‘And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own? “No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”’ Luke 16:12-13
May the grace available for us this week fill us to overflowing.
I started reading Luke 16, and the Holy Spirit painted a picture in my head. From verse 8, Jesus was commending the shrewd/sharp-witted/clever sons of the world, saying that they were sharper than the children of light. In verse 9, he advised us to make friends for ourselves with worldly resources/possessions, hmmm…
Okay, step back. Is Jesus saying that we need money to survive this world? No, he calls it unrighteous mammon, meaning it can never lead us on the path of righteousness. Further down, from verse 10 to verse 13, the picture becomes more apparent, Jesus is talking about faithfulness. The sons of the world are clever because they can maneuver their way around and change things with money, we don’t.
To be faithful is to be constant, obedient, reliable. While the sons of the world are clever with unrighteous mammon, how are the children of light to be sharp-witted? Let’s look at Jesus’ example.
‘Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel. ‘John 5:19-20
When we are obedient to God on the little things he asks, God will commit greater things to us to manage. However, if we are unfaithful/unreliable/disobedient in the small things, how can He commit anything to us? In Luke 16:11, Jesus alluded to worldly possessions as the little things/the insignificant. God owns everything on earth, and we are here to manage them, so how can we decide what to do with what belongs to someone else? Growing up, I remember that some parents would test their children with money. They would send a child on an errand with cash, knowing what to expect. If the child came back with the truth, the child had passed the test. If not, they knew there was a problem on their hands.
What has been given to us on earth is for God. We are to go to Him on what to do with them, as Jesus also did only what He saw the Father do. The Holy Spirit is available to guide us on all things, even the use of unrighteous mammon, so our light can shine and bring glory to God. When you are faithful in managing unrighteous mammon, then God can place true riches in your care. If worldly wealth is not true riches, then what is, and how do we attain it? The Holy Spirit is right there, just ask.
You can choose to serve unrighteous mammon, it’s effect seems real, or to serve God. Serving either one means living by them, Jesus said there is no sitting-on-the-fence on this one. It’s time for the children of light to live up to our full potential in Christ. It’s time to be faithful.
Till next time, be transformed!!