Stewarding God's Resources

John Tilton

"Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. 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 (16:10-11)
As I read from the beginning of chapter 16, the scenario is that the shrewd manager is in the process of being fired by the rich man. We know that the shrewd manager goes to the rich man's debtors and makes a deal to accept payment that is written down to a value less then what is owed, if they agree to make those payments. They agree, thus both finding favor with the rich man. Now, one would say, what gives?

Well, in researching and reading further, I find that in Mosaic Law, Israelites were not able to charge one another interest. Thus, merchants usually overcharged for goods and services in lieu of interest. By negotiating with the debtors, the shrewd manager knew what would be acceptable to the rich man in terms of the money collected. The rich man probably got his original value minus the interest.

Thus, although we look at the shrewd manager as still not being forthright and totally honest in his actions, he knew how to use the ways and principles of the time to accomplish what the rich man expected of him. The shrewd manager actually was trustworthy in serving the rich man.
I feel that the lesson God has for me here is to in fact redeem and use the principles, systems and experience of the corporate world that I've learned that are not illegal or conflicting with the Word and will of God, for His eternal purposes. Furthermore, if I was trustworthy to do my best in business when I was in the corporate world, why not more so in serving God in full time ministry?

We all find ourselves in a difficult economical pickle in Hawaii and the nation. This economic storm has and will permeate our families and ministries as well. Thus, it is so important that we steward and are trustworthy in our personal finances, our business finances and most of all our ministry finances. We have a huge responsibility in leadership to steward God's money and resources as best we can. This is the trustworthiness that God is asking of us. How are we spending and stewarding God's money and resources as we go about ministry?
Lord, I am so honored to serve you in ministry. You blessed me in my secular corporate career. Now as I serve you in ministry, may I always be mindful of the highest level of stewardship I need to operate by and instill in others so that we are getting the best return on your resources. May I not take for granted what you have given us to operate by. May I be discerning and wise in how I manage the church's money and resources. May I also be trustworthy in my character and principles, knowing that you can then multiply all that you've entrusted to me as a leader and exponentially multiply it ten times over to do more and go further in taking your gospel forth.

Devotions for October 03

Ezra 5,6
Psalm 138
Luke 16

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