Text Messages focus on the backstory of the upcoming text for this Sunday’s sermon. Provided by our pastors, these messages will give some background on that section of scripture text and give a few hints about where the sermon might be going.
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Sunday, October 8, 2023
“Does It All Belong to God, Really?”
The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it; for he has founded it on the seas, and established it on the rivers. Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place? Those who have clean hands and pure hearts, who do not lift up their souls to what is false, and do not swear deceitfully. They will receive blessing from the Lord, and vindication from the God of their salvation. Such is the company of those who seek him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob. Selah
[Jesus said,] “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
From Pastor Vern Christopherson
The opening verse of Psalm 24 sets to groundwork for our livers as caretakers of God’s creation: “The earth is the Lord’s, and all that is in it; the world, and those who live in it; for he has founded it on the seas, and established it on the rivers.”
At the center of this festival hymn, Psalm 24 tells us: “God owns everything.” The acknowledgement of God as the creator and “owner” of everything that has been made is the starting point of our stewardship. But that notion can be a problem for us, can’t it? We talk openly about private property. We readily assume that what we work for belongs to us, and often the more we own the better.
Here’s the challenge: As long as we deceive ourselves into thinking that we own the property and possessions in our care, we will not adequately grasp the heart of stewardship that God has laid out for us. And taking our shortcomings a step further, we will continue to spend time envious of others and worrying about tomorrow. Jesus’ question puts us in our place: “If God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?”
Friends, as we head into our four-week sermon series on stewardship, we will be asking a series of provocative questions. At the beginning is this: Does It All Belong to God, Really?”
- How often do you acknowledge that God owns everything?
- How much do envy and worry affect your life these days?
- How would you describe the role of steward in our lives as Christians?
- Where and when do we sometimes fall short in this role?
Good and gracious God, you have given us a great, big world, and every day you shower us with blessings. Remind us often of the many gifts you share with us. Remind us too that these gifts ultimately belong to you. Amen.