Avenues of Grace: Stewardship 

Two Visual Aids to what your heart worships:
  1. Where you spend your time (Your schedule)
  2. Where you spend your money (Your check book)
Two most common stressors in the life of the average American:
  1. Time
  2. Money
Stewardship of time
  1. Use time wisely because the days are evil
    • Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwisemen, but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5:15-16)
  2. Wise use of time is the preparation for eternity
    • Now is the time to prepare for where you will spend eternity.  (2 Corinthians 6:2)
  3. Time is short
    • You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. (James 4:14)
  4. Time is passing
    • The world and its desires pass away. (1 John 2:17)
  5. The remaining time is uncertain.
    • Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth. (Proverbs 27:1)
  6. Time lost cannot be regained
    • As long as it is day, we must do the work of Him who sent me.  Night is coming, when no one can work. (John 9:4)
  7. You are accountable to God for your time.
    • So then, each one of us will give an account of himself to God. (Romans 14:12)
  8. Time is so easily lost
    • A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man. (Proverbs 24:33-34)
  9. We value time at death
    • At the end of your life you will groan, when your flesh and body are spent.  You will say, “how I hated discipline!  How my heart spurned correction!  I would not obey my teachers or listen to my instructors.  I have come to the brink of utter ruin in the midst of the whole assembly (Proverbs 5:11-13)
  10. Time’s value in eternity
    • 19 “There was a rich man who would dress in purple and fine linen,† feasting lavishly every day. 20 But a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, was lying at his gate.† 21 He longed to be filled† with what fell from the rich man’s table,† but instead the dogs† would come and lick his sores. 22 One day the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s side.†† The rich man also died and was buried. 23 And being in torment† in Hades,† he looked up and saw Abraham a long way off, with Lazarus at his side. 24 ‘Father Abraham! ’† he called out, ‘Have mercy on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony† in this flame! ’ 25 “ ‘Son,’† Abraham said, ‘remember that during your life you received your good things,† just as Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here,† while you are in agony. 26 Besides all this, a great chasm has been fixed between us and you, so that those who want to pass over from here to you cannot; neither can those from there cross over to us.’  “ ‘Father,’ he said, ‘then I beg you to send him to my father’s house — 28 because I have five brothers — to warn† them, so they won’t also come to this place of torment.’ 29 “But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the prophets;† they should listen to them.’ 30 “ ‘No, father Abraham,’ he said. ‘But if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ 31 “But he told him, ‘If they don’t listen to Moses and the prophets, they will not be persuaded if someone rises from the dead.’ ”† (Luke 16:19-25)
Stewardship of Money:
  1. God owns everything you own. We should use God’s money for God’s work and God’s glory.
    • The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it. (Psalm 24:1)
  2. Giving is an act of worship (one of the reasons why it is in our worship service)
    • I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent.  They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. (Philippians 4:18)
  3. Giving reflects faith in God’s provision.
    • Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury.  Many rich people threw in large amounts.  But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny.  Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.  They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything, all she had to live on. (Mark 12:41-44)
  4. Giving should be sacrificial and generous.
    • Now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches.  Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity.  For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability.  Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints.  And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God’s will. (2 Corinthians 8:1-5)
  5. Giving reflects spiritual trustworthiness.
    • Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.  So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?  And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own? (Luke 16:10-13)
  6. Giving- Love, not legalism
    • I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. (2 Corinthians 8:8)
  7. Give willingly, thankfully, and cheerfully
    • Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. (2 Corinthians 9:7)
  8. Giving is fellowship- An appropriate response to real needs.
    • Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles.  And the believers were together and had everything in common.  Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. (Acts 2:43-45)
  9. Giving should be planned and systematic
    • Now about the collection for God’s people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do.  On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.  (1 Corinthians 16:1-2)
  10. Generous giving results in bountiful blessing.
    • Give, 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. (Luke 6:38)
  11. Giving to the church is a good investment, it is the only organization Jesus said He would build.
    • Jesus said to His disciples, I will build my church. (Matthew 16:18)
  12. Giving helps fulfill the Great Commission
    • Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.  (Matthew 28:19-20)
What changes Monday?
  1. Are you prepared for the end of time?
  2. Are you using your time as God would have you use it?
  3. Are you willing to accept God’s principles for giving?
  4. Will you give systematically, proportionally, and sacrificially to your church?
  5. Have you given yourself to the Lord? The follower of Jesus must put himself, his rights, his time, his preferences, his choices, his all in the offering plate, and not his money alone.