Join us today for an episode about a special broadcast of a sermon I delivered as part of a Sermon Series...
Today's episode is focused on stewardship as a family...
In today’s spiritual foundation episode I share a sermon I delivered on Luke 12: 13-24. I talk about what stewardship means as a family and how it calls us to recognize privilege and injustice.
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00:00:00 Welcome to episode 697 of the inspired stewardship podcast. This is a special broadcast of a sermon that I delivered a part as part of a stewardship sermon series at Lake Hills United Methodist church. Enjoy this is the sermon from September 13th, 2020 at Lake Hills United Methodist church. The epistle lesson this morning is from revelation chapter three, verses 14 through 22. And the gospel lesson is Luke chapter 12,
00:00:31 verses 13 through 24. The sermon is the second and the stewardship series stewardship as a family delivered by lay servant. Scott Mader scripture says, take care beyond your guard against all kinds of greed. You know, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of possessions. These are the words of Jesus. But before we talk about the rest of the story,
00:01:06 let's talk about what comes before. Luke begins in chapter chill with Jesus preaching to a crowd of thousands, and you know, he's preaching in front of, but first he turns that he talks to the disciples. He talks to them about the Lord and recognizing our own worth in the eyes of God. This is where the well known verse from verses six and seven that says are not five sparrows sold for two pennies yet.
00:01:38 Not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed. The very hairs on your head are all numbered. Do not be afraid. You are worth more than many sparrows, but then when the story picks up here in verse 13, Jesus apparently picks up a heckler in the crowd, or at least someone who wants to get something from the teacher who is teaching today.
00:02:03 He yells out to Jesus teacher, tell my brother to divide the family, inheritance with me and Jesus then replies with the parable of the rich fool. So is Jesus preaching against the world? Is he preaching that we should never have success? We should never have an easy time of things. Is he saying that money itself is evil? Well, we'll come back to this in a bit,
00:02:32 but before we do, I want to talk about the passage from revelation. This is in the context of a series of passages, each addressing a different church. Each of these seven churches gets their own specific letter. Each has given a word specific to them and what's going on to them and their context. But in this portion to the church of Laodicea,
00:02:59 it's particularly harsh. But at first glance that's a little strange, right? It appears that this church is not a place full of files doctrine. It's not full of persecution. It's not full of immorality or corruption. Instead, in fact, this church, this place, this town described as a comfortable place to live, it's described as a place of wealth and without need,
00:03:31 but then they're called out and given a harsh word. Why? Because indeed they are neither hot nor cold. They're lukewarm. Again, I'll come back to this in a bit. So this is the second story and our stewardship series for September last week, Sealy and I spoke with you about stewardship as a Christian. And today, today I'm charged with talking about stewardship as a family,
00:04:03 and next we'll be talking about stewardship as a community and as a church or the worldwide church. But for now you may be wondering what do these stories from revelation and Luke have to do with stewardship as a family? I think these two stories are fundamentally about the same message and it's, it is not the message that we are never to be successful, or we're never to have something,
00:04:29 or maybe not even that we're not supposed to prepare for the future, but it is. He is instead saying that we shouldn't do these things. If they are put in a position that occupies ourselves before God, if we put our possessions in front of God, it's saying that God must come first, last and everywhere in between. And in fact, that's the problem that's being called out.
00:04:57 When we're looking to take care of our family, both the family that we choose and the family that we are born with, rightfully we want them to be safe. We want them to be protected. We want them to be provided for. We want to give good things to them, whether it's our spouse, our children, our parents, or even the larger circle of our church,
00:05:19 our community. We want them to be safe and have security. And if we're honest, we're also driven at the same time by wanting to provide comfort for ourselves. But the problem with comfort is that it becomes well comfortable. It becomes comfortable to stay there. It becomes easy to want to guard the status quo and to protect what we have. It becomes easier and easier to believe that some people deserve more.
00:05:54 They work harder, they should be privileged. They deserve it. And indeed, they earned it. Even when that was not true, it becomes easy to believe that others are lazy and undeserving, that they are working less and worth less, that they got what they deserved. And you got what you deserved. They got what they deserved, and it is less than that,
00:06:21 what you deserve. But that feeling that that feeling at its root is what Jesus is calling out what when he says, but God said to them, you fool this very night. Your life is being demanded of you and the things you have prepared, whose will they be? So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves, but are not rich towards God.
00:06:47 You know, I would argue that believing that we deserve it, that we worked hard for it. And that these worldly things are right in our security and that due to that, others must deserve less. They must work less hard and they therefore would not have a right to the right things. That feeling is all wrong. In fact, that is the lukewarm response that God is spitting out.
00:07:14 That's the message that we must reject. Instead, we must realize it all belongs to God. We deserve nothing and our eyes should be on God and God alone. And then when we, you turn our eyes to Jesus, we begin to recognize the worth of everyone, begin to recognize the privilege that we have and how the systems that we have bought into that we have helped build.
00:07:45 Yeah, and that we have inherently participated in, provide a path to separation from each other and indeed to separation from God. And when we recognize this, we begin to become hot, hot, and our passion for Christ hot and our passion for them, justice and hot and our passion to give to others. Because we finally recognize that our family isn't,
00:08:13 those who we are born with it easily. Isn't those who we choose instead, our family is all of those who hear the knock at the door and who answer. Those are our victorious family, who we are privileged to sit with in the kingdom of heaven, the name of the father and the son and the Holy spirit. Oh man. Thank you for listening to today's sermon.
00:08:42 Feel free to join us at Lake Hills United Methodist church at one 50 Avenue, J and Lake Hills, Texas. Our worship is on Sunday at eight. And again, at 10 30, you can also find us on the web at www dot Lake Hills, umc.org.
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Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions. - Luke 12: 15