Follow The Money - Luke 16:1-15
Jesus famous Sermon on the Mount:
“Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21 NIV
Look where your money (treasure) is at and then you’ll know where your affections (heart) lie. Jesus expanded his thinking and preaching on this topic, he came up with the parable we are going to examine today in Luke 16.
“There was a rich man whose manager was accused of wasting his possessions. So he called him in and asked him,”What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your management, because you cannot be manager any longer.’” Luke 16:1-2 NIV
When I follow my money…
1. Am I______________ in how I handle money?
“The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light.” Luke 16:8 NIV
Anyone else surprised? YES the manager was DISHONEST! And yet he is commended because he was SHREWD in his dishonesty! Then Jesus goes on to explain - comparison between people of this world (outsiders) more shrewd with money than people of the light (insiders). If you think that money is somehow evil, doesn’t matter, shouldn’t be a focus, because you are a Christ-follower, then you’d better read this again.
How you handle your money matters! You cannot be too spiritual to be concerned about the material world of money. Just the opposite. The more spiritual you are, the more you will want to be shrewd in handling your money! This is not a gift. This doesn’t come naturally. Must be learned.
Why is it important? Because how I handle my money shows where my priorities are. Am I focused more on life here and now or on eternity?
2. Am I_________________ in how I handle money?
“I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.” Luke 16:9 NIV
Jesus makes the connection here so suddenly, so dramatically that it’s easy to get lost in translation. You cannot BUY your way into Heaven, but you can demonstrate your heavenly mindedness by the way you handle your money here on Earth.
Consider this: Money itself is not eternal. Right? The very concept of money is based on the principles of economy. Economy is based on the idea of limited resources. God is not a god of limited resources. He is the Creator God, the maker of all that is. He is the gracious and generous God who owns the cattle on a thousand hills and He will supply your needs (Psalm 50:10). He is the God who will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19). What need does He have of money?
Money is for us. Money is our way of choosing in our limited resources to trust God in how He provides for me. Do I trust God or do I trust my money? The more money you have, the more this becomes an issue. In fact, God tells us that the way we know we can be trusted with much is how we can be trusted with little.
3. Am I ________________ in how I handle money?
“Whoever can be [trusted / dishonest] … can also be trusted [OR] will be dishonest…” Luke 16:10a NIV
Notice that the issue is never the amount. It is all about the trust. Is God the provider? Are the resources that I am given the result of my own hard work and effort, or are they the result of God’s blessings? Do I look at myself as the owner of my money or do I see myself as the steward handling God’s resources - for His glory and His purposes? How do we measure?
Three Q trust tests:
Q1. The ___Q___________ test.
“Whoever can be trust with very little can also be trusted with much and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” v. 10
When I tithe, I’m saying to God: “Look, You own everything. All I have is from You. I give you 10% right up front, not because You need it, but because I do. I need to remember. I need to trust.
Why Quantity test? Have you noticed that we never ever make the right quantity (amount) to tithe. We either make too little or too much - never ever the right amount. When we don’t make much we say to ourselves that 10% is way too much - we can’t live on 100%, let alone 90%. When we have a windfall and a great amount comes our way, we say, 10% of all that? I couldn’t possibly be expected to give God back THAT much.
The Quantity Test. That is why Jesus made such a big deal out of the widow who gave her two mites. Can we be trusted with a little? Then we can be trusted with much!
Q2. The ___Q_________ test.
“So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?” v 11
The second test is the Quality Test - understanding that how I handle my wealth in this world will help determine God’s level of trust in me in the next world. YES, we will have responsibilities in Heaven. Work! Great work! Work we love to do. This world here and now is just a test. How well do I handle things for my company, my family, my church? All these are good things, but temporary things, worldly riches. True riches are in the world to come!
Q3. The ___Q__________ test.
“And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property,
who will give you property of you own?” v 12
Quitclaim is a kind of title. It is the fastest and easiest way to change the title of my real estate to someone else’s ownership. Jesus is very clear. We have to prove ourselves. How well do we handle what has been entrusted to us now? Do we have a sense of ownership over everything in my name - or is this just another way of handling God’s resources. Yes, some he has given to me to take care of my family. But I need to be sensitive to the fact that He may have entrusted me to take care of someone else’s needs too.
All of which leads us to this final Question…
4. Am I_________________ in how I handle money?
“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” Luke 16:13 NIV
Jesus could not have stated it any clearer. I cannot serve both God and money. If money is the end game - my paycheck received for my work - then it’s not about God. On the other hand if God is the end of all my life, my work, my health, my finances, then money is just another way of serving Him. Is my money and how I use it an indicator of how loyal I am in my Christian faith to Christ?