Summary: Stewardship - be creative in investing in the kingdom of God
Farmer’s cow gave birth to twins. “Martha, we should give one of these calves to the Lord” “We’ll raise one for ourselves and raise one for the Lord. We’ll feed them the same and treat them the same…and when the time comes to bring them to market we’ll decide which one is the Lord’s." And so they did, and the calves grew and prospered through the summer.
Then one day the farmer came in from the fields looking very gloomy.
“What’s the matter dear” asked the farmers wife. “A terrible thing has happened” replied the farmer “ – the Lord’s cow has died.”
In our Scripture this morning Jesus tells a story of an unjust manager.
It is clear that Jesus thinks he’s a rat. It is also clear Jesus is impressed with him…and thinks we as believer’s should follow suit. Jesus story of the unjust manager is a story of how money is used to make friends.
He is speaking not just on a literal level, but also on a spiritual level
Jesus shows us this concept: Using money to gain eternal rewards:
Jesus wonders why so many believers haven’t figured this out.
We find that Jesus talks about money quite frequently. He wasn’t at odds with having money, dealing with money, using money. He was at odds with those who value it above God and those who misused what was entrusted to them.
When we talk of stewardship that encompasses many aspect of life
But here, today, Jesus is specifically talking about money.
Today we see Jesus showing us the proper place of money in our lives and we find it shocking, shocking that he commends the manager
– just as the people of Jesus day found it shocking.
Let’s look closely and see why Jesus commends the man and how we are to follow suit.
First, A Few Things To Understand. Before looking at this story we need to understand: A Life Committed To God….Means Everything is committed to God – That includes all our money. When I become born again, When I give my life over to Jesus Christ, when I become a disciple of Jesus - All of who I am is now in the possession of our Lord Jesus Christ. I have given my life – for a new life. That is not simply my soul it is everything - the can of WD40 in the garage - everything. No Exceptions.
When we “give” money to a charity, in the sense of the Gospel. We are not giving - but managing. It is not ours anyway – since everything is God’s. So we are taking care of what we are given.
Looking at the Manager.
In this story, we are in the same position as the Manager in the story. We have at our disposal many things and in some way, as we look at this story, realize we are the manager. In the sense that we have been given life and all our stuff to manage.
Let’s look at the manager in the story. He’s a bum – but, at least he’s honest with himself. Verse 3.
Digging was thought of as the lowest form of labor. Begging is life on the street. He realizes he hasn’t managed well and so he’s been fired.
Some people are good with money – others aren’t - so it goes.
Story – Overdraft.
Katie worked for banks for years. When overdraft was new, they had a ton of people sign up. Some people, went to the overdraft limit right away. When the bank reminded them of their debt they replied: "You mean we have to pay it back?" They thought it was free money.
Some people are good with money – others aren’t, and I gues some are clueless. this is not what Jesus is talking about, good investments. He’s talking about something more.
Now what does the manager do? He calls in those who have debts and
reduces them by 30%, the amounts differ, but the value is the same, it averages about 1 years wages. good money. These were huge business loans, making your mortgage look small, and what he did was legal – yes indeed. He was acting in owners place, he was still the manager after all - in the same way, we have the right to use the money God has given us.
He has used what was entrusted to him, to make others indebted to him. When he is thrown out they will welcome him because of his geberousity. “So good to see you Mordici, my friend’ . In fact these businessmen – They may hire him later. In other words: He is leaving his old life and starting a new life. Life on earth. Life in heaven.