Financial gain; for me or others?

Luke 16:1-18

Jesus told this story to his disciples: “There was a certain rich man who had a manager handling his affairs. One day a report came that the manager was wasting his employer’s money. So the employer called him in and said, ‘What’s this I hear about you? Get your report in order, because you are going to be fired.’

 “The manager thought to himself, ‘Now what? My boss has fired me. I don’t have the strength to dig ditches, and I’m too proud to beg. Ah, I know how to ensure that I’ll have plenty of friends who will give me a home when I am fired.’

“So he invited each person who owed money to his employer to come and discuss the situation. He asked the first one, ‘How much do you owe him?’ The man replied, ‘I owe him 800 gallons of olive oil.’ So the manager told him, ‘Take the bill and quickly change it to 400 gallons. ’

“‘And how much do you owe my employer?’ he asked the next man. ‘I owe him 1,000 bushels of wheat,’ was the reply. ‘Here,’ the manager said, ‘take the bill and change it to 800 bushels. ’

 “The rich man had to admire the dishonest rascal for being so shrewd. And it is true that the children of this world are more shrewd in dealing with the world around them than are the children of the light.  Here’s the lesson: Use your worldly resources to benefit others and make friends. Then, when your earthly possessions are gone, they will welcome you to an eternal home.

 “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities. And if you are untrustworthy about worldly wealth, who will trust you with the true riches of heaven? And if you are not faithful with other people’s things, why should you be trusted with things of your own?

 “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

 The Pharisees, who dearly loved their money, heard all this and scoffed at him.  Then he said to them, “You like to appear righteous in public, but God knows your hearts. What this world honors is detestable in the sight of God. 

Two views on money: one uses it for personal gain, the other to assist others in need.  Love of money indicates being self-driven.  Self becomes more important than others and greed and pride are close behind.  These are attitudes we know do not please God.  The dishonesty of the manager was a result of looking out for self at the expense of another.  Wealth was used to further self not another.  World-based thinking has no problem with this approach for it is the way of mankind everywhere.  Whereas, children of light use the world’s wealth to be a help to others.  This is Biblically based thinking and is in opposition to the common thinking of mankind.  Christ says to use the world’s wealth to assist others; make friends, and so “when your earthly possessions are gone, they will welcome you to an eternal home.”

Using the world’s wealth to assist others, especially when it opens the door to share the message of the kingdom of God, is using the world’s wealth to lay up treasure in heaven.  Each lost soul regained for the kingdom brings rejoicing  and opens the door to a place that is eternal not temporary. Children of light have a focus that is kingdom-driven, rather than self-driven.  They act in obedience to God’s will; “thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”  They act to please Him, not themselves.  They are found faithful.

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