SERMON - SERIES 6-1: "Stewardship 101"
Here is the first sermon of a four-part series entitled, "The Gift Of...Re-Looking at Biblical Stewardship" by Jon Maurer of the Baton Rouge Vineyard.Our heartfelt thanks to Jon for generously sharing these sermons with us.
The text is below, and the actual sermon is attached (with color codes, etc), in Word and PDF formats. You can download the attachments by clicking on the links at the end of this post.
For an introductory explanation to these sample sermons, click here: http://www.vineyardchurchplanting.ne...1-Introduction
Here is what Jon says about this series: "This series was good to get our church looking back at the Old Testament to rediscover there are timeless truths that apply to our community and our lives. The prophets were only "little" as far as their body of work, not their message."
SERIES: "The Gift Of...Re-Looking At Biblical Stewardship"
TITLE: "Stewardship 101"
Welcome to the Baton Rouge Vineyard Church
My name is Jon…Lead Pastor
Starting a new series: The Gift of…
Re-looking at Biblical Stewardship
Butterball Turkey company set up a hotline to answer consumer questions about pre-pairing holiday turkeys
a woman called to inquire about cooking a turkey that had been in her freezer for 23 years… She was told it might be safe if freezer had been kept below 0° the entire time. Even if it were safe, the flavor probably deteriorated… “Would not recommend eating it”
Woman replied, “that's what we thought. We'll just give it to the church.”
I say stewardship…you think, “give to church” hopefully not Turkey.
It’s probably one of the most misunderstood words in the church today. We immediately think of money. But stewardship is so much more that.
A couple of weeks ago…I reached over to take a few of Haven’s fries at Jasmine’s. But before I could even get my fingers on one little French fry, Haven wrapped her arms around that pile of fries as though she were Custer making her last stand and I was Geronimo about to pillage everything she owned.
She looked up at me… and said, “No Daddy…Mine!”
Now, while I could appreciate the fact that I did buy them for her… the truth of the matter was that “I” bought them! I was the source of those French fries. I’m the one who laid out the $4.79 for her lunch!
And even beyond that… has she forgotten that I am fifty times bigger than she is... that I could make her give me one of those French fries?
It’s always nice to see my children freely sharing the way they have freely received… to see them being good “Stewards” of what dad has given them.
The meaning and application of what it means for us to be “stewards” is taught all the way through Scripture -- from Genesis through Revelation.
Jesus talked more about stewardship than He did about heaven or prayer.
So, what is the meaning of stewardship anyway? Being a brilliant researcher, I looked up the word in the Webster's dictionary where it says that, "Stewardship is the responsibility of managing someone else’s assets, affairs, or property.”
Stewardship is overseeing something that isn't yours. "steward" is the old English word for manager.
But to really understand what stewardship is really about, we have to go back to the very beginning of the Bible, Genesis 1:1.
"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth..."
The first principle of stewardship is: God owns everything.
He owns the orange groves.
He owns the trees in the orange groves.
He owns the oranges on the trees.
He owns the juice in the orange.
He owns every plant,
every animal… everything.
Psalm 24.1 says, The earth is the LORD's, and everything in it.
Why does He have a claim to everything? God created it!
But more than just creating it, God sustains it.
The Bible tells us in Colossians that God holds everything together...
But just because God owns everything doesn't mean that it's being used the way He intended for it to be used.
Look at humans…Are we living in the purposes for which we’ve been created?
When you walk through the creation account in Gen. 1, you know that after each day of creation, God looked at what He had made… and said, “It is good!” (sky, animals, plants, oceans)
But then, at the end of the sixth day, He said it was "very good". NLT states, it’s “excellent in everyway”
Humanity was created.
Humanity made all the difference!
What made humanity stand apart from the rest of His creation?
How are we different?
A. Different in character.
In Gen. 1:26, Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, in our likeness...”
We’ve been made to be like God in His character. Are we perfect? No. But look at the incredible ability we have, for example, to create. God is a creator… and so, He made us to be creative.
When I go into a museum, there is a reason why I know that painting over there is a Van Gogh or a Picasso. I can see his fingerprint on it, so to speak.
Hiking…I see God’s fingerprint on the beautiful landscape… the lakes, the trees, the birds.
But within humanity, he put more than His fingerprint… instead, He engraved His very image inside of us.
B. Different in our job description. Verse 28 says that:
God blessed them and said to them (talking to man and woman), “Be fruitful and increase in number (That's the only command man's ever been able to keep); fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” Gen. 2:15 continues. The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.
Why did God make humans? What's his purpose? Ultimately, we know that God created humanity to be His people… to be the objects of His love
But the Bible also says that God made us to “be fruitful and multiply”…and He spells out 5 more things: Fill the earth
rule over it (1:28)
Take care of it (2:15)
And even to this day, God expects us to live this out as if it were central to our job description.
And the title of that job description comes down to one word… management. God created humans to be the managers of His creation. That's the second principle.
You and I were made to oversee what God owns.
In fact, this was God's very first command given to humanity... to be managers of the earth He had just created. God made man His junior partner.
But, one of our core problems as humans… as Christians… is that we forget our job description and pretty soon we start thinking we own it.
A family living in a home in West Palm Beach, Florida
they told a film crew it was okay to use her front lawn for an episode of B.L. Stryker… Cars would be crashing in front yard…fire / explosion
While the front yard was being blown up… The owner of the home call from New York demanding to know what was happening to his house.
The tenants were under the mistaken impression that the house belonged to them. Only the owner could make the call.
Even as a pastor, I’m very aware of how Peter clarifies my role… He says, “Be an overseer of God’s flock.” (1 Peter 5:2)
I don’t own anything… it is all God’s.
We try to trade places with God. We start acting like the owners, as if we created the world.
We start using words like my
mine... my life
my time. Who gave all that to you?
The ultimate control in any business always resides in the owner, not the manager.
We get to use it
we get to manage it
we get to enjoy some of life's resources... but God owns it. That's stewardship.
Look at verse 28 where God said, "I want you to rule over everything." In the King James it says, "I want you to have dominion over the fish…
God’s intention was for humans to rule over things.
But what happened? We got it all mixed up.
Now things rule over us.
We're possessed by possessions... by the very things we were asked to manage.
We love to think about all the things we own... but the truth is that we really don't own anything. At best, what we have is on loan from God.... and after we die, they are passes on to somebody else.
Have you ever seen a U-haul hitched to the back of funeral car? Why? Because it's all just loaned to us… God owns everything.
So, what are the immediate benefits (or blessings) of being a wise steward…a good manager?
As we manage it, we get to enjoy it…use it.
God pleased when we manage the earth.
Not only that, the Bible teaches that the more faithful we are in managing everything that God has blessed us with, the more He trusts to us. "You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things." Matthew 25:23
There are also future benefits. The Bible teaches that our rewards in eternity will be based on how we managed what God trusted us with here on earth.
Be faithful with your life,
every area of your life…great reward
You say, "That sounds good. What am I to be a steward of then?” If God made me to be a steward,
to take care of it
to work it
to rule over it
if He made me to do all of these things, what specifically is God talking about?
You are to be a steward of absolutely everything God has entrusted to you. Everything!
Did God give you a physical body?
Then stewardship involves sexual purity, physical fitness, nutrition
Did God give you every single day of your life?
Then stewardship involves time management.
Did God give you your wealth, your material possessions?
Then stewardship involves money management, financial planning.
Did God give you a family?
Then stewardship involves caring for them, loving them.
Did God give you this environment to live in?
Then stewardship involves ecology, taking care of the earth.
Did God give you a position of authority (prominence & responsibility)?
Then stewardship involves using your influence for good.
every area of my life comes under the concept of stewardship.
A deacon in a church in Boston
“I cannot speak in prayer meetings… I cannot do other things in Christian service… But I can put 2 extra plates on my dinner table every Sunday an invite to young men who are far away from home to break bread with me”
many of them came to Christ through his personal influence
When he died he was to be buried in Andover, 30 miles away
the church chartered a train to help people get their… 150+ men Packed into one car… In honor of the man who shared a plate of food.
This man was a steward…Time
Stewardship is not a trivial issue. It’s central to why we were created and put on earth...
Stewardship is the basic principle of life. It's foundational. To be good stewards is to fulfill a central desire that God has for our lives.
God intends for His resources to be used. Not wasted, but used. Stewardship means using it wisely.
Stewardship changes everything…it will revolutionize your life.
Suddenly, you'll find yourself start asking questions like:
"God, how can I make best use of the time which you've given to me?"
career or business
Prayer Ministry Time:
Paradidam shift—From I own to God owns everything
Possessions have possessed you…stuff
God I give you the specific area of…Time, Finances, My body