TRANSFORMED: Part 6 – Financial Health

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Transforming How I See & Use Money
Message Recap | 3.8.2015
Speaker: Aaron Taylor, Lead Pastor

Have you ever found yourself talking about money? I’ve found myself doing just that from time to time. Over the last year or so, my wife and I have been talking about retirement and what finances will be necessary to see the fruits of retirement come to pass. Retirement for us is close and we are placing our entire trust in God to supply all of our need.

It may surprise you that Jesus actually talked more about money than he did about heaven or hell.  In fact, half of all of the parables that Jesus told are about money.  Half of them.  In fact, in the books of Matthew, Mark and Luke, one out of every six verses is about money and money management. Why?  Because money can dominate our lives and money influences our lives either good or bad.  It can be used for great things.  It can be used for bad things.  Either way.  We spend so much of our time thinking about it, working for it, earning it, studying it, saving it and investing it – all of these different things.  If you don’t learn to manage your money, it will manage you.

Today we’re going to look at the most misunderstood story of Jesus in the entire Bible.  It’s a doozy!  It’s in Luke Chapter 16, verses 1-13 (NIV). It’s called the Parable of the Dishonest or Shrewd Manager.

“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?”

It’s important to note a couple of things.  First, Jesus is not praising the guy’s dishonesty.  He’s praising shrewdness. Second, you can learn from anybody if you know the right questions.  You don’t have to agree with everything a person believes or does to learn from them.  This is very, very important.  Because today people think because I disagree with you on something then I can’t learn from you on something.  And that’s nonsense.

If you want to know more about Transformed Part 6 – Financial Health and Transforming How I See and Use Money, listen to our podcast at http://painesvilleag.com/transformed for the complete message.

Friend, this week we have focused on finances and material possessions but it could also be time and talents.  If God were to call you to account, would he find you to be a faithful manager of all He has given or are there some changes you need to make in your life?  So this week in prayer and meditation ask yourself, “How well am I managing what God has given me?”

Lead Blogger,
George Leonhardt

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