28 November, 2005

Can God Trust You? (part 2)

Now let’s make sure we get this straight before we move on.

God’s the owner, I’m the manager.
So therefore God has given me certain gifts, certain possessions,
He’s given me a certain amount of time,
He’s given me all these wonderful things
Of which He has high expectation that I will fulfill them and reach my potential.

Now the Second thing I want to Note in this story,
(the first was the Accountability of the Foolish Steward)

Now number two we will note:
The Assessment of the Foolish Steward.

The moment that this unwise manager realizes that he is going to lose his job, look at what he says in verse three.
He makes an assessment of where he was.LK 16:3 "The manager said to himself, `What shall I do now? My master is taking away my job. I’m not strong enough to dig, and I’m ashamed to beg--
Now this guy he realizes he’s in trouble.
The owner has come home and He hasn’t been doing the job.
He’s been lazy, or he’s been irresponsible, or whatever, but he hasn’t got the job done.
Have you ever been there?

He realizes he’s going to get fired, and now he has to decide what to do.
There are certain times when people are most likely to change.
One of those times is when they hurt enough that they have to change.
In this story, this guy is in that position, “He’s saying, I have to do something different, I’m getting fired.”He made a quick assessment and realized that he wasn’t doing what the master required.

The 3rd thing that we can note from this parable, that Jesus is teaching us, is:
The Action of the Foolish Steward.

Let’s look at the action of the foolish steward. v. 4-7
Luke 16:4-7 MKJV
4) I know what I will do, so that when I am put out of the stewardship they may receive me into their houses.
5) So he called every one of his lord's debtors and said; to the first, How much do you owe my lord?
6) And he said, A hundred baths of oil. And he said to him, Take your bill and sit down quickly and write fifty.
7) And he said to another, And how much do you owe? And he said, A hundred cors of wheat. And he said to him, Take your bill and write eighty.

It’s interesting to note, that when this owner comes home, fires the manager, he gives this manager some time to settle accounts, and in the settling of accounts you will notice what he did.
He sat down with these who owed his master, and he begins to cut down on what is owed. Now either this foolish manager had over charged them and was now giving them the legitimate amount owed, or maybe he was taking off the interest owed and going to the principle.
Regardless, he began to cut the prices down, for what ever reason.

There are four lessons we can learn from this story. And these are the Key to the message.First lesson we can learn from this story:
1) You and I are to use every opportunity wisely.
Let’s look at verse 8:
We see the Master praises the dishonest manager, but why would he praise a dishonest manager?
He did a bad job, why would he praise him for that?
Well, he didn’t praise him for the bad job he did.

The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly.
(Vs 8) For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light.
(9) I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.”
Why was this foolish steward commended after he had just been told he was fired?
He wasn’t commended for being dishonest,
He wasn’t commended for wasting months and maybe years of the master’s time and resources.
He was commended for the fact that once he realized there was a problem, He immediately took action to fix it.
Now this is very important.
Because many of us have done a poor job as stewards up to now.
You may be saying, you know Pastor, I’m sure God has given me gifts that I don’t use for His Kingdom.
I’m sure that I’m not really using my time for the Lord.
I’m positive that I haven’t settled this issue of who owns what concerning my possessions and my money…,
And maybe you’re sitting there today struggling with this and saying, “Wow, maybe I’m a foolish steward?”
Here’s the Good News!
Aren’t you glad for the Good News?

The good news is that God gives us another chance just like the owner gave this man a chance settle the issue, and to get the books right and the accounts right.
There’s a poem that goes something like this, “Though I can’t go back and make a brand new start my friend, anyone can start from now and make a brand new end.”

Hey, maybe you’ve done a bad job as steward up to this point, but God says to you today, you can’t change yesterday… but what are you going to do now that you understand?

Don’t waste another day making foolish decisions.
Become a good steward from this day forward.

(If you want to see the entire message, go to the Harvest Church link and then to Sermons)


michigan preacher said...

Hey there,Darrell. Thanks for sharing this. I've always struggled with a proper understanding of the parable. Thanks for for the insight, and the message. God bless.

Amy said...

This is Good, thanks for posting this , it really spoke to me ( and convicted me!!) what I need to do is stop letting fear hold me back from what God has called me to do!!