"The Parable of the Dishonest Manager"
16 He also said to the disciples, "There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was wasting his possessions. 2 And he called him and said to him, 'What is this that I hear about you? Turn in the account of your management, for you can no longer be manager.' 3 And the manager said to himself, 'What shall I do, since my master is taking the management away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. 4 I have decided what to do, so that when I am removed from management, people may receive me into their houses.' 5 So, summoning his master's debtors one by one, he said to the first, 'How much do you owe my master?' 6 He said, 'A hundred measures[a] of oil.' He said to him, 'Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.' 7 Then he said to another, 'And how much do you owe?' He said, 'A hundred measures[b] of wheat.' He said to him, 'Take your bill, and write eighty.' 8 The master commended the dishonest manager for his shrewdness. For the sons of this world[c] are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light. 9 And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth,[d] so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal dwellings.10 "One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. 11 If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? 12 And if you have not been faithful in that which is another's, who will give you that which is your own? 13 No servant can serve two masters, for 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 God and money."
"The Law and the Kingdom of God"
14 The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all these things, and they ridiculed him. 15 And he said to them, "You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.
Some have confused this passage and thought that the "rich man" in this parable is Jesus or God. It is not. Jesus is not commending the shrewd but dishonest manager for his dishonesty. Nor is he telling us that making friends with money will get you into heaven. Those :eternal dwellings" that Jesus speaks of are not heaven. In fact, it is just the opposite. The eternal dwellings he is speaking of may very well be hell.
The main point of this parable is what comes next. "You cannot serve both god and money." I see this especially true when it comes to how people treat their jobs versus how they treat worship. You would never think of skipping work on Sunday morning if you had to work. In fact, many people skip church to go to work and think nothing of it. I even did that for a while when I was a college student. It is not a good thing.
Too many Christians in this world, and even, dare I say it, at St. John's, serve money before they serve God. My friends, this cannot be! Which one is going to save your soul? Which one is going to bring you to eternal life?
Don't get me wrong, worship is not mandatory for salvation. God isn't going to send you to hell because you skipped church for a month or even six months of Sundays in a row. At the same time, the more you neglect worship and your church family, and the more you stay away from it, the more in danger you are of losing your faith, because you are not receiving the gifts God gives in worship. The peace of Christ that goes beyond all understanding cannot reach you if you are not partaking of the gifts which provide that peace to you.
Every day it is important to get up from bed and to very intentionally and straight forwardly, keep your priorities straight. Start the day off with a devotion instead of with checking your bank account. Start the day in prayer not in worry. Start the day in God's grace, not in service to the almighty dollar.
I leave the end of this devotion up to Jesus. "YOU CANNOT SERVE BOTH GOD AND MONEY!" Get this worked out with God today!
Prayer: Lord, help me to serve you with the gifts you give me, especially my money.
Thurs- October Newsletter deadline Karate 6; Medicare for Caregivers 6:30; Pregnancy resource Center meeting at First State Community Bank 7pm; No Lutheranism 101
Fri- 6-12 grade Lock In 10pm; Bible Study at Hendershots 7pm
Sat- Men's breakfast 8am; Lock In ends at 9am; Worship 5pm
Sun- Worship 8:30; Sunday school 9:45; Chapel 11
WORSHIP WORKERS FOR THIS COMING WEEKEND:
Acolyte- 8:30- Cierra Figura 11- Cameron Faerber
Ushers- Alan Hofeldt, Tim Linke, Rich Talbert, Don Turnure
Altar- Set up- Linda Callies; Clean Up- Pam Linke
Elders- Sat- Randy Fischer; 8:30- Don Turnure; 11- Charlie Figura
Greeters- 8:30- Allan And Barb Dreyer; 11- Doug and Ruth Walters
Lay Readers- Sat- Sandra Perricone; 8:30- Jennifer Figura; 11- Stephanie Owenby
Piano- Sat- Molly Hendershot
Organist- Rachel Fisher
Projectionists: Sat- Perricone; 8:30- Yoder
4. Bring your own snacks and $5 for pizza and breakfast.
We'll be having breakfast with the youth who come to the lock in, and we'll continue our video study called "Regrets, Reality, Restoration"