Thursday, September 17, 2015

The Meaning of the Parable of the Steward and Why Money Matters- Day 17: Thirty Day Meditations to Abundant Life!

The first thing Jesus said that His mission was all about, was "preaching the gospel to the poor" (Luke 4:18). I find it so strange that today we hardly know what to tell the poor. We either try to redefine what it means to be "poor" - and speak about them being "poor" in this or that way, but steer clear of the world's universally recognized definition of being poor - or we'll opt to redefine what the "gospel" is by going to genuinely poor people with vague talk of repenting, confession and adopting doctrines ignoring the elephant in the room that they are hungry, cold and in dire straits. But Jesus' mission, so clearly accounted for by the gospel writers, was to proclaim good news... to poor people.

Courtesy of Sharron Drummond (Modified by D.R.)
So what is good news to the poor? Take a moment to think about that. When Jesus spoke about the sparrows and lilies of the field, His message was unmistakable - all people, rich or poor, can depend on the Lord to meet their needs in a real and tangible way. That's good news! God is saying "Depend on Me and I will meet all your needs and do far more you can imagine. Depend on Me now for today and tomorrow's needs - I am your Shepherd, and My sheep neither lack nor want!"

The thing is, most of us will come to this realization and then do nothing. We just carry on because we're not sure just how to incorporate this truth in everyday matters. Are we missing something? In all the Bible, you probably know that there is only instance where the Lord challenges the people to test Him (Mal 3:10). That is the challenge for us to give money away.

"Cast your bread upon the waters, for after many days you will find it again." 
Ecc 11:1 - written by the riches man to have ever lived: Solomon

There's a reason too that Jesus spoke about money so much, even more than heaven. It's because money matters on this side of eternity, no matter how tiny and seemingly vain our earthly existence in comparison to our true and eternal home in God's country is. That's why Jesus took His time to expound it's secrets. He wanted us to break free from both the lack and love of money; poverty is a curse and the love of money is a destructive idol. We tend to think we should ignore money, or worse, even hate it but that's not Jesus' teaching. In fact, if anything, I believe the Bible in many places teaches us to how to increase our incomes. But the secret to defeating both the enemy of poverty and lack in our lives on the one hand and the greed and love of money that promises us all that God does on the other, is to love giving and using money in this world, for His kingdom. 

Love being generous. Love using money to bless people. 

Jesus once told a great and very misunderstood parable in Luke 16. There are life-changing secrets in this parable. Here is my modern retelling of this amazing story; there was a businessman who found out that an accountant of his was mismanaging his funds, or perhaps even embezzling them. When the accountant got wind of this, being sure he would be fired, he quickly approached all the clients who owed his boss money and drastically reduced their debts. The bottom line - he gave his boss' money away - it wasn't even his! So when the boss found out, he actually praises the fellow. Now, I'm thinking that this businessman was proud of this accountant... "Finally, you get the point! Prioritize people not profit and use money to do that." Though, I still find it strange for a human boss to praise an employee for scandalously reducing his client's debts! That's because I believe the boss in this parable is a picture of our Father.

In the words that followed, Jesus spoke of the flow of money in our lives, as something that really wasn't ours nor was of any eternal value - it was what He called 'unrighteous mammon'. He advised us to freely use this money - by blessing people with it - so that we'd be welcome in our 'eternal abode'. In other words, being generous here will leave people grateful to you for eternity! They will remember how your generosity was a heavenly provision and they will welcome you on that grand day when you enter your true and eternal home.

I think there is nothing like the issue of provision and money to get your faith worked up. It's so easy to be challenged today and step in a lifestyle of faith, simply by exercising the muscle of faith in finances. And that's a challenge I want to leave with you today. The believer who master's money by faith master's everything by faith and that's why it's important to live the abundant life.

See your money as something entrusted to you but not yours. Use it wisely. Don't be shy or afraid, instead be strong and courageous to test God freely and I am sure you shall never "out give" Him. I challenge you this day, to take a bold step in terms of your finances. See who the Lord wants you to give to you and go ahead, find people to bless financially and do it. This is especially challenging and especially good to do if you know that if you give away a certain sum, you won't have money for tomorrow's or next week's bills. Let's do this together and let me know how it goes... I expect greater things still!

Previous day's post: The Ark of the Covenant and what it really means - Day 16: Thirty Day Meditations to Abundant Life!

Want to know more about this subject? Check this out!

David Roiel
The Green Leaf Blog-Discover your inheritance!

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