Lessons Of A Lifetime

Cooking The Books
Or
Giving An Account

Sunday Jan. 16, 2022

Scripture To Consider:
“And Jesus said to His disciples; ‘There was a certain rich man who had a steward, and an accusation was brought to him that this man was wasting his goods. So he called him and said to him, “What is this that I hear about you? Give an account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward.” Then the steward said within himself. “What shall I do? For my master is taking the stewardship away from me. I cannot dig; I am ashamed to beg. I have resolved what to do, that when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.”’

“So he called every one of his master’s debtors to him, and said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ And he said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ So he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ So he said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ And he said to him, ‘Take your bill and write eighty.’ So the master commended the unjust steward because he had dealt shrewdly. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light.”

“And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon, that when you fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations. He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much, and he who is unjust in what is least is also unjust in much. Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?”

“And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own? No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”                      Luke 16.1-13

Something To Consider:
Jesus was not sanctioning servants stealing from their master. Then what was Jesus declaring in this parable? This servant was wasting his master’s goods. We are also told that the servant was made to give an account of his evil handling of his master’s money. Paul wrote in Romans 14.12, “So then each of us shall give an account of himself [or herself] to God.” Will we be found to be good stewards or evil stewards of what our Master has placed in our care?

Maybe we should consider what God has placed into our care! Speaking of spiritual gifts, Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 12.8-10, “For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith, to another gifts of healing, working of miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, tongues, and the interpretation of tongues.”

Paul, after completing his spiritual gifts list, declared in verse 12; “But one and the same Spirit, works all these things, distributing to each one individually, as He [God] wills.” Paul wrote as if all true believers are gifted by God with a spiritual gift. Will we be found cooking the books or unashamedly be willing to give an honest account of our earthly stewardship?

Something Else To Consider:
In our Scripture to consider, even in his dealing with those who owed his master money, we see that the steward did not keep good records. For he had to ask each of his master’s debtors, “How much do you owe my master?” So, he was at least wasteful and much lacking in good and careful bookkeeping.

What will be said on our behalf at the judgment seat of Christ? Will that which will be presented condemn us of unforgiven sin when we are called to give an account of our earthly lives? Will we be found having been faithful in that which God placed in our charge and under our personal care?

Will we be found having been deceitful in our dealings with others? Or will we be found having been deceived by false prophets peddling their false and error-filled demonic doctrines and traditions of men? Will we be found faithful in the manifestations of whatever spiritual gift God wills to bestow upon us? I truly hope so!

Something More To Consider:
Leaders in training must not overlook the spiritual importance of our being faithful in matters of money. According to Jesus, it appears that our handling of mammon or money has a direct connection to our being entrusted or not with greater future ministry opportunities.

Let us above all things, not be found cooking the books, or not keeping good records. But rather, let us be found faithful in the smallest of our duties while therefore allowing us to continue laying up treasure in heaven.

In relationship to biblical times, the average wage earner in America is extremely wealthy in comparison. Just the possession of that wealth requires us to be responsible stewards of that wealth. And yet, according to Psalm 37.16; “A little that a righteous man [or woman] has [or possesses] is better than the riches of many wicked.”

Psalm 37 is attributed to David, and in his follow-up to verse 16 in Psalm 37, David declared; “The LORD knows the days of the upright [or righteous], and the inheritance shall be forever. They [the righteous in Christ] shall not be ashamed in the evil time, and in the days of famine that shall be satisfied. But the wicked shall perish; and the enemies of the LORD, like the splendor of the meadows, shall vanish. Into smoke they shall vanish away.”

Therefore, where is our treasure? Is it in the vanishing away things of this earth? Or is our treasure laid up in eternal things? There is an evil end time coming, and an evil end time Antichrist. Will we be found ashamed in the end? Or will we be found by Jesus to be faithful enduring to the end true believers in the truth of God’s Word?

A Few Final Words:
The writer of Proverbs wisely proclaimed in chapter 11; “The integrity of the upright [righteous] will guide them, but the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them. Riches do not profit in the day of wrath [final judgment], but righteousness delivers from death.” In other words, financial riches and earthly wealth cannot gain us access into eternity or guarantee us safe passage into eternity. But, the righteousness of Jesus Christ will guide and direct the steps of a faithful man, woman, or young person through the narrow gate into eternity.

Solomon continued in verse 5 of chapter 11, by stating; “The righteousness of the blameless will direct his [or her] way aright, but the wicked will fall by his [or her] own wickedness. The righteousness of the upright will deliver them, but the unfaithful will be caught by their lust [or love of money and wealth].”

The faithful or foolish handling of finances and earthly wealth is a direct indication of our spiritual maturity, and it is a true test of whether we can be entrusted with greater kingdom riches such as the responsibility of rightly handling or communicating the truth of the Word of God.

For according to Jesus, “Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?”

Prayer:
Our Father in heaven, teach us the important lesson of faithfulness with finances and spiritual gifts You have granted to us. Make of us good and faithful stewards of all we possess in Christ Jesus. In Him Always, Amen!

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