Friday, March 23, 2012

260 in 2012 DEVOS -Day 60 - Luke 16: Money, Money, Money

How we handle money is a good indicator of where we are in our relationship with Jesus! In this chapter, Jesus gives us stories to illustrate just that.
He begins with a rich man whose got wind that his CFO was mishandling his money. So he confronts him and lets him know he’s gonna’ be fired. Quickly, this manager, knowing he’s gonna’ be out on the street soon, cleverly arranges discounts to his master’s debtors – something they are quick to agree too! This would gain their indebtedness to him so when he got the boot from his boss they would feel obligated to help him out. And what was the masters response? He praised this manager for his craftiness - which may give hint that he too was a wicked man! How sad to try to buy your friends.
Then Jesus addressed the Pharisees’ habit of seeking the approval of men. How many times did they (or do we) need to be reminded that we can’t be or live good enough to please God?!~! And that HIS way trumps any clever ways we might come up with.
The final story of the rich man & Lazarus (not the friend Jesus rose from the dead) reminds us again of Jesus’ previous words, “Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last." - 13:30. In this story the beggar Lazarus is rewarded and the rich man is punished. The rich man did not go to hell because of his wealth, but because he was selfish – refusing to feed Lazarus, take him in or care for him. Being blessed with wealth is not sin, but to keep it for only your own purposes is!
*The way we use our money is a good test of our faith in God. How are you using what God has given you? Nervous about giving because then who will meet “my needs?” Go ahead and give, God IS big enough to meet your needs!
*The amount of money we have is not as important as how we use it. What is your attitude towards money & possessions? Remember we are stewards/managers – not owners (Psalm 24:1). We often ask the question, “How much of my money should I give to the Lord?” To put things in perspective, a better question would be, “How much of the Lord’s money should I keep, and where does He want me to put the rest?”
*Finally, we’ll only use money in this life! You can’t take it with you BUT you can send treasure ahead………….…Matthew 6:19-21. (Pay it Forward)

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