"God's Willingness to Bless Us: Excerpts from Nov. 24, 2014 sermon" - Bishop Alfred Jackson
An excerpt from Sunday's Sermon:
Stewardship has a great benefit to the owner but also has a greater benefit to the steward. Get this, the owner already has or you would not be put in charge of what belong to Him. The steward is the one who doesn’t have and has to yield him/herself to the owner to serve as his steward. God has; we don’t. What we think we have actually belongs to Him. We are His stewards. Consequently, stewardship has to be about us and God’s willingness to bless us because not only is the faithful steward elevated, he/she also shares in the master's wealth (Matt.25:21,23). Faithful, wise stewardship is the way into the real blessings of God.
Now, a point worth considering and being mindful of: If we mismanage God’s stuff, He is not going to suffer. He can create more; however we are the ones who suffer. We lose our trusted position. We lose the benefits of that trusted position and we find ourselves in a position where we have to fend for ourselves.
And, according to the scripture, "The unfaithful, wicked steward was thrown into outer darkness where there is wailing and gnashing of teeth" (Matthew 25:29-20)
I was reminded by a friend of an old Negro spiritual that we used to sing growing up. It says, “If it was for the Lord, tell me what would I do. He is everything to me.”
As I reflect upon this I think about all of the things that I have to be thankful for in life. There are too many to name and if I tried, I am sure I would overlook some. I am sure you would as well; however as we approach Thanksgiving, it is important to reflect on the goodness of God in our lives; not just the things that He has done today or yesterday but also for the things He has done in your past. Stop and reflect over your life. I guarantee you that there are too many things to count.
Of course, there are many things that we could complain about; however, let’s not take that route. Begin to thank God for all of the good things that He has done and is doing in your life. Thank Him for your family, your friends, income, your home, food, clothing, warmth, air, water, salvation, grace, mercy, kindness, patience, the blood of Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the Holy Scriptures. Thank Him for all that He has done to make your life worth living, to give you hope, to stir faith in you. Thank Him for your church and our pastor both of who have made significant impacts in your life.
I echo the words of the Psalmist in Psalm 107: “Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercyendures forever. “ And, verse 8, “Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men! First Thessalonians 5:18 says, “In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
If the scripture teaches us to do this, then giving thanks apparently has a positive effect on us. What does it do for us?
Feeling and expressing appreciation is good for us. It reminds us everything we have is a gift from Him. It keeps our hearts in right relationship to the Giver of all good gifts. It reminds us of how much we do have. It changes our perspective in life and helps us realize that we could not even exist without the merciful blessings of God.
These, along with many other things, point out the importance of giving God thanks. I encourage you today to be thankful and to express that thankfulness to The LORD. It will bless Him but, most of all; it will change your life. Have a blessed Thanksgiving season!
"Without wise leadership, a nation falls; there is safety in having many advisers." (Proverbs 11:14 NLT)