Summary: Followers of Christ have the priority of being good stewards of life for Him.
Each week of this month we have been challenged through God’s word and by His Holy Spirit to look at ourselves in an honestly critical way. We have been performing various Priority Checks. Each week we have examined priorities in our life from a different vantage point. However, each week we have been challenged to honestly consider our true priorities in life. Others can set standards of performance for you. Others can give you a list of priorities. But it is only YOU who determines what is your own priority in life. We have been studying the priorities of life that are of great importance according to Christ Jesus Himself – but even Jesus gives us the choice to make them our own priorities or not. These messages from Luke 14-16 reveal God’s will regarding a variety of priorities – but if all we have attained is a knowledge of God’s will, we have missed the point of the Priority Check. Obviously we need to have knowledge of His will, but what we do with that knowledge is of great importance.
22 But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.
23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror;
24 for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was.
As we have taken priority checks, and as we do so today, we clearly see that Jesus expects far different priorities from His followers than from those guided by the world. Paul understood this need for a higher priority of values and actions as he wrote these inspired words to the Romans . . .
2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
2 Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
(from THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language
© 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson. All rights reserved.)
Followers of Christ live with different priorities than those who are not followers of Christ. If your priorities are no different than those in the world – something is wrong.
As we come to Luke 16 this morning we will consider another Priority Check as we check our priority of stewardship.
1 Now He was also saying to the disciples, "There was a rich man who had a manager, and this manager was reported to him as squandering his possessions.
2 "And he called him and said to him, 'What is this I hear about you? Give an accounting of your management, for you can no longer be manager.'
3 "The manager said to himself, 'What shall I do, since my master is taking the management away from me? I am not strong enough to dig; I am ashamed to beg.
4 'I know what I shall do, so that when I am removed from the management people will welcome me into their homes.'
5 "And he summoned each one of his master's debtors, and he began saying to the first, 'How much do you owe my master?'
6 "And he said, 'A hundred measures of oil.' And he said to him, 'Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.'
7 "Then he said to another, 'And how much do you owe?' And he said, 'A hundred measures of wheat.' He said to him, 'Take your bill, and write eighty.'
8 "And his master praised the unrighteous manager because he had acted shrewdly; for the sons of this age are more shrewd in relation to their own kind than the sons of light.
9 "And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by means of the wealth of unrighteousness, so that when it fails, they will receive you into the eternal dwellings.
10 "He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much.
11 "Therefore if you have not been faithful in the use of unrighteous wealth, who will entrust the true riches to you?
12 "And if you have not been faithful in the use of that which is another's, who will give you that which is your own?