LUKE 16:1-13 (continued)
(2nd) in verse 9, the lesson is that material possessions should be used to cement friendships wherein the real and permanent value of life lies. That could be done in two ways: (a) it could be done in a way to affect eternity. Ambrose, commenting on the rich fool who built bigger barns to store his goods, said, "The bosoms of the poor, the houses of widows, the mouths of children are the barns that last forever." It was a Jewish belief that charity given to poor people would stand to a man's credit in the world to come. A person's true wealth would consist not of what he kept, but in what he gave away. (b) It could be done as it affects this world. A person can use his wealth selfishly or it can be used to make life easier for someone else. Possessions are not in themselves a sin, but they are a great responsibility, and the person who uses his wealth to help in this world goes far to discharge that responsibility.
(3rd) verses 10 & 11 say that a person's way of fulfilling a small task is the best proof of his fitness or unfitness to be trusted with a bigger job. No person will be advanced to a higher office until his honesty and ability in a smaller position. But Jesus extends the principle to eternity. He says that on earth you are in charge of things which are not really yours. You cannot take them with you when you die. You are only a steward. In Heaven, you will get what is really and eternally yours. What you will be given as your very own depends on how you use things of which you are only a steward.
(4th) Verse 13 lays down the rule that no slave can serve two masters. The master possessed the slave exclusively. Nowadays, a person can do two jobs for two people. One job can be done during working time and another in one's spare time. But a slave had no spare time; every moment of the day belonged to his master. So, serving God can never be a part-time or spare-time job. Once a person chooses to serve God every moment of his time and every ounce of energy belongs to God. God is the most exclusive of masters. We either belong to Him totally or not at all.
Life Application: Do you consider yourself an exclusive slave of God the Father? That, of course, means you are at His command. After being His slave for over sixty years, I love my Master, and I love serving Him.
Praise/Prayer: Dear Father, what a wonderful privilege it has been to be Your servant. Serving You is without an equal. You have been so loving and faithful all the years of my life. I pray, Father, for all those who once walked with you but today they walk in the paths of the devil. Holy Spirit, please convict them of what they are missing by not serving the Father. Great is Your faithfulness, Amen!