By God’s grace we can be conduits of God’s infinite love, with our time, our money, and our love. We can be windows for others to God.
Take time just now to consider how God can use all your resources to bring God's love to the world.next >
"Then the manager said to himself, 'What will I do, now that my master is taking the position away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. I have decided what to do so that, when I am dismissed as manager, people may welcome me into their homes." So, summoning his master’s debtors one by one, he asked the first, 'How much do you owe my master?' He answered, 'A hundred jugs of olive oil.' He said to him, 'Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it fifty.' Then he asked another, 'And how much do you owe?' He replied, 'A hundred containers of wheat.' He said to him, 'Take your bill and make it eighty.'"
Luke 16:3-7next >
Here is Jesus, the Messiah, God’s son, telling a story about a manager who rips off his employer. Worse, Jesus is saying in effect, “My followers should be like this guy; you should follow his example.” Jesus was the holiest human that ever lived, yet the central charge against him was that he wasn’t religious enough — and had bad taste in friends.
Why in the world was Jesus using this manager, who steals from his owner, as the hero of his parable? We read 2000 years after Jesus spoke and Luke wrote, so we can only guess.
Perhaps it means something like this: this manager was shrewd enough to make friends to save his skin by using money. We disciples should know how to use money just as shrewdly — not for our own benefit, but to help and heal others.
Money is a tool by which we might do many good things, maybe even great things. Jesus himself had no place to call his own, but often ate and slept at the home of his friends (Mary, Martha, and Lazarus). Perhaps you will build such a home, where Jesus would feel comfortable spending the night.
Michael Useynext >
Make me shrewd with my money, O God, that I might do the most good to the people I meet each day. Help me not to fritter my coins away thoughtlessly. Amen.next >
Be generous with your time,
And your love
To all those around you.
But get ready to be surprised
By how your generosity is
Made bigger by the exceeding
Generosity of God.
Michael Usey is pastor of College Park, an American Baptist Church in Greensboro, North Carolina. He grew up in San Diego and so speaks fluent Californian. His wife, Ann, teaches English at a Quaker high school. Together they have three wild and wonderful offspring—Nathan (20), Zachariah (18), and Hannah (14), as well as two dogs, Lily & Loki.
Tis a Gift to Be Simple