Everything that we have has been given to us from God. As disciples of Jesus, we want to honor God with everything He has given us. Stewardship is the discipline of managing the gifts God has bestowed on us for His glory. The two areas that the bible calls us to practice disciplined stewardship is in our time and money.
Read Ephesians 5:15-16
Discuss: What reason is given for us making the most of our time?
How do we use time wisely?
How do we use time unwisely?
Read Proverbs 24:33-34
Discuss: What does this passage say leads to poverty?
What does this say about how easily time and opportunity can be lost?
The Bible teaches that time is short and the days we live in are increasingly evil. So we must be wise in how we spend our hours. We will never get back the hours we spend. Our hearts are drawn to slothfulness and comfort, so idle time will cause us to drift from our goal in discipleship. We must discipline ourselves to spend them wisely to grow in godliness and living on mission for Jesus.
Read Luke 16:10-13, Matthew 6:19-21
Discuss: What do these passages teach about a disciple's perspective on money?
How should we think about the way we manage money entrusted to us?
What we do with our money reveals what we worship. As we give with a cheerful heart to the work of The Lord and to the furthering of the gospel, God receives it as an acceptable sacrifice of worship. We must trust that God will provide what we need, and hold on to what He gives with a loose hand. He blesses us to participate in building His kingdom with the resources He gives us. We can never out give God. He promises to bestow blessings on us as we are obedient to steward our money well.
Sacrificially - Giving should “cost” us something; making a sacrifice for treasures in heaven. (2 (Cor.8:1-5)
Cheerfully - As an act of worship, giving should be compelled by our love for God, not legalism. (2 Cor. 9:7)
Systematically - We should have a planned approach to tithing a certain percentage of our income as we are paid. 10% is a biblical starting point (not a legalistic standard or ceiling) to be increased as we are blessed with more. We should have a planned approach to giving special offerings that meet needs as the Lord gives increase.
Local Church - We give to support the ministry of the church in our city.
Local and Global Missions – We give to support the ongoing ministry of the church, para-church, or missionaries in the world.