HERO CENTRAL August 7-11 Vacation Bible School

March 25/Luke 16

When you read through the gospels you will notice that Jesus talks a lot about money and giving. Money in and of itself is not evil but their seems to be a dark spirit behind it that is eager to latch on to people and cause them to lust for more and more money. If ask most people how much money they need they will usually say, “Just a little more.” It doesn’t matter how much they have they will still answer that way. Solomon and the Apostle Paul had this to say:

Ecclesiastes 5:10 (NLT) — 10 Those who love money will never have enough. How meaningless to think that wealth brings true happiness!

1 Timothy 6:10 (NLT) — 10 For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.

Hebrews 13:5 (NLT) — 5 Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.”

In the key verse of this chapter Jesus says:

Luke 16:13 (NLT) — 13 “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.”

So apparently there is a subtle spirit behind money, a master if you will, that is drawing us to want more for ourselves.

In the first story the manager loved money so much that he embezzled money from his employer. See the sneaky spirit behind it. Then when he was caught and about to be fired he figured out a way to make friends by cheating his employer again and also putting more money in other people’s pockets. That way when he had know job he could go to those people and say, “You owe me.” The spirit behind money is a rascal!

Jesus is saying that worldly people are shrewd when it comes to investing money, watching the stock markets, buying commodities, properties, and investing in drug and health care companies. They do it for a temporary future in this life. Jesus said we Christians should be as shrewd at handling our money for a lasting future after this life is over. In other words we should not only invest our money so we have some to live on in our later years of life but to also to use our money to bring people to Jesus so that can have a future in heaven for an eternity. This is what Jesus meant in verse 9:

Luke 16:9 (NLT) — 9 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.

When I support missionaries like our own Chris and Rondi; they are going to lead people to Jesus. One day when I get to heaven they will welcome me and thank me for sending Chris and Rondi to them with the gospel of Jesus. The same goes for giving to any group or organization whose sole purpose for existence is winning people to Jesus. My first support goes to my local church who brings the gospel to people in Fergus Falls plus they preach and do blogs like this which reminds people of the greater use of money.

When I take an unbeliever out for lunch or pay their way to golf I am building a relationship with them so I can talk to them about Jesus. I have their future in mind and I am being shrewd with God’s money. If God can trust me with the little he gives me now perhaps more will come my way so that I can give even more to win people for Jesus! I hope all of this makes sense to you.

Look at verses 10-12 > If I am faithful with what God gives me he will give me even more and he will give me more understanding of the scriptures and of himself! Those are part of the riches of heaven > to know God. When I give with the purpose of winning someone to Jesus I can say, “So that is what God is like.”

Look at what happened in the story about the rich man and Lazarus. The rich man focused his whole life on building a comfortable, temporary future with his money. He was tricked by that spirit behind the money. He saw Lazarus, he knew him by name but he didn’t use his money to help him. He was serving the wrong master. The master he was serving gave him bad financial advice! The rich guy probably was one of those who kept saying, “When I get a little bit more I’ll help Lazarus. When I get a little bit more I will begin to tithe. When I get a little bit more I will support our missionaries. When I get a little bit………….. but then his life was over and he never got a little bit more. In fact all he had was lost. Nobody was waiting to welcome him to heaven because he hadn’t sent anyone on ahead. In eternity all of his money couldn’t buy him a cup of water. His money couldn’t get him to heaven; however he could have used his money to get other people there! And that is the point of this whole chapter.

Hey Hilltop ask the Lord how you can use your money to get people to heaven. Like Lazarus they might be as close as your own doorstep!

Be Inspired Hilltop!

 

 

Comments

  1. Mark Gundersen says:

    A Christmas Carol looks at the main themes of this chapter. Scrooge was a man who served money, and it did not serve him, at the start of the book. He was warned by his partner coming back from the dead but did not believe him, just as Abraham warned the rich man in torment. Then Scrooge got to see people who showed God’s love and properly used money in his past and present and the results of letting money continue to rule him in his future. This finally brought home the themes of this chapter that to serve God with what he has given us is done by loving and serving others.