Aim: To teach and motivate students (& teacher) in ways to apply the principles of stewardship
Steward: A bond slave who uses his abilities to the profit of the master. He is plugged into the master’s needs, committed to the master’s plan, and working for the master’s benefit. He is faithful and loyal to the master. Stewardship is a full time job/lifestyle and not a part time endeavor. He stewards over the mysteries of God and the gifts he is given.
Stewardship: the steward doing his job
Introduction to This Week
Today the goal is to take the theory we started with last week and move out into practical applications, to bring it to a point where the “rubber meets the road”
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 sown, 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.
God expects a return on what He has invested
The return belongs to the master. The bondservant did not say “I’ll just keep 20% as my commission for working for you. No! He owns nothing but what the master gives the servant by his grace.
We do not have the talent to do everything. He understands that, that is why he condemned his servant for not putting his money into a CD to get some interest! For example we are told to preach the gospel to the world (Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature)
What area of talents does each of us have?
Abilities, Time, Money
Abilities: includes things like singing, teaching, giving, encouragement,
Time: each of us has the same amount of time in a week (168 hours), how many of them belong to God? (all) How many does He actually get? Hmm. Here is a thought: try tithing your time. I know this is not a hard, fast rule, but if you figure 17 hours a week either under God’s Word, in God’s Word, or serving God I know this is a pretty good start for me.
What does God want me to Give?
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Me first. There was a man who got saved and he was being baptized. He took off his watch so it would not get wet, the preacher asked him if he wanted to set aside his wallet, he said no thanks, I want it to get baptized too. If God really gets us, everything else will follow.
Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
Tithes and offerings, there needs to be both.
What does blessings mean? OT:1293 berakah (ber-aw-kaw’); from OT:1288; benediction; by implication prosperity: KJV – blessing, liberal, pool, present.
This does not only mean money. Divine appointments, favor, help in time of need.
What is the purpose of the church?
Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
Exhorting: NT:3870 parakaleo (par-ak-al-eh’-o); from NT:3844 and NT:2564; to call near, i.e. invite, invoke (by imploration, hortation or consolation): KJV – beseech, call for, (be of good) comfort, desire, (give) exhort (-ation), intreat, pray.[i]
And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
Who is the chief steward of the church? Pastor
Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you
Obey-NT:3982 peitho (pi’-tho); a primary verb; to convince (by argument, true or false); by analogy, to pacify or conciliate (by other fair means); reflexively or passively, to assent (to evidence or authority), to rely (by inward certainty): KJV – agree, assure, believe, have confidence, be (wax) conflent, make friend, obey, persuade, trust, yield.
Obey, submit, they involve yielding. This is a voluntary action that we place ourselves under the authority of another. Can we really be stewards to God if we do not submit to pastoral authority, to the man He placed here to lead us?
NT:3081 lusitelei (loo-sit-el-i’); third person singular present indicative active of a derivative of a compound of NT:3080 and NT:5056; impersonally, it answers the purpose, i.e. is advantageous: KJV – it is better.
Unprofitable takes this word and adds the negative partial “a” to it so it is not just unprofitable but we are actually not able to answer God’s purpose in our being here.
In verses 7 and 8, the readers were instructed to remember their past leaders. Now they are taught to obey their present leaders. This probably refers primarily to the elders in the local church. These men act as representatives of God in the assembly. Authority has been given to them, and believers should be submissive to this authority. As undershepherds, the elders watch out for the souls of the flock. They will have to give account to God in a coming day. They will do it either joyfully or sadly, depending on the spiritual progress of their charges. If they have to do it sadly, that will mean loss of reward for the saints concerned. So it is to everyone’s benefit to respect the lines of authority which God has laid down.[ii]
So the church as an assembly is to use our combined gifts to encourage, train, and maturity of the saints to perform their ministries. This takes can (and should) take us as individual representatives of Jesus outside the walls of the church to meet people where they are
Talents outside the four walls
Cain asked: Am I my brother’s keeper?
Jesus asked: Who then was a neighbor?
Mr. Rogers asked: Will you be my neighbor?
While these three questions seem disconnected, they are all related.
God can use our talents, time, and experiences outside of the church walls.
Man falls in a hole and cannot get himself out. A famous doctor comes by and the man cries out “help me I fell in a hole and I cannot get out!” and he wrote a prescription and threw it down in a hole. A famous evangelist came by and the man cried out again “help me I fell down and I cannot get out!” so he wrote a prayer and threw it down in the hole. A Baptist deacon came by and walked on by saying “do I hear something? Finally a friend came by and heard the cry of the man in the hole. So he jumped down in the hole with his friend. The guy said “are you crazy now we are both stuck down here!” his friend replied “yes, but I have been here before, and I know the way out.”
There are things I have been through in life that I do not frankly understand why God allowed them to happen. But God does know, and our experiences, good and bad, joyful and painful make us uniquely qualified (if that is the right word) to minister to them. (i.e. me and the homeless)
25 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
What was his error? (we cannot earn eternal life)
26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? 27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.
This is a tall order and if we could do this Jesus would not of had to die.
29 But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?
Typical lawyer, trying to find a loophole.
30 And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him.
What do you find odd about this situation? (the Jews, his brethren, ignored his plight but the Samaritan, who the Jew considered his enemy, stopped.)
34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.
What to we notice about being a neighbor? (it cost him in time and money)
36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.
There is that pesky word again. Go, go and tell, go and preach, go and help.
Do we, as Christians, have a responsibility to the earth and the environment? If so, what is the limit of the duty?
The earth is the Lords and the fullness thereof
God gave man dominion over the earth
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
Dominion: OT:7287 radah (raw-daw’); a primitive root; to tread down, i.e. subjugate; specifically, to crumble off: KJV – (come to, make to) have dominion, prevail against, reign, (bear, make to) rule,- r, over), take.[iii]
Counting The Cost
For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.
When being a good steward, before doing anything, what do we need to do? What do we need to ask?
Does this glorify God?
Does help or hinder the lost as they seek Christ?
Any questions that is specific to the situation.
Environment: Is the globe warming? Is the warming caused by man? If it is warming, is that necessarily a bad thing? Are any of the current solutions practical?
Building fund: is the build needed, or do we just want a nicer building?
Should I give this man $5? Do I need it for something necessary? Should I buy him food instead?
Our stewardship should go to every area of our lives. It needs to be lived in a way that brings glory to God and draws people to Him.
[i] Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright (c) 1994, Biblesoft and International Bible Translators, Inc.
[ii] William MacDonald; edited with introductions by Arthur Farstad, Believer’s Bible commentary: Old and New Testaments [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1995 by William MacDonald.
[iii] Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright (c) 1994, Biblesoft and International Bib