Luke and The Lost
Everything belongs to God. Everything. He gave pieces of all He owns to us to manage. To some, He gives a great amount to manage. To others, we gives what He thinks they can handle successfully. Are we good managers over the provisions and blessings He has given us? Does it matter how much we are given or how well we manage it and use it for His glory?
Jesus gives us another parable to explain God’s system of management. There is a surprise ending that confuses those who are trying to get the meaning of this parable. Read and see what God tells you personally about “The Story of the Crooked Manager”.
Luke 16, The Message
1-2 Jesus said to his disciples, “There was once a rich man who had a manager. He got reports that the manager had been taking advantage of his position by running up huge personal expenses. So he called him in and said, ‘What’s this I hear about you? You’re fired. And I want a complete audit of your books.’
3-4 “The manager said to himself, ‘What am I going to do? I’ve lost my job as manager. I’m not strong enough for a laboring job, and I’m too proud to beg. . . . Ah, I’ve got a plan. Here’s what I’ll do . . . then when I’m turned out into the street, people will take me into their houses.’
5 “Then he went at it. One after another, he called in the people who were in debt to his master. He said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’
6 “He replied, ‘A hundred jugs of olive oil.’
“The manager said, ‘Here, take your bill, sit down here—quick now—write fifty.’
7 “To the next he said, ‘And you, what do you owe?’
“He answered, ‘A hundred sacks of wheat.’
“He said, ‘Take your bill, write in eighty.’
8-9 “Now here’s a surprise: The master praised the crooked manager! And why? Because he knew how to look after himself. Streetwise people are smarter in this regard than law-abiding citizens. They are on constant alert, looking for angles, surviving by their wits. I want you to be smart in the same way—but for what is right—using every adversity to stimulate you to creative survival, to concentrate your attention on the bare essentials, so you’ll live, really live, and not complacently just get by on good behavior.”
Ah, what do we learn about stewardship of God’s provisions?
–Here is the dishonesty of this steward. He wasted his lord’s goods, embezzled them, misapplied them, or through carelessness caused them to be lost and damaged. His lord audits the books and sees the misappropriations.
–We are all liable to the same charge. We have not made a due improvement of what God has entrusted us with in this world, but have perverted his purpose. We need to take a strong look at ourselves BEFORE we, too are audited and asked, “What did you do with what I gave you?”
–Be smart, wise, looking for angles, problem solve BUT for what is right, good and helpful to others in the God’s Kingdom.
–Be creative in sharing what God has given to us with an attitude to please Him and give Him glory.
–Be grateful for what He has given us to manage.
–Concentrate only on what you need to survive. Don’t be tied down to stuff you don’t need.
–Don’t run up debt and expenses that you cannot possibly pay off quickly. That is a burden that displeases God and is not good management.
–Take more joy in giving and sharing with others what God has given to you than in running up debt to have more than what you need.
–Live, really live the life God intended for us to live…free from debt that holds us back from joining Him in His work.
–Don’t just coast in life, getting by on just being good…be a great steward/manager of God’s rich provisions, protection and blessings galore.
Dear Heavenly Father, Give us wisdom, cunning, insight and understanding about stewardship of all that is already yours. Help us to great managers who do what is right in Your eyes. When we fail, pick us up and help us to be smart enough to get back on track. We know you will come and “audit the books”. Help us to pass with flying colors and not be ashamed.
In Jesus Name, Amen