baker memorial united methodist church, bible study, deborahbythepalm, gain all you can, generosity, give all you can, God's word, John Wesley, Luke 16:9, money, save all you can, transformed lives, Use of money, wisdom
Listening to a Christian radio broadcast this morning, the minister challenged all listeners to take the word of God and for one year lay it into their life–read it, ponder it, talk about it, and use it –apply it. He then boldly predicted EVERYONE that took this seriously would be significantly transformed.
The following scripture selection is from John Wesley’s “Use of Money” sermon and has been a difficult one for me to wrestle into full understanding. Wesley based his entire sermon on Luke 16:9–with the overarching theme “Gain all you can, Save all you can, Give all you can.”
…8The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the sons of this age are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the sons of light. 9 I tell you, use worldly wealth to make friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, they will welcome you into eternal dwellings. 10Whoever is faithful with very little will also be faithful with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.…
EMPHASIS:And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by the mammon of unrighteousness, that when it fails, they might receive you into the eternal dwellings. Luke 16:9
The unjust steward is not set before us as an example in cheating his master, or to justify any dishonesty, but to point out the careful ways of worldly men. It would be well if
the children of light would learn wisdom from the men of the world, and would as earnestly pursue their better object. The true riches signify spiritual blessings; and if a man spends upon himself, or hoards up what God has trusted to him, as to outward things, what evidence can he have, that he is an heir of God through Christ? ( from Matthew Henry Commentary)
“We ought to gain all we can gain, without buying gold too dear, without paying more for it than it is worth, ” said Wesley…Christians are to prosper in business by sheer diligence, by ingenuity and excellence in the use of their various skills, and by the superior quality of their work…
Wesley’s second rule, about saving all one can, is not just a plea for modesty or prudence in expenditures. It is really an attack upon all the discretionary spending that fuels our consumer capitalist society. Wesley urged his listeners to gain profusely, save and give in the same way. All three steps were equally important.
Finally, the critical point of Wesley’s sermon is maxim three, “give all you can.” The whole purpose of earning and saving all you can is that you might be able to give all you can to support the most basic needs of those who lack the means for health and safety. Wesley’s sermon “The Use of Money” seriously would require a whole new way of thinking about how we earn and use money in a world in which others are in want.
The radio minister this morning is on target…God’s word–even a single verse from a parable (Luke 16:9) can transform more than a bank account. It changes the way we perceive each verb in Wesley’s way: gain, save, give–and how it reflects our relationship with God.
Work to reflect your relationship with God in all you do…
Dear Lord, we live in a world where honesty and integrity is severely lacking, but I want to be a wise steward of all I have, honest in all my dealings with those I come in contact – and to give of my best to my employer, when it comes to money matters.
Keep me Lord from having a grasping attitude but rather may I develop a generosity, combined with wisdom that only comes from You and help me to spend whatever money I have in a manner that is pleasing to You,
Bless those who do not have, and give me eyes to see those in need, so that I may give generously and be your hands in this world.