Tag Archive: Stewardship


Responding Starts with Listening

Often times in conversation I think it is natural not to listen to the other person. As we talk with others, are we really listening or are we thinking about what we are going to say next? If we are simply just trying to wait till its our turn to talk, is that really responding to the other person in a good way?

For the last seven weeks we have been listening and reading “The Story.” This week we are taking a break in the book to focus on how we should respond. Pastor Ron will be talking about our lives as stewards. It is usually at this point when people shut down and stop listening. Our culture has a tough time with the concept of money and possessions being talked about at church. From what I have collected on talking with people about this subject is that people have a hard time seeing their time, talents and money as far game. “The church is after my money again,” is a common refrain amongst the skeptic crowd. We have become so protective of “our stuff” that we stopped listening to the parts of the story that had anything to do with giving our money or ourselves.

The fact remains that the Bible mentions money over 800 times and of all of Jesus’ parables, more than half of them talked about money. Why? Because that is where so many people get tripped up! Jesus knew that it was a stumbling block for many people to place their trust in God.

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21

“No servant can serve two masters. 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 both God and money.” Luke 16:13

So what is at the root of the problem? At the root is trust. What do you trust in more? Do you trust the tangible things of this world over the God who created it all? I don’t know about you but this is the thing that I struggle with the most. The cash needs to be in the bank because the mortgage  company will not take an IOU. This issue takes time to learn and grow. God asks us to trust him with everything that we have, but often times it is more of the thought that I trust God with this half and the other half is mine. The only way to grow is to listen to what God says concerning our stuff and then properly respond. Are you listening to God or just waiting till the “pitch” is over so you can say no? What will it take for you to trust God with everything you have?

What is God teaching you right now about your money and possessions? What is currently holding you back from giving of your time, talent or treasure?

Let me know what you think. Your story may be important for someone else to hear.

Have a great weekend!

Total Body Stewardship: Core Training

I still remember when I first went back to the gym after probably ten years of absence. I felt awkward and exposed in an unfamiliar place. I had no clue as to what I should do first. The treadmill looked simple enough so I jumped on and hit start. It has not been an easy road to travel and there is no way I could have done it on my own. I met with a trainer who mapped out a plan for me. We talked about goals and a vision for what I wanted to see when I looked at myself in the mirror. There have been times when it has been painful and there are times when I just didn’t go even when I needed to, but that is all a part of the journey. It is a journey of taking control of my health because it is important.

After a solid year has passed of going to the gym on a frequent basis, I now notice the same kind of people coming to the gym with that familiar terrified look in their eyes. I want to run and tell them that it is crucial not to get overwhelmed by the people they see. I know they all look so fit and trim. It is easy to ask questions like: Where are the other people who look like me? Did the others give up? Should I be here?   

It is a little funny to look around at the gym and see a bunch of fit men and women and wonder, “Are they keeping the out of shape people in the back room so no one will see them.” But I believe with all my heart that, “You have to start somewhere!” I started somewhere and so will every person that walks into the gym. I can’t expect to be chiseled and fit in one visit, even though it would be nice. This is not about a single goal, but a lifestyle change.

As I thought about fitness and my reintroduction to the world of fitness, I started to draw a lot of parallels to this current series of messages on Stewardship. People would like to believe that we are born with an innate sense of stewardship. From birth we know that we don’t own anything but it is all a trust from God. It is true that we don’t own anything but it’s not true that people are born believing that. New Christians that step in the church may believe that everyone sitting the pew has things all together. The actual truth is that there are some people who look like everything is fine but are actually falling apart, physically and emotionally. There are others who have a good handle on things, but the journey is different for all people.

Stewardship can look scary because we all want to believe that the stuff that we have is ours because we worked hard for it. It is difficult to give up that illusion but once we do we can become better managers of everything that God has given us.

We have to start somewhere! It’s easy to become overwhelmed by what we should be doing. It gets worse when we see others who are fit and in shape, but just like the fitness story…We have to start somewhere! It may not be where you would like it to be or where it should be, but you can start somewhere! If you are saying to yourself, “I don’t have a clue where to start or how to do this.” It’s okay because there are other people in your church or in your community that have a great handle on good stewardship principles. Don’t be afraid to ask for help…you can’t be expected to do it all on your own.  We are not shooting for a single goal of being a tither or any other one area goal…this is a lifestyle change. God calls for us to be good stewards, but how will we respond?

Stewardship is heart work. Ask God to point out the areas that you should be concerned with the most. Then ask him to help and guide you in your pursuit.

In the area of stewardship, what do you struggle with the most? Please leave your comments and questions below or on our Facebook page.

 

 

Total Body Stewardship: Whole Body

We are starting a new sermon series this weekend that will focus on Christian stewardship. I know there are some people in the church and not in the church that have a hard time when churches talk about money. But Stewardship is much more than just money. It is interesting to note that Jesus spent a lot of time talking about money; actually it was the number one topic of discussion right after him talking about the Kingdom of God. Jesus never shied away from stewardship talk and neither will we.

It is a sign of a mature Christian to have a good perspective on the giving of time, talent and treasure. The local church does not exist if people are not giving of themselves. So every year we spend time talking about Stewardship because we believe it is important for people to have a proper perspective when it comes to every aspect of their lives.

For three weeks, we will look at the biblical perspective of managing our time, talent and treasure. We will ask the question, If God has provided everything that we have, how can we be the best stewards of it all?

The first week we will look at the parable of the talents. We learn that God wants us to maximize what he has given us. We are not to simply bury it in the ground, but to be wise managers. God is the giver of all that we have including all of our wealth and we are to be good managers. This includes paying off debt, investing for the future, and giving back to Him. As wise managers it helps us to keep in mind that this all belongs to God and we only have it for a short time.

What would you do if you had unlimited resources? What would be the big things you would want to address first? What does it mean that everything we have is a gift from God? If God is looking for us to return back to him what he has given, what shape are you in today?

Please leave your comments and questions below or on our Facebook page. Thanks!

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