of

pigsgoes back to a simple order of life.

We are Gods stewards to rule over a lower level of life.

Now, we are not to become part of that lower level of lifewe are not to

become pigsas Christianswe are to be above being mastered by what God

has put under our care.

We are stewards---we are not owners! God is the only Owner.

Our job is not to hoard money or use it for our own pleasuresour job is

to circulate it properly.

The fact that this is true is hardly open to questions.

For example, if we treat even the forests as our own, dust storms and

droughts come upon us: the universe knows its rightful Lord, and rebels

against us piously trying to take it over.

As Christians, we have a right to a livelihood, but only on a commission

basis.

Gods gifts of money are giftsthey are a trust, not a possession; and

with this trust comes a great amount of responsibility.

Jesus emphasizes that all money belongs to God, and if we realize this,

it becomes easier for us to give back to God.

For example, if we drive a company car, we know that it is not our carit

is to be used for the company

And God wants us to use our possessions with that attitude.

God is letting us use the money He gives us in order to reach the world

for Jesus Christ.

And just as a company gives a salesperson rules and limits on how the

company car is to be used, God has instructed us on how we are to use His

money.

As Christians, we are called to be discipleswhich means to live a

disciplined life.

And because stewardship is management, or discipleship, how we use the

gifts God has put in our care is an expression of our Christian livesof

our faith in Christ.

Jesus stressed these truths repeatedly.

Just look at the parable of the talents in Matthew chapter 25.

In that parable, the Masteror Godentrusted His servants with differing

amounts of His money

and the servant who had hidden Gods money in the ground

had that money taken from him and as Matthew 25 verse 30 tells us: God

said, "throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where

there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."

Remember Julie Longs sermon on Manna last week?

The Israelites were not to hoard the Manna

those who didshowed just how little faith they had that God would send


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