Sunday, April 23, 2017

Trusted with Little or Much? Serving Money or God?

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for photo SUNDAYserve_zpssb0asglb.jpg

Trusted with Little or Much?  Serving Money or God?

 We have been focusing on the financial side of life using God's guidance.  A few weeks ago we learned about "being practical" in every aspect of our life (click HERE to read that post), and then more recently we talked about "Mustard Seeds and Pennies" or using common "cents" when striving to be Christ-like in our personal finances (click HERE to read that post). 
Today we will be learning two basic principles:
1.  Should we be trusted with little or much?
2.  Are we serving God or money?

The Parable of the Shrewd Manager
(The master's words are in purple, the manager's in green & the two debtors in blue or red)
Jesus told his disciples: “There was a rich man whose manager was accused of wasting his possessions. So he called him in and asked him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your management, because you cannot be manager any longer.’  “The manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do now? My master is taking away my job. I’m not strong enough to dig, and I’m ashamed to beg I know what I’ll do so that, when I lose my job here, people will welcome me into their houses.’  “So he called in each one of his master’s debtors. He asked the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’  “‘Nine hundred gallons of olive oil,’ he replied.  “The manager told him, ‘Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it four hundred and fifty.’  “Then he asked the second, ‘And how much do you owe?’  “‘A thousand bushels of wheat,’ he replied.  “He told him, ‘Take your bill and make it eight hundred.’  “The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light. I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for photo SUNDAYlittleMuch_zpscvdfgr4f.jpg

And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?  “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”  The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus.  He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight.  Luke 16:1-15

1.  Should we be trusted with little or much?
In this Parable it was too late for the manager to totally correct his ways in order to save his job but he was able to save his future reputation with the debtors by lowering their debt if they repaid that lower amount immediately.
Starting small and gradually building up is the best way to live.  In our own lives it works the same way - as an example: if you prove yourself in your job you will be given more tasks to complete (and usually more money).  Those who are dishonest and cheat with their time at work will eventually be found out and either be fired or demoted.
Of course this parable then refers to "true riches" which of course is all about our spiritual life and the riches of grace and mercy through Jesus Christ.

2.  Are we serving God or money?
Money can truly control us and become like a god.  Those who set out a 10 or 20 year financial plan that is extravagant and well above their means or those who plan to retire with millions by the age of thirty are not being Christ-like in their finances.  This type of attitude is totally focusing on money.  What happens if you were to lose your job or lose your savings in the market?  If you have that type of excessive attitude then you will not be able to cope with hardships because you worship money.  We all have to get to the point where we realize that "our" money is actually God's money.  God is in control of every aspect of our lives and therefore "our" money is His.

I certainly strive to live my life so that I will be trusted with "true riches" by serving God alone!

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by Angie Ouellette-Tower for photo Day_zpsb50f87c9.jpg

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