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Stewardship Lesson From Wise Money Manager lk16

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STEWARDSHIP: LESSON FROM A WISE MONEY MANAGER

LK. 16:1-13

INTRO: A MAN TAKING AN EVENING WALK MADE AN UNUSUAL DISCOVERY—SCATTERED ALONG THE ST. IN FRONT OF HIS HOUSE—PARTIALLY HIDDEN BY WEEDS/BUSHES WAS SOME MONEY—LOT OF MONEY—5’S—10’S—EVEN SOME 100’S—ALMOST $2,000.  WHAT SHOULD HE DO? THE WORLD SAYS FINDERS KEEPERS/LOSERS WEEPERS.

CH.16 HAS 2 PARABLES THAT BEGIN “THERE WAS CERTAIN RICH MAN”—16:1; 16:19—FIRST WAS TO DISCIPLES (USE RESOURCES FOR KINGDOM) & 2ND PART TO PHARISEES (SELFISH USE OF RESOURCES IS ETERNALLY FATAL)—ALSO PARABLE OF PRODIGAL SON PRECEDES THIS & THIS ONE OF STEWARD IS LINKED. 16:1 SAYS “JESUS WAS ALSO SAYING”

I.                  BACKGROUND

A.   THE FACTS—AT FIRST IT SEEMS JESUS APPROVES OF THIS STEWARD’S DISHONETY. IT COULD HAVE BEEN A TRUE STORY. THE GRK WORD “STEWARD” HERE LIKELY MEANS “ESTATE MANAGER”—HE WAS IN CHARGE OF BUYING/SELLING MASTER’S GOODS. BUT THINGS GOT OUT OF CONTROL. THE STEWARD WAS “WASTING” (SAME WORD USED OF PRODIGAL SON)—(PAD EXPENSE A/C; MEALS; TRIPS)—LIKELY THIS GOING ON FOR SOME TIME. PERHAPS WHEN OWNER FINALLY CHECKED BOOKS (AUDIT) HE FOUND HIM OUT. SO HE TOLD STEWARD TO “GIVE ACCOUNT”—THAT MEANT TURN IN THE BOOKS—YOU’RE FIRED! FROM THAT POINT ON EVERYTHING THE STEWARD DID WAS ILLEGAL—NOT BINDING ON MASTER. NORMALLY IN MIDDLE EAST THERE WOULD BE SOME NEGOTIATION—STEWARD MAKE DEFENSE & GET FAMILY OR FRIENDS TO SPEAK FOR HIM—BUT HE WAS SILENT.  NOW THE STEWARD MUST ACT WITH LITTLE TIME TO DO IT. HE WAS TOO WEAK/LAZY TO DIG—HE DIDN’T WANT TO BEG (HONOR) & HE WASN’T BLIND/LAME—HE WANTED TO BE RECEIVED INTO HOMES—THAT WAS AN IDIOM THAT MEANT “GET ANOTHER JOB” “MANAAGE ANOTHER ESTATE”-AT THIS POINT NO ONE KNOWS HE IS FIRED—NOT EVEN THE SERVANTS. SO HE CALLS EACH DEBTOR INDIVIDUALLY TO COME—THEY THINK HE STILL HAS AUTHORITY & HAS A MESSAGE FROM MASTER. SO THE STEWARD DOES SOME CREATIVE BOOKKEEPING—“PREPARING FOR JUDGMENT”—EACH DEBTOR IS ASKED ABOUT HIS BALANCE DUE—THEN HE SIGNS A DOCUMENT AGREEING TO A REDUCED AMOUNT—THESE ARE LARGE REDUCTIONS! (50 MEASURES OF OIL WAS WAGES FOR 1 ½ YRS) NOW THE DEBTORS GO BACK TO VILLAGE & SHARE THEIR GOOD NEWS WITH FAMILY/FRIENDS—THERE IS A CELEBRATION FOR THE GENEROUS MASTER & HIS STEWARD WHO THEY THINK CONVINCED THE MASTER TO MAKE THE REDUCTIONS. NOW THE MASTER HAS TWO CHOICES:

1.     GO TO VILLAGE & EXPLAIN REDUCTIONS WERE NOT AUTHORIZED—STEWARD WAS FIRED AND HAD NO LEGAL RIGHTS—THAT WOULD KILL CELEBRATION FOR HIS GENEROSITY

2.     BE QUIET—PAY PRICE FOR DISHONEST STEWARD & KEEP REPUTATION AS GENEROUS MAN. HE COULD HAVE JAILED THE STEWARD OR SOLD HIM & FAMILY AS SLAVES

SO STEWARD GAMBLED ON GENEROSITY OF MASTER. HIS ACTIONS WERE WRONG BUT HE HAD CONFIDENCE IN THE MASTER’S GRACE. THE COMMUNITY WILL NOT TRUST HIM BUT WILL EMPLOY HIM—THEY WANT HIM TO WORK FOR THEM NOT AGAINST THEM—SO HE CAN BE WATCHED. (EX: ABE LINCOLN SAID HE WANTED THOSE OPPOSED TO HIM TO WORK FOR HIM TO KEEP AN EYE ON THEM.

B.   THE POINT:  IT APPEARS FROM V.9 JESUS APPROVES THE STEWARD’S BEHAVIOR—WORD WISE IS REF. TO GODS WISDOM. THE STEWARD’S SITUATION WAS DEPERATE & HE PREPARED FOR IT. SO JESUS’ DISCIPLES SHOULD SEE DEATH/JUDGMENT ARE COMING—LIVE WISELY BUT USE RESOURCES WISELY—TRUST GODS MERCY AS PRODIGAL SON DID (LK 15)—USE RESOURCES TO GAIN ETERNAL BLESSINGS—HELP AN  UNBELIEVER FIND CHRIST OR HELP A BELIEVER IN NEED. WE SHOULD TAKE KINGDOM WORK AS SERIOUS AS WORLD TAKES GETTING AHEAD.

C.   PARABLE OF CONTRAST:  THE WORLDS WAY OF DOING THINGS CLASHES WITH GODS WAY (V.8) SO JESUS SAID “LAERN A LESSON”—IF PEOPLE OF THIS WORLD CAN PROVIDE FOR A FUTURE THAT WONT LAST—USE THEIR ENERGY/RESURCES TO SECURE THAT FURTURE WHAT SHOULD BE TRUE OF CHILDREN OF KINGDOM?  HOW MUCH MORE!YES THIS MAN DID PLAN & WORK HARD AT HIS PURPOSE. WE SHOULD BE MORE COMMITTED—WE CANT AFFORD DIVIDED LOYALTY (V.13)—CANT SERVE GOD & MONEY. THE STEWARD WAS MOTIVATED BY EARTHLY THINGS—JESUS’ FOLLOWERS MOTIVATED BY RIGHTEOUSNESS

II.               HOW CAN WE APPLY THIS PARABLE?

A.   INVEST MORE IN PEOPLE THAN THINGS:  THE STEWARD USED PEOPLE FOR HIS OWN NEEDS. BELIEVERS USE RESOURCES TO BRING BLESSINGS TO PEOPLE. THE STREWARD BETRAYED THE TRUST THE MASTER PUT IN HIM. HE MISUSED WHAT WAS NOT HIS. THE MONEY WE THINK IS OURS IS NOT. WE TOO ARE STEWARDS HOLDING IT IN TRUST. HOW WE MANAGE WORLDS GOODS DETERMINES WHETHER WE ARE ENTRUSTED WITH TRUE WEALTH. IF WE ARE SLAVE TO WORLD WE CANT BE SLAVE TO GOD.  LIKE THE STEWARD WE CAN USE WHAT WE HAVE ON OURSELVES OR USE IT TO FURTHER GODS KINGDOM  (EX: SOMEONE GOING TO BIBLE COLLEGE; MSSION WORK; CLOTHING OR FOOD NEEDS; TEACHING SOMEONE IN YOUR HOME. OUR ATTITUDE SHOULD BE ETERNAL—LAYING UP TREASURE IN HEAVEN (EX: MAN HELPED NAT KING COLE’S WIFE)

B.   INVEST MORE IN THE SOUL THAN THE BODY: THE STEWARD WAS CONCERNED WITH PHYSICAL SECURITY MORE THAN THE INTEGRITY OF HIS SOUL. HE DID WHAT HE NEEDED TO SAVE HIMSELF—NO MATTER WHO GOT HURT (MASTER HAD PLENTY ANYWAY) TODAY THERE IS MUCH EMPHASIS ON PHYSICAL—YES THAT IS IMPORTANT BUT THE SOUL IS MORE IMPORTANT.  (EX: RICH MAN’S DREAM) TRUTH IS MOST OF US CAN HELP OTHERS EVEN IF IT IS IN SMALL WAYS

C.   INVEST MORE IN ETERNITY THAN TOMORROW: JESUS SAID THERE ARE SOME THINGS THAT LAST &SOME THAT DON’T—ALL THIS WORLD IS PASSING AWAY BUT THE ONE WHO DOES THE WILL OF GOD LIVES FOREVER. (1 JOHN 2:17)—INVEST IN THINGS THAT REALLY COUNT FOR ETERNITY.  THE STEWARD MADE SOME NECESSARY CHANGES SO BELEIVERS MUST MAKE SOME CHANGES.  THOSE WHO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS SHOW GENUINE CONCERN FOR THEIR CUSTOMERS—THIS STEWARD REDUCED DEBTS BECAUUSE HE WAS LOOKING OUT FOR HIMSELF NOT BECAUSE HE CARED ABOUT THEM.

CONCLUSION: (EX: CHILD & PENNY)  JESUS CALLS US TO HIGHER STANDARDS. IT IS WISE TO GIVE UP WHAT WE THINK IS IN OUR BEST INTEREST TO DO THE RIGHT THING & SERVE THE INTERESTS OF OTHERS. PEOPLE WILL KNOW WE ARE FOLLOWERS OF JESUS IS WE SHOW LOVE TO ONE ANOTHER. OH YES WHAT DID THE MAN DO WITH THE ALL THAT MONEY HE FOUND IN FRONT OF HIS HOUSE?  HE KEPT IT FOR AWHILE & THEN THREW IT AWAY—LIKE YOU WOULD HAVE. AFTER ALL YOU CAN NEVER SECURE YOUR FUTURE WITH OLD, WORN OUT MONOPOLY MONEY!

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