Someone once said, "Your theology is what you are when the talking stops and the action starts." What we believe is demonstrated by what we do, not just what we say. Good intentions are not enough - we must back them with deeds that demonstrate they are true.
This Sunday we begin a new series "How to Be Rich." Most of us don't consider ourselves rich. That's a label for someone else, or it's only something we wish was true. But what if we really are rich and don't even know it? You can be rich and not act like it. And that's the problem. We are rich, but we don't know how to be rich.
The Bible says that we are all "stewards."A steward is one who manages and leads what is not his own, and he leads knowing full well that someday he will give an account to the owner and ruler of it all. I'm a steward for God - that's being rich, I'd say! But I'm also going to give an account of how I managed those "riches." That catches my attention...
Do you ever take stock of how you've "managed" what God gave you? Job? Family? Money? Opportunities? All of us have our areas of oversight - that is what we will be held accountable for. Since it all belongs to him, check with the Owner often. "What would you have me to do with all that you've given me?" How well we do this now determines privileges and responsibilities in the future.
As a church we want to help in "how to be rich." Kingdom Causes is a new ministry umbrella that helps us to "stop talking" and "start acting." Each month there will be ministry opportunities to make a difference in our community. Families or individuals can serve together in a local community project that impacts our neighbors. We will have occasions to build long-term relationships with people and share the love of Jesus with them. We want this to become a regular part of how we worship God - by serving others with our gifts, time, and finances. Operation Christmas Child, the Food Drive for our families and local food banks, the Angel Tree for families in Homan Elementary are "service worship" opportunities we offer this time of year. Throughout this series we will also give some other practical ways to Give, Serve, and Love.
Ultimately, good stewardship is not a matter of wise money management or even responsible giving. It is a matter of extravagant love (for an example read Mark 14:3-9). Have you received the love of Jesus poured out for you? Has it left your heart so full of gratitude that you can't help but share it? 1 Corinthians 4:2: "Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful" (KJV). The measure of our stewardship is faithfulness. That's all God asks for. But it is what he asks for!