Money Lessons to Master

Money Lessons to MasterOne of the greatest lessons someone can learn is how to biblically handle money. Your use of money affects more than you may realize. The Bible teaches that there is a direct connection between your spending and your spiritual growth. Jesus once told a parable about the importance of faithfully handling money. A manager had wasted his master’s possessions and, knowing he was about to be fired, he quickly went to his master’s debtors and cut their debts by 20 percent and some by 50 percent. He did this so that he would have friends that would give him a place to stay (Luke 16:1-13). Jesus provides this negative example to teach seven positive lessons that have the power to change your life.

The principle of stewardship
Notice, the manager in the story didn’t waste his own stuff; he wasted his master’s stuff. The reason Jesus uses this example is because the Bible teaches that you are not ultimately the owner of your money; you are the manager of God’s money. Every Christian is a steward of God’s resources that God has entrusted to him or her to mange. If that’s true, and it is, then the question a faithful steward asks is not, “What should I do with my money?” The question is, “What does my boss want me to do with his money?” This changes everything. When you understand and embrace this principle of stewardship it begins to completely change your perspective and approach to finances. Manage well.

The importance of focus
It took a crisis for the dishonest manager to realize that people were more important than the amount of money he had. Once he knew he was going to be fired, he became focused on making friends. Even though he went about it the wrong way, there’s a lesson to be learned here of what not to do. Don’t wait until a crisis hits your life to get focused on the most important things. Imagine a guy who doesn’t care about God or spiritual things. He does what he wants in life, but then he finds out that he has cancer. Suddenly he starts seeking God and being generous to others. What happened? An intense focus came into his life. But it took a crisis to make that happen. This shouldn’t be the case. Be focused on what’s most important now.

The wisdom of foresight
When the manager saw the impending trouble, he didn’t say, “Oh well, who cares about tomorrow? The present is all that matters.” No, he immediately started thinking ahead. Jesus points out that if the world knows how to invest their money so that it has a greater return in the future, how much more should the Christian? In order to invest well now, you must factor in the eternity that lies before you. The Bible teaches throughout that the generous use of your money now will be to your benefit in the world to come. It’s wrong to boast about tomorrow, not to plan for tomorrow. So how can you invest now to reap dividends in eternity? Think ahead.

The value of people
The manager finally got it. People are more important than possessions. This is why Jesus said, “So I tell you make friends for yourselves with the means of money so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal dwellings” (Luke 16:9). Every good investor wants to put his or her money in something of value. Jesus couldn’t be any clearer. People are more valuable than possessions, so put your money into people. Don’t use friends to make money. Use your money to make friends. The most important things in life are not things, they’re people. Invest in people.

The test of little things
Jesus goes on to say, “If you’re faithful in little, you will be faithful in much.” You may think, “When I make more money, then I’ll begin to invest in spiritual and eternal things.” But the way to give tomorrow is to start giving today. What you do with a little is actually a test of what you’ll do with a lot. John D. Rockefeller, Sr., the great businessman, once said, “I never would have been able to tithe on the first million dollars I ever made if I had not tithed my first salary, which was $1.50 per week.” Start small.

The impossibility of two masters
Jesus goes on to say, “You cannot serve two masters. You cannot serve God and money.” Notice he doesn’t say you should not serve God and money. He says you cannot. It’s impossible. You’ve got to choose. At some point, one is going to have to give way to the other. The lesson here is very important. Money has the potential to be a master that controls you and never fulfills you. But God is the master who, when you serve him, will always fulfill you. Serve God.

The true steward of heaven
Now, reading all this can inform you, and maybe even inspire you, but the only thing that can redeem you and change you is knowing Jesus, the true steward of heaven. Jesus is the steward of heaven’s resources who came to his debtors not to cancel 20 percent of the debt or even 50 percent; he came to cancel the entire debt of sin at the cross by taking it upon himself. He came not to secure himself a home in the future, but to secure you a home in the future. Jesus perfectly managed his resources by giving them away to those in need. It is seeing the generosity of God in the gospel that transforms sinners into saints and takers into givers. The message of the cross is clear, “Freely you have received; freely give.” Take a lesson from God; give your resources away to people in need. For the way to live a rich life is by giving it away.

Have you ever had a time where you had to choose between serving God and serving money? We want to hear about it! Email your story to editor@goodnewsfl.org.

Jeremy McKeen is the Lead Pastor of Truth Point Church in West Palm Beach.

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