And the part of Luke 12 that I like to focus on is beginning there, on verse 42, and the Bible reads, "And the Lord said, Who, then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his Lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his Lord, when he cometh, shall find so doing. Of the truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath," and the title of my sermon tonight is, a Faithful and Wise Stewart. He says there, in verse 42, "the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his Lord shall make ruler over his household?" What does it mean to be a steward? A steward is someone who is entrusted with something. Flip over if you would to 1 Peter, chapter 4, 1 Peter Chapter 4. We're going to come back to Luke 12, but in this example, the Bible is talking about a man who owns a house. He has a household, and he has a steward over that house. This is basically the person who runs things at his house.
If you study the word steward, throughout the Bible, that's usually how it's being used. Because the Master of the house, he doesn't want to deal with all the day-to-day chores, and he doesn't want to sit there and sharpen pencils, and crunch numbers, and keep account of all his money coming in, and money going out. He has a steward that takes care of those things for him. You know, I have a wife that takes care of a lot of those things, but anyway, he has a steward that will take care of those things, and obviously, this is someone that he has to place a lot of trust in. An example of this would be Joseph, back in the book of Genesis, where Potiphar makes him the steward of his house, where Potiphar doesn't really know anything about his finances. He just knows the food that's being put in front of him, but he knows that Joseph has it all under control, because he's such a good steward. A steward is someone who is trusted with something of value and they're supposed to do a good job of disposing of those assets and using things for the will of the Master.
Now, the Bible says here, in 1 Peter, chapter 4, verse 10, "As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God." God is telling us to be good stewards of the manifold grace of God. You don't have to turn there, but in 1 Corinthians, chapter 4, verse 1, the Bible reads, "Let a man so account of us as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God." Moreover, it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful, and faithful means, trustworthy. The Bible is saying that we, as ministers of Christ, are stewards of the mysteries of God. We've been trusted with all this knowledge and all this wisdom, and all these mysteries that are in the Bible. What are we going to do with our trust? Are we going to squander and waste that which God has given us? Or are we going to be a good steward of what God has given us? Imagine, in trusting someone with your car, and then they destroy your car, they bring it back wrecked. They were not a good steward of what you gave them.
Right? Let's say you give someone some money and say, "Hey, go up to the store and buy X, Y, and Z for me, and they come back with all the wrong things. They bought all the wrong things, they wasted money, and they didn't get the best deal. Then they were a bad steward of what you trusted them with. Does everybody understand what the word "steward" means? In the scripture, in 1 Peter 4, it says, "as every man after received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. Now, flip over to 1 Corinthians 12, so according to the Bible, one of the things that God has trusted us with, as stewards, is that he has given us gifts. There are a lot of things that we've been entrusted with, according to the Bible, as stewards. The gospel, the word of God, the oracles of God, the mysteries of the Kingdom of God, there are a lot of things that we've been given, and when God gives us these things, he expect us to be a good steward of what he has given us. Not to waste it or squander it, or misuse it.
Well, one of the things, according to 1 Peter 4, that we've been entrusted with, are gifts. Now, look what the Bible says, in 1 Corinthians, Chapter 12, verse 1, about gifts, because we want to be a good steward of the gifts that God has given to us. It says in verse 1, "Now, concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant." This is a subject that is important enough where God has a verse just to tell us don't be ignorant about this subject. Why does God not want us to be ignorant about spiritual gifts? Because we've all been given gifts and He wants us to be a good steward of those gifts, not to just be ignorant of the fact that they even exist, and then we're definitely not putting them to use. What does the Bible say?
In verse 4 it says, "Now, there are diversities of gifts," meaning that different people have different kinds of gifts. The Bible says there are diversities of gifts, but the same spirit, and there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. There are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all, but the manifestation of the spirit is given to every man, to profit with all. God has given us spiritual gifts, and these gifts are to bring forth a profit, okay? We think of someone who invests in something, and they want to make a profit. They have a business, they have employees that work for them as stewards, and they want to turn a profit, right?
This particular profit is not money. When we talk about profit here, we're talking about profiting the kingdom of God. We're talking about something that's going to increase the Kingdom of God, or edify our brothers and sisters in Christ. Or cause the Church to be benefited. That's the profit that we're talking about. Look down at verse 28, and I'll show you some of these gifts here. In verse 28, it says, "And God has set some in the Church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that, miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues." Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Have all the gift of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But covet earnestly the best gifts, and yet show I unto you a more excellent way. So, if we look at some of these gifts that are listed here, these have to do basically with skills that people have, in the church. The ability to perform certain functions, in the church. Not everyone has the ability to preach. Not everyone is apt to teach, as the Bible says. Not everyone speaks a variety of foreign languages.
When the Bible talks about gifts of tongues, people that are gifted with the ability to speak foreign language. By the way, this has noting to do with rolling on the ground and slobbering, and all this nonsense. When the Bible talks about tongues, it's talking about actual, real languages. Read Act, chapter 2, the first time tongues are really shown, and it actually lists 17 languages. It lists 17 geographical regions, so we're not talking about gibberish here, or nonsense, or heavenly language. We're talking about the languages of the people who live on Earth. He lists off the Parthians, and the Medes, and the Arabs, and all the different languages that were there. In Act, Chapter 2. Have you ever noticed how some people are good at picking up foreign languages, and then other people could hardly learn a foreign language to save their life. Why? Because some people are more gifted with language than others. Some people are more gifted with the interpretation of tongues, meaning that even if they can't speak a lot of languages, they can understand a lot of different languages. They have an ear to just pick up language. There are people who are gifted with teaching.
The Bible says, here also, in 1 Corinthians 12, it talks about at the end of verse 28, governments. What does that mean? These are people that are just good at running things. Good at being in charge. Good at leading. Basically, delegating work to other people, say, Hey, you go here, you go here. These are people that today we would probably refer to as organizers. People who are a good organizer. That's the government. You say, why do we need that in the church? Because a real church is a church where work is being done for God. That's a real church. There's a lot of churches that are just a social club, where people just kind of show up and get together, and have their fellowship and so forth. Church is supposed to be God's tool to reach the world with the gospel of Jesus Christ. It's supposed to be a place where work is being done. The church is an institution that God uses to teach people the Bible, and also to go out and reach people with he gospel, also to baptize those people, and teach them all things that Christ has taught us, and so we need organization in order to do that.
A church that's really doing something, there's a lot to organize, and so there are people that are good at that. People who are good leaders and organizers. We need people to teach, we need people to preach, we need people to deal with foreign languages. Why? Because there are all kinds of people who speak other languages. In Phoenix, and elsewhere in the world, and they need to be reached with the gospel. He talks about gifts of healing. Now, when we think of gifts of healing, obviously the first thing that comes to mind is the miraculous type healing that we see throughout the Bible where people will sometimes be miraculously healed through prayer, and through laying of hands, and so forth.
But this could also be someone who is just a gifted healer in the natural sense. They know the remedies and so forth. I think both interpretations are there. People are just gifted in that area, but when we see talk about miracles and healings, the sad thing is that there are so many frauds and charlatans out there, that it's kind of made us sometimes just stop believing that these things are possible. But God still does perform miracles, and people are healed through the power of prayer, and anointing people with oil on the name of the Lord. The prayer of faith will save the sick, and so forth. Because there are so many frauds and charlatans, and faith healers, and people are pretending to be apostles and all this stuff, that it kind of just makes us upset about that subject, sort of like poisoning the well, where we don't really think about it anymore, that there are legitimate cases where people are miraculously healed. It's few and far between, even in the Bible, it wasn't something that happens in all stages of the Bible.
Even as we read the Bible, we go hundreds of years without seeing miracles always taking place. There are certain times when a lot of miracles will take place, like in the days of the apostles, men like Elijah, performed a lot of miracles. We see these different gifts, but these gifts have to do with the work of God. They have to do with edifying the body of Christ, and with getting the gospel out to as many people as possible. According to the Bible, the purpose of the gift of tongues was to get the gospel out to people who spoke foreign languages. That's the purpose. It was a sign for those that believe not. To get the gospel out to people that need to be saved. People need to be taught, they need to be preached to. People that are sick and need healing, organization that needs to take place. Flip over to chapter 14, just a few pages to the right in your Bible. 1 Corinthians, chapter 14, verse 1, the Bible reads, "Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts. But rather that you may prophecy." Look at verse 12, here's a key verse, "Even so ye, for as much as you're zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that you may excel to the edifying of the church." What is the purpose of spiritual gifts? Just to have a spiritual gift? No.
It's to seek to the edifying of the church. What I want to talk about here, is being a good steward of the gifts that you've been given. Meaning, that your talents and your abilities are put to good use for the edifying of the church, and for the furtherance of the kingdom of God. That's what the Bible's saying here. "Seek that you may excel in this gifts." Why? "to the edifying of the church." Flip back to Romans 12, another passage on spiritual gifts. Romans 12. Romans 12, verse 5, the Bible reads "So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and everyone members, one of another. Having then, gifts, differing according to the grace that is given to us," meaning that we don't all have the same gifts and abilities, it says, "Whether prophecy, let us prophecy according to the proportion of faith, or ministry. Let us wait on our ministering. Or he that teacheth, on teaching. Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation. He that giveth, let him do it with simplicity. He that ruleth, with diligence. He that showeth mercy, with cheerfulness." These gifts are given to the body of Christ, to the church, where different people have different abilities, and here we see a few other gifts.
Him that ruleth is similar to the governments, the ones who organizes and administers things. He that showeth mercy, he that giveth, prophecy has to do with preaching. The Bible uses the word prophecy and preaching interchangeably. But go back to Exodus, because there's even more of a variety of gifts that God gives people than just what is listed in Romans 12 and 1 Corinthias 12. There's actually a great variety of talents and abilities that God blesses people with, and that he wants them to be a good steward of. Meaning, that they use it for the Kingdom of God. Look at Exodus 28, verse 3. The Bible says, "And now shall speak unto all that are wise hearted, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom." This is God talking. He says, "I filled these people with the spirit of wisdom. That they may make Aaron's garments to consecrate him, that he may minister under me and the priest's office." These people have been given wisdom and skill by God to make clothing for Aaron to wear.
Flip over to chapter 31, just a few pages to the right in your Bible there, Exodus 31, "And the Lord spake unto Moses saying, verse 2 "see, I have called by name Bezaleel, the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah: And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, to devise cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, and in cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of timber, to work in all manner of workmanship. And I, behold, I have given with him Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan: and in the hearts of all that are wise-hearted I have put wisdom, that they may make all that I have commanded thee." Now, obviously, in the new testament, God has not called us to build a great building, has he? In the old testament they were called to build buildings such as the Tabernacle, and then later, of course, they built the temple in Jerusalem, and God gave specific men skill and understanding and God refers us as the fullness of the holy spirit, also, giving them these abilities.
Even though we're not building buildings in the new testament, God still can give a variety of gifts, is what I'm trying to show you, here. Whatever can cause the church to be edified, whatever can cause the gospel to go forth, he gives a diversity of gifts from the same spirit. Even to the point where, in the old testament, when someone needed to do woodworking and metal working, he gave them that ability. It wasn't just something that they had in the flesh, but rather it was given to them by the spirit of God. Flip over to Exodus 36, verse 1, I'm skipping some of these for the sake of time, because they're repetitive. But in Exodus 36, verse 1, the Bible reads, "Then wrought Bezalel and Aholiab, and every wise-hearted man in whom the Lord put wisdom and understanding, to know how to work all manner of work," what does that mean? Every type of work. "All manner of work, for the service of the sanctuary, according to all that the Lord hath commanded. And Moses called Bezalel and Aholiab, and every wise-hearted man in whom the Lord hath put wisdom, even everyone whose heart stirred him up, to come and do the work, to do it."
Now, what I want to point out is that whether we're in 1 Corinthians 12, Romans 12, whether we're back in Exodus, when God is giving people gifts, when God is giving people skill, and understanding to do these various tasks, notice it's always for the work of the house of God. The purpose is to get work done. Is the purpose to show off? Impress people? Glory in our - oh, wow, I'm so talented at this, and talented at that. No. The goal is to get some work done. Let me tell you something, I have no time for gifts that people have, that don't have anything to do with furthering the kingdom of God, or edifying the body of Christ, or the work of the house of God. They are vain. They're unprofitable, and remember that word, profit? They're unprofitable if they don't accomplish anything for the kingdom of God. Often, God gives people gifts and abilities, and they don't use them for the work of God. Therefore, those gifts are wasted, and therefore, that person is a bad steward of what God has given to them. We want to be a faithful and a wise steward, don't we?
Not just waste our gifts by not working for the kingdom of God with those gifts. Let me give you an example. This is a really easy example. Music is a great example. There are people who are gifted in music, aren't they? Talented. They have great musical ability. Perhaps they've been blessed with a great singing voice, or perhaps they've been blessed with just skill on a piano, or skill on other instruments. There are, basically, two choices of what you can do with that ability. You can use it for the kingdom of God, for the House of God, for the Glory of God, or you can waste it. Honestly, if you're just using it for vanity, or using it just for worldly entertainment, it's a waste, because honestly, 100 years from now, it's not gonna matter. It's going to crumble to dust, whatever you have accomplished in a worldly sense. When it comes to playing piano, a lot of people spend hours and hours and hours learning how to play classical piano. Now, I'm not saying there's anything wrong with practicing and learning a classical piece on the piano, because sometimes just playing a variety of styles of music can just make you a better piano player.
But you know what? That ought to be the reason, and otherwise it's completely vain and unprofitable for you to excel at playing classical piano because, let's face it, you're probably not going to become a concert pianist. Very few people have that job, don't they? How many people really make a living for their wife and children by being a concert pianist?
Now, it's rare. I'm not saying it's not out there, I'm not saying you can't make a little extra money on the side, doing piano lessons, or playing a piano at a wedding or something like that. But you know what? It's a lot more profitable to learn how to play a musical instrument so that you can play in church and use that ability for God's glory. And listen to me. I grew up playing the piano ever since I was a tiny, little kid. You wouldn't know it, because I'm not very good at playing piano. Honestly, I started playing piano when I was just a little kid. I was like three or four years old. My older sister, she put tape on the keys so that I would know which keys to play, and my first song was Three Blind Mice, when I was just a tiny little three, four year old kid. Honestly, I grew up, I taught myself how to play piano for years, just from lesson books. I finally got lessons when I was about nine years old, and around the time I was nine, ten, eleven, I took piano lessons for about a two year period.
I mainly learned classical piano. That was 90 some percent of what I learned how to play. Classical. It was great at a party, to impress people. Just crank out some song, oh, wow, [inaudible 00:21:43]. But you know what? That's total vanity. Totally worthless. It doesn't really excel for the edifying of the church. I remember, when I got into a [inaudible 00:21:56] independent Fundamental Baptist church, which is basically the kind of church where real work is going on for the Kingdom of God, versus just playing church, and playing games. I showed up at a soul-winning church, and I remember trying to learn how to play the hymns, and it was literally almost like going back and learning how to play piano all over again. There was a little bit of crossover, but honestly, most of the time that I spent learning how to play classical piano, most of it was in vain, because I had to go back and learn a completely different style of piano playing to learn how to play the hymns. And you know what? As a 17-year-old, worldly teenage boy with my hair all punked out, and everything, in that fundamental baptist church, I know it's hard to picture.
But, I lamented the fact that I had not spent my life learning how to play hymns. I wished that I had learned how to play hymns instead of spending so much time learning how to play songs that, honestly, do not profit. They don't profit. Now, again, any time you practice on the piano, okay, you're getting better. But there needs to be a specificity of training if you want to be good at playing in church, because playing in church is difficult. A lot of people may just take for granted the fact that we have a great piano player, brother Matt, who can just play any song we throw at him. But that represents, literally, thousands of hours of practice. Thousands. No joke. Playing piano is a lot harder than you think. Especially at that level. See, here's the thing about classical piano. When you play classical piano, you spend a month on one song. You get really good at your showpiece, you have your recital, and you play that showpiece a couple times a year, or whatever. Even a concert pianist, you know, he gets real good at a certain song, and he performs that song all over the world.
He travels around performing that, or maybe the Phoenix symphony, they'll learn certain songs for that season, and they'll play those songs over and over again. But see, to play in church, you have to learn hundreds of songs. And you have to be ready to be called upon to play those hundreds of songs at any mo- hey, turn this so-and-so. And he just turns there, and nobody even thinks about the fact that he had to learn each of those songs. And learn how to play. This is something where it's a real clear cut example of using your talent and ability for the Lord, versus squandering it. I encourage you, if you are a musician at all, to ask yourself, whether your musical ability is edifying the church. Is it something that is a blessing and a glory unto God, or is it just something that's a parlor trick? I'm not trying to be harsh, but honestly, that's kind of the true story. You know, you can play in church three times a week, and be a major asset to your local church, and a major blessing, or you can really wow people with Fur Elise at a party every once in a while.
That's the reality, because let's face it, 99% of kids who take piano lessons don't end up becoming concert pianists, because there just isn't a huge demand out there for concert pianists. I'll put it this way, there's a lot more people learning how to play piano, than jobs where you play piano full time. And make good money. And make enough money to make a living for your whole family. I've known a lot of people who tried to break into these careers of being a professional musician. Guess what? It's kind of hard to get into and actually make money.
There's a lot of starving artists out there, but it's not really a viable way to make money for most people. Hey, I mean, if kids want to grow up and say, hey, I'm going to play in the NBA or whatever, that might be kind of a pipe dream, too. Right? Realistically, you usually make money by being an electrician, a carpenter, a plumber. Here's the bottom line. No matter what, though. No matter what. If you learn how to play the hymns on piano, that's not a waste of your time, because every time you sit down to practice, you're glorifying God. And every time you play in church you're glorifying God, and there's always going to be a use for a pianist in church. Or, someone on the organ, or so- and look, we're not just limited to these two instruments. Obviously, we're not having a rock band in here. We play the traditional hymns, but we've had people come in and play a saxophone with the hymns. It sounded great. We've had guitar with the hymns. Loved it.
We've had trumpet, we've had harmonicas, we've had melodicas, we got all kinds of musical instruments. In the Bible, they use all kinds of musical instruments. We can think outside the box, if people who have the ability would step up and play these musical instruments for the glory of God, so that the church might be edified through playing skillfully with a loud noise as the Bible tells us to do in the book of Songs, repeatedly. To praise the Lord on an instrument of ten strings, etc, etc. And that's just one example. What about people who are gifted with foreign languages? What about people who can speak Spanish or other languages? Are you using that gift and ability for the glory of God? Look, if you can speak both English and Spanish fluently, you are a valuable soul winner. Are you out soul-winning this week? Are you going to come on Monday night to the soul-winning time, are you showing up on Wednesday? Are you going to the new Friday night time, out on the west side? Are you going soul-winning on Sunday afternoons at [inaudible 00:27:34]? Are you coming to the church? Look, when are you going out soul-winning?
Because you know what? We need people who can speak Spanish because, think about how many doors we knock on and it's just a "no habla Ingles" door. And we need you to be there to speak Spanish. Will you be used by God to preach the gospel in Spanish, and win people to Christ in Spanish? There have been people in this church who speak Spanish, who've been used, also, to help translate some of the films and sermons that are out there on the internet, to get them translated into foreign languages, and to get them dubbed into foreign languages. Look, let me just break this down to you, okay? The most successful film that I've been a part of, numerically, as far as how many people watched it, is Paul Windberg's film, "After the Tribulation." That film, "After the Tribulation," the English version has been viewed approximately three million times online. Three million. That's a huge number. Let that sink in. That's three thousand people watching it every day for about three years. Are you getting it? I mean, that's about, I believe my math is correct, that's about three thousand people watching that movie every day for like the last three years.
That's huge, isn't it? Three million people. And at the end of that movie, it has a crystal-clear gospel presentation. Come for the Bible prophecies, stay for the gospel, because a lot of people watched that movie aren't saved. They're just into conspiracy theory. They're in that Christian [inaudible 00:29:06]. They're into the end times. Whatever the reason, they watch it, because it's being promoted by infowars or whoever. You know, they're watching and they're getting the gospel. Three million views on that thing. That's awesome, right? Okay, guess what. We put it into Spanish, with the help of several people in our church, and several people outside of the church. You know how many times the Spanish version has been viewed online? Almost six million. Almost six million. One upload, brother Lewis's upload, has almost five million views on it. You know. I mean, that's crazy. English version that was wildly successful, three million views. The Spanish version had six million views. There's some people who put some work into that, and you know what? Their labor was not in vain. Who thinks it was a waste of their time? Who thinks it was a waste of brother Segura's time to come to LA with me and we recorded the Spanish audio?
I mean, who thinks that was a waste of time, if six million people have seen it? Think about that. That's what I'm talking about, my friend. But if people don't step up to the plate and get things done, then these talents and gifts are wasted. You know, we could have a great musical program where we, and look, I know some people just think it doesn't matter, but they're wrong. People who think the music doesn't matter, they're wrong. Oh, God doesn't care if we sing a Capella. No, God told us to praise him with musical instruments, all throughout Songs. You know what? It brings more glory to God when we're good at it, than when we're bad at it. That's why he said, play skillfully with a loud noise. Okay? When we sing out loud, God's more glorified than when we show up and just [inaudible 00:30:54]. Yeah. God wants us to sing out. God wants us to play well. God wants us to do our best. And to glorify him, and to give him our best. And that when people come into this church, that they don't think that we're just some fly-by night, everything's half-hearted, you know. He wants to have a church that glorifies him by having a preacher who is prepared with the sermon.
Having singers who sing well, and do a good job. And a piano player, and an organist who are prepared and ready. These things all glorify God. When we reach out to those who speak Spanish, in addition to those that speak English, God is glorified. When we reach out to the French speaker, and the Portuguese speaker, and the German speaker, God is glorified by that. Why? Because he said, "Teach all nations." Not just those who speak English, but he wants us to reach all nations with the gospel, and who does he use? He uses people who are bilingual. Who can bring the gospel to those nations. There are people in our church who speak, who here speaks a language other than Spanish? Put up your hand. I'm not talking about English, okay? Who here speaks a foreign language other ... everybody puts their hand up. Who here speaks a foreign language besides Spanish? Put up your hand, nice and high. Yeah, so look at some of the languages that we have here. What's it called? Denga? Yeah, Arabic, Denga, we got Yoruba, we've got Tagalog, we got Polish. Put up your hand. What languages do we have?
Korean, what language do you speak? Afrikaans, wow. Are you visiting from South Africa? Oh, okay, you just speak Afrikaans, huh? Wow, man, that's great. What else have we got in the room? Brother Louis speaks Australian. No, I'm just joking. Sometimes when he talks, it seems like it's a foreign language. I don't think I'm alone on that. Anybody else, speak a foreign language? Many of the people who raised their hand have already been used by God to help produce translations, and help out. Let alone all the Spanish work that's been done. Brother J Lee, we created some Korean videos. And it wasn't something where he's just, "Yeah, I'm a voice over artist. Sure, let me step in and do that." He was like, "I don't know," and I'm like, "Come on, it'll be great. Let's do it." And he did an awesome job. It was great. That's a talent. That's one that's even in the list. The gift of tongues, the gift of interpretation of tongues. Not only that, even outside of our church, there are a multitude of people that you don't even know about, that translate things for our church, and produce audio and dubbing.
There's a guy who's been dubbing several of my sermons into German. Fully dubbed. I understand how much work that represents, probably most people don't. I understand that's a crazy amount of work that goes into that. There's a guy who's been dubbing a bunch of this. A couple of guys who are putting all these sermons into French. The movies, and key sermons, Portuguese, Spanish, German, there are all kinds of people all over the world who are volunteering to put, "Hey, I'll do the Slovakian subtitles. Hey, I'll do the subtitles into Vosnian. I'll do this." People are using their talents and abilities to reach people with the gospel to get these truths of God's word. [inaudible 00:34:26] thousands and thousands of people. Other people are doing nothing with their talents and abilities. There are people who have a great speaking ability, and instead of becoming a preacher, instead of being a soul winner, instead of teaching God's word, they go out and want to make money in the business world, or be a politician. Some kind of a worldly use of that skill, when that could also be put toward the furtherance of the Kingdom of God. Think about it.
If you can speak well, if you're good with any skill, we're talking if you're good at computers. If you're good at speaking. If you're good at teaching. If you're good with languages, if you're good with music, all of these things can be put to use for the glory of God. I want to ask you tonight, are you being a good steward of what God has given you? Are you being a good steward of the time that God has given you, or do you waste a lot of time? The Bible says, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Redeeming the time. Putting it to good use. Or do you just spend hours and hours and hours watching TV? Rotting your brain in front of the television? The hell-o-vision?
Rotting your brain, instead of doing something for God. Sitting around, being lazy. Hey, why don't you show up and go soul winning? Hey, why don't you build something? Why don't you do something? Why don't you get involved in serving God, whatever your talent is? There are people who come here and spend hours cleaning the building. Praise God, that's necessary. There are people who use their ability to organize events, and to organize meals for those who give birth, and those kinds of government, gifts of help, and helping people. Be a good steward, is what I'm saying, with the gifts and talents and abilities that you've been given. Don't waste them. Don't squander them. And you say, well, I'm not talented.
But I'll bet you if we were to stop the sermon right now, and go to each person, which I'm not going to do, obviously. But if we went to each person in this building and just asked them, "What are your talents? What are your abilities? What skills do you have?" I guarantee you that every single person in this room would have gifts and abilities that could be put to use, of the edifying of the church. I know that. I don't doubt that for one second. That everybody here has abilities and skills that are unique to them, that could be put toward the use of the kingdom of God. I want to have a part in people being saved. I want to be a part of a team that's winning people to Christ, that's changing lives, that's teaching people the Bible. Look, this is not a one-man show. This is not the Pastor Steven Anderson's show. This is Faithful World Baptist Church. It's an assembly, it's a congregation. You know, there are people pitching in. Here's a good example. How about this portrait project that we're doing, where we're putting together this beautiful yearbook at the end of the year, where we can give that out to people.
Hey, that's a blessing. That book is going to be a blessing because that's a prayer list, right there. It will help you to get to know people in the church, and know people's names, and so forth. And it's something that can be on the coffee table that's a testimony of our church. We have people in the church that just happen to be professional photographers. What are they doing? They're using their ability with photography for the Kingdom of God. Yeah, well, I'm a photographer. I didn't see that in the list. But no, he said, all manner of work. All manner of service. Hey, I'm a photographer. What can I do to pitch in? By the way, sometimes people come and say, hey, you know, put me to work. Sometimes people, they actually dream up their own ways to help and pitch in, too. Just step in and say, hey, Pastor Anderson, here's how I can help. Here's what I can do. Here's how I can be a blessing. I want a piece of the action. That's what it's about. It's about working. There are people, who are gifted at reading the Bible. Basically, they're used, before the sermon, to read the scripture to us.
I'm edified and blessed when I hear the scripture read before the sermon preach by people that are good at reading. People that are good at reading out loud. You can read the Bible, but I like listening to the Bible read out loud. Something that's special about that, especially when you're in church listening. Things jump out at you that you don't normally get from the scripture when you're in church and you're hearing it read before the sermon. Powerful voices, great skill at reading, and that's a simple skill, isn't it? Reading. Singing. These are simple things. But all of these things can be put to good use. People have good people skills. Hey, they could be used to greet people and be friendly, and meet new visitors. Then here's a bad steward. A good, friendly, outgoing person who just after every service, just talks to the same two people. They don't branch out and use their talent and ability. If you have a talent to make people smile, to welcome people, to be friendly, why don't you use that talent to greet people? After the service. You say, where is that in the Bible? The Bible says, "If you salute your brethren only, what do you more than others?"
Do not even the publicans sow? God says to salute everybody. Salute every [inaudible 00:39:51] in Christ, Jesus, the Bible says. Greeting and meeting, and being friendly, and making people feel welcomed. People who are gifted with conversation, should reach out to visitors and make them feel welcome. And not just visitors. Even if people have been here for a few months, or maybe who are not really totally plugged in yet, who don't have a lot of friends. Hey, go to that person, meet them if you're outgoing, get to know them, if you're gifted like that. Soul winning, preaching, singing, working with computers. Our church has an insane website ministry of just literally reaching millions of people with these sermons.
Literally. We have a huge online presence. If you're a computer guy, and there's a way to pitch in, get on board with that. It's huge. Why do you think we have visitors every week, how'd you hear about our church? Internet. We're everywhere. Why? Because it's not just me. There's other people working on it, helping out with it. There are guys who work with the sound, dealing with the sound, dealing with the visual for the livestreaming video, stream world-wide. There's all kinds of people in this church that are being used because they're being a good steward of their talents and abilities. You're not going to get a reward in heaven for being a concert pianist. There's no reward like that. You're not going to receive crowns for all the worldly use of your talent.
I understand that we do have to use our talents in a worldly way when it comes to making a living for ourselves and our family. There's nothing wrong with going out in the world and making money to provide for our family. But are you also using your talent for the kingdom of God? Are you also using it for the edifying of the body of Christ, and being a good steward? I believe this is very important. That we be a good steward of what God has given us. There's a lot more scripture on this, for sake of time, I'm just going to hit a few highlights here. Let's go back to Luke 12, where we started with the sermon, Luke 12. Remember, God gave you any ability that you have, the Bible says it's God that gives you the power to get wealth. You might think that you make money because you're so smart and skilled of our own volition, and you picked yourself up by your bootstraps, but God said, don't forget, in Deuteronomy, don't forget that it's God that gives you the power to get well. God gives you the power to make lots of money.
If you make lots of money, as most people don't, obviously. But it's God that gave you those abilities. God, you say, what? God gave me the ability to do landscaping? Yes. God gave you the ability to be an electrician? Yes. If he gave people the ability to make clothes, he said, they've been filled with the spirit to make Aaron's clothes. Filled with the spirit to carve wood. Filled with the spirit to work with metal. Filled with the spirit to bend conduit, for crying out loud, if they can bend metal back then, they can bend metal now. Why? God gives us all of our talents and abilities. We need to stop and realize that every good gift, and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of Light, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. Are you being a good steward of what God gave you? Are you being a good steward of your time? Are you being good steward of your money, or do you just waste your money on stupid things? Flush money down the toilet? Or do you use your money to be a blessing to other people that are in need.
A blessing to the church, or to provide nice things for your family, or there are people who just waste their money on stupid things. Who knows people waste money on stupid things. Here's stupid things to waste your money on: lottery tickets, cigarettes, right? These are just stupid. Every time I go to the store to use Western Union money transfer, I stand there and I'm waiting for them to type it all in the computer, and I'm just staring at a wall of cigarettes. You know what I look at? The prices. $8.13, $7.59, $7.99, $8.99, $6.99 for the el cheapo cigarettes. I don't remember any cigarettes that were under six bucks. That's a lot of money. Every day, up and smoke, flushing it down the toilet. Oh, God, please bless my finances. As you're flushing seven bucks a day down the toilet? $210 a month down the toilet? I've done this before, I'll do it again, to just really drive the point home. Everybody, I want to show you this. Kids, kids in the auditorium. Pay close attention, all right, kids? I'm going to break the law right now. Live stream to the world. Okay? Here we go.
I got four bucks here. Is every kid paying attention? Raise your hand if you're a child. Okay? Look, see these four dollars? Look what I'm doing right now. I'm destroying them. Look at this. Four dollars. Look at that. Trashed. Wasted. Look, some of you are sickened by that. What are you doing? You're wasting your money. But you know what? There are people who waste twice that much money every day. They're called smokers. Did I just destroy my health, right now? By doing that? Did I just give myself lung cancer and emphysema? Did I just inconvenience all the people around me? Did I just make my house and my car stink? No. But yet many people are more bothered by what I just did than by the fact that you're smoking. When smoking wastes double that every day. At least. You say, you're being a bad steward, no. Because that was four dollars well-spent. Because I just taught people, I taught children, they're going to remember that. And they're going to remember that smoking is stupid, because you're just wasting money. Throwing money in the trash. If you buy lottery tickets, kids, this is what you're doing.
Wasting, why would God bless you with you buy lottery tickets when God say that we should not hasten to be rich? If God commanded us not to make haste to be rich, but that we should work diligently, then why ... bless you. Oh, Pastor Anderson, if I win the lottery, I'm going to give ten percent and whatever. Why would God bless you? You're not obeying him. By the way, most people who win the lottery ruin their lives, anyway. Because they can't even handle that money. Anyway. I'm talking about being a good steward of your money and not doing that with your money, and just wasting it on foolishness. Just wasting it on cheap thrills, junk food that has no nutritional value that you're just having a party in your mouth with. Cigarettes, lottery tickets. What else do people just waste a lot of money on? Alcohol, of course. What good is that doing you or the kingdom of God, or edifying the church? Drinking alcohol. Yeah, go on, buy the movies, and the DVDs and spending all this money on junk. Look, be a good steward. What's that? Somebody say something else? What? Can you say that in English?
Fashion. Yeah, that's true. That's true. The Bible says, and that's Biblical what he just, because what does the Bible talk about? Women should not be adorned, the Bible say, with costly apparel. The Bible says that women, every husband is like, yes, amen. Let me say this, again. Men, who says I should say it again? Yeah, amen. That's right. The Bible says not to have costly apparel. Every man is like, yeah. I love this church. Yeah. Can we get this on CD? Because look, it's a waste of money, to buy these real fancy gold and silver, and silk, and precious stones, and costly array. The Bible says, no, no, no. Don't be adorned with costly apparel. Be adorned with good works. It goes for the men, too. It's just that men don't really usually have as much of an issue with this. Women, they have to have the Dooney and Bourke. They have to, and I'm not mad at you, the Dooney and Bourke purse, but they have to have the real fancy clothes from Dillard's and Nordstrom, are those the expensive places? Somebody help me out. What's an expensive place to buy clothes? Barney's of New York.
Wow, here's a guy who knows his upscale clothing. The Armani, the Neiman Marcus. The Stacy Adams. Is that expensive shoes? I don't know. You know why I don't know? Because I don't buy any of it, and neither does my wife, thank God. You see, when I go to buy clothing, I go to the thrift store to buy all my clothing. Even when I get really nice stuff, that just means that I went to a nicer thrift store. If you ever see me with something fancy, that just means I went to Turnstyle, instead of Goodwill. All of our stuff, why? Because it's just trying to be a good steward. Here's another application for this sermon, while I'm making the men happy. The wife, in many ways, is the steward of the house, if you think about it. Because the things that Joseph did as steward, that's what I joked about it earlier, but that's what a wife often does. She's often the one who is spending the money, buying the groceries, buying the clothing, paying the bills. Because the husband's out at work and she's running the household while he's gone. Ladies, you should be a good steward of what your husband provides.
Instead of just saying, you need to ask for a raise, you need to make more money. You need to be a good steward of what he brings home. Right? Because the Bible says of the virtuous woman, Proverbs 31, that her husband can safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. He doesn't need all this extra money because he can trust his wife not to go down and buy all the kids' clothes at Baby Gap or at, what's the expensive? For the kids. Oshkosh b'gosh. I don't know of that. I'm not sure how high end that is. I don't know. Just go into the mall and, oh, well, I need a new wardrobe because we just switched from su- I don't want to wear white after labor day. I'm pretty sure that rule doesn't apply in Phoenix, Arizona. You only need one wardrobe appear, summer. We have summer twelve months a year. That's all you need, summer clothes. Anyway, people buy these expensive clothes. Here's the you at the thrift store, you'll find plenty of baby and toddler clothes that have been worn like once. Because they grow so fast, but people just spend a fortune on it.
Be a good steward for your husband's sake. He's working hard, be a good steward of that money, wives. Also, husbands, you should be a good steward, too. Men also tend to blow money, just on different things. Gambling. Why did we forget that? I guess we talked about Lotto tickets, but just going to a casino, period. Just flushing your money down the toilet, just total waste of money. Look, be a good steward. By the way, God does require ten percent of our money. The money says the tithe is the Lord's. Here's the thing about that; if the tithe is the Lord's and Bible talks about bringing the tithes into the store house, that there would be meat in God's house, then the church has to be a good steward of God's money. Right? After the tithes are brought in, then the question is, well, what does the church spend the money on? Right? The church should be a good steward of God's money. Here's some ways that a church can be a bad steward of God's money, and if you think of any, help me out. This portion of the sermon is interactive. Think about some ways that a church could be a bad steward of money.
How about getting up to their eyeballs in debt, and spending a ton of money on interest to bankers. I've been in so many churches where they're way out of control in debt. It really makes bad sense. If God wants us to have stuff, he'll give it to us, as a church. A lot of people, they just want more than what God's providing, and go into debt up to their eyeballs, and they're being a bad steward. Some people are still worried about this money that's on the front, and they're wondering what's going to happen. They can't even listen to anything I'm preaching right now, because all they're thinking about is this money in the front row. Look, you can come and tape it together after the service, and the bank will accept it. You can tape this all together and be a good steward all you want, okay? I don't regret what I did. Easy come, easy go. Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return [inaudible 00:53:36]. Now it's my money, by the way, that wasn't God's money. Just wanted you to know that. That wasn't taken out of the offering plate, that was taken out of my wallet.
This is where offering goes. You know what? Look, some people, they do go to church, and they feel like, oh, man, I'm putting money on the offering plate, but where does it go? Because the church isn't a soul-winning church, because the church isn't reaching people? The church is not using the money to further the gospel of God? We, as a church, need to be a good steward of God's money. Me, personally, and since I'm in charge here, that kind of matters. Me, personally, I think that the best use of God's money is anything to reach people with the gospel. Anything to get the word of God out to as many people as possible. I don't think it's a good use of our church's money to build a palace, of a building. I don't think that's a good use of the money. I think that's not being a good steward. I'd much rather see it go towards something that's helping our church grow. Whether that's helping build relationships in our church through church activities that can build bonds and relationships, and memories. Whether that's equipment that we can use to broadcast this out all over the world.
Whatever that is, however we use that money, it should be used for the furtherance of the gospel and the kingdom of God. It's a responsibility that the pastor has, that the church has. To basically be a good steward of God's money, and not to waste it. You should be a good steward of your money. [inaudible 00:55:17] Baptist Church should be a good steward of God's money. God's money, it's not even the church's money, it's God's money. Which is why we're not going to go out and buy some palace of a building and go up to our eyeballs in debt. We'd rather spend the money on things that are going to preach God. I'd rather make a bunch of sermon CDs and give thousands of them away for free. Give Bibles away for free. DVDs of preaching away for free. Things that are actually bringing people in, and getting the word out. That's all I care about. That's what matters. Be a good steward of your time, your talents, your abilities, your finances. Everything God gives you, use it for God. Let's look at where we started in Luke 12, verse 29, it says, "seek not what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.
"But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you." Here God's just saying that we shouldn't worry and stress about God providing for us. As long as we go out and work hard and do our best, God will provide for us. By the way, I do not think it is a waste of money to buy quality food for you and your family to eat. That is not a waste of your money. That is being a good steward. In fact, saving money by buying junk food is not saving money at all, because you're just going to spend it at the doctor. You're going to spend it a the hospital later when you fill your body with junk. I do believe, I buy cheap clothes, but even then, you can buy durable, nice things at the thrift store. Get a good deal. But when it come to food, that's an area where I don't cut corners. Because I feel that, first of all, we should be a good steward of our body. Take care of the body, the temple of the Holy Spirit. This wasn't as big of a deal in Jesus's day, because there wasn't a lot of GMO food out there back then, and a lot of junk.
It's not like Jesus and the disciples are constantly driving through, getting fast food, eating twinkies. It's not like, hey, does anybody have any food? Well, there's this kid here, he has five twinkies and two nesquicks but what are these among so many. No, back then everybody ate real food. When God promised in the scripture, and others, that he would provide us with food, I don't think he's saying, I'm going to provide you with junk. I'm going to provide you with GMO garbage. I'm going to provide you with McDonald's. I don't think that's what he's saying. I believe he's going to provide us with healthful food. He's not necessarily going to provide where you can go eat out every day. Obviously, it's cheaper to eat at home. There are times when it's great to go out and eat out to eat for the fellowship with other church members, for the time with your family, it could be memorable. But when you're just constantly going out to eat, there may be a problem in the homemaking department. Because you want to make sure that you're being a good steward of your husband's money, and that you're cooking meals, and not just, take me out to eat. Take me out.
When you're in the first trimester of pregnancy, that's an exception to this. Then you got to go run for whatever pickles or icecream or whatever strikes her fancy. It's cheaper than going to the hospital. The bottom line is, that we need to be good stewards of these things. Good stewards of our bodies. God gave you a healthy body. This is a bad steward. Bad steward of your body, right there. Bad steward. Right? Everybody listening? Luke 12, verse 32, "Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; and be yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately." Why does it say, be like servants where when the master goes to wedding, when he comes back they open immediately? Because here's what happens, when you don't open immediately.
Think about this. If I go out somewhere and I come home and I knock on the door, and it's a real long time before the kids answer the door. That probably means what? Wow, what's going on in there? Quick! Hide this, put this away. Wow, what's going on? The good steward is eager. You knock, and just the door swings right open. Why? Because they're excited to report to the master. Hey, look what we got done. Look what we've accomplished, we were working while you were gone. Let me tell you what we've done. Not, oh, quick, he's here. Oh, no! I remember when I was a kid, we'd hear the garage door. And it was like, quick! Just, we're being bad stewards. In a rush around and fix everything, hide everything. That's what it means, here, when it says, when he knocks they may open unto him immediately. "Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them." That's an amazing verse. And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants."
"And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through. Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not. Then Peter said unto him, Lord, speakest thou this parable unto us, or even to all? And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household," and I want to ask [inaudible 01:01:29]. Who is that? Who in this room is that faithful and wise steward who, when Jesus comes back, he's going to make you a ruler? Where he says, well, I gave that person talents, and ability, and time, and money, I gave them a wife, I gave them children, I gave them Faithful World Baptist Church, I gave them a pastor. I gave them all these blessings. I gave them the King James version of the Bible so that they had a perfect English Bible. And that guy used it, and he reached all kinds of people with the gospel, and he was a major blessing to his church.
He was an asset to his church, he excelled to the edifying of the church. I'm going to make him a ruler. I'm going to put him over all kinds of cities in the millennium. Or, is he going to say, well, this guy, I gave him so much, and he did so little. Bad steward. Bad steward. But who is the faithful and wise steward tonight? That's what I'm asking you. Where in this room is a faithful and wise steward that's going to use their talents and abilities for the Lord? What does the Bible say? Verse 43, "Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath. But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maid servants, and to eat and drink, and be drunken; the lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers."
"And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more." Listen, the fact that you're sitting in this room tonight means you have been given much. What have you been given tonight? You've been given the English language and the King James Bible. That's a huge blessing. Why is the English language a blessing? Because it's the most important language in the world. It is spoken by, if you count people who speak it as a second language, it's spoken by about 1.5 billion in this world on some level. At some degree of proficiency. You are blessed to speak the most important language on this planet. The language that can reach more people with the gospel than any other language. You say, oh, that's a billion saved. Yeah, but you're not going to have as easy of a time reaching Chinese people in communist China with the gospel as you will English speakers all over the world that are in places that have more freedom.
You've been given the English language as your mother tongue. That's a blessing. You've been given the King James Bible, that's a blessing. You've been given freedom of religion, and freedom of assembly in the United States. That's a blessing that people in Muslim countries don't have tonight. You've been given financial prosperity, relative to the rest of the world. That's a blessing. You've been given a faithful church. Think about that. There are some people who are struggling to find a church. There are people who listen to my sermons from other countries, and they are like, wow, I wish I had a church to go to in my area, because I'm living in this God-forsaken country. Literally. Where there's nobody in my town that has a church like this. This church is a blessing. Look around at all your friends. They're a blessing. Are you married tonight? That's a blessing. Do you have children tonight? You're blessed. I promise you, that as God looks down on you tonight, sitting in this room, God put you in the category of someone who has received much. Period. I don't think God is looking down tonight on anybody in this room saying, oh, that's one who's received very little, so if they disobey me, I will beat them with few stripes. No.
You are not that guy. I promise you. Somebody might listen to this sermon somewhere else might be that guy, who's been given very little. But let me tell you something. You, tonight, in this building, have been given much. God says, I'm going to require much of you, you're a bad steward, you're getting a beating. You go out and eat and drink with the drunken, I'm going to beat you and I'm going to beat you hard, he said. I'm going to whip you. There's going to be stripes when I'm done with you. That's what God's saying to you, tonight. Because you've been given much. If you decide, oh, I'm not going to go soul winning, let somebody else do that. No. You be a good steward. Have you been given a throat that works? Vocal cords that work. Feet that walk? Who's able to walk tonight? You know, hey, that's a blessing. Some people can't walk. Being able to walk is a blessing. Being able to speak is a blessing. Speaking English is a blessing. Speaking Spanish is a blessing. Spanish is probably the second most important language in the world right now. A lot of Spanish people are like, no, we're number one.
No, you're number two. All right? But Spanish is huge. You've been given much, and God is not up in heaven, saying, [inaudible 01:07:11] you throw me a little bone every once in a while. I'll be happy. He says, no, you're my steward, you work for me. I own you. You're [inaudible 01:07:19] with a price. Therefore, glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, with your God, and one day he's going to cash in that investment, and he's going to say, what have you done? What? I was supposed to do stuff? Yeah. I mean, imagine going to work, clocking in, the boss leaves, he comes back eight hours later, so what did you guys get done? We were just waiting. Think about that. He said, occupy until I come. Be a good steward of your time, money, energy, talent, ability. Gifts. Be a good steward. Let us [inaudible 01:07:56] a word of prayer. Father, we pray, Lord, that you would count us worthy, Lord, because we have been given much, Lord. I will admit it right now, I have been given much. Lord, I pray that every single person in this room, myself included, will be a good steward of our talent.
Some of us are god at Math, or good language, maybe other people are good at whatever skills that they have. Maybe they're good with their hands, they're good at different kinds of work. Lord, help us to use our talents and abilities for you, Lord. And help us to be a good steward of the families we've been given, and the friends, and the church, and everything, Lord. Our blessings are innumerable. Thank you for everything you've done for us, Lord. In Jesus's name we pray, Amen.