Money plays a large role in the lives of most people in the Western world. The contrast looms between the affluent person who needs to decide how to spend or invest money and the poor person who wonders how to earn enough money to live. Then there are those who have enough to live on but who are neither affluent nor poor.
In commenting on the parable of the unjust steward, Jesus reminds his followers not to allow the wealth of this world to corrupt them. He goes further as he calls upon his disciples to act honestly, both in terms of worldly wealth and spiritual wealth. Jesus ends this part of his teaching with a clear message: We must choose between God and money.
Money can easily rule our lives whether we are rich, poor, or in between. We become so concerned about what we have or don’t have that we neglect our spiritual welfare. When it comes to spending our time thinking about either money or our spiritual welfare, we can think of what God would want us to do.
Speaking on the subject of a “simple lifestyle,” a colleague once said that we often learn more by looking at the person who has less than the person who has more. Then we will not want more but be grateful for what we have been given. We are stewards of what God has given us. When we remember this, we turn toward God and find ourselves to be giving, loving people.
Loving and giving God, in our search for freedom from the love of material things help us to be good stewards of what you have given us. We are grateful for what we have received at your hand. Empower us through your Spirit to be giving and loving servants in the name of Jesus, our Lord. Amen.
The “weeping prophet” grieves for the plight of his people. They have provoked God’s judgment by following foreign gods, and now there is no comfort to be found. The psalmist cries out to God from a similar situation of despair. Foreign nations have overrun the land, destroyed Jerusalem, and killed many of its people. The psalmist cries out to God for compassion and restoration. The author of First Timothy gives his readers two commands. They should pray for and honor their leaders, and they should be faithful to the one true God, with whom they have a relationship through Christ Jesus. Jesus in Luke tells a strange parable about a dishonest manager who is commended for his shrewd business sense, but Jesus turns his story to a teaching about good stewardship.
Read Jeremiah 8:18–9:1. When have you called out to God in your distress?
Read Psalm 79:1-9. As you search after a solution to life’s problems, how do you demonstrate God’s call to love and to justice?
Read 1 Timothy 2:1-7. How do you pray for your local, state or province, and national leaders with whom you agree? with whom you disagree?
Read Luke 16:1-13. How do you negotiate the complexities of Jesus’ call to be a good steward of your resources as you seek to serve God rather than money?
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