Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm19980930.htm
LUKE: GOSPEL OF CERTIFYING THE CHRISTIAN FAITH
Part LIV: The Credibility Of Christ Viewed From His Idea That Man's Money SERVE God's Interests
Lesson: Jesus was NOT a money-greedy false religious leader, but like the CREDIBLE Servant of God He was, (1) He candidly acknowledged that money was a truly INFLUENTIAL force on human outlook and behavior. He then (2) practiced and admonished others to FORCE money to be MASTERED for GOD'S interests or risk getting caught in money's mastership of GREED.
- One of the marks of a false cultic leader can often be his unrighteous greed for money. Paul says of such men that many of them peddle their teachings for profit , 2 Cor. 2:17 NIV. (cf. also 1 Tim. 6:5, 6-11)
- Thus, we should expect Jesus to have a non-greedy viewpoint of money if He is truly God's Messiah.
- Luke 16:1-13 reveals Jesus' view of correctly handling money, and offers applications for our lives as well:
- The Credibility Of Christ Viewed From His Idea That Man's Money SERVE God's Interests.
- Luke's Gospel was written to reveal the credibility of the Christian faith to Theophilus, Luke 1:3-4.
- In doing so, Luke wrote of Jesus' view that man should RESPECT the influence money has on humans so as to strive not to SERVE money, but make money SERVE God's interests as follows:
- Lesson One - Jesus taught that since money carries influence on human behavior, his followers should use their access to money to make its influence win people to God's Kingdom, Luke 16:1-9.
- Jesus told a fascinating parable of a hired manager who acted deceptively with his master's money: upon being told that he was to be fired for sloppily handling his master's accounts (Lk. 16:1-2), the steward shrewdly contacted his mas ter's debtors, settling their debts at a fraction of the debt in order to make friends with them and open possible future job opportunities with these debtors, Lk. 16:3-7.
- The master recognized that he had been defrauded the money, but recognized the shrewdness in the steward's move to secure a future for himself in his dishonesty, Luke 16:8a.
- Without complimenting the steward's dishonesty, Jesus complimented the principle of the way this parable illustrates how often ungodly people make money build bridges of rapport with others unlike the lack of God's people to do the same, Luke 16:8b.
- Accordingly, Jesus urged His disciples to make what access we have to this life's money work to SERVE the eternal interests of God in our rapport with others, Luke 16:9
- Lesson Two - Jesus taught that since money carries influence on human behavior, his followers should see that God views the way they handle what money of the world they control as the signal of whether He can entrust them with spiritual influence and opportunities to disciple, 16:10-11. Thus, we do well to get our finances in using the world's money in order if we would expect God feel He can assign to us great personal opportunities and influence in discipling, Luke 16:12. (B.K.C., N.T., p. 246)
- Lesson Three - Jesus taught that since money carries influence on human behavior, one serves either GOD or money as exclusive MASTERS! We are to make up our minds to serve the interests of God or see that we will surely fall prey to heeding our greed, and money will them master us, Luke 16:13!
Application: (1) We must accept the idea that money has a great INFLUENCE on any human's behavior, and thus (2) strive to USE that influence PRODUCTIVELY. (a) Namely, we should USE money to influence people for God's Kingdom rather than ignore its influence altogether. (b) Namely, we should show God we mean business in serving Him by using what money we AL READY POSSESS for HIS glory, knowing that God will view that management as a test as to how much He can entrust to us more SPIRITUALLY influential gifts, offices and opportunities of serving Him! (c) Because money has influence, we should view money as a REAL potential threat to CONTROL us for the WORSE, and submit to GOD as our Master to escape money's control!