Weekly Teachings by Erik Momsen
by Erik Momsen
About women some man said; "You can’t live with them and you can’t live without them". He was wise or bitter, depending on how well you are doing with the women in your life. It is more true to say "one cannot live with or without money".
Money is a dangerous thing in the lives of most people. Without it we are largely destitute, without hope and a future, and with it we most often become self sufficient and forget about God.
"Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you ... Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonour the name of my God." (Proverbs 30:9)
"Whoever loves money never has money." (Ecclesiastes 5:10)
"You cannot serve both God and money." (Matthew 6:24)
"For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Some people eager for money, have wandered from the faith and have pierced themselves with all kinds of griefs." (1 Timothy 6:10) .
Many believers vacillate between being preoccupied with getting it and spending it, or on the other hand wanting to have little to do with it. The question is; "Is there a third way"? Is there a godly way of dealing with money?
THE PARABLE OF THE SHREWD MANAGER (Luke 16:1-15)
This parable is regarded as the most difficult one in scripture to understand. These difficulties revolve around the steward's position, what he did dishonestly, and who the "rich man" was. According to Joachim Jeremias the "master" (v.8) is almost always the Lord in Luke's writing. The steward could have been a salaried employee or an agent taking a percentage of the amount owed to the master.
What is clear is that the steward was "accused of wasting his possessions". This might have been purely wrongful use of his masters property or it could have been taking bribes or fudging the books. The bottom line is that he is caught, does not argue but accepts his punishment.
There is guilt, acknowledgement and a form of repentance.
The point of the parable comes in the manager’s preparation for his future. He calls in the debtors and rewrites their accounts. According to the master’s praise (v.8) and presuming that the master is good, in that he is God, I assume that the manager did nothing illegal by rewriting the accounts. He probably corrected the accounts to what they should have been in the first place. He probably reverted the excessive interest demanded on the accounts. The result was that he made friends of the debtors and did not displease the master. He prepared his way for future favour with the other debtors.
What are the Christians to learn from this?
"People of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light. I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourself, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings."
Some logic is need. We know that the world uses wealth to make friends and gain favour. Their aim is to advantage themselves.
Christians must use wealth in a similar way. Wealth is dispensable and only the eternal dwelling will be left. Use money now to invest for the next life. Can the friends you spend the money on now ensure your welcome in the eternal dwelling? The answer is obviously "No!"
The implication is that heaven is watching to see what we will do with money, which passes away. We are to engraciate heaven with the way we use money. We can definitely make friends here - by using our money to draw them into the kingdom. We can also make friends in heaven by how we use our money on earth.
"Store up for yourself treasures in heaven," (Matthew 6:19)
"Jesus answered, '... go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven' ". (Matthew 19:21)
"Be rich in good deeds, and be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of life that is truly life."
If your money is doing kingdom work you are safer than when your money is doing earthly work. Generosity is a safe place to be.
Date Added: 2009-12-31
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