Scripture: Luke 16:1-15

''Then Jesus turned to His desciples and said, ''A certain wealthy man had a manager who was accused of fraud and waste. So the owner called the manager in and asked him, 'What's this I hear about you? We'd better call in the auditors to check the accounts. If it's true that you have defrauded the company, I'll have to let you go.' Then the manager said to himself, 'What am I going to do? When the auditors look at the books and discover what I did, I'll be fired! Then where will I go to find another job? I'm too old to dig ditches, I won't qualify for unemployment, and it's just too embarrassing to beg.' He thought a minute, then said, 'I know what I'll do! I'll obligate some people to me so that when I'm dismissed, they'll gladly be my friends and support me!' So he called everyone who owed the company money and said to the first one who came, 'How much do you owe the company?' He replied, 'eight hundred gallons of olive oil.' Then the manager said, 'Let me have your bill and I'll change it to say four hundred.' When the next person came, the manager said to him, 'How much do you owe the company?' He said, 'one thousand bushels of wheat.' The manager said, 'Here, let's see your bill. I'll change it to read eight hundred.' When the owner of the company heard about this, he called the manager in an complimented him on his forethought and his shrewdness in planning ahead, then he fired him. It's amazing how clever secular people are when it comes to planning for the future.'' Then Jesus turned back to the Pharisees and said, ''You need to be God's friends and secure your future in heaven as is manager did in securing his future on earth. Whoever can be trusted with little can also be trusted with much, and the person who is dishonest in secular things will also be dishonest in spiritual things. If you can't be trusted to handle someone else's money which has no eternal value, how can you be trusted to handle spiritual riches which last forever? I you can't manage the things that belong to one man, how can you expect someone else to hire you to manage things for him? You can't serve two masters and love them both; you'll have to decide for one or the other. You cannot serve God and money.'' This really bothered some of the Pharisees, especially those who loved being rich. So when Jesus finished talking to them, they made fun of him because He was poor. ''All you're doing,'' Jesus said, ''is trying to justify yourselves in front of these people. But God knows your hearts, and that which is so important to you means nothing to Him.''


Notes:

I've seen this whole thing happen many times. Perhaps not directly, but I still know it's there. It's not just in people who are wealthy, but it's present everywhere. In this parable, the manager has done something wrong and it's going to ruin him, so he tries to get in with other people so when he's punished, he will have some solid ground. However, he only did good to save himself. Making fake friendships and an image for yourself won't mean anying once you're gone. Everything you care about that's worldly will disappear and you can't do anything about it. You have to ask for God to take care of you and help you see the difference between what brings you to Him and what takes you away. when you do things in the wrong so it looks like you're doing right, you'll be rewarded with suffering according to your actions. But that may be for the best. I'm sure I'm guilty of this, since I've done good things just to make people notice. I realized it was wrong a long time ago, but I think I'm still doing it. I'm not happy about it. I would rather have very little and be extremely faithful than have a lot and be worldly. It really bothers me how people will be jerks, and then when they're caught be someone they care about, they pretend to be good so they can still have what they want. You can't have two masters. Satan works through greed, which is obvious in today's world. It's not just with money. It's with everything. We're human, so we don't love things equally. We don't love people equally. In short, you can't walk with Jesus and hold hands with satan and the world. The world will hate you for doing right, and you'll hate youself for doing good with a heart of wrong. Nothing here will save you. It's temporary. The only way out is to trust Jesus. He's already earned your trust many times over in ways you can't even imagine. Just let go of what's holding you back from Him, wether it's the world, your supposed friends, guilt, fear, everything. He's not about to leave you, wether you like it or not. Might as well give Him a chance.