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time clock and stock report October 21 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today’s Bible reading: Luke 14:25-17:19

Stewardship

God gives each of us time and resources. We each have twenty-four hours a day. After we take into account sleeping, eating, bathing, dressing, daily chores, and travel time, most of us have less than twelve hours with which to spend our time profitably. How do we use our resources? Resources include our abilities, money, and assets. These are things God gives us to use, and hopefully we will use them for his glory. How will we be a good steward of our time and resources?

When Jesus was ministering to crowds of people, he told them to count the cost of being his disciple. We have covered this theme in a previous message when Jesus told his twelve disciples the same thing. There is a cost to being a disciple of Jesus. We are stewards of God’s message and his resources, and yet, we may encounter criticism and even persecution from the world. Is the cost worth it? Jesus wants us to be willing to give up everything we have to become his disciples (stewards, if you will, of the grace of God).

Pharisees (religious leaders) and teachers of the law opposed Jesus. They did not think he should spend his time with tax collectors, sinners, and prostitutes. Through the use of three parables, the parable of the lost sheep, the parable of the lost coin, and the parable of the prodigal son, Jesus told them it was well worth his time to go after sinners. He said to them earlier in Luke 5:32, “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance,” (NIV). Jesus was merely spending his time where it was the most profitable - that which would make an eternal difference. Do we do this? Whether in the home, in business, or in the community we need to genuinely care about people and lead them to Jesus.

Jesus told another parable to his disciples and some Pharisees heard it. The parable was about a wise steward who used worldly wealth to his advantage. The point of the parable was not for Christians to use money selfishly and greedily, to be consumed upon their own lusts, but to use it for eternal purposes. Jesus told them they could not serve God and money.

The Pharisees sneered at Jesus’ words and so do many religious leaders today. Unfortunately, many preachers (certainly not all) live and teach the gospel of prosperity. The gospel of prosperity teaches followers to give God their money and resources (meaning giving to particular gospel ministries) and then God will bless them. However, giving money to ministries that are already rich and are just building castles or retreat centers does not make much sense. Why not give our resources to ministries that operate with a low overhead so our resources can help the truly needy? That will gain us many true friends. This is good stewardship of our resources.

Increasing our wealth for the sake of increasing our wealth is detestable to God (Luke 16:15). Money and other resources that God gives us are meant to be used for his glory, not just accumulated or used for selfish purposes. Those who are ungodly will be judged for how they misuse their resources and the lack of mercy they show to the needy. If we claim to be religious, then let us be truly religious. A right relationship to Christ is all important (more...), and it is often revealed by how we use our resources. James 1:27 says, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world,” (NIV).

Lessons to live by:

  • Realize there is a cost in being a disciple, or steward of the grace of God.
  • Spend your time where it will be the most profitable - that which will make an eternal difference.
  • Spend your money for eternal purposes.
  • Increasing our wealth for the sake of increasing our wealth is detestable to God.
  • A right relationship to Christ is all important (more...), and it is often revealed by how we use our resources.

Today’s Bible Memory Verses:

Matthew 24:44-47

So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. I tell you the truth, he will put him in charge of all his possessions.” (NIV)

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