devotion, Previously Published

a study on stewardship

Key Text: Matthew 25:29

Objectives:

1. Know: That stewardship is a lifestyle.

2. Feel: Joy by living a life of stewardship.

3. Do: Maintain a balance in your life and manage the resources with which God has entrusted you.

Lesson Outline:

I. A Life of Stewardship (Luke 16:1-12)

A. This passage is one of the most cited parables when discussing stewardship and in which talents are equated with money. But stewardship is more than a prudent use of money; stewardship is about making God a priority over everything else in life. What are some aspects in your life of which you can be a better steward?

B. Jesus accomplished so much in his three years of ministry, balancing ministry with family, friends and personal spiritual growth. In what ways can you emulate Jesus’ stewardship in your life?

II. The Joys of Stewardship (Romans 12:1)

A. Paul urges us to become living sacrifices, dedicated to pleasing God. A life of stewardship is a continuous state of worship. What joys do you get from knowing that you are worshipping God through your actions?

III. The Balance of Stewardship (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

A. The Bible teaches that there is a time for everything. This suggests a life of balance. We must strive to achieve a balance in all we do. How did Jesus live a balanced life? How can you achieve the same balance?

Summary:

Stewardship is vital to discipleship. Prioritize life and live in accordance with God’s plan.

Personal Ramblings, Spiritual Musings

just a little is sometimes all it takes

Question: Suppose Americans cut down the amount of meat they eat by 10% and replace the 10% with grains and soybeans, how many starving people do you think the money saved would feed?

Answer: 60 million people. (Americans eat a lot! The per capita consumption of peanut butter alone in the US and Canada is five pounds annually)

Something to think about: Giving back a little goes a long way. Tithing is about sharing blessings. 10% is really not much when you think about the 90% you have left. But what a difference the 10% can make!

“Bring the full amount of your tithes to the Temple, so that there will be plenty of food there. Put me to the test and you will see that I will open the windows of heaven and pour out on you in abundance all kinds of good thing.” Malachi 3:10

 

Spiritual Musings

giving credit where it’s due

Blessed be God, your God, who took such a liking to you. (1 Kings 10:1)

Like a true press release, I Kings 10 begins with a succinct , one-sentence summary: Queen of Sheba travels to verify rumors of King Solomon’s success being directly connected to his relationship with his God.

It’s the perfect teaser to pique the reader’s interest. Royalty don’t go on fact-finding missions;  emissaries and agents and ambassadors do that sort of thing. Queens simply don’t take several month to travel some 1500 miles* by camel-back through unfriendly weather and terrain just to have tea with other royalty. In the courts of Sheba was a file on King Solomon. It covered his territory, his wealth, his government, his leadership style, even the number of wives and concubines. Anything quantifiable and verifiable there was of King Solomon, the Queen had.

While she had everything on him, she could not buy into all the media hype about his success coming from God. This was something she had to see for herself. Imagine the benefits to her already wealthy nation if this God-connection were real and she could tap into some of it for her own kingdom.

So she arrives with gifts that put all the lobbyists and campaign supporters to shame. From her gifts, her entourage and her beauty, it’s obvious that she’s not looking for a favors or services. She gets the tour of the kingdom–from the palace, to the court officials to the dining halls, to the temple. Israel simply  takes her breath away. Everything she was told, she sees is true. She acknowledges all this. And then to King Solomon she offers her compliments–“Blessed be God, your God, who took such a liking to you and made you King.”

When the Queen of Sheba surveys the opulence of Israel, the peace among its people, the prosperity in the homes, the wisdom of its King, she sees nothing save the God of King Solomon. She sees a nation where God sits on the throne. She sees a kingdom and a king who give all the credit and glory to God. She witnesses true stewardship–something missing in the Solomon files back home, something she had to experience first-hand.

Your life is one of stewardship when people come to you for who you are and what you do, but find God instead.

*(accessed 7/17/2010. http://books.google.com/books?id=DYkfAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA489&dq=how+far+did+queen+of+sheba+travel+to+see+king+solomon&hl=en&ei=-gFCTOOGF4K-sQPxy_XSDA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CDEQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=how%20far%20did%20queen%20of%20sheba%20travel%20to%20see%20king%20solomon&f=false