This is part one in a four part series that Pastor John gave on stewardship in the Bible during the spring of 1983. This was part of the Prepare You The Way program that Grace Chapel was involved with at that time. Pastor John said that this was one of those times in a church’s life when a pastor acts more like a father with a family instructing how we should manage our own affairs and how God would have us order ourselves. Pastor John does this by going into Jesus’ teachings, which are a very important part of what we call the instruction in righteousness to live our lives according to God’s standards.
The reason for this series were many but primarily Pastor John wanted us to fully understand the spiritual and biblical principles and foundations that we are doing together in the church as part of the Prepare You The Way campaign. Underlining that was the need for all of Grace Chapel to be sure that everything they say and do would be solidly founded upon the commands and teachings of Jesus.
All of our plans and all of our programs must reflect His purpose, His direction in His image and in His person.”
Many of us are “me” centered in our relationship to the Lord, however we need to look at what God expects out of our life. We need to know more than what He wants to give us we need to know what He wants us to bring to him in the area of fruitfulness. Jesus encountered the same problems of misunderstanding and lack of information in his own ministry in his day.
We need to remember that Jesus taught us that truth sets us free, and when we approach the subject of stewardship every portion of the teaching of Jesus brings life. Therefore, to enter into a stewardship commitment according to the Bible and Jesus’ teaching is to enter into a new dimension of living.
I honestly believe that God gives us the privilege to enter into stewardship as an expression of spiritual exercise that we can become partners with him and witnesses of his powers.”
God allows and calls us to partner with him in his Kingdom’s work. We are truly invited to join the Lord in the accomplishment and establishment of His Kingdom. He gives us things that we can do through our own sacrifice and effort to stretch, mold us, and bring us into his purpose. So that we may enter into though a process of time, a fuller dimension of service where we walk in supernatural power beyond our own dimensions, having exercised and grown in the things of God.
The stewardship process is a process of not being discovered and launched into stardom, but a process of becoming faithful in our spirits through growth in the natural process. We do this through the stewardship, unrighteous mammon, and through our involvement in somebody else’s vision. Pastor John believes that is exactly why God has always led us into a building program that demands stewardship each time that He tells us that we are going to grow in numbers of people.
I’m really not interested in building buildings, to have them, to put somebody’s name on them, or to have a monument, but I honestly know that God’s purpose is to work in this way. And that it is time for us to move in Him as one in a stewardship.”
During the past several weeks Pastor John had asked the entire church to be in prayer asking God in wisdom and direction for our future. This is part two in a series on stewardship and discipleship teachings on our commitment to the Lord.
I trust that by now each person that considers Grace Chapel his or her home will have sensed the Spirit and become united with us with the purpose to become more fruitful in the future.”
In part one in this series Pastor John endeavored to establish in our minds the principle of management contained in scripture that we call stewardship. In the Parable of the Barren Fig Tree found in Luke 13, we found that God does in fact look at each individual tree looking for fruitfulness. There is also a timespan for fruitfulness to happen within that tree and that when this timeframe had passed without fruit, extreme measures were taken and agreed to by the gardener to make that happen.
With these principles in mind Pastor John will go on to the second part of the series where he talks about tithing, offerings, and alms.
Those little sacrifices, I believe as each member of this body comes to a place of sacrifice in these days, that God is going to take that and He will cause fruitfulness to abound. I believe that.”
In the second part of this series we began to see more clearly about the tithe and principles of the grace of giving that God has laid down in the scriptures. God considers that 10% of the increase belongs to him for the accomplishment of his purposes. He calls this holy.
Jesus taught his disciples to teach or fail to follow the least of these Old Testament principles would cause us to be called the least in the kingdom of heaven. Pastor John believes this simply means that when we reject a principle of life given to us from God, we stunt our growth and cease to grow in the spirit causing us to be diminished in the Kingdom. In part three of this series Pastor John will continue going over the rest of the elements of the grace of giving.
We can no longer as a people remain detached, aloof, or apathetic. We must be personally involved in what God is doing. The principle part of that involvement today for Grace Chapel members is to discover personally what God’s will is regarding your own participation in accomplishing God’s will for us as a church. I feel that there should not be equal gifts, but instead equal sacrificial levels. We should all join in the same joy and commitment in love for His house.”
In Part four on stewardship in the Bible, Pastor John will be reading from Matthew 20 and 25 going through three parables as he brings this series to a close. Pastor John wanted us to notice in all the parables those that were unprofitable were separated from the Lord. From these parables we can clearly see that with Jesus there is an equality to those that He will thrust into his harvest no matter what hour they come in.
We can see in the Parable of the 10 Virgins that He expects us to be stewards of oil which is our relationship. It is not just doing something or entering into harvest. There is a need for relationship with God so that we will have oil in our lamps when He comes. We are stewards over our relationship with him.
Pastor John says there is an urgency about this message. There seems to be a need in his own spirit to stress upon everyone the time that we are living in and its shortness. We must get a hold of our own personal responsibility. It’s not time to play church. It’s not time to be a member, or a benchwarmer, or a seat warmer. It’s time for us to take our stewardship with God importantly.
God has placed upon us the stewardship of our own lives, our own relationship, and the use of our talents so that the world could know Him.”