Keep on Swimming. . .

everyday life inside the fishbowl

Monday Meditations: Buying Eternal Friendships

on September 2, 2013

{On Mondays, I share some thoughts from my pastor’s (husband’s 🙂 ) sermon on Sunday. This will be good for me, as it will help cement God’s truths in my head and heart. I hope these truths will encourage and challenge you! If you’re interested in hearing a particular sermon, you can head here to listen.}

ImageHave you ever read the parable of the unjust steward in Luke 16. . . and thought to yourself, “Huh?!”? I have often read it – and even had it explained to me – yet never quite got it. Then, Dave preached on this passage yesterday, and I FINALLY got it!

Here’s the passage:

Luke 16:1-8 “He also said to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was wasting his possessions.  And he called him and said to him, ‘What is this that I hear about you? Turn in the account of your management, for you can no longer be manager.’  And 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, and I am ashamed to beg. I have decided what to do, so that when I am removed from management, people may receive me into their houses.’  So, summoning his master’s debtors one by one, he said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ He said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ He said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’ The master commended the dishonest manager for his shrewdness. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light.”

To sum up the parable, a rich owner had a dishonest manager, so the owner fired the manager, which meant the manager was losing his job and his housing. The manager realized he would need housing, so he decided to be-friend his boss’ debtors, so they would eventually give him housing. He went to each debtor and reduced the amount of his debt to the rich owner. When the owner heard about this, he commended the manager, though dishonest, for his shrewdness.

But then, Jesus says that unbelievers are more shrewd in dealing with people than believers. Huh?!

Jesus then explains what he means in the following verse:

Luke 16: 9  “ And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal dwellings.

This is the explanation of the parable, yet I’ve still always found it a bit confusing. Jesus tells us to make friends by means of wealth. Buy friends? That doesn’t seem very ethical. Then Jesus says why: so that when money fails, these friends will receive us into eternal dwellings–heaven. If these friends are going to be receiving us in heaven, then they must be believers, so. . . Jesus is telling us to use our money to invest in evangelization. We need to be investing our resources into bringing the Gospel to unbelievers! The money is not permanent, but our “friends” in heaven are!

Verses 10-13 go on to discuss that our faithfulness in giving reveals our hearts:

“‘One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own? No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.’”

If we do not faithfully use the resources God has given us (whether it’s a small or large amount), it reveals a dishonest heart, one that may perhaps not truly believe. Our giving – or lack thereof – reveals whether we serve God or our money.

So, the question for us is this: Are we being creative (within biblical means) to use our resources to further the work of the Gospel? Our willingness to give reveals our hearts. Are we “buying” eternal friendships?

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