Building a Life of Stewardship

The Gospel of Luke  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  33:46
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Introduction: Have you ever played the game, “Bigger and Better?” You take $1 and you try to use it to trade for something more valuable. Then you take that and try to trade for something even more valuable. You keep doing that over and over and over again and each team meets back at a certain time to see what they could come up with. I’ve heard of one team coming back with a recliner, when they started off with just $1.
You know God gives us things that sometime seem small and insignificant. Yet in reality if we would use those things for His glory we could experience a great harvest. From one small kernel of corn, hundreds of kernels grow as a result.
When I was younger there was a song we use to sing a lot and it was entitled “We’ll Work ‘Till Jesus Comes.” The song was written by Elizabeth Mills in 1837. The chorus simply says three times, “We’ll work ‘till Jesus comes” and then it ends with the reminder, “And we’ll be gathered home.”
While this is an old reminder of an old truth, it is an important reminder, because we do have a job and responsibility while we await our Lord’s return. Jesus is coming again! More is said in Scripture about Jesus’ second coming than was said about His first coming. We can be sure He will come again, and just like He did the first time, He will fulfill every prophecy regarding His second coming in minute detail.
The question is “what are we to do?” Are we to do like some have done throughout history and sell all of our stuff, quit our jobs and sit on a mountain somewhere and wait for Jesus to come? Are we to do the opposite and live our lives as if this world is all that matters and when we die it just ends it all? Absolutely not…neither of these extreme responses are what God has called us to do. However, He has called us to watch, wait and work.
Scripture Introduction: In Jesus tells us a parable about how we should respond to the news of His return. Some of Jesus’ followers assumed that He was going to set up His kingdom immediately (see ). As a matter of fact that belief is what prompted Jesus to tell this parable to begin with. Remember, a parable is an earthly story with a heavenly meeting. It was a story that people of this day and time could relate to and from it, learn deep spiritual truths. Let’s take a moment and read the entire thing and notice with me a few important truths.
First, notice in . . .

We Have Been Entrusted With the King’s Goods While He is Away

Explanation: In this passage of Scripture we are introduced to a “nobleman.” A nobleman was a “servant of the king.” He leaves to go on a far journey, to receive a kingdom, and his plans are to return. Before he goes away he gathers ten of his servants and gives them each a mina. A “mina” was equivalent to about 3 months wages, so it was a pretty good sum of money. He then explains to them to “engage in business until I come.” In other words they were expected to take what he had given to them and wisely invest it until he returned. In essence they were to be good stewards of what he had entrusted them with.
We see another group of people in this section that are simply referred to as citizens. These citizens did not like this nobleman, nor did they want to submit to his rule and reign. That’s all that is said about them for now, but they are mentioned again later.
Illustration: One thing we need to establish very clearly is everything we own and everything we have comes from God and ultimately belongs to God. Listen to David’s prayer and his confession of this truth in
1 Chronicles 29:10–16 ESV
Therefore David blessed the Lord in the presence of all the assembly. And David said: “Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of Israel our father, forever and ever. Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name. “But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able thus to offer willingly? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you. For we are strangers before you and sojourners, as all our fathers were. Our days on the earth are like a shadow, and there is no abiding. O Lord our God, all this abundance that we have provided for building you a house for your holy name comes from your hand and is all your own.
You know God gives us things that sometime seem small and insignificant. Yet in reality if we would use those things for His glory we could experience a great harvest. From one small kernel of corn, hundreds of kernels grow as a result.
Once this fact has been established, let’s once again look at this parable and apply it to each of our lives.
Application: The nobleman is obviously a reference to Jesus. The servants are those who have made the decision to follow Jesus and who have been born again. The citizens are those who do not know Jesus and who refuse to submit to His reign over their lives and His Lordship, thus they represent the lost of this world.
We are waiting for Jesus’ return, and God has entrusted us with His blessings (money, talents, treasures, children, etc) until He returns. Just as the nobleman was expected to “engage in business” with the money the nobleman had left them with, we also have been blessed and we are to use those blessings to invest not in an earthly kingdom, but in a heavenly one. We are reminded in :
James 1:17 ESV
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
The question is “WHY” has He given us these good and perfect gifts. Do we have them just to make our lives easier. Does He want these gifts to become our idols? Did He give us these things so we can hoard them and use them as competitive resources to enable us to “keep up with the Jones’s?” Are these things to be used to build our kingdoms?
No, no and no!
Listen to what God’s Word has to say to us about STEWARDSHIP…how we are to use the blessings and gifts of God...

1. We are to Use the Gifts God has Given us to SERVE One Another

1 Peter 4:10 ESV
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:
1 Peter 4:10 ESV
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:
1 Timothy 6:17–19 ESV
As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.

2. We are to be a CHANNEL of His Blessings, not a Reservoir

2 Corinthians 9:6–7 ESV
The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
2 Corinthians 9:6–7 ESV
The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

3. We are to be CAREFUL that Gifts are our Servant, Not our Master

Luke 16:11 ESV
If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches?
Matthew 6:24 ESV
“No one 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.

4. We are to Use What We Have to Honor the One Who Gave It to Us

Proverbs 3:9 ESV
Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce;
1 Corinthians 6:19–20 ESV
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
1 Corinthians 6:
The point is this you and I have been entrusted with the King’s goods while He is away!
Everyday you LIVE, is a day God gave you—give it back to Him
Every dollar you HAVE, is a dollar God gave you—use it for His glory
Every talent you possess, is a talent He allowed you to have—use it for the benefit of His kingdom
Every spiritual gift you have been given, has been given to use to build up other believers and/or to reach the lost
Remember, according to verses 15ff, Christ will return and . . .

We Will Give An Account to the King When He Returns

Explanation: When the king returned, he had the servants come before him and give a report concerning what they had gained by doing business with his goods. The first individual had gained ten times his initial investment. He hears the words, “Well done, good servant,” and as a result of his faithfulness he is given the honor and responsibility of ruling ten cities. The second servant had gained five times his initial investment. As a result of his faithfulness he is given the privilege of ruling five cities. However, the third individual he speaks with has been unfaithful. He had taken his masters investment, and rather than invest it he had buried it. He begins to make excuses as to why he had been disobedient, but his excuse only serves to condemn him.
This man has demonstrated that not only had he been unfaithful, but he had also been untrustworthy. He could not be entrusted to use his master’s goods in a faithful manner, therefore, his mina is taken away from him and given to the servant who had ten minas.
Some began to complain (v. 25) that the individual who had ten would be given another, but the king responds, “I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”
The king in this parable is saying that he is not going to entrust an unfaithful servant with more, because he has proven to be unfaithful and untrustworthy. However, the one who has been faithful will be entrusted with more because he has proven himself to be faithful.
Illustration & Application: Does the thought of giving an account to King Jesus concern you or excite you? No doubt we all have regrets in life and we all realize that we could have done more with what we have been blessed with at times. However, we shouldn’t live our lives dreading giving an account to our Master. We should live our lives for His glory and take the blessings He’s given us and use them to bring praise, honor and glory to His holy name.
So how are you doing with the blessings God had entrusted you with?
Some of you in this room have been entrusted with God’s blessings called CHILDREN. Regardless of how those children were conceived, God is His sovereignty chose to entrust you with another human being. One day you will stand before God and YOU will give an account to God as a parent.
Dad—it is YOUR responsibility to do what says:
Ephesians 6:4 ESV
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
Dad how are you doing? You cannot afford to be an absentee father. No one can do your job for you. You cannot hire someone else to be your children’s dad. You are the one God wants to use to teach your boys what it means to be a godly man and how to treat his wife one day. You are the one he needs to learn what it means to live a life of sexual purity from. You need to teach your daughters by example what they should look for in a husband one day. It’s not the pastor’s job or the children’s ministry director’s job, or the schools job, or anyone else’s job to “bring your children up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” God didn’t give your children to the government, God gave your children to you and YOU have to take the initiative to take what God has blessed you with and be a godly example to those children. Please hear this—YOU CANNOT CHANGE YESTERDAY. Don’t hang your head in regret, lift your head, and by God’s grace determine to do something about TODAY and TOMORROW!
Mom-how about you? You are such an important part in your children’s lives. No one can take your place. God has given YOU the responsibility to teach your daughters what it means to be a godly lady. You can’t delegate that to someone else. You, by your example are teaching her what being a godly wife and mother looks like. You are raising the mother of your grand-kids! Your boys need to see in you what they should look for in a wife one day.
Parents please understand, the moment your child was conceived, it was as if the King placed an important investment in your hands and said, I’m entrusting this life to you for a few years. I’m giving them to you to train, to teach, to be an example to, to teach about me, to love, to encourage, to help . . . we only have a few years to take the most precious investment and try to mold them for the glory of God while the clay is soft.
God has entrusted you with gifts and talents. What are you doing with them? He didn’t just give you these things to use to make money or to make a name for yourself. He gave you the gifts and talents you have to glorify Him. To use within the body of Christ to bless and benefit your brothers and sisters in Christ and reach those who do not know Him. You can be like the one guy and bury them, or just use them for selfish purposes, but don’t expect to find fulfillment. Fulfillment is found when we not only know Christ and His purpose for our lives, but we then take those blessings that He has given to use and become good stewards of those things and use them for something greater than ourselves.
The list could go on and on and on with things God has blessed you with and entrusted to you. Things like TIME, MONEY, HEALTH, KNOWLEDGE. Each day we are given gifts and blessings from God. The greatest thing we can do with these blessings is to offer them back to Him by using them in a way that fulfills His purposes on this earth for our lives and for the cause of Christ and His church.
I want to hear the words, “Well done.” He’s not going to lie about our service. He’s not going to say “well done” if we have not done well.
So what can we do if we haven’t done well thus far with the investments God has given us:
1. Acknowledge the areas that we have been bad stewards in. I am the FIRST to admit that I have failed as a dad in many ways. But I don’t get any “do-overs.” I can’t go back and change the past. HOWEVER, I CAN LEARN FROM THE PAST AND BECOME A MORE CHRIST-LIKE DAD EVERYDAY! I can either cry over spilt milk, or I can clean the milk up and move forward. Acknowledgement, getting honest with God, is the FIRST STEP in the right direction. Once I have acknowledged my sins and confessed my sins, then I need to
2. REPENT! This means not only do I recognize I have been going in the wrong direction, but now I change directions and begin walking a new path. If I have been a bad steward of God’s money, I get the help and direction I need to become a better steward and I trust Him by faith to make the changes that need to be made. If I have been a neglectful parent, I start being a faithful parent. I don’t continue down the same path. Someone said insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results!
3. DO NOT LIVE IN THE PAST! You can’t change past mistakes and failures. Learn from them, get forgiveness for them and move FORWARD. Remember, God is the God of second chances. That is not to say there will not be some ongoing side effects from our poor decisions, but God has given you a new day. God has given you new breath in your lungs. God has given you new opportunities. Will you sit and sulk about past mistakes or will you get up, realizing EVERY GOOD AND PERFECT GIFT HAS COME FROM GOD for you to use for His glory?

I’ve got enough regrets, how about you! THIS IS THE DAY THE LORD HAS MADE, LET US REJOICE AND BE GLAD IN IT! Take the “Dollar” God gave you and turn it into something “bigger and better.”
In conclusion:

Embrace the Blessings God Has Given You and Use Them on This Great Adventure With Him!

Realize You Have Been Blessed to be a Blessing—Who Can You Bless Today?

Let the Past Regrets of Yesterday and Your Deepening Love for Jesus Today Serve as Motivation Today & Tomorrow

Remember the Little Boy and His Lunch!

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