Sermon Summary for Trinity 9, August 2, 2015 (Luke 16:1-9)  

 1He also said to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was wasting his possessions.

There are two amazing points in this verse.  1.) God is rich and 2.) You are a manager of those gifts and called to manage them well.

God is Rich

God is rich.  He has more health to give than you have sickness.  He has more peace to give than you have conflict.  He loves to give and has more forgiveness and kindness to give than you have sin, doubt and despair.  If you don’t have it, it’s because He hasn’t given it – not because He doesn’t have it.  This truth is a call to faith.  One, that He will not run out of resources and two, that all that stuff that you have or that you don’t have is His to begin with and He will give it according to His good and gracious and loving will.

You are a Manager to Use Your Gifts to God’s Glory and the Benefit of Your Neighbor

You are not the owner, you are a steward, a manager, of everything.  Everything from all the money you have, the children and wife you have been given, and even down to your little pinky toe.  Your little pinky toe does not belong to you because you deserved it, but it is given to you by a rich God who loves pinky toes and calls us to use our pinky toes, as long as we have them, to His glory and the benefit of our neighbor.  He who gives you eyes, ears, hands, mouth and rusty, but working old cars, is the Rich One and you are the steward.

That means that you are called to use your eyes, ears, hands, mouth and rusty old car the way that He desires.  Picking up a neighbor who doesn’t have a ride to the grocery store with the rusty old car is using the gift wisely.  Driving it to the mall to buy your 3rd big screen TV in a week is misusing and mismanaging the rusty car in greedy fashion.

Managers Have to Give An Account

Tomorrow is entirely in His hands and on one of those tomorrows we will be called from this life to stand before His throne. And you know what? Every one of us will leave this world carrying out exactly as much as we brought into it: not a blessed thing!  2And he called him and said to him, ‘What is this that I hear about you? Turn in the account of your management, for you can no longer be manager.’  Because nothing is ours, we will have to give everything that we have been given back to the Master and will have give an account.  Have we misused our time?  Have we allowed ourselves to hear with those gifted ears and say with those gifted mouths things that the Master did not desire?  Was the rusty old car ever parked at a place that it shouldn’t have been parked?  Was every dollar given to us used to support the preaching of the gospel, support our family or to alleviate the sufferings and hardships of those who are poorer and more disadvantaged than ourselves?

On that day of accounting, we won’t be surrounded by our stuff, but we will be surrounded by the people whom we have blessed or abandoned in their need.

Be Clever With these Gifts

The call from this text is to be clever with what you have been given.  Be a good manager and steward.  The world is good at managing wealth for its benefit, now you be good at managing your gifts for the benefit of others.  The master commended the unjust steward because he had dealt shrewdly. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light. 9 “And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon, that when you fail, they may receive you into an everlasting home.

Some of the Uses of These Gifts are Temporary While Others are Eternal

Young ones, as dedicated as you are to video games, be all the more dedicated to honoring mother and father and praying and memorizing a Bible verse a week.  To all ages, as disciplined as you are to watching your favorite TV show, be at least that disciplined in praying and reading the Bible.  As focused as you are to setting aside money for the new iPhone, purse, home improvement or vacation, be at least that focused on setting aside 10% for the preaching of the gospel in this church and in the mission field. Husbands, as much as you sacrifice for your work or for cheering for your favorite team, be at least that willing to sacrifice yourself for your wife and children.  Wives, as respectful as you are to your gym date, time at the mall, or your new diet, be at least that respectful in honoring your husband.  As well as you know Beyonce, Bon Jovi or Big and Rich who speak of things below, know at least that many Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs that sets your minds on things above.  It’s not as if all these things are bad, it’s just that we have to confess that there are things that are better and should be more important.  The first in the list are things that we will not have after we die, that is, they will be things that fail.  The second on the list are things that last.  There are things that only bless us temporarily and there are things that bless others eternally.  Be wise and clever in your use of gifts for the benefit of eternity.

You are Children of the Light

You are children of the light.  Jesus is the Light of the World and He and He alone has won the right for you to share His heavenly home. He, who never mismanaged anything entrusted to Him by His Father, but offered His entire life as one great sacrifice to God, wiped out the debt of our sin and restored to all who believe and are baptized into Him the joy of being beloved children of the heavenly Father. He is the One who by His suffering and death has opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.  He is rich and continues to give His gifts today – eternal gifts – gifts that forgive us for our mismanagement and strengthen us for proper management.

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