As we grow in our Christian lives, we come to a deeper and deeper realization that every good thing we receive, our Father gives us. We are in a life-long process as stewards of his possessions. Whole life stewardship is a life management style; in other words, it is not some person’s way of raising money, but God’s way of raising disciples. In three steps, we see that Christian stewardship is God’s resources, deployed through God’s people, to accomplish God’s mission.
In the past week, describe something in your schedule that took the most time or emotional energy.
If you were to open your calendar or daily planner, what would you find in it about how your time is scheduled?
It has been said that “time wasted is forever lost.” How does this make you feel?
Theme passage: Matthew 25:14-30
After reading the theme passage, why do you think Jesus says that the two servants are worthy of greatness?
Take a moment to think about the talents that God has given you. How effectively do you feel you are using those talents? How would you feel if the master returned today?
Do you think the master reacted properly to the servant who originally received one talent? Why do you feel this way?
Can there be improper motivations in the way we use our talents?
I have held many things in my hands and I have lost them all. But whatever I have placed in God’s hands, that I still possess.
— Martin Luther
According to Dallas Willard, “to trust in riches…is to count upon them to obtain or secure what we treasure most. It is to think that they will bring us happiness and well-being. When we also possess the riches we trust in, we may suppose that we are secure…” Why do the possessions in our home sometimes give us a feeling of security?
Seeking more and more of something can become an addiction. Richard Foster states, “The person who does not seek the kingdom first does not seek it at all. Worthy as all other concerns may be, the moment they become the focus of our efforts they become idolatry.” How would you summarize the Bible’s teaching on possessions?
God has given us two hands – one to receive with and the other to give with. We are not cisterns for hoarding; we are channels for sharing.
– Billy Graham
When you give an offering as an act of worship, what feelings do you experience?
In Luke 12:13-21 we read a parable about the rich fool. Specifically, in verses 20-21 we read, “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 anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.” What do you think it means to be “rich towards God”?
We know that God blesses us daily. What one thing has God given you this week that has been especially meaningful?
Challenge for growth
- In the coming week, spend a few moments each morning to think about how you will spend your time and energy that day.
- Specifically ask God in prayer to use your home and possession for his work.
- In the following ways, make a commitment to give to God: a) first; b) systematically; c) cheerfully; d) regardless of your circumstances; e) proportionately; f) thoughtfully; and g) eternally. – From Brian Kluth in his article “The Grace of Giving.”
- The Spirit of the Disciplines – Dallas Willard
- “The Grace of Giving” – Brian Kluth, www.kluth.org/people/grace.htm
- Celebration of Discipline – Richard Foster
- Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life – Donald S. Whitney