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Published byAlden Broadus Modified over 8 years ago
Erika F Puni, PhD Stewardship Ministries Director General Conference STEWARDSHIP IS A MATTER OF FAITH
1 Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. 2 Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.” Genesis 22:1,2 (NIV) THE BIBILICAL TEXT
God, the I AM, called Abraham out of his home and people, and told him to go to another place. By FAITH, Abraham went. God promised to bless Abraham, and to create out of his body a people – God’s nation, and He did. By FAITH, Abraham believed the promise. Now Abraham was tested again, and this time God called for Abraham’s best – his only son Isaac. By FAITH, Abraham gave his all. THE LITERARY CONTEXT
STEWARDSHIP is ALL of me in response to ALL of God. It’s total commitment. FAITH “is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Abraham had both, he lived stewardship through faith: (1) Faith to Go; (2) Faith to Receive; and (3) Faith to Give his best.
8 By FAITH Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. 9 By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. Hebrews 11:8,9 (NIV) I. THE FAITH TO GO
1.WHERE?: A Place While the specifics of this new place were not clear to Abraham at the time, God knew every detail of the land; and he said to Abraham – go! There’s a better place. So Abram left [he was 75], as the Lord had told him; … The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” Genesis 12:4,7 (NIV) I. THE FAITH TO GO
2.WHY?: To be a Blessing to Others While the specifics of this blessing was not clear to Abraham at that time, God knew what he was doing; and he said to Abraham – go! There are better blessings (not necessarily money). “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing... and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” Genesis 12:2,3 (NIV)
11 By FAITH Abraham, even though he was past age—and Sarah herself was barren—was enabled to become a father because he considered him faithful who had made the promise. 12 And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore. Hebrews 11:11,12 (NIV) II. THE FAITH TO RECEIVE
1.WHAT?: The Covenant God initiated a special covenant with Abraham; it was about His presence and reign over Abraham’s life. God wanted to be the sovereign ruler, the Lord of all for Abraham. After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.” Genesis 15:1 (NIV) II. THE FAITH TO RECEIVE
2.WHAT?: The Promise The realization of the promise was not dependent on Abraham’s abilities, but on God’s creative power and unlimited grace. Abraham received what he was promised – God is faithful. 1 The Lord did for Sarah what he had promised. 2 Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age [he was 100], at the very time God had promised him. Genesis 21:1,2 (NIV)
17 By FAITH Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, 18 even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” 19 Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death.” Hebrews 11:17-19 (NIV) III. THE FAITH TO GIVE
1.WHAT?: The best – Isaac his son The ultimate faith test for Abraham, was his willingness to release Isaac to his Creator and Owner. With this test, Abraham knew that God expects nothing less but his best. Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering….” Genesis 2:2 (NIV)
III. THE FAITH TO GIVE 2.WHAT?: What God provides It was not about Isaac; in fact, it was not about Abraham either. It was about God who always provides. God wanted Abraham to trust Him in all things. Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. Genesis 22:13 (NIV) Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. Genesis 22:13 (NIV)
1. God is in control - all the time 2. God wants us to have a relationship with Him 3. God wants us to be a blessing to others; this is true stewardship 4. God wants us to be His presence in community; it’s about mission 5. God is gracious and faithful 6. In giving our OFFERINGS, God expects the best from us 7. God will always provide STEWARDSHIP GEMS
FAITH & STEWARDSHIP 1.When God says go, we go; because faith is believing that God is leading. 2.When God promises, we claim and accept; because faith is receiving from God. 3.When God invites us to give, we give Him our best; because faith is giving all that we are and all that we have to the Owner. It’s all of me for God.
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