How Much Can God Trust You? Part 2
by John Lowe
(Laurens SC, USA)
Let’s get some more real financial advice from the lips of the Creator of heaven and earth–the Lord Jesus:
1. YOUR BEST INVESTMENT IS IN PEOPLE THAT YOU’LL SEE IN HEAVEN (vs. 9)
How have your investments been doing lately?
I have a hot tip to share with you about a great investment.
It’s some inside information from the Creator of Heaven and Earth.
This investment advice is found in verse 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.”
If you have a King James Version it says something about making friends with the “mammon of unrighteousness.”
“Mammon” was the name of the ancient Canaanite god of riches.
Jesus is saying we need to be clever in using our money so the end result will be seeing people in heaven.
You can’t buy your salvation or anyone else’s salvation, and you can’t buy true friends.
But notice how the crooked manager used his discounts to influence his customers so they would receive him favorably after he lost his job.
In the same way, we should be using our money to influence people for Christ.
Obviously, the best way to do that is when you give your money to missions and evangelism.
Jesus said one day your money will be gone, and you’ll be gone from your money.
So while you have an opportunity, use your money to influence people so when you are living in the eternal dwellings (heaven) there will be friends there to welcome you.
2. YOUR MANAGEMENT OF GOD’S MONEY DETERMINES IF HE CAN TRUST YOU WITH TRUE RICHES (VS. 10-12)
The next financial principle is expressed in verses 10-12.
Jesus said, “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?”
Jesus mentions two kinds of wealth.
First, there is “worldly wealth.”
That’s the money God gives each of us.
You must remember all the wealth in the world belongs to God.
He owns all the diamonds, all the gold, and all the oil wells.
He owns the cattle on a thousand hills and He owns the hills as well.
He is the One who causes us to prosper with this kind of wealth.
God gives us wealth so we can buy the basics to meet our needs.
We use money to buy food, clothing, and shelter.
Also, He gives us wealth so we can enjoy things that go beyond the basic necessities.
This is bonus wealth.
God has promised He will meet our needs–but He never promised to meet our wants.
When I speak of a “wealthy person” who do you envision?
You probably think of some billionaire like Bill Gates, or at least a millionaire, but you don’t think of yourself as wealthy.
If you have money in your pocket to buy lunch, and you have an indoor toilet and you drove your own car to church, you are wealthier than 80% of the world’s population.
That’s worldly wealth–but it came from God.
The main reason God gives us worldly wealth is to test us.
He wants to see how well we manage that kind of wealth.
Look again at verse 11.
Jesus speaks of another kind of wealth.
He calls it “true riches.”
If you are trustworthy with a little, God knows you can be trusted with a lot.
If you prove to be trustworthy with worldly wealth, God can trust you with true riches.
True riches have nothing to do with money.
They include spiritual blessings like peace, security, and strength that
are so valuable they can’t be bought at any price.
Are you managing God’s money wisely?
The first question is: Are you returning a tithe of it to the Lord?
It all belongs to the Lord, but He requires we give Him back 10% to demonstrate we trust Him.
Sometimes people say, “If I was making a $1 million a year, I’d be happy to give God 10% of it.”
Well, if you aren’t tithing on your $30,000, what makes you think God will trust you with a million dollars?
It’s not about tithing; it’s about trusting.
Do you believe God can be trusted when He speaks in Malachi 3:10?
He says, “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse that there may be food in my house. Test me in this, and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out a blessing so great you won’t be able to contain it.”
Now, if you think God is a liar, don’t trust Him with a tithe.
Or if you don’t think He has the ability to do what He says He’ll do–don’t trust Him with a tithe.
But if you think God is trustworthy, go ahead and start trusting Him by returning 10% of your income to Him.
The problem is too many of God’s people are “tippers” instead of tithers.
As your treasurer, I could say this, “The best thing the U.S. government could do to help our church would be to quit printing $1 bills!
Are you just tipping God?
It’s okay to tip God if you tip the amount you are supposed to tip at a restaurant–15%.
But most religious tippers give God a dollar here and a dollar there.
Another problem is many Christians give God their “leftovers” instead of their “first fruits.”
You pay all your other bills and if you have anything left over, you give some of it to God.
God can’t have first place in your life if you are giving Him last place in your checkbook!
The real issue is not whether God is trustworthy–it’s whether or not we are trustworthy in managing God’s money.
Can God trust you with more than you are managing right now?
3. MONEY IS A GREAT SERVANT BUT A TERRIBLE MASTER (VS. 13)
Jesus shares a great financial principle in verse 13.
And contrary to what some men say, this is not a verse forbidding polygamy!
He says, “No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”
Again, it’s that word “Mammon” the pagan god of riches.
In America, some people have made money their god as well.
Six and seven days a week they worship at the altar of the almighty dollar.
College professor Howard Hendrix relates the story of visiting in the home of a wealthy Christian man from a blueblood family in Boston.
He was impressed with the man’s humility and down-to-earth attitude.
Dr. Hendrix asked him how he could grow up in such wealth and not be consumed by materialism.
The man replied, “My father taught us that everything in our home was either a tool or an idol. The choice was ours.”
Some of you as old as me remember comedian Jack Benny.
He was known as a skinflint who hated to spend his money.
In the old comedy routine, Jack Benny was accosted by a robber.
The mugger pointed a gun at Jack and said, “Come on, hand it over. Your money or your life!”
Jack rubbed his chin and said, “I’m thinking, I’m thinking!”
In the same way, God is saying to each of us today, “Worship and serve Me or Money–which will it be.”
And we stand there, “I’m thinking. I’m thinking!”
How important is money to you?