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Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15

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Are You A Faithful Steward?

Matthew 25:14 -30
In recent weeks and months we have heard a lot about ‘family values’, ‘morality’, and ‘integrity’. This morning I want us to consider what they are and how they should impact our lives as believers.

I want us to consider some definitions at the outset of the message. We need to understand what it is we are talking about.

• Value: The worth or importance of something
• Morals: Principles of right and wrong behavior
• Integrity: Adherence to a code of moral values. Completeness or honesty.
Now all of these terms can be applied differently depending upon what we use as a standard. The standard changes the values, the morals, and a person’s integrity. Note the term ‘honor among thieves’. The standard by which we must define and apply these terms must be the Word of God. It cannot be society because society changes. It cannot be knowledge, because that too changes. It must be the only thing in our world that doesn’t change, the Word of an unchanging God.

I. Two Worlds
• Every person on this earth is a citizen of one of two different worlds.
• If he is an unbeliever, he belongs to the world of darkness (Col. 1:13a).
• If he is a Christian, he is a member of the world of light .

(COL 1:12 - 14) 12Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 13Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 14In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

• Each world has its own system of truth and values: Therefore, the child of God and the unbeliever have radically different identities and world views.
A. The world of darkness
1. The Bible uses the word "darkness" to describe the world of sin.
2. This darkness, which entered the world at the Fall, is the domain of Satan and his spirit helpers (Eph. 6:11-12).
3. Satan has set the secular, material, man-centered and often immoral philosophy that is so prevalent in the world.
4. Like physical darkness, this spiritual darkness blinds.
The key is learning to distinguish between the two systems and thereby develop a world view with Biblical values and goals.
B. The world of light
1. God sent His Son to be the Light of the World, to deliver us all from this darkness and into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9).

II. Building Values.
• God provides in His Word all we need to know to make right choices.
• He has provided role models and examples (both positive and negative) we can learn from.

III. Developing Stewardship (Mt. 25:14-30)
• Having been delivered from the darkness into the light, and having adopted God's values instead of the world's, the believer's life takes on a unique significance.
• Every believer has one primary occupation: being a steward, or manager, of the resources God has entrusted to him.
• A faithful steward recognizes that life is a holy trust from God.
• Being a steward involves understanding three principles: God's ownership, our responsibility and our accountability.
A. Ownership
1. We can compare God to the master in this parable.
a. He owns everything in the world; nevertheless He entrusts his servants (believers) with the responsibility of managing His resources for Him.
b. God sovereignly decides what resources He will place in the hands of each of His servants.
c. He decides which ones and how many each of us will have.
2. God owns everything (Ps. 50:10-12).
3. He is the creator: "He… made us…"
B. Responsibility.
1. Each believer is like one of the servants in the parable.
2. We are either faithful or unfaithful.
3. The faithful servants put their master's talents to good use, investing them, making them count.
4. The unfaithful steward dug a hole and squirreled his away, wasting it.
5. A faithful Christian uses what God has given him in the wisest possible way, which brings glory to Him.
C. Accountability
1. When the master returned from his journey, he called each servant into His presence and required a face-to- face report from each one on how he'd managed his possessions.
2. We, too, will answer for how we've used our master's resources.
3. At the Judgment Seat of Christ, God will judge us on how we've managed the time, money, spiritual gifts and possessions He entrusted to us.
The unprofitable servant in Jesus' story did not get away with being lazy and unproductive. He had to look his master in the face and explain his actions. Instead of owning up to his poor stewardship, he chose to make excuses (Matt. 25:24-25).

How easy it is for us to justify what we want to do and rationalize away what we do not want to do! Success, joy and lasting fulfillment can be ours if we acknowledge God's ownership of ourselves and His resources and dedicate ourselves to being faithful stewards.

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First Baptist Church of Barberville 137 East Broad St. PO Box 97, Barberville, FL 32112 * 386-749-3928