READ | SERMON NOTES
Summary l God entrusts and expects His disciples to steward every resource He gives.
To diligently fulfill this high calling beyond financial tithing and giving, we need to understand the big picture of stewardship.
- We manage, but God owns our resources of time, talents and treasures. Psalm 24:1 The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.
- We are ever ready to give generously, motivated to share our resources with others.
- We are invested in people, and are humbly privileged to make disciples for Christ.
Where are we in our personal stewardship today? How can we be better stewards?
Steer our hearts in the right direction. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (v21) In Matthew 19:21 Jesus answered a rich young man, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” We are better stewards when we direct our desires from earthly to eternal, self to Kingdom by investing our money, time and prayers where they matter most.
Have a rich relationship with God. While we are responsible to save for a rainy day, Jesus warns us not to hoard wealth but to store for ourselves treasures in heaven that will not be rendered worthless, “where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.” (v20) Don’t say, “I’ll eat, drink and be merry for I’ve earned all of these, they’re mine!” Ask instead, “What have I got up yonder in heaven?” For who when dead can take with him temporal riches and indulgences? (Luke 12:21) Prudently placing our wealth in Heaven’s vault makes us wiser stewards who invest for eternal joy. Value-wise, we gain for eternity whatever we give to God!
Principles of God-Honouring Stewardship
- Treasure the things God treasures. People are God’s treasured possession. (Deuteronomy 26:18) We treasure others by investing our resources to care for their physical and spiritual needs; through our befriending, share the Good News that assures them of God’s redemptive love through Christ Jesus.
- Focus on things that God focuses on. Matthew 6:22-23 distinguishes a good eye from a bad eye. A healthy eye enlightens with godly purpose while a bad eye blinds a person into moral darkness. Instead of being materialistic and selfishly laying up treasures for ourselves on earth, God wants our vision to be focused on serving Him and man to advance His kingdom.
- Serve God and not money. Matthew 6:24 reminds us that we cannot serve both God and money. If we are not careful, greed can overshadow a sufficient plan to provide for our families, and lure us into idolizing wealth. To avoid trapping ourselves in a self-created golden cage, we need to prudently and responsibly serve our Creator and not money. So that we can invest in His Kingdom, God enriches us in every way to be generous on every occasion. (2 Corinthians 9:11) When generosity was shown to a forgotten group of Greek widows, God’s Word spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith. (Acts 6:7) We reap generously in God’s kingdom what we give generously.
With all that God has graciously given us, let us intentionally and wisely invest what we have been entrusted with in God’s kingdom. Send our earthly treasures ahead to heaven in anticipation of everlasting rewards when we arrive there one day.
(Sermon notes by Marjorie Tan)
PONDER | REFLECTION QUESTIONS
1. List the three imperatives of stewardship.
- In what ways do you identify with them?
- What are the challenges you face to fulfil them?
- Where have you done well? What can you have done better?
2. Read and reflect on Luke 12:16-21.
- Why did God call the rich man a fool?
- What is wrong with the attitude of “eat, drink and be merry”?
3. Read and reflect on Matthew 6:19-21.
- When you leave this world, will you be remembered as one who accumulated earthly treasures OR invested treasures in heaven?
- Share the reasons for your answer.
4. List the three principles for investing in God’s Kingdom.
- What is God saying to you about each?
- What are you going to do specifically about them?