AS NOW, SO THEN
"Jesus went on to make these comments, 'If you're honest in small things, you'll be honest in big things; If you're a crook in small things, you'll be a crook in big things; If you're not honest in small jobs, who will put you in charge of the store? No worker can serve two bosses. He'll either hate the first and love the second, or adore the first and despise the second. You can't serve God and the Bank.'" Luke 16:10-12 (The Message)
Women love to pride themselves on being able to multi-task! A fallacy except in the area of hands and mouth! However, Jesus insisted that there is no such thing as multi-tasking when it comes to loyalties. It's either or, not both and...
Although His comments were aimed primarily at the hypocritical religious leaders who prided themselves on their loyalty to the law, but in fact were hiding their greedy hearts behind their play-acting masks, Jesus was stating a universal and unchangeable principle. 'You can't fool God,' He said, 'because, if your loyalty is to your bank account, it automatically excludes God.'
That may be absolutely true on the surface but it actually hides a far deeper and more sobering truth than just applying to this life. Our attitude to our money and possessions in this life is the preparation for our level of responsibility in the God's eternal kingdom. The measure of our faithfulness now is the measure of what we will be entrusted with in the life to come. The NIV translation makes it even clearer, "'So, if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches. And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?'" Luke 16:11,12.
The implication of Jesus' statement is that what we have now is a trust from God, on loan as a test of our stewardship. The many parables He told about money and possessions all point to this same truth. In this life God entrusts us with His property in order to train us to use it wisely and to prepare us for our role in His eternal kingdom.
Why does God use something as 'worldly' as money to test the level of our spirituality? Why not love, or any of the other fruits of the Spirit? Why not the number people we have won to Jesus, the number of people we have discipled or even the spiritual gifts we have used faithfully and increased?
God is smart! He knows that our attitude to our money and possessions is the most accurate test of our love for Him. Nothing ensnares our hearts as much as the love of money. Where our treasure is, there our hearts will be. In this life only, we have opportunity to safeguard our treasure by investing it in the kingdom of God. Once we leave here, our apprenticeship is over.
Take Abraham, for example. God gave him a son after twenty five years of waiting - probably even longer - and how he must have treasured that boy! And then, of all things, God said, 'Kill him!' Abraham could have refused. 'God, are you crazy? Why give me a son and then demand him back in such a cruel way?' But Abraham never flinched, never questioned, never hesitated, He did what he was told. What was his core attitude? Trust!
Isn't that also the heart of our attitude to our money? After all, money represents our security. When we have money, we feel safe in spite of all the evidence to the contrary. When we let go of our trust in our bank account and place it in the security of God's faithfulness, we are set free to use our money instead of our money using us. It is a good servant but a bad master.
We cannot change the truth. As now, so then. If we want to enjoy the place in God's kingdom reserved for us, we must decide now who we will serve and who will master us. Beyond the grave is too late.
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