Lesson One: An Overview of Biblical Stewardship
What is stewardship, anyway?
Is stewardship more than just money?
Isn't stewardship just fundraising?
Why does the pastor always ask for money?
How do I know which para-church ministries to give to?
How can I teach my kids about stewardship?
Stewardship is living a lifestyle based upon an understanding of God's provision in all areas. This will result in giving a portion of everything back to Him and His work through a direct relationship with His Son, Jesus Christ.
Development is creating opportunities to connect God's people to God's work
III. Introduction to Biblical stewardship
ATTITUDE TOWARD OUR POSSESSIONS
Ps. 24:1 The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.
Phil. 4:19 And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.
Duet. 16:17 Each of you must bring a gift in proportion to the way the Lord your God has blessed you.
I Cor 16:2 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.
Prov. 3:9 Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops.
ATTITUDE TOWARD GIVING
Matt. 10:8 Freely you have received, freely give.
II Cor. 9:7 Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
PROMISES REGARDING GIVING
Phil. 4:17 Not that I am looking for a gift, but I am looking for what may be credited to your account.
Prov. 11:25 A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.
Prov. 22:9 A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor.
Mal. 3:10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. "Test me in this," says the Lord Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it."
Luke 6:38 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.
WHAT SHOULD I GIVE
Food and drink Matt. 25:35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.
Hospitality Matt. 25:35; Rom. 12:13 Share with God's people who are in need, Practice hospitality.
Clothing Matt 25:36 I needed clothes and you clothed me
James 2:14-17 What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well' keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what food is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
Medicine and Time Matt 25:36 I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.
Money Mark 12:41-44 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 there 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."
II COR. 8 and 9 ENTIRE CHAPTERS
2CO 8:7 But just as you excel in everything--in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us--see that you also excel in this grace of giving.
2CO 8:19-21 For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of men.
2CO 9:5-7 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
2CO 9:11-13 Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else.
IV. Trends affecting stewardship and the believer
- Pastoral Training
- No formal classes in stewardship
- Annual tithe sermons
- Ask only during campaigns
- Changing Generations
- Boomer views
- less loyalty
- designated giving
- Scandals and Results-orientation
- United Way
- New Era
- Donor Demands
Stewardship an indication of spiritual maturity
V. Questions for Consideration
- Why is the church hesitant to study stewardship?
- Did you know what Scripture has to say about our attitude toward possessions? How does that affect your priorities?
- What do think our church community thinks and feels about possessions and stewardship? How mature is our community of believers?
- Do you think a person's understanding of biblical stewardship is an indication of spiritual maturity?