Summary: We are called to be faithful with all the resources that God entrusts to us.
“Entrusted With Much”
Because God Is Generous Series
Luke 16:1-13 (quotes taken from the NKJV unless noted)
Wakelee Church ~ November 7, 2004
Theme: We are called to be faithful with all the resources that God gives us.
Introduction – “I’d give more but…”
In a recent USA Today poll, people were asked to finish this sentence, “I’d give more, but…”
84 percent said they doubted their donation would be put to good use.
80 percent said job demands left them no time to participate.
79 percent said that they had no excess income to give.
70 percent said family commitments consumed all their extra time.
Most of us might have similar answers…right?
But suppose that no one gave? There would be no neighborhood sports teams for the kids, no parades or holiday celebrations, no blood banks to supply hospitals and not enough hospitals for everyone.
There would be no Salvation Army or Helping Hands to help the needy and no Kalamazoo Gospel Mission, among others, who shelter those who need to escape from our cold winters.
There would be no churches. Without money, none would be built, and without paid workers, none would function.
Now some would say that might be too dramatic. But, in reality, our giving does affect others. And more importantly, I believe how we give is a direct reflection on our idea of who God is.
When we say, “I’d give more, but…” what we are doing is making excuses.
Warrant Wiersbe said in his autobiography entitled Be Myself “If life is to have meaning, and if God’s will is to be done, all of us have to accept who we are and what we are, give it back to God, and thank Him for the way He made us. What I am is God’s gift to me; what I do with it is my gift to Him.” (source: www.sermoncentral.com)
Since we have been entrusted with much, we have been called to be faithful with that which we’ve been given.
This faithfulness is a product of understanding. The first thing we need to understand is that it is God’s resources, not ours, which enable us to give.
I – God’s resources, not ours, enable us to give.
This is the story of our unjust steward. Caught wasting his master’s goods and subsequently
fired, he knew that he needed someone’s resources other than his own to survive. Look at verse 3, “Then the steward said within himself, What shall I do…I cannot dig, I am ashamed to beg.”
His resolve was simple. By using what authority he had been given, he quickly made for himself a future by forgiving the debt of other masters, so that he would have some future.
It astounds us that his current master is not upset by this practice, which could lead us to assume that the steward was just forgiving the interest of, or removing his personal commission from, the debts which would leave only what was owed to the master by these others.
But in any case, this unjust steward knew that his giving would bring about what he needed. And so impressed was his original master that he was commended for dealing so shrewdly, even though he was still fired.
What does this story tell us?
First, I believe we can see a Master in this story that gives abundantly. Even in the midst
of all that he has given to this steward, and how this steward bundled his resources, this steward still receives his master’s commendation.
Second, we can see a steward who is transformed by his master’s giving. The unjust steward is commended and is now seen in a different light.
Isn’t this the story of Adam and Eve? Created to be stewards, they blew it and they paid the consequence living in the result of their sin upon the generations.
But after an all-giving, abundant God, gave His Son, a fundamental change occurred. That sin upon the generations was no longer mandatory. Through God’s goodness, through God’s ultimate ownership of everything, through God’s enormous abundance of generosity, by His grace, God gave us the ability to be transformed.
This is what Paul was saying when he wrote to Titus, “But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.” (Titus 3:4)
By God’s giving from His abundance, we have the ability to transform. And by that
transformation, we become enabled to lead others to God’s abundance.
II – With what have I been entrusted?
But what tools get us there?
Three primary resources:
Time – Matthew 24:45-51 – story of the faithful and evil servant - God gives us the time we need to accomplish his will – it’s our choice how it’s used.