William Andrew Dillard
From the pages of Holy Writ recorded in Luke 16, comes a story told by Jesus to His disciples. It perplexes many readers to this day. It is the story of an unjust steward who acted in a commendable way with the material things within his trust
The context is that the steward had been accused of being wasteful of his master’s goods, and was called upon to give account which would probably end his position.
Realizing his plight, and his unpreparedness to work in more menial jobs, he moved to make friends with creditors who in reality may have been bad creditors, but his actions brought at least partial payment to his master while making friends through the use of material things that would enhance his job opportunities..
The conclusion of the story leaves no room for doubt that it was all about the wise use of material things. Jesus stated that the children of this world are wiser in their generations than the children of light. In other words, the children of light have need of wising up to the benefit of using material things to befriend others, especially in their times of need.
Mammon is money. Jesus taught His disciples to make to themselves friends with this mammon of unrighteousness. While some wrestle with what this means, the application is simple and sure.
God is to be honored with one’s money. This means more than tithing or what one may give to his church. It is how we wisely reach out to others. Everything one has comes providentially from God, and has value, small or great. To use knowledge, wisdom, or material things to be helpful to others is the overall point. It has been said that what one keeps, he loses. But what one gives away, he keeps. When opportunity presents itself to do good to others, even if it may cut a little into the quick, it is the right thing to do. One never knows just how the twists and turns in the course of life will wash out. A good deed done may well return tremendous dividends much later when they are needed most.
The bottom line is that no one may serve two masters. He will love one and despise the other. If money is our goal in life, and we cannot part with some of it to help others in their time of need, it is certain that in our own times of need no one will be ready to reach out with a helping hand, an encouraging word, a recommending boost. The unnamed steward was wise to this principle. He employed it and it was a tremendous blessing to him.
God’s people today are stewards of the Word of life, of reconciliation to God. What are we doing with this most important possession of the Master?
Tag Archives: money
William Andrew Dillard
Mat 26:8 But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste?
Do you believe in being frugal with the Lord’s money? Being careful with the Lord’s money is an admirable trait. But can we be so frugal or careful that we miss opportunities of reaching the lost?
How often we look for direct results from our efforts. How often we are disappointed by the response. We vow not to invest in that means again because it was not profitable. Are we not looking for increase directly from the work we have done? What does the scripture say about increase?
1Co_3:6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.
It is apparent that God gives the increase. Should we then consider that our duty is to be obedient? If we are faithful in obedience, the work will be rewarded. So many today say that house to house door knocking is not effective because they do not see results. Let me rephrase that statement. They do not see results from the work they are directly involved in. I do believe that God wants us to understand he is responsible for giving the increase. This reminds me of a story I read. In a meeting at a certain church a question was asked, how many lost have you lead to the Lord. One woman said, over 2000. That is over an average of 5 per day. There was great pride in the answer. Here we have the “I” in salvation and the pride that attends “I”.
2Co_9:10 Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;)
We need to use God’s approved means and methods. We need to scatter the seed. Sometimes, scattering the seed has a cost. Notice that the scripture above says, “increase the fruits of your righteousness.” Our righteous faithfulness brings the attention of God and he provides the increase. So often we look to the work of our hands to produce the increase when we should look to duty and faithfulness and righteousness and let God provide the increase. Let us be generous in providing for the needs of Soul Winning.
responsibility does a Christian have in the use of his money? May he
actually worship God with it? This is an oft asked question,
especially in lessons and discussions of stewardship. It is asked
because there are tangential extremes that invariably get thrown into
the verbal mix. There is acceptable worship of God with money, but
money is never a substitute for what worship should include.
In Old Testament times, God demanded a tenth of one’s increase, even the first fruits of man, beast, the field, the orchards, and the vineyards. Wealth or lack thereof was not taken into consideration, except in the offerings in which the poor could offer birds instead of beasts.
Under the New Testament era of grace, God’s people have not received less, but more responsibility, all within the realm of maturity rather than demand.
But modern times have produced their own extremities. On one hand, some would have us to always study to boycott companies that sell what we need when those companies then use their money wrongly. I do not accept that responsibility unless the evil is blatant. I cannot be responsible for what others do with their money. I have enough trouble governing my own decisions.
On the other hand, one should be aware of his responsibility to use money wisely. It is hard to claim that there is no money for God’s work when one is spending God’s money ( yes, your money is God’s money that you would not have unless He blessed you with the health and ability to earn it) for alcohol, tobacco, gambling, and other vices that are a blight on society. Moreover, what does the widow who gave her last two mites to the work of God say to us? Anything???
Furthermore, it is not the religious super-structural programs, but the local, New Testament Churches that should be the object of our concern in wise stewardship. After all it is not the tele-evangelist; the cooperative programs; or self-styled religious programs that visit you in the hospital, conduct funerals, deliver God’s messages in sermon, song, Bible study, and in property maintenance commensurate to worship services. It is the local church which provides these ministries. It is worthy of the support of all its members. Maintaining it is giving to God and accepted as such. Personally, I am careful how I spend my money, and more careful how and where I give it, because I am convicted that is how the Word teaches me to be.
Author: W.P. Mackay
Let us suppose that a convict, who has just finished his term of penal servitude, wishes to lead an honest life. He comes to a man who has a large jewelry establishment, and who requires a night-watchman. He is engaged to watch this house through the quiet hours of the night, when he has everything under him, and every opportunity to rob his employer. On the first evening of his watching he meets one of his old companions, who accosts him. “What are you doing here?”
‘Over this jewelry shop’
‘Does he know what you are?’
‘No, no, be silent; if he knew, I should be dismissed.’
‘Suppose I let it out that you are a returned convict!’
‘Oh I pray don’t, it would be my last day here, and I wish to be honest.’
‘Well, you’ll require to give me some money to keep quiet.’
‘Very well, but don’t let any one know.’ Thus the poor man would be in sad feat and trembling, lest it should come to the ears of his employer what his previous character had been. He would be in terror lest he should meet any of his old friends, and lest his resources should be exhausted in keeping them quiet.
Let us suppose, however, that instead of the employer engaging the man in ignorance of his character, he went to the convict’s cell and said, ‘Now I know you, what you are, and what you’ve done, every robbery you’ve committed, and that you are worse than you believe yourself to be. I am about to give you a chance of becoming honest, I’ll trust you as my night-watchman over my valuable goods.’ The man is faithful at his post. He meets old companion after old companion, who threaten to inform upon him. He asks, ‘What will you tell about me?’
‘That you were the ringleader of house-breakers.’
‘Yes, but my master knows all that better than you do, he knows me better than I know myself.’
Of course this silences them for ever.
This latter is — GRACE AND TRUTH
“Ye shall walk after the Lord your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him,” Deuteronomy 13:4.
“Help yourself to happiness.” “Save money. Live better.” “Have it your way.” “Just do it.” These are just a few slogans of prominent companies which presume to fill voids in the hearts of Americans with their products. These kinds of words, accompanied with slick advertisements and images of happy people, speak with power and authority to those watching or listening. While I assume no Christian would admit to worshiping a product, it is true that we are swayed in our decision making when we give ear to messages presented with authority. When our choices lead us to place products or people on a pedestal with equal authority as God, we have been led astray. What should we do?
Test the product. Test the message. Test the authority. See if what you have been led to think about a person or product is actually true. See if what you place on a pedestal of devotion is God or is simply something that God has allowed you to receive as a gift. In the text, God told His people that authoritative voices would compete for their attention and desire to guide them away from love and devotion to Him. He said He would allow it to happen as a test to see whether they were genuine in their devotion to Him. Every day, you and I observe powerful messages from our acquaintances, in print, on the TV, radio and Internet. These messages compete for our attention, claiming to make our lives more abundant, but ultimately serve as daily tests of our love and devotion to God. Have you been passing the test or have you been led astray?
JUST A THOUGHT
Will you hold fast to God today?
A Fearless Ambassador of Christ
I. B. Kimbrough was born in Tennessee in 1826. While ministering in Tennessee, Kimbrough at one time served as the financial agent of Carson and Newman College and traveled extensively in his state attempting to raise money with which to train young Baptist preachers.
On June 26, 1886, at Waco, Texas. Dr. Kimbrough recalled an incident from his days in Tennessee and his work with Carson and Newman College. As he was traveling from one appointment to another through a secluded forest, he was confronted by two highwaymen. Holding their guns on the man of God, they insisted that he dismount from his horse and hand over all his money.
“Very well, gentlemen, please give me a little time, and I will obey your orders.” Kimbrough responded. After dismounting, he laid his money in two piles, then turning to the highwaymen he said: “Gentlemen, this small pile of money is mine: you are at liberty to rob me of that; the larger pile is God’s money, and I dare you to touch it. I collected it for the young preachers of the state who are struggling for an education at Carson and Newman College.”
The earnestness and courage of the man attracted the attention of the robbers, and they began to inquire into the work in which he was engaged. He told them he was a Baptist preacher and explained to them his mission. After hearing what he had to say, the elder of the two men said:
“We will not take either your money or the money of the young preachers.”
Turning to the young men, and looking them full in the face, Dr. Kimbrough added: “Young men, you are in a mighty bad business. I believe you ought to give it up. In the meantime, I will be grateful if you will help me in the work in which I am engaged.”
Following this appeal, the robbers gave him $5 each for the young preachers, whereupon the faithful minister mounted his horse, and all rode away, going in different directions.
I. B. Kimbrough was a fearless ambassador of Jesus Christ!
Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I. (Thompson/Cummins) pp. 261 – 262.
What if someone promised to deposit $86,400.00 into your bank account each day? You would ask for the catch. The catch is, all money , left over at the end of the day would be lost. But remember, the next day, another $86,400.00 would be deposited again. Would you try to spend the entire amount each day in order to keep from losing any of it?
Actually, this does happen to everyone each day…sort of. Every 24 hour period contains 86,400 seconds of time and time is a priceless commodity. The time you do not invest wisely each day is gone forever.
How much time do you spend with God each day? We must not only make the time, but it must be quality time in the presence of God. Real prayer takes time. Reading the bible and waiting for God to speak from His word requires time. In this fast paced modern world, it is all too easy to never have enough time in important areas of life. Family time often suffers, and personal relaxation away from stress and cares of life is often non-existent.
As always, the bible has a word and example to follow. Paul himself is a good example to follow. He worked full time in the ministry and supported himself by making tents. A study of his life and missionary journeys will reveal that he was extremely busy with little time to spare, yet he stayed in communion with God. Personal time with God ranked high on his list of priorities. His fellowship with God helps explain his positive attitude in suffering and his tireless determination to press toward the mark. He received strength by consistently spending time with God for renewing and refreshing.
Perhaps William Longstaff said it best with these well known words:
Take time to be holy,
The world rushes on;
Spend much time in secret
With Jesus alone;
By looking to Jesus,
Like Him thou shalt be;
Thy friends in thy conduct
His likeness shall see.
oseph Harris is the Vice President of Southeastern Baptist College in Laurel, MS. (This article may be reprinted in whole, as long as the name Joseph Harris and http://www.miniedition.net also appear).