THE STEWARDSHIP TEST
Keep in mind - if you think this is just about money, you'll miss it. God has given us more than just money-- He's given us time and talents. When I talk about stewardship, it's: what are you doing with your time, your talents, and your money? Are you being a good steward with what God has given you?
I never wanted to preach. I didn't want to be a pastor. I remember when I was twenty and the pastor asked me to preach a sermon- I told him "no." It's not what I wanted to do. But God started throwing tests my way and said, "Duane, if you want to please me, you've got to let me do with you what I want to do." I worked 30 years at the plant and God started stirring my heart. So I became a licensed minister about five years ago, but this isn't what I wanted to do. I wanted to go golfing.
"His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’" Matthew 25:21 (NIV).
"And he told them this parable: 'The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. He thought to himself, "What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops." 'Then he said, "This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. And I’ll say to myself, 'You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.'" 'But God said to him, "You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?" This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God," Luke 12:16-21 (NIV).
We are all going to pass the finish line, but we are not all going to hear the same thing. You will either hear "Well done," or "You fool." I want to hear "Well done." Are you on the path to hear those words? God says these words to the steward in these verses.
Steward is an old English word to describe someone who took care of somebody else's stuff. We understand this through the person up front on an airplane taking care of everyone: the stewardess. When you become a Christian, and you accept God's mercy and you walk into the Christian walk, you now put on the uniform of a stewardess. You are now responsible to take care of God's plane. My question for you is: what kind of job are you doing?
So where did the pop quiz happen in the above parable? I think it's that moment when the rich man said, "I've got all of this grain. What should I do?" The Bible goes on to say, "He thought to himself." Here's what I need you to understand: when it comes to pop quizzes that God gives us, it's an open book test. Too often we do what the rich man did and look within ourselves when we really should have first looked in the Bible. What does the Word say? And then we should talk to those that have already passed this quiz. God has set us up for success.
Until you're willing to do the unthinkable, the miraculous will never happen in your life. You have to go outside of your comfort zone. I'm sure God has asked you to do things that you've said no to. The same thing has happened to me. But whenever I've said "yes," God has allowed me to go to another level.
Look at Rahab. Do you think if she hadn't helped the spies, that God's children would have been decimated and God's people been lost? I don't think so. I think God would have raised someone else up. But Rahab was willing to do the unthinkable and the miraculous happened. Her family was saved!
Later we see the rich young ruler, and Jesus required of him all his money. He said "no," and we never hear of him again. I believe that someone else filled the role he could have filled.
There are going to be quizzes in your life that you won't understand. You're not going to know where they're going to take you. But if you're obedient, you're going to be surprised, even shocked, at where they'll take you. But if you say no, and you get an "F," you're a fool. We all want to leave a bigger footprint. Some people keep their footprints small through their choices, but that's not God's intent. God wants you to have big feet! It's your choice.
Pastor Duane Sayler | New Life - Beulah Campus