THE SERVANT GENERAL
GOD OR MAMMON - 2
November 7, 2015
Today’s gospel: Luke 16:9-15
Today’s secular world loves money, just like “the
Pharisees, who loved money” (v.14a). Now people will
not admit it, and justify their striving to have more money
as the way to provide for their families. True enough. But
you see that for many, it is never enough. With families fully
provided for, they are still at it, making more money.
is a hard taskmaster, and Jesus warns Christians about this.
“No servant can serve two masters.” (v.13a). Jesus
our Master demands our all. We are to love God with our whole
mind, heart, soul and strength. We are to live and die for
Christ. But money also demands allegiance and devotion, nay
worship. But as devoted Christians, can we not have both?
Well, know the reality when it comes to God versus wealth
or possessions. “He will either hate one or love the
other, or be devoted to one and despise the other.”
(v.13b). How many times have we seen brethren who serve the
Lord, and want to serve the Lord more and so ask for more
money so they can focus on serving the Lord more, but end
up leaving their service because there is now more money to
be made? Jesus says it plainly: “You cannot serve God
and mammon.” (v.13c).
are we to totally shun money? No, for it has its purpose.
Even our mission can stall due to a lack of money. The key
is to give God our all, while making use of money, putting
money at the service of God. “I tell you, make friends
for yourselves with dishonest wealth, so that when it fails,
you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.” (v.9).
Dishonest wealth is literally “mammon of iniquity.”
Mammon in Greek drawn from Hebrew means “that in which
one trusts.” So money has a purpose and is in fact essential
for mission. But money, seemingly neutral, can easily turn
into mammon. Then it can easily transition into dishonest
dealings (to make more money), and finally turns one away
money is provided us by God in order to provide for our needs
and to fund our mission. Money being the most important for
the world, for Christians it is important only as it relates
to accomplishing the purposes of God. It is a small matter,
an aside. But there are great matters, such as evangelizing
the world, such as bringing salvation to all, such us doing
divine work. Money is entrusted to us precisely for these
purposes. We are financial stewards. Now here it is: “The
person who is trustworthy in very small matters is also trustworthy
in great ones” (v.10a). God entrusts His people with
His divine work, the all-important work of bringing the salvation
won by Jesus on the cross into the lives of people. We are
sent, we are commissioned. But if we do not act as proper
stewards of our finances, then how can God give us great fruit
in our evangelization efforts? Thus we must give not only
our time and talent, but also our treasure. “If, therefore,
you are not trustworthy with dishonest wealth, who will trust
you with true wealth?” (v.11). If we are not giving
enough financial support to our mission, then how can we expect
a rich harvest?
prescription for true financial stewardship is a tithe, that
is, 10% of our income. Everything that we have and own actually
belongs to God. But God just asks a tenth to fund His mission.
Is that not an outrageously good deal? We fund God’s
mission, and in the end we reap the fruit, including entry
into heaven. However, “if you are not trustworthy with
what belongs to another, who will give you what is yours?”
(v.12). Salvation is already yours, a free gift of Jesus to
you. But it is there for you to lose. You don’t use
what God has entrusted to you to fund His work? How can you
expect to be rewarded?
pray you will not be like the Pharisees, who “heard
all these things and sneered at him.” (v.14b). I pray
that your god will not be mammon, “for what is of human
esteem is an abomination in the sight of God.” (v.15c).
I hope that, especially for leaders, you do not just look
good and sound good in front of God’s people, but are
actually being true stewards, rather than robbing God of what
belongs to him. “You justify yourselves in the sight
of others, but God knows your hearts” (v.15b). And God
knows the amount of money that you keep in your wallet and
withhold from Him and His mission. You have not given Him
what is His; beware that He does not give you what is yours.