$hrewd Part 3 - It's a Tool, @imagechurch, Dumfries, VA
One day we will all stand before Jesus and give an account for our lives. The things that we do, spend time on, and spend our money on. We are called to manage our lives wisely. Do not put off the mission for tomorrow, do not put off giving of your time and treasure on a consistent basis to the church, to the mission and to save the lost.
How do you become a wise manager? The first step is getting into the Word, daily and consistently.
This parable was directed at the religious crowd, that they were given so much and yet managed it so poorly. They had the truth and did nothing with it except lift themselves up and keep others down, others who NEEDED the truth as much as those who knew about the Truth.
Jesus is not commending this shrewd manager and the way he lived his life, he was holding up an example of one who was shrewd with the darkness as those who are in the light.
- Money is a tool to be shrewdly used.
The first thing to notice is that the master and the manager both recognize that the money was the masters, and not the manager. The manager used money as a tool to make friends with these people. He gave them such a huge gift, that they were indebted to him not with money but with their lives and of course they loved him.
This crooked manager treated this money with more purpose than with those who are in the light treat their money for the kingdom of God. What do you live for? Is it for the next big fun adventure to do, or is it for being on the mission of God? What drives us to get through the week? We will never be wise with our lives until Jesus is what drives us.
Ultimately this manager made friends so that he was able to continue living the way that he wanted to live, even after losing his position as manager.
- Money is not a tool to be loved, but a tool to be used to reach those we are called to love.
Verse 9 is the lesson, it is the point of this passage. That we should make friends with people of wealth in this world so that when our money and possessions fail us, and they WILL, then those friends will welcome us into eternal dwellings [hell].
The Gospel is so simple, we need to understand it for exactly what It says. The story of the Gospel speaks to our hearts, every story that we love is based on The Story. Paradise, a fall, and then redemption, the basic structure of the Bible is the basic structure of our favorite stories. God speaks to our hearts through stories, it is more than facts that speak to our heads, but language that gets directly to our souls.
We should never argue over the rewards that we will get in Eternity, we must remember that Jesus is the ultimate prize and nothing else will matter when we come face to face with Him. The biggest point that Jesus wants us to understand about this, is that He is inviting, and pleading, with us to bring our friends with us.
Remember that prodigals will cost us, of ourselves, but that it is worth it to obey Jesus. That the eternal reward when we stand before Jesus, makes any temporary cost in this life seem like chump change.
cf 2 Corinthians 8:1-5
cf 2 Corinthians 9:7b God loves a CHEERFUL giver.
The church in Corinth was going through some hard times, but that it is recorded that even in their poverty that they gave more than they could afford. They understood that their money was a tool to use for the mission. They knew that there was a need for the saints, and that this church who had almost nothing to begin with, gave more than they could and begged for more opportunity. They understood the joy of giving, and wanted to taste the blessing from God over and over.
How then should we give, looking at the Macedonians? We should give generously, but more importantly, we should give joyfully! If we say that we trust God, then we should give to Him cheerfully and first. We should also give sacrificially, understanding that we should give of what we value to what God values.
How we give matters: 1st Give generously and freely back to God 2nd Give sacrificially back to God 3rd Give cheerfully back to God.
Just as we plan to give of our time, we should plan to give of our finances. If we say we trust in God then we should also trust Him with our finances.
We need to live by this simple truth about getting our finances in order: if you can't afford it, don't buy it.
If you believe that the work of God is worth it, then our calendars and our check books will reflect that belief. What we spend our time and money on matters!
Imagine this... God using a temporal to to make an eternal impact.
Created over 1 year ago