Summary: God wants to teach us how to be biblically shrewd with money.
Jesus talked more about money than heaven or hell. Half of His parables are about money. In Matthew, Mark and Luke, one out of every six verses is about money or money management. Why? Because money influences our lives for either good or bad. If you don’t learn to manage your money, it will manage you. Today we’re looking at a parable Jesus told about money management. (READ TEXT)
Jesus praised this dishonest man’s shrewdness. To be shrewd means to be smart, strategic, and resourceful. God wants us to learn how to be biblically shrewd with money. From this story we learn . . .
. Four things not to do with money:
A. Don’t waste it - v. 2 - Just as this money belonged to someone else and wasn’t the manager’s to do with as he pleased, all we have doesn’t belong to us - it’s on loan from God - we aren’t owners, but managers. What money I have is God’s. And I don’t want to waste God’s money.
B. Don’t love it - v. 13 - It’s impossible to live with divided allegiance. You can’t have two number ones in your life. You can’t have love for money and love for God both as your number one goals. You have to decide. Is God going to be number one in your life or is my making a lot of money my number one goal in life? You cannot serve them both.
C. Don’t trust it - v. 3 - No matter how much money you’ve got, you can lose it. The manager learned this pretty quick in verse 3.
“In the blink of an eye, money can disappear, as if it grew wings and flew away like a bird.” - Proverbs 23:5 (Easy to Read)
D. Don’t expect it to satisfy -
Famed billionaire, Howard Hughes, was asked, “How much does it take to make a man happy?” He replied, “Just a little bit more.”
“Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income.” - Ecclesiastes 5:10 (NIV)
Your self worth is not determined by your net worth. Your valuables do not determine your value. You’re not worth a lot
because you have a lot. You know you’re worth a lot because God gave a lot to make you His - He sacrificed His Son.
2. Three things to remember about money:
A. Money is a trust - v. 1 - We read here of an owner and a manager. In life, God is the owner and we’re the managers. Everything we have has been entrusted to us by God. “But I earned this with my own two hands!” Who do you think gave you those hands? It’s all from God.
We need to remind ourselves of this every day.
When you get in your car after the service say, “This isn’t my car; it’s God’s car. And when you go home say, “This is God’s house; not my house.” And when you sit down to eat your meal, know that the dishes you’re using are dishes. And when you go to bed tonight say, “This is God’s bed. He loaned it to me and I get to use it. I get to take care of it.” Everything is God’s.
When you live like this your worry level goes down. Why? Because if I’m the employee and God’s the employer, then He’s in charge of the benefit package. This takes the pressure off. I’m not the owner, I’m the manager. Which means that as I follow the owner’s instructions and manage what He has entrusted to me, I will be provided for.
B. Money is a tool - v. 9 - It’s been said that money is like manure: If you spread it all around it makes things grow. But if you pile it up it starts stinking. We need to use the temporary resources God has put in our hands as a tool to do permanent good. How do I do that? Let’s look at this dishonest manager. Why did Jesus make him the hero of the story? Obviously he’s dishonest. But he did three things right.
1) He looked ahead - v. 3
Many never look ahead when it comes to their finances. This is why reverse mortgages have become so popular. People have not prepared for retirement. The average European saves 12% of their income; the average Japanese saves 25%. But the average savings among Americans is –1%. The average American spends 1% more than they make.
“The prudent understand where they are going, but fools deceive themselves.” - Proverbs 14:8 (NLT)
What financial facts are you unwilling to face? What adjustments to you need to make today to be prepared for tomorrow? Are you in a house you can’t afford? Do you need to downsize? Are you driving a car you can’t afford? Some of you need to cut up your credit cards and learn to live on a budget and within your means.