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Teaching the lesson
  1. Sermons: “Anxiety, Stewardship and Advancing the Kingdom (Luke 12:22-34)” from Steve Fernandez
  2. Ready to take the next step?
  3. Sermon: Stewardship Sunday – Luke 16:19
  4. Magnifying God with Money | Desiring God

Everyone is to praise the name of the Lord. It is wonderful that a choir member would read that verse. It is good to praise God. It is good to sing praises to God. We as human beings are constructed in such a way that we want to sing our praises to God. This whole song is a wonderful hymns of praise. Sun and moon and stars and whales and sea monsters and wind and hail; these all praise. This was a favorite hymn of St Francis of Assisi. We Christians are forever learning new songs of praise. In the traditional worship.

At the contemporary worship. We praise God and we sing new songs to the Lord. Here in our sanctuary, we are praising God. Then we also praise God as we see the firmament, the mountains, the lakes, our garden. But not only in these places but also in the sanctuary. Here in this sanctuary, God wants us to praise the Lord.

What I am suggesting to you is that at the heart of all generous givers, and I believe that we are a congregation of generous givers, you cannot be a generous giver if you do not believe that everything there is belongs to God. If you believe that what you have belongs to you, chances are that you are not a generous giver. You have your shirt on straight. The second button is: your heart is filled with thanksgiving and praise. These are the first two buttons of all Biblical generosity.

You need to get them on right. What is the third button? If God owns the garden, I am the caretaker.

Sermons: “Anxiety, Stewardship and Advancing the Kingdom (Luke 12:22-34)” from Steve Fernandez

Please turn to Genesis 1. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground. To rule is to have power or authority over them. Human beings are the crown of creation; we are at the top of the line in the pecking order; and we are to care for the creation that God has entrusted to us. We are to cultivate the earth, to work it, and we are also to guard, protect and care for the earth. If God is the owner of the heavens and the earth and everything that is on the earth, then you and I are to protect it.

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That is our job. I would like everyone to imagine a new mother with a newborn baby. Can you see that image in your mind? That mother is in charge of that fragile little baby. The mother is to take care of the baby. I would like to suggest you that the earth is like that fragile little baby and that we are to care for this earth like a mother cares for her little baby.

I also believe that the earth is the center of the universe. The only place life has been found in the entire infinite universe is here on this little planet earth. I believe the earth is the center of the universe, in that it is the most valuable planet in the universe because it has life on it.

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The earth is like a little fragile baby; the earth is very new compared to the size and age of the universe and must cared for with diligent care. That is why we, the followers of Christ, are so deeply concerned about the environment, the air, the water, the ozone layer in both on this earth but also in the stars, the skies, the heavens.

That is why Christians are deeply passionate in our care of the earth, just as a new mother is deeply passionate about the care of her new born baby. Button number one on the shirt: everything in heaven and earth belongs to God.

Sermon: Stewardship Sunday – Luke 16:19

Button number two: our hearts are to be filled with praise and thanksgiving. So we ask the question: what kind of offerings does God want from us? When you study the best of Old Testament piety and religion, the Jews understood that they were to give a tithe, a tenth of all they had. I would like to briefly trace for you the evolution of the tithe in the Old Testament. Please turn to Genesis This is the story of Jacob. The word, Jacob, means cheater and manipulator. In other words, Jacob is like us.

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Jacob made a promise to God. I like that about Jacob. He is just like us. Jacob understands that everything is a gift from God. Would you all please turn to Leviticus ?

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The book of Leviticus is named after a person named Levi. The life of the priest is described in the Book of Leviticus. In Leviticus , you find for the first time that the tithe has become a law of the Lord. The numbering of those Bible verses from CE also helps us. We take them for granted. If he does make a substitution, both the animal and its substitute become holy and cannot be redeemed.

As you read this passage, you can imagine the situation. The tenth sheep or cow was a real fat one and the ninth one is a skinny one. The worshipper switches the fat tenth one around for the ninth skinny one.

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  • We understand that. God knows human nature. The next verse is clear: if he does substitute one animal for another, both animals will belong to the Lord. God gave this commandment on Mount Sinai because God knew that it was important that people gave thank offerings to God in appreciation for the heavens and the earth and everything in it.

    Magnifying God with Money | Desiring God

    God knew that it was important to give thank offerings. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on. What does Jesus Christ expect of us as stewards of his household? The point is this: the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.

    Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work. You will be enriched in every way for your great generosity, which will produce thanksgiving to God through us; for the rendering of this ministry not only supplies the needs of the saints but also overflows with many thanksgivings to God.

    If you feel the same way, please join me in prayerful consideration of generous giving over the next three years here at our Cathedral. His son, Solomon, who at this time was still young and inexperienced, would build the Temple. David concludes by blessing the Lord and presenting his offering with these words in verse But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to make this freewill offering? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you.

    Other passages in the Torah, listed below, address how the tithe was to be offered in ancient Israel. By the time of Jesus, the tithe was deeply ingrained in faithful living, so much so that it had become a kind of legal obligation. Jesus went beyond this formality to teach that tithing without mercy and love is meaningless and to promote sharing all of what we have with the poor, the sick, orphans, and the elderly.

    This sharing all things in common became the practice of the early Church, as we see in the book of Acts. In the Church of England, traditionally, these tithes once received were divided by canon into four parts: between the bishop, the clergy, the fabric of the church, and the relief of the poor. Over time these divisions developed variously, but the tithe itself long remained a point of law and a direction in the Book of Common Prayer.