Understanding Stewardship

October 27, 2007 James 17:

 

Goal

For the next four weeks our church is emphasizing stewardship.

Pastor Viars is preaching from

10/28

The Foundation of Stewardship

Mark 12.1-12

11/4

The Stewardship of Giving

Luke 10.11-27

11/11

The Stewardship of Serving

1 Corinthians 12.1-31

11/18

The Stewardship of Choices

Joshua 24

  • In our ABF’s we are promoting stewardship as well.
  • We will be emphasizing one of the 4 Key Principles each week. We encourage you to have the class memorize the principle. More notes are included then you probably want to spend on each Key Principle.
  • The main lesson will be a basic point of stewardship.
  • We are putting  emphasis on a basic point due to the large number of newer people to Faith in our classes.
  • We will cover the our responsibilities as stewards of time, talents and treasure.

Key Principle One:  God Owns Everything and You Own Nothing

1.James 1:17 says, “Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, or shifting shadow.

  • According to this verse, from whom do all good things in life come?

2.Also from James 1:17,

  • What is James trying to communicate about God with the words,
    “Every good thing,” “every perfect gift,” combined with “no variation, or shifting shadow”?

3.Name some things that God has given you that are a demonstration of God’s character discussed in questions #1 and #2.

4.Matthew 5:45 states, “In order that you may be sons of your Father Who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”

  • What good things does God do for everyone, even for the unrighteous?

5. Romans 2:4 tells us that the “kindness of God leads you to repentance.”

  • Why is God kind to those who are unsaved?

6.What are some characteristics of a person who recognizes that God owns everything and he/she owns nothing?

Today’s Lesson

Understanding Stewardship

Biblical Stewardship: The Right Perspective About Time, Talents & Treasure

Biblical stewardship requires that a Christian view time, talents and treasure differently from the way the secular world views it. The secular world equates affluence  with success and happiness.

  • Therefore, society constantly struggles to acquire as much wealth as possible.
  • The Bible is shockingly real in how it reveals life, The Word exposes the worthlessness of a struggle to find contentment by amassing “stuff”  and reveals the truth about money. The Psalms proclaim:

But man, despite his riches, does not endure; he is like the beasts that perish (Psalm 49:12).

No matter how much one struggles for wealth, death still awaits because money cannot add anything to one's life.

One could argue that, although money does not keep death away, it is still worth pursuing because it brings happiness and satisfaction in life. Solomon, a wise and rich man, argues,

"Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless. As goods increase, so do those who consume them. And what benefit are they to the owner except to feast his eyes on them….the abundance of a rich man permits him no sleep" (Ecclesiastes 5:10-12).

Money is meaningless. It can never satisfy those who love it and, instead, offers frivolous goods and anxiety. The struggle for wealth brings with it dissatisfaction, not a better life.

Illustration:  Plug in a personal example or one that you are familiar with that illustrates the vanity of chasing after money. Or use:

Biblical Stewardship: That Which is of True Value

Biblical stewardship does not require that a Christian despise money or to discontinue earning it.

Money is a necessity for basic living. The Bible does warn, however, that the love of money creates evil (1 Timothy 6:10).

1 Timothy 6:10  For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

It is important not to allow money to become the center of one's life. When money is not the object of one's love and devotion, one is free to focus on higher things.

Good stewardship encourages a Christian to find true value in life. If money does not offer much to life, what does? The Bible states,

Proverbs 11:28  Whoever trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf.

The righteous, not the rich, thrive. But how do the righteous thrive without riches? They thrive because they understand and possess what holds a higher value.

 

Seeking
God

  • Peace
  • Joy
  • Contentment
  • Etc.

Seeking
Abundance

  • Always wanting
  • People using you
  • Lack of meaning in life
  • Etc.

What are some ways the righteous thrive and those seeking abundance suffer loss? The list on each side can include . . .

The righteous have character. Proverbs 22:1 states,

 "A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold."

A pure reputation should be one's goal in life rather than the accumulation of wealth. Character lasts. Money cannot.

Believing in God offers the righteous a lifetime of wealth (Romans 11:33).

Romans 11:33  Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!

Knowing God and understanding his love are the true eternal riches. The author of Hebrews writes,

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, 'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you (Hebrews 13:5).

Money does not love and it does not linger. It is God who stands by and blesses his children in immeasurable amounts-this promise, not money, truly satisfies.

Biblical Stewardship: It's About Heart

Biblical stewardship calls a Christian to give back to God as he prospers (1 Cor. 16:2). The New Testament principles for giving state that giving should find its genesis in a life that has been dedicated to God (2 Cor.8:5), that gives in a voluntary manner (2 Cor. 9:7), liberally (2 Cor. 8:12), and cheerfully (2 Cor. 9:7).

For God, giving is not only about a percentage. Giving has more to do with one's heart during the act of giving then the actual amount given to God. The Bible offers this story:

"As he looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. 'I tell you the truth,' he said, 'this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out her poverty put in all she had to live on'" (Luke 21:1-4).

The woman gave two copper coins-what amounted to a fraction of a penny. This seems a trivial amount. However, God viewed her trivial amount with more regard than the large offerings of the rich. Why? By giving all she had, the woman showed utter devotion to God. She was willing to offer everything she possessed to show love to God.

Biblical stewardship is a giving out of devotion rather than duty. It's about the heart of the giver-the Christian willing to give out of poverty, not wealth.

Homework:  This week have your students spend time before God reflecting on their heart attitude before God in regards to stewardship. (perhaps as a couple if married)

Ask God to prepare them to listen to the stewardship emphasis over the next three weeks in regard to one’s Time – Talent – Treasure.

In regard to being a steward what attitudes do you need to put on / put off?

Biblical Stewardship: Giving to Others and Making a Stand

Biblical stewardship provides help for the less fortunate. The Bible states,

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world" (James 1:27).

Giving does not end with money in the offering plate. God asks that the giving heart be extended to those who need it most-widows, orphans, and the poor. As a Christian, one must reach out to those in need, sharing the blessings one has received from God. Even after understanding that money does not satisfy, a Christian may find it difficult to let go of more money by giving to those in need. However, the Bible promises,

"A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor" (Proverbs 22:9).

The generous person -- the one with the heart of a giver -- finds blessings in giving. When one offers money to others, one receives wealth in many other ways. As a Christian it is time to make a stand for God. Matthew 6:24 states,

"No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money."

Between God and money, which will you choose to love?

Conclusion

A faithful Christian’s use of his treasures, time and talents is governed by New Testament principles.  Extraordinary promises and revelations have to do with stewardship:

Luke 6:38Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

Acts 20:35In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”

2 Corinthians 9:6Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.

Hebrews 6:10God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.

Hebrews 13:16And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.

  • What are some characteristics of a person who does not understand this important truth?
  • What can you and your family do today to apply this truth?


Key Principle One:  God Owns Everything and You Own Nothing

Today’s Lesson

Understanding Stewardship

Biblical Stewardship:  The Right Perspective About T     ime, Ta     lents & Tr     easure

Biblical stewardship requires that a Christian view time, talents and treasure differently from the way the secular world views it. The secular world equates affluence  with success and happiness.

  • The Bible is shockingly real in how it reveals life, The Word exposes the worthlessness of a struggle to find contentment by amassing “stuff”  and reveals the truth about money. The Psalms proclaim:

But man, despite his riches, does not endure; he is like the beasts that perish (Psalm 49:12).

Biblical Stewardship:  That Which is of Tru     e V      alue

Biblical stewardship does not require that a Christian despise money or to discontinue earning it.

Money is a necessity for basic living. The Bible does warn, however, that the love of money creates evil (1 Timothy 6:10).

1 Timothy 6:10  For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

Money does not love and it does not linger. It is God who stands by and blesses his children in immeasurable amounts-this promise, not money, truly satisfies.

Biblical Stewardship:  It's About Hear     t

Biblical stewardship calls a Christian to give back to God as he prospers (1 Cor. 16:2). The New Testament principles for giving state that giving should find its genesis in a life that has been dedicated to God (2 Cor.8:5), that gives in a voluntary manner (2 Cor. 9:7), liberally (2 Cor. 8:12), and cheerfully (2 Cor. 9:7).

Biblical Stewardship:  Giving to Others and Making a Stand

Biblical stewardship provides help for the less fortunate. The Bible states,

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world" (James 1:27).

"A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor" (Proverbs 22:9).

Between God and money, which will you choose to love?

Conclusion

A faithful Christian’s use of his treasures, time and talents is governed by New Testament principles.  Extraordinary promises and revelations have to do with stewardship:

Luke 6:38Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

Acts 20:35In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”

2 Corinthians 9:6Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.

Hebrews 6:10God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.

  • What are some characteristics of a person who does not understand this important truth?
  • What can you and your family do today to apply this truth?