Considering Two Stewards – Lesson Notes

(Psalm 50:10-12)

 

Introduction: Stewardship a Biblical concept. Oikonomos – “house arranger.”

  * Used regarding church leaders (elders – Titus 1:7), teachers (I Cor. 4:1-2; 3:5), and Christians in general (I Pet. 4:10).

   * 3 philosophies of ownership: Communism (gov’t. owns all), capitalism (every man owns property), & stewardship:

      God owns it, we use it. (Psalm 50:10-12).

   * Christians must be responsible overseers (Luke 16:2; I Corinthians 4:2).

   * Study all accounts of the rich young ruler (Mt. 19:16-22; Mark 10:17-22; Luke 18:18-23).

 

1. Rich, young ruler.

   * Young man approached Jesus asking what to do to receive eternal life (Mt. 19:16).

   * Was told to “keep the commandments” (Mt. 19:17) + Lev. 19:18. Each dealt w/moral obligations to others.

   * Christ saw his stumbling block – his wealth (Mt. 19:21).

            - Young man not w/o noble qualities (Mark 10:21).

            - God had blessed him; he was a ruler. Did he demonstrate gratitude to God?

            - He had obeyed some of the Lord’s commands. Not good enough! (Mt. 28:20)

   * Unfortunately, he had a limited view of service.

            - Thought he might do “one thing” and inherit eternal life. Jesus said, “Follow Me” (meaning – “keep following”).

            - Too many today looking for that “quick fix,” “instant Christianity,” doing “one good thing” for a heavenly home!

            - This man’s head was swollen! He hadn’t “done all” (Romans 3:10&23).

   * His focus was more on materialism than on righteousness. (Mt. 6:19-29; Mark 10:24; Col. 2:3).

   * He went away sad (Mt. 19:22; Mark 10:22; Luke 18:23).

   * He did little good with what he had.

   * We needn’t give up all that we have in order to be pleasing to Christ (Acts 4:36-37; Acts 12:12). This young ruler had

      an “idol” he had to overcome, and couldn’t do so. He was therefore unworthy to serve (Ezekiel 14:3; Colossians 3:5).

 

2. The Macecdonians.

   * 2nd missionary campaign (Acts 15:40-18:22). Paul, Silas, Timothy, and Luke established churches there. Philippi

      supported Paul for nearly a decade (Phil. 4:16-18).

   * Jerusalem church had suffered. Gentile congregations offered to help (Rom. 15:25-26; I Cor. 16:2).

   * Paul very active in this (Gal. 2:10). ** Benevolence is 1 aspect of evangelism! ** (Mt. 5:16; Gal. 6:10).

   * Used Macedonian churches as example to Corinth of how to give (II Cor. 8:6-11).

   * Qualities that made them good stewards:

            - Had access to Heaven’s grace like Lydia and Philippian Jailor (Acts 16:13-15; 19-34).

            - Recognizing what God gave us (John 3:16), how can we not show compassion to others?

            - Macedonians gave from their poverty and were happy!

            - The young ruler was rich, but sad!

            - We need to reconsider what’s important – where true happiness lies! “Renew you mind” (Rom. 12:2).

            - II Cor. 8:2 – Their wealth was found in helping others; using God’s blessings to do good for those in need.

   * We must give according to our ability (Acts 11:29), in keeping w/our prosperity (I Cor. 16:2).

   * Poor widow of Luke 21 went far beyond that – gave all she had (v. 1-4).

   * Macedonian generosity equaled that of Israel in constructing the tabernacle (Exodus 35:5-9).

   * What made them able to do this – to behave this way? They first gave themselves to God (II Cor. 8:5).

   * They followed Christ’s example (Gal. 1:4; Phil. 2:5). Paul may have thought they’d give grudgingly at first. Not so!

  

3. Conclusion/what about us?

   * What do we do w/our paychecks? Worry about bills? Plan for frivolous expenditures? Do we think about giving back to

      He who has blessed us so?

   * Do we offer more than a token amount? Old Law required 10% (Gen. 28:22). Our covenant vastly superior! (Heb. 7:18-

      20; ch. 8-10). Our offering funds the spread of the Gospel message. Are we good stewards of what God has given us?

   * Do we take care of our vehicles, homes and other possessions that God has allowed us to have?

   * Most important of all: Are you a good steward of your soul? Care for it, nurture it, and do so by becoming a Christian

      and living a life of faith!

                                                                                                                                    R.W. McAlister 5/11/08 p.m.