Dear SanLo Community, an update for the week of August 12, 2018…
Thank you to Pastor Rod Yee for the message, "Lost or Found," from Luke 16:1-13
As we continue in our series, Tribulation and Triumph, we look at this parable from Luke 16 and ask, how will our lives be accounted for? We will stand before Almighty God and He will find us where we are. Jesus used earthly examples to make a point.
1. FOUND OUT
"Now He was also saying to the disciples, "There was a rich man who had a manager, and this manager was reported to him as squandering his possessions." v.1 This manager was a servant, not a slave and he had been squandering the master's money. "Squandering" is the same word used in the story of the prodigal son, meaning, mismanaged/wasteful rather than fraud. So the master talked with the manager, "And he called him and said to him, 'What is this I hear about you? Give an accounting of your management, for you can no longer be manager. v. 2 So the manager was being fired. "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; I am ashamed to beg." v. 3 The manager doesn't even defend himself. He knew it was true. The manager knew he was unsuited or unwilling to do any other work. He thought he was doing things in secret, but he was found out. Each one of us will be held accountable and found out. Nothing is secret with God.
2. FOUND AN OUT
"I know what I shall do, so that when I am removed from the management people will welcome me into their homes." v. 4 The manager wants to secure his future and goes with a back-up plan. How? "He summoned each one of his master's debtors, and he began saying to the first, 'How much do you owe my master?" v. 5 The manager meets with each one who owes his master. There were only two examples, recorded, "And he said, 'A hundred measures of oil.' And he said to him, 'Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.' Most likely this was olive oil, 100 measures of oil is equivalent to 800-900 gallons which is about three years salary! So the manager quickly notes it in the bill and cuts it in half! Who doesn't love a 50% discount?! Then the manager approaches the second person, "Then he said to another, 'And how much do you owe?' And he said, 'A hundred measures of wheat.' 100 measures of wheat yields from 100 acres, which is valued to about nine years salary! "He said to him, 'Take your bill, and write eighty." v. 7 Although this was only 20% off compared to the 50% off, it was actually about the same amount in cash value. So the same amount was forgiven. Did the manager actually make things worse for the master? "And his master praised the unrighteous manager because he had acted shrewdly." v. 8. Why did the master praise the manager? Here he lost all this money. By law Jews are not permitted to charge interest to one another. The master was outwitted, but he praised the manager for being so clever. Almost like he wished he had thought of that. "And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by means of the wealth of unrighteousness, so that when it fails, they will receive you into the eternal dwellings." v. 9 Understand that the world's wealth will one day be gone. The world uses resources to win friends for the here and now. Those of faith use resources to win friends for eternity. Called to wise stewardship not clever stewardship. Stewardship is a trust-- entrusted with what God has given us.
3. FIND OUT
"He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is righteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much." v. 10
How do we handle the little things? When we are faithful in the little, God may entrust with more. "Therefore if you have not been faithful in the use of unrighteous wealth, who will entrust the true riches to you? And if you have not been faithful in the use of that which is another's, who will give you that which is your own? v.11-12 In our actions are we selfish or unselfish? Do we reflect God's grace? "No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth." v. 13 We cannot serve two masters. We do not possess our possessions, we do not want possessions to possess us. Spirituality is not defined by what we give, but by how we give. How are you using your resources to advance and grow the Kingdom of God?
Thank you to Charlie and Yumiko Chen, missionaries with JEMS serving in Chiba, Japan, for sharing with us. The Chens are from our sister church in San Fernando and have been serving with the Oyumino Christ Church since April 2017. Charlie teaches English at Open House English School, where he brings in the gospel message and his students learn about Jesus. Yukiko gives lessons on Biblical parenting for a Moms and Kids Club. They have hosted many outreach events and primarily focus on building relationships to open the door to the gospel. If you would like to subscribe to their newsletter, go to: bit.ly/subscribe-chens. Please keep Charlie and Yumiko in prayer as they serve and are away from their children and grandchildren.