Preparation for Prayer:
Lord, grant me the wisdom to understand your generosity through the scripture provided. Open up my soul to come to know where you are at work within me and our church so that our heart begins to mirror yours. Thank you for leading, convicting, inspiring and transforming me as I yearn to follow your ways in all I do. Amen.
Scripture Reading: (Luke 16:1-15)
1 Jesus told his disciples: “There was a rich man whose manager was accused of wasting his possessions. 2 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— 4 I know what I’ll do so that, when I lose my job here, people will welcome me into their houses.’ 5 “So he called in each one of his master’s debtors. He asked the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ 6 “‘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.’ 7 “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.’ 8 “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. 9 I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings. 10 “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. 11 So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? 12 And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own? 13 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” 14 The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. 15 He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight.
The scripture sets up a contrast that many are not prepared to address. Does money or God govern your life is the question being proposed. Money is portable power. It creates all kinds of daily decisions about what we value. Whatever one purchases or spends resources on tells us volumes about what is important in their life. When the value of such power is dismissed or rationalized, a god is created which can influence our full commitment to Jesus. Money, especially an abundance of money, can create an artificial sense of self sufficiency and therefore lessen one’s dependence on God.
Ø What does your budget say about your values? Do your expenditures demonstrate a value in glorifying God? Have you created mini Gods – children, housing, vacations, sports, cars, retirement? Is God asking you to serve Him above any of these? Consider inviting Jesus’ Spirit into your heart to help motivate you to change.
After reflecting, bring your petitions to the Lord for yourself and the ministries of the church – children, student, adult, mission, worship, outreach, congregational care, the leadership, etc. Please ask our God to shower His favor and generous blessings on us so that we can generously be devoted to the one true master, Jesus Christ.