This is the Principle of Ownership. You don’t really own anything. God made it all, He owns it all and He loans it to you. He owns it and then He loans it. He loans it to you. You don’t own anything. It wasn’t yours before you were born; it’s not going to be yours after you die. You just get to use it for a little while, while you’re here on earth – 80 or at the most 100 years. God loaned it to your grandparents then your parents or somebody else. Then He loaned it to you. After you die He’s going to loan it to somebody else. You didn’t bring a single thing into this world. And you’re not taking a single thing out of this world. It’s just a lease. It’s a loan. You don’t own anything. I’m going to write a book someday and the first sentence is going to be “What you think you own is really a loan.” Because it is. God loans it all to you and it’s really His and it’s going to be His after you die.
The Bible says that God created human beings to manage God’s resources. God owns the world. You don’t own it. I don’t own it. He owns the world. He owns everything in it. He put human beings on earth to manage it. The word in old English is the word “steward”. The word “stewardship” is the Old English word that means management. It means to be a manager. God says “I want you to manage what I loan you. But never forget: I’m the owner, you’re the manager.”
One day you’re going to stand before God and you’re going to give an account of your life. God is going to ask you two questions. Fortunately we know the answers. We know the questions for the final exam. Here are the two questions. The first question God is going to ask is this, “What did you do with My Son, Jesus?” Not, what religion are you. God’s not going to ask you about your religion. He doesn’t care if you’re a Baptist or Buddhist or Catholic or Protestant or Jewish or Mormon or Muslim or no religion at all; because He isn’t into religion. He’s in to a relationship with you. He’s going to say, did you ever develop a relationship with My Son Jesus Christ. Get to know Him, love Him, and begin to serve Him. Or was that all a waste Him coming to earth.
The second question He’s going to ask is this, “What did you do with what you were given?” In other words, How did you use the talents you were given?
When it comes to your life you really only have three choices. You can waste your life, you can spend your life, or you can invest your life. That’s it. Those are your options. You can waste your life and there’s plenty of ways to waste it. You can spend your life and there are a lot of ways to spend it. But the greatest use of your life is to invest it on something that will outlast it. And that’s what we’re going to talk about for the next several weeks.
The Bible says in Romans 6:13 “Do not let any part of your body become a tool of wickedness to be used for sinning. Instead give yourselves completely to God since you have been given new life and use your whole body as a tool to do what is right for the glory of God.”
God says I put you on earth to use your life for good – for your good, for the growth of others, for the glory of God. God says I don’t want you to abuse your life. I want you to use your life.
Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in service of the United States of America. It is observed every year on the last Monday of May and originated following the Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died during that dreadful war that claimed more than 498,000 lives. Today Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who have died while in the military service.
Joshua 4:1-3, 7 ” And it came to pass, when all the people had completely crossed over the Jordan, that the LORD spoke to Joshua, saying: “Take for yourselves twelve men from the people, one man from every tribe, and command them, saying, ‘Take for yourselves twelve stones from here, out of the midst of the Jordan, from the place where the priests’ feet stood firm. You shall carry them over with you and leave them in the lodging place where you lodge tonight… And these stones shall be for a memorial to the children of Israel forever.”’”
Joshua erected 2 pillars from stones of Jordan’s riverbed as a memorial of what God had done for Israel. As we look at Israel’s memorial stones we too should be remember what He has done for us. Who is on your lists of remembrances for this Memorial Day? Is the Savior one of them? He should be!
Matthew 6:34 “So don’t be anxious about tomorrow. God will take care of your tomorrow too. Live one day at a time.”
Jesus is saying, Don’t open your umbrella until it starts raining. Today is the tomorrow that you worried about yesterday. When you worry you don’t do anything about yesterday, you can’t control tomorrow, you just mess up today. The future can seem overwhelming. Therefore, God has put it in little bite-size pieces. He just gives it to us in one little 24 hour increment at a time. Live one day at a time.
Matthew 6:11 says, “Give us today our daily bread.”
Am I going to believe the Lord is my Shepherd or am I going to believe I am my own Lord? Who is in control of my life? Who’s calling the shots? If I’m in control, I have a lot to worry about. But if God’s in control, it’s His problem and He can handle it.
At the end of this life, the only thing that I want people to be able to say is, “He was honest”! That’s it! Rachelle had to learn early on, not to ask, if she didn’t really want the answer. Like, “Does this dress make me look fat”? At 115 lbs., there really is nothing that she could put on that would do that. But she knows she can trust me to tell her if something doesn’t look very flattering, even to my own dismay of waiting another 45 minutes for her to change into something else!
The same goes, with everyone I know. If you have spent any real time with me in the past few years, you know I won’t gloss over or sugarcoat something you need to hear. But I always try to speak that truth in love and with tact, to spare that person’s dignity.
What is tact? Tact is making a point without making an enemy. Attacking the problem and not the person!
Proverbs 12:18 “Thoughtless words can wound as deeply as any sword. Wisely spoken words can heal.”
What if you came to your husband/wife and said, “I’m going to be faithful to you six days a week.” I know how Rachelle would respond to that, there would be some residual cast-iron bruising to remember it by! If you’re not faithful all the time, you’re not faithful at all. The same is true with honesty. If you don’t have integrity all the time, you don’t have integrity. If you lie 10% of the time you’re still a liar!
All relationships are built on trust. Good relationships that is. Trust building comes through truth telling. Trust and truth go together. The way you build trust is by telling the truth.
“People who can’t be trusted are destroyed by their own dishonesty.”
Don’t respond by being rude yourself. That only adds fuel to the fire. When somebody is rude to me I want to be rude back. In fact I want to be ruder. And God’s given me a quick enough mind I probably can be ruder. But that doesn’t work. Rudeness never pays. Kindness does.
Romans 12: 17, 21 says, “Do not repay evil with evil…..Overcome evil with good.”
As a Christian there are a lot of things in the world I disagree with, a lot of things that happen, a lot of lifestyles, behavior. There’s a lot that takes place in the world that I disagree with. I don’t even agree with everything you do and you don’t agree with everything I do. We don’t agree with each other. Am I supposed to run around as a personal policeman trying to police unbelievers? No, Romans tells us what we’re supposed to do.
Romans 14:12-13 “Each of us will give an account of himself to God, therefore let us stop passing judgment on each other. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block in another’s way.”
How do I give and get respect? The way I give it is the way I get it. And the way you get it is by the way you give it. The Bible says, “Love is not rude.” One of the things about courtesy is that it makes life so much easier and happier too. Emerson said, “Manners are the happy way to do things.” Courteous people are happy people. Rude people are never happy people. They are always miserable. They’ve got a big chip on their shoulder. They go around angry all the time.
Proverbs 11:17 “The merciful man does good for his own soul, but he who is cruel troubles his own flesh.”