A Little Bit of Time…A Little Bit of Opportunity
Pastor Tom Davis-Shappell
INTRO… Even among the most devoted of Christ followers there appears to be differences of opinions about how much we should give (tithe)…Today through the parable of the shrewd manager we will discover how God sees money and possessions.
ILLUSTRATION…The Bible says the Kingdom of God is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he finds a pearl of real worth he sells everything he has and buys that pearl. Of course, according to traditional thinking, we are the pearl of great price and Jesus the merchant who sells everything to make the purchase. Might it be that Jesus is the pearl of great price, and we are the merchant? So, when we find Jesus, it costs us everything. Jesus has Happiness, Joy, Peace, Healing, Security, Eternity. We marvel at such a pearl and say, “I want this pearl. How much does it cost?” The seller says, “Everything becomes mine: Spouse, children, house, garage, cars, money, clothing, everything. And you too. Now you can use all those things here but don’t forget they are mine, as you are. When I need any of the things you are using you must give them to me because now I am the owner.”
Excerpt from “Call to Discipleship”
By Juan Carlos Ortiz
Say this with me:
If I could see as God sees…
I would do as God says…
All of us are managers; none of us are owners. In the Parable of the Shrewd Manager in Luke 16:1-15, we learn how God sees money and possessions. And it also characteristic of how Jesus teaches…with a surprise ending. (Read the Parable)
A man is about to lose his job comes up with a great idea. He had a little bit of time and a little bit of opportunity to leverage for himself a secure future.
So, he called in each of his master’s debtors and asked, “How much do you owe my Master?”
Answer…900 gallons of olive oil…Make it 450
“If there’s anything ever I can do for you”
Answer…1000 bushels of wheat…make it 800
“If there’s anything ever I can do for you.”
Old Testament Lesson: Leviticus 27:30-34
All tithes from the land, whether the seed from the ground or the fruit from the tree, are the Lord’s; they are holy to the Lord. If persons wish to redeem any of their tithes, they must add one-fifth to them. All tithes of herd and flock, every tenth one that passes under the shepherd’s staff, shall be holy to the Lord. Let no one inquire whether it is good or bad, or make substitution for it; if one makes substitution for it, then both it and the substitute shall be holy and cannot be redeemed.
These are the commandments that the Lord gave to Moses for the people of Israel on Mount Sinai.
Gospel Lesson: Mark 8:31-38
Then Jesus began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”
He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? Indeed, what can they give in return for their life? Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”