"Give an Account of your Stewardship"
Introduction: On this third Sunday of 2012, I want to pause and have us do some soul searching as we prepare for this year ahead.
In Romans 14:12 we read, "Every one of us shall give an account of himself to God."
In Luke 16:2 we have these words given to an “Unjust Steward” in a parable: "Give an account of thy stewardship; for thou may no longer be steward."
These are very sobering words. Here, you are moving through life day after day, and then all of a sudden without warning the God of the universe says to you: "STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING. TIME IS UP. IT’S NOW TIME TO GIVE AN ACCOUNT OF THY STEWARDSHIP!”
"Give an account of thy stewardship," is a command that will be addressed to the unsaved when they one day stand at the GREAT WHITE THRONE JUDGMENT found in Revelation 20:11-15. Here, God will say to them, "Depart from me you worker of iniquity." Then He will cast them into the Lake of Fire which burneth forever and forever.
"Give an account of thy stewardship," is a command that will be applied to the Child of God one day, when he or she stands at the JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST. For in II Corinthians 5:10 we read, "For we must all appear before the JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST, that everyone may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done…"
At this point, you may be asking: “Pastor, on what is God going to judge the believer?” Well, in I Corinthians 4:2 we read, “Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.” When God judges our stewardship, He is looking for FAITHFULNESS. Will God find us faithful? Let’s take an inventory as we step into the year 2012.
First: God calls us to GIVE an account of our TIME. Time is a very precious commodity God has given to us, and He is going to hold us accountable as to how we have used it.
Someone said, "There is a gift which comes to us from a royal source each day of our lives, BRIGHT and SPARKLING, absolutely untouched and unspoiled. What is that gift, you ask? It is the priceless gift of time. Each day we receive a fresh new supply, 24 hours, 1440 minutes and 86,400 seconds. This is 24 hours we have never lived before and 24 hours we shall never live again."
Psalm 90:12, "So teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom…"
Psalm 39:4, "Lord make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days what it is…"
Psalm 89:47, "Remember how short my time is…"
Ephesians 5:16, "Redeeming the time, because the days are evil."
Another said, "Yesterday is gone, tomorrow is uncertain. Therefore, it behooves us to spend every moment we have in our life in the right place doing the right thing for JESUS.”
We must redeem our time for God.
We must redeem our time for our family.
We must redeem our time for our church.
We must redeem our time with eternal values.
If God were to say today, "Give an account of your Time," would it be time well spent or wasted? Think about it, how did you use your time yesterday? You will be accountable for every minute God has given you. (Talk about priorities and consistency.)
Second: God calls us to GIVE account of our TALENTS. In Matthew 25 we have the parable of the TALENTS. God has given each of us gifts, abilities and talents, some of which are deeply buried in our lives. Follow me as I read verses 14-19, “For the kingdom of heaven is as a man traveling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. (15) And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. (16) Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. (17) And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. (18) But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money. (19) After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.”
The message of this parable from Matthew 25 is CRUCIAL for our day. The greatest problem we face in our generation in the church is a personnel problem. We are suffering in our churches from a severe case of unemployment.
"A handful of people are doing the MAJORITY of the work while the MAJORITY of the people just sit by, not so much in CRITICISM as in INDIFFERENCE."
Many are SITTING and WATCHING instead of WORKING. Many just slide into church and then slide right on out of church.
What will be your excuse before the Lord at the day when you have been called to give an account of your talents?
I am TOO OLD, or TOO YOUNG.
I do not have ENOUGH TIME.
I HAVE DONE MY SHARE OVER THE YEARS.
I AM NOT A MEMBER.
Folks, I believe God is looking for ACTION, not EXCUSES. I believe either you use what God has given to you for His service, or you will lose it. One day God will say, "Give an account of your stewardship concerning your gifts, abilities, and talents."
Third: God calls us to GIVE an account of our TREASURE: Someone said, "The value system of your heart is expressed by your relationship to material things, in most cases that of money." Please notice what the Lord said in Matthew 6:19-21, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: (20) But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: (21) For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
When we talk about our treasure, we would include in that our TITHES and OFFERING unto the Lord.
Remember from Leviticus 27:30, "the Tithe is holy unto the Lord," and in I Corinthians 16:2, “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him.” The store being the church house.
Did you Tithe or did you withhold your tithe during 2011?
Will you tithe or withhold your tithe during 2012?
In the day of accounting, will God have found you FAITHFUL in giving "upon the first day of the week as you gave from the heart, not grudgingly, but willingly," of your tithes and offering?
Fourth: God calls us to GIVE an account of our WORDS: In Matthew 12:36-37 we read, “But I say unto you that every idle word that men shall speak, he shall give an account of it in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned."
Folks I have to be honest with you. There is far too much lying and story embellishing going on, even in the Christian world. Oh, be careful what you say. How would you muster at the judgment seat TODAY if you were called to account for your words just this past year?
Fifth: God calls us to give an account of our THOUGHTS: In Proverbs 23:7 we read, "as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he."
Behind every wicked deed is a process of wicked thinking. The person who cannot control his thoughts, cannot control his behavior.
The evil idea starts in the HEAD, goes to the HEART, and finally into the HAND.
God will judge us according to what we really are, not what we seem to be.
Remember that man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart.
It is said, "a man's REPUTATION is what people THINK about him; his CHARACTER is what God KNOWS about him."
What are you like when the bark is peeled off, with the Holy Eyes of God looking straight into your soul?
Ecclesiastes 12:14 tells us, "For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good or whether it be evil." If God should call you to report for an accounting of your life, what will be revealed about your thought life?
Sixth: God calls us to GIVE an account as to the stewardship of our INFORMATION: In II Timothy 2:1-2 we read, “Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. (2) And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.”
Here we are told that what we learn from others we are then to pass on to others. We are the stewards of information. You are the steward of every TRUTH you learn in Sunday School or from preaching.
Let me illustrate this in a practical way using myself. Do you realize that I am using my stewardship of information as I preach and Pastor? During my up-bringing:
My Dad and Mom taught me spiritual truth.
My Sunday School teachers taught me spiritual truth.
My youth leaders taught me spiritual truth.
My college professors taught me spiritual truth.
My pastor's taught me spiritual truth.
They taught me convictions.
They taught me standards.
They taught me how to love the Bible.
They taught me how to pray.
They taught me how to live for Christ daily.
Sometimes, I am criticized for passing on to you my life experiences, but I am only doing so in order to relate to you what God said and how those words have affected my life.
You must realize that God expects you to be a steward of every GOOD and WHOLESOME TRUTH anybody has ever taught you. You owe it to them, and you owe it to God to pass it on.
Romans 14:11-12, “For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. (12) So then, every one of us shall give account of himself to God.”
It did not say give an account of OTHERS’ stewardship.
It did not say give account of the PASTOR’S stewardship
It did not say we are to give an account of your WIFE’S actions.
It did not say we are to give an account of your HUSBAND’S actions.
At the Judgment Seat of Christ, we “shall give an account of ourselves, not to one another but to God.
Forget for a moment that there are any other people in the world, and YOU stand individually and separately before those piercing eyes which are searching you, through and through. For God will judge YOU as if there were no others to judge, and examine your innermost heart as if He had no other object to look upon.
Let me remind you, the Year of our Lord 2012 has already begun. It seems most suitable as we step into another year of grace that we should in our heart and consciousness STOP to take stock of our STEWARDSHIP.
As we begin this year, it might be well to take to heart David's words in Psalm 139:23-24, "Search me O God, and know MY heart; Try ME and know MY thoughts and see if there be any wicked way in ME, and lead ME in the way everlasting."
As we begin this year, it might be well to take to heart what the Apostle Paul said as he examined his past in Philippians 3:13-14, "Brethren, I count not myself to have arrived; but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before. I PRESS toward the MARK of the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."
I am sure that if we would honestly search our heart we would be driven to our knees. There is enough in the history of one week, let alone in one year, to make us see our sinfulness and praise more than ever our REDEEMER who can pardon us from our sin.
Go again to the cross where the burden of sin and the failure of our lives came upon Him and CONFESS, REPENT and SEEK FORGIVENESS where we have faltered in the past in our areas of accountability.
Return one more time to Luke 16:2 and notice the very last phrase, "…for thou mayest be no longer steward." Think about those solemn words. If you don’t use what God has given unto you for His Glory, you could lose it. Think about these words of a song,
Only to be what He wants me to be every moment of every day
Yielded completely to Jesus alone, every step of this pilgrim way
Just to be clay in the Potters hand, ready to do what His words command
Only to be what He wants me to be every moment of every day.
Live for Jesus TODAY. Serve Jesus TODAY. Use your TIME, TALENT, TREASURE, INFLUENCE and WORDS for God TODAY, for it may be tomorrow that:
Your ministry is taken away;
Your child or spouse is swept away;
Your class is scattered;
Your wealth and possessions are stripped from you;
Your ministry and witness has ended.
Let each golden moment have its pressing service rendered unto God, lest it be said to thee, "Thou mayest be no longer steward."
The hour may come before this year is finished that you will pass on to glory. We have this as a constant reminder even in this congregation. It may happen even in the full strength of life that we will be called upon to give an account of our stewardship.
Can you say at this very moment, "I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day…?"
Can you say "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith?"
Can you say, "As a steward I have been faithful?"
Will you be hearing the Lord say, "Well done, thou good and FAITHFUL servant, enter into the JOY of the Lord?"
The Brevity of life should cause us to,REFORM our PERSPECTIVES.
The Brevity of life should cause us to REORDER our PROPRIETIES.
The Brevity of life should cause us to REEVALUATE our LIVES.
As a result we will:
REST in God more CONFIDENTLY,
LOVE the Lord more EARNESTLY,
SERVE our generation more INTENSELY,
LIVE by the power of the HOLY SPIRIT,
FULFILL our appointed places as God shall help us,
Be more CONCERNED for SINNERS, and
Be more LOVING toward the SAINTS.
It may be that you are listening to this message and you do not have the hope of Heaven, or the assurance of eternal life. One day, and it may be before this year is concluded, the death angel will come and close up shop for you. Then you must give "an account of your stewardship. "WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH JESUS CHRIST?"
I plead with you, one more time, to “Put your faith in JESUS who was crucified for you and whose blood was shed to cover your sins before the eyes of a Holy God.”
You will be called to give an account of your life. Determine in your heart to make it before the Judgment Seat of Christ with other believers, rather than before the Great White Throne Judgment with all the unbelievers.
If God has spoken to your heart after reading the sermon, "Give an Account of Your Stewardship" then right now talk to God about what He has spoken to you.
Do you have the assurance that one day you will go to heaven? If you have no assurance that you know Jesus Christ, then I trust you will decide to accept Him as your personal Savior. The Bible tells us in
Acts 16:31, “…Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved…”
Romans 10:13, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
This prayer is here for those who need to ask Jesus to be their personal Savior: “I do want to go to Heaven. I know I am a sinner, and I do believe Jesus Christ died for me. I realize I cannot buy this great salvation, nor can I earn it. Knowing Jesus died on the cross and arose from the grave to pay my sin debt and to purchase my salvation, I do now trust Him as my Savior, and from this moment on I am completely depending on Him for my salvation.”
If you made the decision to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior let me know. Please send an e-mail to, pdmikBBM@aol.com and I will send you some literature that will help you in your Christian life.
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In His Amazing Grace,
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