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Our most recent family pic with only Andrew missing

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Stewardship 8: Conclusion


This is the conclusion to our series on Stewardship, which we have seen over the last 8 weeks, is a very important aspect of the Christian life. Stewardship in a sense asks us:
How have we cared for and used the things that God has entrusted to us – the creation He has given us to live in, He often calls it a vineyard in the Scriptures, how have we, you and I, cared for it.
The time, the life He has blessed us with, how have we used it/are we using it/how will we use if from here onward.
The talents, gifts, abilities He has given us – uniquely blessed each one of us – how have we used our brains, eyes, hands, cooking ability, our high jump ability, our work ability, our particular Spiritual Gifts.
How are we blessing and taking care of the people that God has entrusted to us in our homes, our church, our streets, our workplaces.
And our money – are good stewards of that.
And I want to conclude this series with some suggestions regarding how to begin to be a better steward.
Wherever we are with regards to our role as stewards, with the grace of God, we can improve, can’t we?
I can… and you can too.
And the truth is that it’s very important that we do improve if we are serious about being disciples of Christ
.
I want to highlight a few verses from our Luke readings:

‘Whoever is faithful in small matters will be faithful in large ones” 16:10

‘Well done, you are a good steward! Since you were faithful in small mattes, I will put you in charge of large matters’ 19:17

‘Much is required from the person to whom much is given, much more is required from the person to whom much more is given’ 12:48

The principle that we see in there and in all scriptures is a simple and gracious one from God:
‘start off small, prove yourself faithful in small things and I will gradually entrust you with more.’

Let’s look at how this principle works in 3 areas of our lives – the area of : stewardship, sin and growing in holiness, giving of our money.

First an illustration – high jump – I hated it at school.
Jumping over a pole into a sandpit (we don’t have foam when I started school) I hated it.
But I noticed that the people who liked it didn’t start at the school record and try and jump over it.
They started low and gradually worked higher.
Proved themselves faithful in small things and gradually found grace/strength/ability – to reach higher/bigger things.
It’s the Biblical principle mentioned above which applies in all areas of life.
The same principle applied in something that I DID like – weightlifting. You don’t start off with the heaviest. You start off small and you add more as you grow.
It’s the biblical principle. Little bit, and more is entrusted to you.
And likewise when you can jump 6 feet, push 100kg’s, you are expected to. Then you don’t get away with 3feet or 50kg’s. To the one whom much more has been given, says Jesus, much more is expected. The Biblical Principle.

In the area of stewardship of creation, of your time, of your gifts and talents and abilities, of people, your family, your friends, the poor – in all these Satan’s temptation is… what possible difference can you make – so don’t even try.
In all the stewardship parables it is the steward who doesn't even try, the one who just gives back what he got with no interest, he's the one who gets the curse from the King… ‘bad and worthless steward/servant – go away’

In each of the areas we've looked at… start off, even today, somewhere ‘small’, and be faithful in the ‘small’ thing and see how God then helps you grow. Please.

In the area of sin and growing in personal holiness the same thing applies. Satan tempts us to believe ‘you’ll never change’ but God says ‘You can change’.
AA have a wonderful principle/motto: They say ‘one day at a time’. An alcoholic who doesn't drink anymore will never say ‘I’ll never drink again’ – he or she will say ‘I won’t drink today’.
And as they prove themselves faithful in small things,.... ie one day..... they suddenly find by God's grace they've been faithful in big things – suddenly it’s a week, a month, a year, a decade since they last drank.

In the area of sin in your life that grips you this morning, don’t say – I’ll never do that again, rather say ‘I won’t do that today’ and see how God gives you grace, gives you more and more power, and suddenly it’s been a few days, or a week,.... etc.
As you tackle sin in this way, you’ll find you are growing in holiness – one day at a time.

Finally, in the area of giving of your money; we've heard of tithing, and of offering and of giving sacrificially and sometimes, we don’t know where to start. All we do know is… God can’t have all ‘my’ money.

But the same ‘ weightlifting and high jump’ principles apply.
If you’re not tithing yet, make that your goal, set yourself a time limit and begin today, this month, to give more, and add to your giving.

If you are already tithing, don’t sit back – add to your giving, you’ll remember that’s when it becomes an offering.

So we've looked at Stewardship over a number of weeks and in a number of different areas.
Why –because it is very very important.

It is in the context of Stewardship that we will one day hear the words I think we all long to hear from our LORD on that Great Day ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. Come in, and share my Fathers Glory’

I want to hear those words on that day.

How about you?

In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

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