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Summary: In one of the most misunderstood passages in Scripture, the Lord uses a parable to tell people who choose money over God to use it to win friends in hell & He uses the ambition of the ungodly to spotlight the laxity of the saved.

THE PARABLE OF THE CONNIVING STEWARD

Luke 16:1-15

INTRODUCTION

A. HUMOR

1. Police Officer Robert Marklin of Algonac, Michigan says, “I was in my patrol car by a blinking red light – the equivalent of a stop sign – when I watched an elderly man drive straight through without even slowing down.

2. I quickly hit the siren and pulled him over. “Why did you drive through the red light?” I asked him. “I didn’t,” he said. “I saw you.” He shook his head. “I went through between the blinks.” How many know that excuse didn’t fly?

3. We’re all probably familiar with the crooked manager story of BERNIE MADOFF, the investment advisor and financier who was convicted in 2009 of operating the largest Ponzi fraud scheme in U.S. history. He stole $18 billion dollars. Jesus told about another crooked manager in Luke 16.

B. TEXT

1 He also said to His disciples: “There was a certain rich man who had a steward, and an accusation was brought to him that this man was wasting his goods. 2 So he called him… “Give an account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward.” 3 Then the steward said within himself, “What shall I do?...4 I [know] what to do, that when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.” 5 So he called every one of his master’s debtors to him, and said … “How much do you owe my master?” 6 …“Take your bill, and sit down quickly and [mark it down] 50% or 20%.” 8 So the master commended the unjust steward because he had dealt shrewdly. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light. 9 And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon, that when you fail, they may receive you into an everlasting home. 10 He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. 11 Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? 13 No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. 14 Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, also heard all these things, and they derided Him. 15 And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.

C. THESIS

1. This parable is an expose of the type of materialism that has compromised Christianity in Western world the last 100 years. Money is essential, but it has the tendency to drift, in our hearts, from a peripheral place to the central position.

2. In this parable we look at how our stewardship is similar to his, see the good qualities of worldly wisdom, and hear Christ’s 3 warnings about the dangers of loving materialism.

3. The title of this message is “The Parable of the Conniving Steward.”

I. THREE POINTS ABOUT HIS STEWARDSHIP

A. WE ARE STEWARDS

1. Whatever we have, whether property, resources, time, or talents, it all belongs to God; we have only the use of it.

2. What got this steward into trouble was that he forgot that the resources he had charge of were NOT HIS OWN. He began to use them like he wanted to.

3. This reminds me of most Americans, who had nothing to do with where they were born, but have great resources, and use those resources as if they were their own.

4. But God says the resources are His and we’re supposed to be employing them according to HIS WILL, because we are stewards.

B. THIS STEWARD WASTED HIS MASTER’S GOODS

1. He wasted his lord’s goods, embezzled them, or through carelessness suffered them to be lost. It’s like a Christian skipping church, not praying, or being oblivious to his/her opportunities to witness. We squander those opportunities.

2. We all have mismanaged our Lord’s resources, so when we look at this steward, we’re looking at ourselves. We are all open to the same charge.

3. The Lord speaks as one sorry to find himself disappointed in his steward, and sorry He must dismiss him from his service. Does our Lord feel sorrow about our service?

C. HIS STEWARDSHIP WILL BE TAKEN AWAY

1. This parable teaches us that a). we’re stewards, b). that we’ll give an account for our stewardship, and c). that we will all soon be discharged from our stewardship in this world.

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