First Things First
Almighty God, I bow in worship before You today. You are the only God, the Lord and King of all.
Read Luke 16:1-18
 Jesus told his disciples: “There was a rich man whose manager was accused of wasting his possessions.  So he called him in and asked him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your management, because you cannot be manager any longer.’  “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-  I know what I’ll do so that, when I lose my job here, people will welcome me into their houses.’  “So he called in each one of his master’s debtors. He asked the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’  “‘Nine hundred gallons of olive oil,’ he replied. “The manager told him, ‘Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it four hundred and fifty.’  “Then he asked the second, ‘And how much do you owe?’ “‘A thousand bushels of wheat,’ he replied. “He told him, ‘Take your bill and make it eight hundred.’  “The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light.  I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.  “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?  “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”  The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus.  He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight.  “The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John. Since that time, the good news of the kingdom of God is being preached, and everyone is forcing their way into it.  It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the least stroke of a pen to drop out of the Law.  “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat challenge does Jesus give about money?
We live in a society obsessed by money, whether it is rising house prices, the banking crisis, the economic downturn or the simple numbers in our current bank account. Whether you are in debt or have plenty of cash, have you ever seen yourself as a servant of money? Jesus tells us in this parable that we are to manage our money and not let it manage us! In this parable Jesus commends the shrewd manager of material resources. Money is not inherently evil. It is the love of money, not money itself, that Paul cited as “the root of all kinds of evil” (1 Tim. 6:10). Finances can be put to good use for eternal purposes. Jesus does warn about the seductive power of money though; those who are dishonest with little will not be trustworthy with more. Money can become a powerful taskmaster and Jesus warns his disciples that he must come first. We must choose which power comes first: Christ or money. Ironically it is the religious people, the Pharisees, who are in love with money. Religion is no protector against the love of money.
Ask the Lord for help with getting your finances right. List some steps to take and start working at them.
Lord, help me to manage my money and not let it manage me. I want to always put You first.
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