devotion 3-19-15

Good Morning!

Luke 16:10 – 13

10“Whoever is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and whoever is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much. 11If then you have not been faithful with the dishonest wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? 12And if you have not been faithful with what belongs to another, who will give you what is your own? 13No slave can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”

Jesus continues to teach from the parable he has just told – the steward had been discovered being dishonest with his master’s money; he resolves the situation with more dishonesty. But these sayings have broader application. We live our lives in the day-to-day decisions we make, more than in the large ones. Quoting Fred Craddock (Interpretations Bible Commentary: Luke), “The life of a disciple is one of faithful attention to the frequent and familiar tasks of each day, however small and insignificant they may seem. The one faithful in today’s nickels and dimes is the one to be trusted with the big account, but it is easy to be indifferent toward small obligations while sincerely believing oneself fully trustworthy in major matters.” One who has not been faithful in a little, cannot be trusted with a lot; one who has not been faithful with false riches – the material wealth of this world – can hardly be trusted to have the true riches of God’s kingdom. One who puts the acquisition of wealth above his or her own honesty, above kindness and love of others, above God, is worshiping wealth, even while claiming to be Christian. That person has made wealth his or her master, and one cannot serve two masters. The slave who attempts to do so hates, or resents, one and loves the other. For if wealth is the master, then the person will resent God’s asking for a portion of it, or asking that it be used for God’s work. Let’s say this another way – if your personal worth is all tied up in what you have in the bank, or in material possessions (who has the “best” boat or automobile, for example), you will resent giving your portion to God; you will never know the joy of giving, of generosity, but will feel resentful of the church for asking you to share. Jesus concludes by saying, “You cannot serve God and wealth.”

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