Starting in March Agape is going to have a focus of the month. This month our focus is Stewardship.
Stewardship can be defined as our practical obedience in the administration of everything under our control, everything entrusted to us.
Lets first talk about Stewardship and how it fits in with our mission as a church. We worship God with how we spend our time, and how we spend our money. God has given each and every one of us time of earth, use it for his kingdom. Everything we have on earth is because of him, and we should be good stewards of it. To be good stewards we must evangelize. Our time of earth is short therefore we should share the gospel with everyone. We learn about God so we can be good stewards in our everyday lives. Our knowledge of God helps to equip us to be good stewards of God. Finally, stewardship is focused in encouragement. We can use our time to encourage other believers. Good stewards faithfully encourage the church by giving to church and those in need.
One of the best books I have ever in seminary. Is Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian life. One of the chapters focuses on stewardship. The author focuses on time and money and how we can be good stewards of those things. Below are helpful tips. Dr. Whitney gives us on how to become better stewards.
1. Use time Wisely because the days are evil.
Ephesians 5:15–16 ESV
15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.
2. Wise Use of Time is the preparation for Eternity.
3. Time is Short.
James 4:14 ESV
14 yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.
4. Time is Passing
1 John 2:17 ESV
17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.
5. The Remaining Time is Uncertain
Proverbs 27:1 ESV
1 Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.
6. Time Lost Cannot be regained
John 9:4 ESV
4 We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work.
Philippians 3:13–14 ESV
13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
7. You are Accountable to God for your time.
Romans 14:12 ESV
12 So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.
Hebrews 5:12 ESV
12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food,
Matthew 12:36 ESV
36 I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak,
8. Time is so easily lost
Proverbs 26:13–14 ESV
13 The sluggard says, “There is a lion in the road! There is a lion in the streets!” 14 As a door turns on its hinges, so does a sluggard on his bed.
Proverbs 24:33–34 ESV
33 A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, 34 and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man.
9. We value time at death.
Proverbs 5:11–13 ESV
11 and at the end of your life you groan, when your flesh and body are consumed, 12 and you say, “How I hated discipline, and my heart despised reproof! 13 I did not listen to the voice of my teachers or incline my ear to my instructors.
Jonathan Edwards- Resolved, that I will live so as I shall wish I had done when I come to die.
10. Time’s value in Eternity
Luke 16:22–25 ESV
22 The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried, 23 and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. 24 And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish.
1 Corinthians 9:19–20 ESV
19 For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. 20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law.
The disciplined use of Money
1. God owns everything you own.
1 Corinthians 10:26 ESV
26 For “the earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof.”
Job 41:11 ESV
11 Who has first given to me, that I should repay him? Whatever is under the whole heaven is mine.
Haggai 2:8 ESV
8 The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, declares the Lord of hosts.
2. Giving is an act of worship.
Philippians 4:18 ESV
18 I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God.
3. Giving reflects faith in God’s Provision.
Mark 12:41–44 ESV
41 And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. 42 And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. 43 And he called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. 44 For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”
4. Giving should be Sacrificial and Generous
2 Corinthians 8:1–5 ESV
1 We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, 2 for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. 3 For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, 4 begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints— 5 and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us.
5. Giving reflects spiritual trustworthiness
Luke 16:10–13 ESV
10 “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. 11 If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? 12 And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own? 13 No servant can serve two masters, for 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 God and money.”
6. Giving = Love not legalism
2 Corinthians 9:7 ESV
7 Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
7. Give Willingly, Thankfully, and Cheerfully
8. Giving an Appropriate response to real needs.
Acts 2:43–45 ESV
43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.
Acts 4:32–35 ESV
32 Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common. 33 And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. 34 There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold 35 and laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need.
Acts 11:27–30 ESV
27 Now in these days prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28 And one of them named Agabus stood up and foretold by the Spirit that there would be a great famine over all the world (this took place in the days of Claudius). 29 So the disciples determined, every one according to his ability, to send relief to the brothers living in Judea. 30 And they did so, sending it to the elders by the hand of Barnabas and Saul.
9. Giving Should be Planned and Systematic
1 Corinthians 16:1–2 ESV
1 Now concerning the collection for the saints: as I directed the churches of Galatia, so you also are to do. 2 On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come.
Notice the time frame. each gets paid differently give accordingly.
Notice each of you. We are all called to give.
Notice it says he may prosper. God has always taking care of us as we give to his church.
10. Generous Giving Results in Bountiful Blessing.
Luke 6:38 ESV
38 give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”