Lessons From The Shrewd

Part One

Passover and Easter Morning

Question: Who doesn’t love a shrewd business deal?

The Story

As he neared Jerusalem, Jesus told a parable about a manager who was stealing from his master and got fired for it. Dreading manual labor and/or street begging, he chose collusion with men who were in debt to the master. He reduced the amounts they owed by manipulating the books, in anticipation of a job offer. 

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When the master heard about it, he commended him, in the way shrewd people do when they recognize shrewdness in others. Jesus said the people of the world were more shrewd with their own kind than the people of light. He was talking about those who love money more than they love God. People who make money their master. “You cannot serve God and money,” said Jesus.

The Pharisees, who were listening to the parable didn’t like what they heard because they loved money, (Luke 16:1-15). Jesus said that in their hearts money was their god. They loved the things of men.

The parable illustrated how the people of light should live for God’s honor. His children need not to be idle, undisciplined, or indifferent. Like the shrewd manager, we need to apply ourselves with purpose and intentionality for the pursuit of his glory.

The Applications

It says on our money, “In God We Trust.” Was that imprinted on our currency so we would put our trust in God and not in money? Is it working?

Money isn’t bad, is it? Paul didn’t say money was evil, just the love of money. Do you love money?  Do you dream about the things of the world; and having everything?

Take a moment to take this heart exam:

  1. When God looks into your heart, what does he see?
  2. Can you say that loving God is the most important aspect of your life?
  3. If you are trying to serve two masters, which one are you serving the most?
  4. Is the admiration of others more important to you than God’s approval?

 

Money can be a tough topic for American Christians. We are genetically predisposed to success, consumerism, and materialism. Does all of that harmonize with Jesus?

Most of us work for a living. We have families to feed. I like what someone said, “Money isn’t everything but it does buy our food.” Work is a good and Godly thing. 

Financial independence may not be our goal, but we still seem thrilled to make more and more money. It’s our measure of success. It’s how the world values winning. Why is that?

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How much of what we spend our money on is influenced by the world telling us how to spend our money? Are we running full speed, with both hands full of cash, just aching to hand it over to someone who can thrill and fulfill us?  Why is that? 

In Closing

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At the moment of his death, the Lord of Lords and King of Kings owned nothing. His net worth was nothing. He had no land, farms, or houses, not even a time share on the Mediterranean. He had a robe, but that was stripped off and claimed by the luckiest gambler. 

But that’s our world: people arguing, fighting, and wagering over a blood soaked robe. 

Look for Part Two: Passover and Easter Morning

Shalom

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