StewardshipBro. David Chancellor
9/10/2006 11:00 AM
For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money. After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more; His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy lord. He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sawn, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
This gives us a picture of what Jesus provided to us and what our lives should be because of what he provided. Jesus came to give us his Holy Spirit. As we live for God, we have been given things by God. They are his, but we are responsible for them. He’s given us life, health, strength, understanding, etc. Because he’s given us these things, we’re responsible to use them wisely. Stewardship is using wisely what is placed in your hands. We can turn to God for direction on what to do with what he’s given us. We don’t have to stumble along blindly trying to figure out what we should do.
We want our lives to be effective for God, so we want to use what he’s given us effectively.
Preservation alone won’t be sufficient. A lot of religion today focuses primarily on preserving what you have. The one talent approach is, "I’ll just hang onto what I have until Christ comes back."
There’s work for us to do clear up to the last moment. Christ expects us to still be about our Father’s business. We have to know everything’s clear between us and God, but we also need to be using what God has given us, for his purpose.
The earth is the Lord’s and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.
EVERYTHING is God’s and everyone has a responsibility to God. This is why we’ll have to answer to him. We’ll have to answer to him for the life we’ve lived down here, and how we’ve used what he’s given us.
1 Corinthians 6:9-20
Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you; but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body. And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power. Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them members of an harlot? God forbid. What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? For two, saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in yo, 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.
There are some things that won’t inherit the kingdom of God. These things aren’t acceptable to God. We need to get things in their rightful order. Our body AND spirit are God’s and we need to use them in a way that honors God.
This is why it matters where we go and what we do. If Christ wouldn’t go there or do something, we shouldn’t go or do those things. There are some things we avoid because we don’t want to hinder God being glorified in us. Stewardship is about doing what is right and profitable and good. There are things we should pray about, and some things we should just know. Think about whether or not you should be involved in things. If it won’t further God’s purpose, whether or not it is lawful doesn’t matter. Some businesses do certain things, not because it’s the law, but because it’s good business.
Look to see if God would be glorified by it. Consider if Jesus would be involved in it. If the answer is no, it’s time to remove yourself from it.
1 Corinthians 4:1-2
Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.
This applies to anyone who is following Christ. We all have the gospel in our hands. It’s our responsibility to get it out and not be a detriment to it. Christ sent his disciples out to share the gospel.
We should ask God to use us everyday to touch others. We need to be faithful to the cause of Christ. Look out for the cause, not for yourself. Be faithful to what God has give you to do. Have the cause of God at heart. We’re not here to pursue our own desires. We’re here to promote God’s cause. Be faithful in your stewardship of what God has given you. Be faithful to uphold the right even when its hard to do.
1 Peter 4:1-11
Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin. That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you: Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead. For for this cause was the gospel preached also tot hem that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit. But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves; for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. Use hospitality one to another without grudging. As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
They would endure some things and we will, too. Think about your desires; are they submitted to God? If you’re living for Christ, you’ve gone from the selfish desires to the will of God. The world needs to see the difference in us. Does the world think you’re strange? If not, check to see if you’re following the same course the world does.
How can someone be a good steward and be entertained all the time? We need time to think about serious things. We live to serve God. We want the world to be able to see the difference in us. We don’t want to get so focused on the activities of life that we don’t spend any time on the work of God. Live to glorify God.
Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek;) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
People can be religious and still follow after what the world is following. Seek the kingdom of God, first. Keep him at the center of your life. The kingdom of God needs to be first.
We can show others we care and can interact with them without taking the kingdom of heaven out of first place. Live to do as Jesus would do. We need to be faithful stewards of his cause. You can’t be a light to the world if you live as they do. Let the world see Jesus in you.