Stewardship is taking care of things for another.
God blessed us by giving us the things we have and he trusts us to take care of them.
Times where the things can take control of our lives and crowd God out of the situation. NOT TALKING ABOUT AN INTENSE PROBLEM THAT ARISES, BUT A LIFESTYLE OF TAKING CONTROL.
- The Complaining Spirit.
Last week I mentioned that one motivation that kept Peter in focus was that he saw the glory of God on the mountain top we have another illustration of that this morning of how that can change our focus on what is really important.
Luke 10: 38 – 42 Martha welcomes Jesus into your home, Martha was distracted by the big dinner. Why should I do all the work. (The serving suddenly became labor.) Complaining came into the situation.
- You have Jesus in your home
- Privilege of serving him a meal
- How can we end up complaining in the midst of such blessing?
Remember, we can’t say,”If I had Jesus in my home, I would not act like that.” The Bible tells us that when we do things for others, then we are ministering to Jesus so we have had in in our homes.
Proverbs 18: 21 The tongue can bring death or life those who love to talk will reap the consequences.
Luke 7: 45 A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.
- curses and complaining about what is happening.
- To swear at children, work or even your sports team this is bringing a curse on something and we wonder why it is not turning out well for us.
These attitudes are a revelation of the heart.
2. Unmet expectations.
ARM yourselves that things are going to happen.
- a meal is going to burn
- a car is not going to start
- a furnace is going to break down.
- Deal with someone who is not great to work with.
We allow these things to bring distractions to our lives like Martha did.
Martha, meal is not turning out the way she thought it would
We allow these distractions to justify our venting against Jesus and others.
What if it is deeper than a broken furnace, what if it is a promise of God that is not happening and I am believing for it and nothing changes.
3. Promise delayed.
John 11 Martha’s brother Lazarus dies and Jesus delayed in coming to heal him. Conversation that Martha has with Jesus when he shows up.
John 11: 20, 21 if you only would have been here, then my brother would not have died.
- I have been giving and I am still in financial problems
- I have been praying and no healing
- Believing and no answer to my prayer
GOD, YOU ARE ABLE TO DO SOMETHING, WHY DON’T YOU?
Look at the religious conversation that ensued.
John 11: 23 – 26
- Your brother will live again PROMISE
- When we all get to heaven, then we will all be happy
- I am the resurrection and the life. PROMISE
- I know who you are but there is a wall going up because my brother is dead.
what do you do when your promise is delayed?
We are always looking for shortcuts and steps that will get us the answer.
- six things needed to raise our children
- 5 things for financial success
- 8 things that will give you lasting peace.
1 Peter 1: 3 – 11
- we have a salvation
- We have an inheritance that cannot be touched and is beyond decay.
- Your faith shows you are sincere
- Faith is being tested but it is more precious than gold.
- We trust him even though we do not see him yet.
Hebrews 11: 38 – 40 too good for this world and faith is pure gold even though no promises were received.
I want that good reputation in my own life.
4. See glory.
Martha took Jesus to the grave.
John 11: 39, 40 no more faith because Martha said he smells.
Jesu refers to an earlier conversation which stated that if she believed she would see the glory of God.
Not just a miracle, but an understanding of who he was
Miracle not enough to change lives because Pharisees decided they had to kill Lazarus to shut the people up (John 12: 10, 11)
Martha “you are the resurrection, you are the life,”
Peter, Motivation is I have seen Jesus in his glory,
You, even though you have never seen him you trust him.
RESULT: John 12: 2 another meal and Martha is serving. Right balance of stewardship.
Life Group Questions.
1. What is the difference between being concerned about a things that God has put us in stewardship over, and being consumed with it to the point of crowding out Jesus? How can we tell the difference? (We can’t. That is why we need others in our lives.)
2. Martha had the privilege of having Jesus over for a meal.(See Luke 10: 38 – 42) How did distractions bring her from a point of celebration at the opportunity of having Jesus there to a point of complaining.? ( we forget that things go wrong and break down. We focus on those problems and forget the blessings that surround us each day)
3. What to do when it is not just a meal that burns. What do you do when you are believing a promise of God and it is not coming to pass. (Look at John 11 and tell the background of Lazarus, being a friend of Jesus, was asking for him to come to him when he was sick. Jesus did not come and Lazarus died.Read the conversation between Jesus and Martha in John 11: 23 – 26) What can we pull out of this conversation? (We can pull out religious sounding words, but in the end, we are still struggling with the idea that Jesus is not keeping his end of the bargain)
4.We are not going to talk about why God does not answer, we want to look at why delays happen. Read 1 Peter 1: 3 – 11. What is happening to our faith when it is being tested during trials? (It is being refined like gold and it is more precious that gold) how can we maintain a right attitude during these trials? (WE need to know that what is really important to us is being kept in heaven for us and will be shown when Jesus is fully revealed to us.)
5. Read John 11: 39, 40 What did Jesus promise Martha would see if she just believed? (She would see the glory of God) This is not just an answer to prayer because the Pharisees saw Lazarus come back to life and they wanted to destroy the evidence by killing him. Martha would know that Jesus really was the Resurrection and the Life and that would carry her long after Lazarus died a second time.
6. How does having a vision of who Jesus is help us keep our stewardship in focus? (Even though we do not see him we trust him. An incredible trust forms in our lives)
7. What was the change that happened in Martha’s life after this revelation? (See John 12: 2). (She served and did not complain)
8. The focus of our lives must be on using the things God has put in our charge to bring glory to Him.