The Responsibility of Life

Money is deadly.  I was perusing the headlines of MSNBC just today, and saw so many stories of trouble that had as their basis the issue of money.  A senator indicted, a stalled economy…as we drill down we read of killings during robberies and the heartbreak of those who’ve lost great sums of money.  We use money every day of our lives…do we ever stop to think about what a powerful force in this world it is?  It’s pretty important that we consider it now and anon.

We’re going to read Luke 16:10-18 this Sunday, and Jesus will go from telling a parable which uses commerce as a vehicle for truth, to actually talking about money and it’s place in our lives.

V10-12 transition from the story about how to live with eternity in mind, to v13, a warning about loyalties.  The over-arching idea is that of stewardship…of properly managing what God has entrusted to us…our time, talents, resources and money.  When we think of someone SERVING money, what do we normally think of?  Do we ever consider OURSELVES as people who serve money?  If we use serving God as a template, how would we define serving money, and what ways could we recognize this behavior in our own lives?

By v14, the Pharisees are upset (again….those guys were seriously no fun to be around).  Their reason for offense?  Their true religion was being challenged.  Jesus then launches into an expose of their fraudulent religious practices, culminating with v18.  PLEASE, don’t let v18 throw you…Jesus is making a point about heart-faithfulness, NOT a commentary on intricacies of human relationships.  I did a teaching in Mark 10 about Jesus’ sayings concerning the issue of divorce, I’d implore you to hear my whole argument before you make up your mind about v18.

Ok…well…we’ll see you Sunday, hopefully!

3 comments

  1. When I was young, every Christmas my father would load my brothers and I into the car and take us to an area of town along a river. Unless you looked for them you would never see the familes (that includes parents and children) living in shacks with dirt floors made of old wood, metal sheets, anything to lay on top of each other for shelter. He would bring them food and presents for Christmas. One day he told us that “As long as you have something to share with other who have less, you will never be poor.” I have never forgotten those days or what he said. I have shared this with my children as well.

  2. When I think of someone serving money, I think of a work-a-holic. Maybe someone who to the neglect of everything or everyone else is driven to get more and more. I can see it in my own life at times as well. Maybe there is something I just can’t live without for myself or my kids (yea only in America) but it plagues me until I get it. Maybe I try to work more to get the extra money to justify buying it or charge it or whatever. Thinking of this with serving God as the template, I am reminded of the scripture that says to love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul all your mind and all your strength. In other words, let our love for Him consume us. I guess this would be a good test for recognizing where our allegiences lie. Are we being consumed by a lust for more stuff, more money, etc. or by the concerns of His kingdom. What is driving my daily decisions? Challenging for sure…

  3. Wow, so much in these verses. Jesus (as he always does) cuts to the heart of the issue. As the great New York singer/poet Billy Joel puts it, “it’s all a matter of trust.” You show your trust by what/whom you serve. And as another singer/poet said, “you gotta serve somebody.” How many times have I said, “If I can only get a better job we’ll be fine,” as if The Job could supply all my needs. As if The Job knew me before I was created. As if The Job will consider my real needs, hopes and dreams. No, The Job is a selfish taskmaster. The Job cares about one thing and one thing only, The Job. Always asking more while holding out the hope that by giving of myself I might reach a place where I can finally relax and experience “success”. And every time I give up a piece of me, The Job moves the hope out of my reach and the process starts anew. It is the paradox of The American Dream. Yes, work is good. The Bible supports that. But work cannot be God; that is idolatry. Who has your heart, that is our common struggle.

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