Calvary Road Baptist Church

“STEWARDSHIP OF TREASURE”

Matthew 6.19-21 & 25.14-30

 

This evening we draw our stewardship month to a close with an extremely simple message from God’s Word. As a matter of fact, it may be the simplest and easiest to understand sermon I have ever preached. However, before you make your way to the gospel according to Matthew, allow me to make three brief comments about the results of Christian giving with respect to other people.

You recognize that there are two sides of every Christian’s giving. There is the side that has to do with the Christian, the giver, and there is the side that has to do with the recipient of the gift, those ministries, causes, and individuals who are affected by your giving. My sermon deals with your side of giving, so allow me to make mention of the other side of giving before we turn to God’s Word.

Briefly, when a person gives what God wants him to give, where God wants him to give, and how God wants him to give, he is giving to God. Remember what the Lord Jesus Christ said about those who will give water to the thirsty, food to the hungry, clothing to the naked, and who will visit the sick and imprisoned during the time after the Rapture and before His second coming? He indicated that He would say in that day, “Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”[1] Therefore, you see, it is no stretch to understand that when you give in a manner that pleases God, that pleases the Savior, you have really given to God, and your gifts of money, help, or whatever, comprise real worship.

That understood, let us recognize that, unlike the Tribulation when Christians will have been removed and the age of the church will have passed, our giving at this time is properly understood to be primarily channeled through the church you are a part of. The practical reason for this is threefold:

First, it costs money to start churches, which is why we have a missions program that needs financing at our church. We send money to church planters and to men who rescue churches, realizing that although a man can be a bi-vocational church planter, truly effective missionaries are usually men who are free to fully devote themselves to the gospel ministry.

Second, it costs money to staff churches, which is why your tithes and offerings are used to pay my salary, and why we could do some really effective outreach and growth things if each person claiming to be a Christian here actually tithed, so I could hire additional pastoral staff.

Finally, of course, there are the financial demands of maintaining church property. This has not always been necessary over the centuries, and is still not necessary in some parts of the world. However, in our day and in our culture, the idea of meeting without a fixed place to gather is unworkable. As well, we need to be about the business of laying aside something for future property acquisition and construction in this very expensive San Gabriel Valley.

Of course, it is not the money you give, but the opportunities you create with the money you give. Money never led a soul to Christ. However, money enables a gospel minister, at home or abroad, to visit and to study, to teach and to preach, when he might otherwise have to work a J-O-B to support himself. As well, the money you give pays for a place to worship, even though we know a place in which we worship is not the church, but the place where the church gathers.

Thus, we see that the other side of what happens when you give in obedience to God’s Word can result in fruit abounding to your account, as the Apostle Paul would phrase it. However, what about your side of the giving equation?

I could preach about the many, many ways in which giving to the cause of Christ affects your heart, affects your mind, affects your material well-being, affects your wisdom, affects your faith, and so forth and so on. However, I want to keep tonight’s message very, very simple, so I will bring only two points:

 

First, From Matthew 6.19-21, We See How YOUR GIVING CHANGES YOUR HEART

 

Turn to that passage and stand for the reading of God’s Word:

 

19     Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:

20     But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:

21     For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

 

You already know that obedience precedes understanding, but do you also know that obedience also precedes your heart, which is to say your heart’s affections?

On many occasions, I have preached that a person must always obey first, even before he fully understands the implications of his obedience. I have used illustrations of children who are potty trained, and taught to eat with utensils, and taught to read, and taught arithmetic, before they fully and completely understand the implications and the ramifications of what they are doing. Obedience must always come before real understanding, which is why the lost are properly understood to be terribly rebellious and stubborn. They typically insist on understanding before they are willing to obey the gospel. As long as they maintain that mindset, they will remain lost. Because faith implicitly recognizes that trust means, you depend upon another’s wisdom and not your own complete understanding.

In like manner, here our Lord Jesus Christ is declaring to His listeners that obedience must always precede the affections of your heart. That is, you will never, ever, want to do right before you actually do right. Particularly with respect to material possessions (read giving here), when you give to advance heavenly causes your heart’s affections will then certainly follow.

To state the matter in plain English, if you give to the cause of Christ your heart’s affections will be inclined toward the cause of Christ. Think of it. How can you not end up loving what you have poured your blood, sweat, and tears into?

Those who hesitate to give until they have more money, those who think they do not make enough money to tithe, those who think they have no obligation to give until they first want to give, simply do not understand what the Lord Jesus Christ says here. It explains why many who profess to be Christians simply do not have a heart for the cause of Christ. They have, like Judas when he carried the bag of money, more concern for the bag than the cause of Christ.

 

Then, From The Parable In Matthew 25.14-30, We See That YOUR STEWARDSHIP OF MONEY WILL BE JUDGED

 

When you find that passage, please stand once more and read along with me:

 

14     For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.

15     And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.

16     Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.

17     And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.

18     But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money.

19     After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.

20     And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.

21     His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

22     He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.

23     His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

24     Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed:

25     And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.

26     His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:

27     Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.

28     Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.

29     For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.

30     And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

 

You recognize, I am sure, that a parable is a literary device in which a spiritual lesson is taught by using a story from every day life. What I do not want to do this evening is use this parable to teach a spiritual truth. I want you to focus your attention on the underlying real world truth this parable is built on.

Very simply, a man gave money to three different slaves to manage for him while he was gone. When he came back, he evaluated their stewardship and judged them accordingly. Everything about this parable is built on the assumption that it is reasonable, normal, and appropriate for the master to evaluate his servants’ use of the money given to them and to then judge them appropriately. No one in Jesus’ day would question the right of a master to evaluate his servants and to then judge their stewardship of His money. However, have you considered that this exact same evaluation will be directed toward you? God has given you opportunities, abilities, advantages of one type or another, and yes even money. In First Corinthians 4.7 the Apostle Paul wrote, “what hast thou that thou didst not receive?” Everything you have has been give to you by God to use, not to your best advantage, but to His best advantage. Some day He will evaluate your use of what He has given you and will judge you accordingly.

This parable speaks of talents, which really has to do with money and not abilities or opportunities. Therefore, ask yourself this: If God judged my use of money, whether or not I used the money properly, and whether or not I have used it to the best advantage of advancing His cause, would He judge me favorably or unfavorably? That truth underlies this parable.

 

Therefore, you see, this really is a simple sermon, with only two points: Point number one establishes that giving to the cause of Christ changes your heart’s affection, and that no one ever begins to give because he wants to give. You give and then want to give. Point number two establishes that your use of the money God has placed into your hands will someday be evaluated by God and you will then be judged according to how you have used the money He placed into your hands.

Wasn’t that a simple sermon? Two points that will hopefully affect your life and create in your bosom a love for spiritual things, the cause of Christ, and this church ministry.

Before we conclude, I would like you to do one thing for me. Take one of those offering envelopes in the holder in front of you. Now fill out just your name and address. Now write in the left hand box under “Church” the amount you would give if you tithed. Now, please, fold that envelope and put it away for later, for your consideration when you actually do what you do when you give.



[1] Matthew 25.40

Would you like to contact Dr. Waldrip about this sermon? Please contact him by clicking on the link below. Please do not change the subject within your email message. Thank you.

pastor@calvaryroadbaptist.org