Summary: A sermon on stewardship.
"The Use of Money"
Ask almost any pastor what causes the most divisions within a church and
he or she will tell you money!
In our Gospel Lesson for this morning Jesus tells us that the children of
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
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
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
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
As Christians, we are called to be discipleswhich means to live a
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
this Manna to them the next day.
We are not to be afraid of using Gods resources for His kingdom.
And we are not to worry where these resources will come from.
God will provide.
God will provide what we need, when we need it!
We are to step out in faithbelieving that God will provide us with what
we need for Gods work to be accomplished.
A church is not a business.
A church is a community of faith which trusts in God to provide what is
needed for Gods ministry to continue.
We are not to store up for ourselves treasures on earth.
As Jesus tells us: "Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or
drink, or about your body, what you will wearLook at the birds of the
air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet their
heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
O you of little faith
the pagans run after these things, and your heavenly Father knows that
you need them.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things
will be given to you as well."
Are we seeking first Gods kingdom and righteousness?
If so, there is no need to worry, and store our money in barns.
One of our biggest problems with money is that money possesses us, rather