The sermon text for this Lord’s Day is Luke 16:1-13. It contains the most puzzling parable that Jesus told: the parable of the “unjust steward.” We will retell the story but focus mainly on the clear principles that Jesus drew from it (vv. 9-13). A major theme undergirds the text, namely, that our choices reveal our character (“one who is faithful in very little is also faithful in much . . .”). Jesus illustrated his point by discussing material wealth, though the thrust of the passage takes us far beyond matters of money.
The hymns selected for the service 1) call on all people to praise our God, 2) explain the foundation of stewardship, that is, why all that we have belongs to God and must serve his purposes, and 3) finishes with an expression of our full devotion to Him.
PREPARATION FOR WORSHIP
Call to Worship: Psalm 96:1-6
Hymns: Psalm 118b, 117a
Note: The service begins with two brief Psalms sung back-to-back; they summon us to joyous praise of our great God.
Hymn 59: All Creatures of Our God and King
Note: “Let all things their Creator bless, And worship Him in humbleness.” This hymn reminds us that God is the Creator and Owner of all, therefore, the creation exists for his purposes. It summons all Creation to honor Him with praise. This is the first truth that forms the foundation of stewardship.
Scripture Reading: Palm 104:1-35
Note: This Psalm rehearses the details of the Lord’s creative work and sustaining providence. Flowing out of his reflection on these truths, the psalmist prays for the Lord’s eternal glory and joy in the created order (31) and expresses his full devotion to this goal.
Hymn 141: Alas, and Did My Savior Bleed
Note: Isaac Watt’s timeless hymn begins with the humbling thought that the Lord of all would choose to die for “such a worm as I.” Christ’s condescending grace is the second truth that forms the foundation of stewardship. We respond with an expression of unreserved commitment: “Here, Lord, I give myself away—‘Tis all that I can do.”
Message: Integrity: A Matter of Being and Doing
Pastor Steven Thomas
Hymn 560 Take My Life and Let It Be
Note: To conclude, we express our full devotion to the Lord. Note especially verse 4, “Take my silver and my gold, not a mite would I withhold.’