Grab your Bible and let’s go deeper into 1 Corinthians 4.
I want to focus on one single verse we read in chapter 4 of 1 Corinthians.
1 Corinthians 4:7 “What do you have that God hasn’t given you? And if all you have is from God, why boast as though you have accomplished something on your own?”
This little verse packs a punch. It stands to remind us that everything we are and/or have is from the Lord.
It is so common to feel a sense of “I have worked hard to earn what I have or to master the skills I have.”
To this viewpoint I remind you of…
Deuteronomy 8:17-18 “You may say to yourself, ‘My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.’ But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth.”
We must realize, God has not just entrusted you with everything you own, but everything you are, your skills, and the number of days you will live. It is all a GIFT FROM GOD!
WE ARE PRIVILEGED to be ENTRUSTED with HIS provisions!
On our United States currency it says, “In God we trust”.
What a great reminder that our nation needs in these days we live in.
That said, when you and I look at the money we have, we must hear God saying, “WITH THIS I HAVE ENTRUSTED YOU!”
à THIS IS A GREAT PRIVILEGE!
The problem is that we feel so deserving and that the money we have isn’t good enough. We often think that what God has given us isn’t enough- so much so that we turn to debt and credit to spend more than God has entrusted us.
We are privileged to be alive! Not to mention to have money in my wallet and food in my fridge and clothes to wear today.
To think that I deserve anything good based on anything I have done is to completely miss the reality of our sin and the beauty of the grace of the gospel!
What I have found is that many Christians don’t see it as their privilege to be a good STEWARD because they don’t see their schedule, their skills, and their stuff as God’s but instead believe it is theirs!
This is the very important topic of stewardship we must rightly understand and practice.
Read with me David’s prayer in 1 Chronicles 29:13-17
“O our God, we thank you and praise your glorious name! But who am I, and who are my people, that we could give anything to you? Everything we have has come from you, and we give you only what you have already given us! We are here for only a moment, visitors and strangers in the land as our ancestors were before us. Our days on earth are like a shadow, gone so soon without a trace. O Lord our God, even these materials that we have gathered to build a Temple to honor your holy name come from you! It all belongs to you! I know, my God, that you examine our hearts and rejoice when you find integrity there. You know I have done all this with good motives, and I have watched your people offer their gifts willingly and joyously.”
My heart for our club is that we are like the people David is speaking of in this passage.
They understood everything they had was from GOD. They understood it was not theirs… it was God’s.
Because they understood these things, they stewarded these resources for His Glory and not their own.
The problem is, we often don’t understand!
We think it is our RIGHT. We think it is our STUFF. We think we deserve it.
But, as a born again Christian, my life is not my own. It is God’s!
Romans 1:6 says basically that: THE HEART OF CHISTIANITY is to BELONG to Jesus!
We belong to him! For his glory!
On Monday we will read…
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 “You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your life.”
-My money is God’s money.
-My time is God’s time.
-My days are God’s days.
-My stuff if God’s stuff.
-My life if God’s life.
When we really begin to get this, we begin to understand the amazing undeniable privilege it his to BE HIS and it changes how we manage our time, our talent and our treasures.
The Bible says, we are created for HIS GLORY. We have been bought with a high price for HIS GLORY.
We have been entrusted with what we have for HIS GLORY!
So, how are we doing?
How are you doing at managing the time God entrusts to you?
How are you doing at managing the skills God entrusts to you?
How are you doing at managing the finances and resources God entrusts to you?
1 Timothy 6:17-19 “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.”
Let’s break this down:
1- “Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds…”
The word “good” here is the Greek word, “Kalos”. It means = Beautiful.
The question is: When people see your deeds do they see the beauty of Christ? Do they say: “Amazing”?
We are saved by the grace of God through faith in Christ in order to do “KALOS DEEDS”… Good Deeds. Beautiful Deeds.
2- “…and to be generous and willing to share…”
Are you generous in your lifestyle?
How do you know you are living generously or sacrificially?
Because it cost you something. It changes your lifestyle. You feel it!
3- “In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.”
Jesus taught us that the way to true life is narrow. He said, it is difficult for the rich to enter the kingdom of God.
WHY? Why is it hard? Why is the way to life narrow?
Because we don’t need a wide road so we can carry all of our trophies and money and possessions and pictures and diplomas to eternal life, we just need Jesus.
Why is the road to eternal destruction wide?
Because all that stuff has to fit as we pack it, worship it and cling to it straight to hell!
Why is it hard for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God?
Because he wants to have his own kingdom now and if it means being generous and living for God’s glory and fame and not his own, then he will pass.
See, here is the true test. Many of us wealthy, gifted, healthy people have said yes to Jesus’ invitation to the feast,
but we have our arms so full of this world that we have no time to help anybody else get there with us.
Praise God, Jesus Christ is the door and it is not by my good deeds that I am saved!
But hear me today, brothers! When the Gospel takes a hold of you, you will set down the treasures of this world and “be faithful managers of God’s provisions for God’s glory” and in doing so, take hold of the life that is truly life.
I pray we are a brotherhood who considers it a great privilege to faithfully manage God’s provisions that He has so graciously entrusted us with for his eternal glory!
How do you need to repent….
…for making it about you? …for boasting in you and not Jesus?
How do you need to take a fresh look at…
…how you make, spend or manage your money? …how you schedule your time and priorities?
May the Soldiers for Jesus who fight in the army of the Lord steward well all that he has entrusted us with for this battle we are in. May we quickly repent when we see that we have been making it about us. May we steward His provisions well for his eternal glory and others eternal good!
By His grace and for His glory,
Soldiers for Jesus MC