DIVINE ORDER and STEWARDSHIP… [A further look]


spiritual-blog-stewardship

Luke 16:1-13 – – R E A D

             Let’s turn our attention to the story of our text as we pick up where we left off in the last devotional.  In Chapter 16 of Luke, we find the parable of the “unjust steward” which our Lord used to challenge His followers to be faithful in Stewardship.  The word STEWARD comes from two Greek words ‘Oikos’ = house and ‘nemo’ = to distribute or dispense.  That means that a STEWARD is one who is charged with the administration of the affairs of the owner.  The STEWARD is a Manager, not an Owner.  I am reminded of Paul’s question to the Church at Corinth in 1 Corinthians 4:7, “And what do you have that you did not receive?”  All we have, including the very breath we have in our nostrils at this moment are a gift from God.

In the parable we find in 16:1 the steward is accused of wasting his master’s goods and squandering his master’s possessions.  That is a serious charge!  In 16:2 he is called into account and in 16:3 he is relieved of his position.  In 16:5-6 he goes to his master’s debtors and reduces their debt and in 16:8 the master commends for his shrewdness.  Some have found that part problematic but note the master DID NOT commend him necessarily for his actions but for his wisdom and shrewdness.  Jesus said, “The children of this age are wiser than the children of light.”  WHAT?  That should never be so.  This steward did a shrewd and if you will wise act after he had forfeited his position and gained friends who welcomed him into their habitations and trust because of his acts. Before we venture into a quagmire we cannot pull ourselves out of let’s focus on the relationship a believer is to have with money or finances.

The key word in addressing Stewardship is Faithfulness and that is seen in 16:9-13.  Paul tells us that a Steward must be Faithful – [1 Corinthians 4:1-2).  What was God’s declared purpose in BLESSING Abraham?  That he (Abraham) would be a blessing and through him all the families of the earth would be blessed.  We are Stewards the question is what kind?  We are charged with managing the affairs of the True Owner and this is a Divine Trust we have been charged with keeping.  If we remember that we are never owners but always stewards handing finances as God directs will be much easier.

If we consider OWNERSHIP we must realize that God owns it all.  The references to support that are too numerous to list.  The simple truth is that without heaven’s blessings the earth would perish.  We have rain, sunshine, dew, season, etc. without which we would have a planet that could not sustain life or provide what we need to survive.  We depend on God’s Blessings as individuals and as a people.  As we turn our attention to STEWARDSHIP we realize that we are Stewards and have a responsibility and accountability to God for all we have been given, what we have, and what we do with what we have.

There is a major problem that creeps into the heart of man regarding finances and that is COVETOUSNESS.  There are some fascinating revelations in scripture regarding money and money is probably one of the topics men are most sensitive about.  So, what is it about money that causes people to react that way?  In 1 Timothy 6:7-10 we discover that the LOVE of money is the root of all evil.  I did not say money but the LOVE of it or for it.  We have more warnings in the Gospels against money and its misuse than any other topic.  One verse in four in Matthew, Mark and Luke deal with money.  One verse in six in the New Testament references money.  Almost half the parables of Jesus referenced money in one way or other.  The first sin in Israel which brought defeat to the entire camp was MONEY as seen in Joshua 7:20-21.  The first apostle to fall was Judas.  He sold Jesus for money but never lived to spend it.  The first sin of the Early Church concerned money as is revealed in Acts 5:1-10.  The sin of ‘simony’ concerns money and seeking to buy the gifts of God with it as seen in Acts 8:14-24.  It is also worthy of note that the two words in the New Testament that have the numerical value of “666” are Wealth and Tradition.

Hear me carefully, God will never ask us to do what He does not or has not done.  He is the Greatest Giver of all.  He gave Himself and is Love and Love’s chief characteristic is GIVING.

I want to address this a little further but will pause here and hold those thoughts until next time.  May the Lord greatly enrich you as you journey through this day in Him!

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