Monday, August 15, 2016

Day 133: Luke 16:1-17 & Psalm 129 - Why Does God Care About the Way We Handle Money?

Today'a Reading: Luke 16:1-17 & Psalm 129

Get the full reading plan

Why Does God Care About the Way We Handle Money?

One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? -Luke 16:10-11

It's not hard to understand why Jesus cares about how we pray or how we think about the Bible. These are spiritual matters. It's also not hard to figure out why Jesus cares about how we treat others and that He emphasizes loving our neighbors. After all, people are made in God's image and God calls us all to love each other. But money? Why does it matter to Jesus how we spend our money?

In today's reading, Jesus teaches us much about money:

1. We should use the money and resources we have to bless others. (v. 9)
2. Money is a little thing compared to the true riches God offers in His kingdom, but if we're unfaithful with a little thing like money, how can we be trusted with the greater riches of the kingdom? (vv. 10-11)
3. Our money is not really our own, but is a stewardship trust from God. (v.12) 
4. It is impossible to serve money as our master and also serve God. (v. 13)

These three truths together help us understand why Jesus cares about how we spend money. Money is an important measure if what we truly value and how we think about the things God has entrusted to our care. 

We could say that it's because money is such a small, unimportant thing that how we spend it matters so much. After all, if we're willing to compromise our obedience to God for mere money, what does that say about our priorities? Or if we'd do almost anything to get money, what does that say about our hearts? 

We must serve only God and make sure that the money He gives us is used faithfully in service to Him and His kingdom alone!      

Prayer Based on Psalm 129:

From Pray All the Psalms:

Praising Jesus for his victory on the cross

   “They have greatly oppressed me from my youth.”
              you could say from the cross, Lord Jesus —
   “They have greatly oppressed me from my youth,
              but they have not gained the victory over me.
   Ploughmen have ploughed my back
              and made their furrows long.
   I offered my back to those who beat me,
              my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard;
   I did not hide my face
              from mocking and spitting.”
   For Pilate took you and had you flogged.
              The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns
              and put it on your head.
   They clothed you in a purple robe
              and went up to you again and again, saying,
   “Hail, king of the Jews!”
              And they struck you in the face.

   But your heavenly Father is righteous; 
              he cut you free from the cords of the wicked.
   For the wages of sin is death,
              and God made you who had no sin
   to be sin for me, so that in you
              I might become the righteousness of God.
   But he raised you from the dead,
              freeing you from the agony of death,
   because it was impossible for death
              to keep its hold on you.

   For you were pierced for my transgressions,
              you were crushed for my iniquities;
 the punishment that brought me peace was upon you,
              and by your wounds I am healed.
   You forgave us all my sins,
               having cancelled the written code, with its regulations,
   that was against me and that stood opposed to me;
              you took it away, nailing it to the cross. 
   And having disarmed the powers and authorities,
              you made a public spectacle of them,
              triumphing over them by the cross.

   May all who hate the heavenly Zion,
              be turned back in shame.
   May their harvest be like grass on the roof, 

              which withers before it can grow;
   may the reapers not fill their hands with it, 

              nor those who gather fill their arms.
   May those who pass by not say to them;
              “The blessing of the Lord be upon you;

              we bless you in the name of the Lord.”

   Instead, do not be let them be deceived, O God
              for you cannot be mocked.
              Each one of us reaps what we sow. 
   Those who sow to please their sinful nature,
              from that nature will reap destruction;
   Those who sow to please the Spirit,
              from the Spirit will reap eternal life.
   So help us to gently instruct
              those who oppose you,
   in the hope that you will grant them repentance,

              leading them to a knowledge of the truth.

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