It’s Not Just What I am In-Charge Of, But WHO I am Responsible To
DATE: 10 Apr, 2005 AM
PLACE: BBC Ballincollig
I. Introduction (Luke 16:10)
A. March was our Praying Month – Learning how to depend upon God
B. April is our Giving Month – Money – Learning how to give for missions
C. May is our Going Month – Missions – Learning how to go into all the world
D. That is the life of the Christian in a nutshell: Praying, Giving and Going – all out of love for Jesus Christ, and the world that he died for!
E. Last week we took a hard look at the Biblical principles of Stewardship
F. This week we will look some more at how to take our responsibility as stewards of our lives very seriously
II. Background to Luke 16
A. In Luke 16, Jesus is not teaching about buying and earning heaven (Eph 2:8,9)
1. Forgiveness from sins, and eternal life is a Free Gift
2. A Gift at Christ’s expense though – immense cost
3. Given on the basis of child-like faith, not works or worth at all!
B. He has just finished teaching about the prodigal son in Luke 15, who, if you will remember, demanded HIS part of the inheritance, and went HIS way, and lived HIS life, and wasted it all on fun and friends and false hopes
C. Jesus in chapter 16 begins teaching about appreciating and valuing what we have and being a careful steward, a custodian, a guardian of whatever the Lord gives us so that we don’t go the way of the prodigal son!
D. What things are we “steward” of?
1. Our time, money, our abilities
2. Also our body, our mind, our heart
3. And it includes our future – I am responsible for the choices I make
4. All these things have been given to us by God
E. This “modern age” has the philosophy of “it’s all MINE!”
1. It’s My Life – lived My Way – frank Sinatra
2. It’s My Money
3. It’s My Body – women who want to have an abortion
4. It’s My Future
5. The list goes on. Life ends up being just a pile of possessions (Lk 12:15)
F. But none of it is really any of ours, according to God (Psalm 24:1)
G. Every human being on this planet is only a steward of what we have
H. Stewards are people who manage other people’s stuff – things that don’t belong to the steward, yet must be taken cared of
I. There are many people we consider “stewards” – people in “charge”
1. Doctors – in charge of a person’s health and betterment
2. Nurses – same
3. Garda/police – responsible for people’s safety
4. Stewardess on an airplane – take care of your needs and keep you safe
J. God adds a few more:
1. Any employee is a steward, not just a worker – as Joseph was in Genesis
2. Anyone sent on a special task is a steward – as Eliezar was by Abraham
3. Every person claiming to be a pastor (Tit 1:7)
4. As a matter of fact, just everyone who is saved (1Pet 4:10)
5. All of these people (all of us) must take their stewardship very seriously
K. By-the-way, Mammon is earthly riches
III. Message (Luke 16:1-8)
A. The Parable’s Particulars (Lk 16:1-2)
1. The Rich Man – a picture of God
a. He has many stewards working for Him
b. They serve HIM, and do HIS will
2. The Steward – the Christian
a. His life is wrapped up in serving someone else – not himself
b. He gets quite a few benefits out of serving his master – not poor at all
3. The Trouble – the Steward had frivolously wasted his master’s monies
a. People know about it, and the Master knows all about it
b. So the lord sent a message to the steward, telling him three things:
1) He is surprised – expected the steward to be responsible!
2) The Steward has to answer for all the money he wasted – will have to explain what he did, and exposed for the fraud that he is
3) The Steward is fired! Right thing to do too!
B. The Steward’s Actions (Lk 16:3-7)
1. He gets worried – concerned
a. There’s nothing like impending disaster to get you motivated enough to think about your life, what you are doing, and how you can survive
b. Starts wondering, “What am I going to do now?”
2. He gets real
a. However he was living before this event was not really real – a lie
b. He never thought he would get caught
c. Prior to being caught, he ignored the reality of what he was doing – stealing from his boss, and living a false life on inflated income
d. He now knows he is out of a job – no smooth-talking the boss for another chance, but facing the cold hard fact of reality – good for him
3. He gets scared
a. He owes his master so much
b. His friends are only good-time Charlie’s – they only hang around him because of his money and his expensive lifestyle
c. He is in no physical shape for doing hard labour - like digging ditches
d. He hates to beg
e. He is really scared – business prospects are pretty slim – especially with a bad reputation that he will carry now for the rest of his life!
f. Aw! Poor baby! Here is a man who has no problem embezzling, but having a big problem begging – aw! Let’s pity this guy… NOT!
4. He gets busy
a. Decides to become more faithful towards his future life, than he was with his past
b. Makes things right with the people he took advantage of – watch:
1) In each situation, he removes his inflated commission
2) Takes the loss financially so that they get a great deal
3) His master will now get paid faster, the clients will praise this steward, and he will be able to step out of a humiliating situation into a world of friends
C. The Lord’s Commendation (Lk 16:8)
1. He notices a change in the Steward
2. He COMMENDS the steward for being smart – being wise
3. Jesus makes a very powerful point – the people of the world are often smarter than the Christians – let’s learn how
IV. Stewardship Principles (Lk 16:8-13)
A. Get Some Street-Wisdom (Lk 16:8,9) – it is embarrassing, but it is true! Most Christians lack a lot of common sense that survivors learn the hard way. As Christians, we have the best way to live, and yet we learn it so slowly. Ok, well, here is a real earthly example to learn from!
1. Accept disasters as a changing point – that’s a good thing. Quit crying out “Why me God?”
2. Learn from your mistakes – seriously learn. The steward did not just go on and do the same things as if nothing had ever happened! He learned that if he was going to go forward in life, he would have to take better care of people instead of himself!
3. Adapt and change in the light of failure – quit quitting! Quit giving up and starting back at square one all the time! Soften up folks and become like clay in the hands of our heavenly Father as He uses first His word and then circumstances to mould us and change us into more like Himself!
4. We would all do well to learn some basic cop-on that people in the world without the Bible learn through the school of hard-knocks!
B. Become Faithful with What You Have… before you lose it all (Lk 16:10)
1. God knows we are consistent creatures – usually consistent in messing up
a. If we are not faithful in little things, we will not be faithful in the big things of life – that is a reality from our youth up
b. But, if we ARE faithful in the little things, then God can count on us to be faithful in the big things as well
c. The key is… Become faithful with the little things – that means, not just in “spiritual” things either, but in your money, in your mundane things of life!
2. None of it is yours anyway, and if you lose it, you lose not just the THING, but the potential to be used of God in the future
3. That’s why this is so serious
C. God Will Bless the Faithful Man With More than can be imagined (Lk 16:11,12; Pr 28:20). Try it!
1. Try and be faithful in giving like God wants you to be and see the blessings of God
2. Try and be faithful in loving people like God wants you too – not history, no hesitations, no revenge, and see if God doesn’t bless you
3. Try and be faithful in just doing right, and being faithful with godliness, and see how much gain you end up with (1Tim 6:6)
4. It leads all the way into the next life – there is a reward, a pay-off for faithfully, sacrificially serving the Lord Jesus (Rom 8:16,17)
D. In the End, You Must Make Up Your Mind (Lk 16:13) – are you going to serve God, or only earthly riches (mammon)? You cannot serve both
1. This was not a sermon on being a better employee
2. It was all about serving our Lord, and serving Him with faithfulness
3. Managing the life, the time, the monies, the health, the heart, the thoughts that He has given us
4. Because He takes what we do as stewards VERY seriously!
A. The life of a Christian is to be taken very seriously
B. God offers to everyone the priceless gift of eternal life
C. We must accept our need for God’s forgiveness, and accept it on God’s terms
D. From that point on, we discover that everything we have, everything we own actually came from God
E. Everyone must take good care of what we have, and use it all for God’s glory
F. Pretty sobering stuff isn’t it?
G. God has given us a load of help by personally giving us His Son
Craig Ledbetter, Ireland
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