Interbay Community Church
(Luke 16:1&2KJV) And he said also unto his disciples, There was a certain rich man, which had a steward; and the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods. And he called him, and said unto him, How is it that I hear this of thee? give an account of thy stewardship; for thou mayest be no longer steward.
We continue our series on Biblical Economics. We found that we got our English word economics from the Greek word oikonomia.
We then discovered that the King James translated the word stewardship.
So actually we area talking about Biblical Stewardship. We opened our discussion talking about how important economics is to our every day life. I want to give you an idea of how my research got us to where we are going today. It started with economics. This topic of Biblical Economics is one that I believe G-D laid heavily upon my heart. I realize how much the entire world is looking at the overall economic condition of the world. So in searching for the Biblical relevance I quickly discovered the Greek word above (oikonomia)
Discovering that the King James translated the word stewardship, I talked last week about how important our stewardship of the things of this world are. The physical and the Spiritual condition of our lives are closely linked. Now, just for some review, and to better lay the foundation for this message, I want to look at a couple of things we touched upon last week.
We introduced you to John Maynard Keynes last week. In a nut shell Laissez-faire economics is pretty much what the word expresses. Laissez-faire in French means “Leave it alone.” The Laissez-faire people think that government should stay out of the free market and that supply and demand alone should determine the economy.
The Keynesian approach is somewhat different, where as they believe that the government should be the major player in the role of economic stability. One quote that I give you below written by Keynes, is his forward to his German addition of his book on economics. It tells the importance of a strong government role in his economic policies.
One of my favorite quotes of Mandela’s is:
“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”
And it is rising after a fall that we gain strength and learn to trust in a power greater than ourselves. It is in discovering this inner strength that we can begin to reach higher and become the men and women that G-D has created us to be.
I want to give you another quote that was accredited to Nelson Mandela, but was not really ever quoted by him. It is a poem by Marianne Williamson, whom I doctrinally greatly disagree with, but I love the poem and hope you will also discover the truth that is within it and be inspired by it.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Now for our scripture verse for today:
(2 Timothy 2:15 KJV) Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
If we are really going to have a discussion about Biblical Economics we have to get down to the spiritual truth of it and become good biblical stewards. That means digging for the truth. Jesus told us that it was the truth that was going to set us free.
Too often there is a big gap between what we believe and what is the truth.
Now…. Most of you know that I am really, really big on Grace. I know that the mercies of G-D are new every morning. I know that the depths of His grace can not be measured. I know that it is by grace and grace alone that we are saved. And I can give you the scriptures to back that up. I honestly want you to know that you are loved by G-D exactly the way you are, warts and all. I also know that He who began a good work in you will continue it.
(Philippians 1:6 KJV) Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
It is the Holy Spirit that has drawn us to Christ. It is when we receive His Spirit that He becomes our righteousness. It is when we receive Him that we are given the power to become the children of G-D.
But I would be leading you astray if I did not tell you the truth that is so clearly revealed in the word of G-D. It is your sin that separates you form G-D. It your insistence on continuing to sin that continues to keep you from the blessing that G-D has in store for you.
There are two things that I do not like to preach about, money and sin. But if you look at the truth of the “real world” today the two things that stand out the most are money and sin. One thing that you have to know is that it is not money that is the root of all evil, it is the love of money.
We are told, and perhaps the Jews had it right when they quoted the Shema twice a day, that we are to love the L- -D with all our hearts and all our strength and all our mind. Then if we would listen to Jesus and love our neighbor as ourselves we would understand all the law and the prophets.
What I want us to do today, this week, is to really make a fresh attempt at being good biblical stewards. This past week I memorized part of that poem above, when I thought it was attributed to Nelson Mandela. I have to be honest with you, I am getting at that age where I am finding it a lot harder to memorize things. But do you know what? I still can. And so can you. If I can memorize some domb poem that was written by a pagan wordsmith, then I can dig in and memorize some of the Rhema (word) of G-D.
Study to shew thyself approved unto G-D, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Here is what I am trying to get at; If you just believe what you believe whether it is the truth or not then you are bound, tied up, in bondage, a slave to your own imaginations. If you are trying to convince yourself that what you know you are doing is bad is ok you really never will and you will be miserable. Let me say it another way. If you continue doing, or living a life style that does not agree with the Spirit of G-D that is within you, you will never really be happy. Ok, Let me try again. This time I won’t candy cote it. Stop living in sin and get your life right and maybe things will start working four for you for a change.
OK, here’s the deal. In the poem we read above it talks about us all being children of G-D. I am real sorry, but the word of G-D tells us that only those who have received the word are given that power.
(John 1:12 KJV) But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
Do you remember me or anyone, talking about all the promises of G-D? If you don’t I really highly urge you to dig in and discover the depth of the riches that are yours as a child of G-D. There is joy, peace, love, provision, forgiveness, mercy, protection, abundance, eternal life… The Bible tells us that eye has not seen nor can we even imagine the wonders that are stored up for us. But dig deep. If you knew that there was a treasure in your back yard I’ll bet you would be out there with a shovel every chance got. If you want the promises of G-D dig into His word and find them. That is what being a biblical steward is all about.
So the real question is…. Are you believing the truth? Are you in Christ? Are you a Child of G-D? OK, so that was three questions, but it is all really the same question. Before you simply answer yes I want to show you a passage that challenged me this past week. In reading it and meditating upon it I want each of us to reevaluate the gap between our beliefs and our lifestyle.
(Colossians 3:1 KJV) If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
Biblical Stewardship comes down to one word; (IF) If you are risen with Christ…. If you are really a Christian….. If you are really believing the truth….. If you are really a child of G-D….. If you are then why are you still doing all those (excuse the tactless expression) stupid things? Why you livin in sin if you a child of the king?
And I am not talking about living by the LAW! Can we please stop with the religion for a minute. This is not about thou shalt not do this or thou shat not do that. This is about seeking first the kingdom and G-D and doing what is right in His eyes. It is about doing what you know in your heart of hearts is right.
That is the key to stewardship. Doing what is right. Sometimes it just takes a fresh look at things. Sometimes you simply have to come to the point where you admit you were wrong and see the truth as a good thing. G-D really wants the best for you. He wants you to have love and be healthy and financially secure. He wants you to have the desires of your heart. And He has made a way for all of these things and more to come to you. It starts by you being faithful in the little things. It starts by you confessing the fact that you are a sinner and not only need to be forgiven, but you need the strength to stop sinning and start living right.
Start small, but start today. Start by receiving the truth of G-D’s unconditional love for you. Start by accepting Jesus not only as your savior, but as your LORD! Do you remember when everyone wanted to stone the women caught in adultery. They asked him what to do and as he knelt down and wrote in the sand he said let him without sin throw the first stone. Well we know that we are all sinners and we fall way short of the glory of G-D. Jesus then told the woman that he did not condemn her. That is what he has said and is saying to you. There is now therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ……
But don’t stop there. Too often we stop there. We go to the alter and ask for our sins to be forgiven then head right out the door only to keep on doing the same old thing……. He told that woman and He is telling us today, He does not condemn us so GO AND SIN NO MORE!!!!!!!!!!!
It is time for you to shake free from those shackles that have been holding you back from your blessings. It is time for you to stand up and go forward. It is time for you to press upward to that high calling. It time for you to put on the whole armor of G-D and walk in strength and victory.
I know that today’s message was a long one, but please, please, don’t stop here. Make that commitment to fully surrender your life to Christ. Give Him all of your sins and all of your talents. Not only does He want to forgive you completely, but He wants to bless you abundantly. My prayer for all of us today is that we take a giant leap of faith and break free from the sin that has been separating us from the blessings that G-D has for us. If you are risen with Christ
(Romans 8:10 KJV) And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
May the Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead raise you up to new heights. May you demonstrate to the world the life changing power of G-D working in you and through you. You are indeed loved with an everlasting, never ending supernatural love. Be blessed my friend for you are highly favored of the L- -D!