180° Week 5: From Selfish To Sacrificial
Dear brothers and sisters,
All throughout this Easter series, we’ve been looking at the 180’s in our lives that Jesus can effect. This week we are looking at an important “180” transformation in our thinking and behavior: moving from selfishness to an attitude of self-giving. Take a look at Luke 16:1-13, the Parable of the Dishonest Steward. The parable is about a steward who is in charge of the money of his rich master, and is about to lose his job, but comes up with a plan where he helps other people. Jesus says in vv. 8-9: The master commended that dishonest steward for acting prudently … I tell you, make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth, so that when it fails, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings. The dishonest steward was commended not for being dishonest, but for making a wise, prudent investment. What Jesus means by “dishonest wealth” are our money and possessions, things that will “fail” because we cannot bring this wealth into heaven. Jesus’ implication is that when we die, our material possessions will be no good to us; and that while on this earth we should invest in people and relationships that last. It has been said that wise people build their entire lives around what is eternal, and they squeeze in what is temporary. We tend to think of ourselves as “owners” of our possessions and lives, but Jesus tells us that we are stewards. The wisest thing we can do with our money is to invest it in people. Think about the things laying around your house that you do not use, or the church and people-based organizations that need our monetary support in order to exist. How are we doing this year in percentage giving? Jesus’ own teaching is that the wisest thing we can do with our possessions is to invest in the Kingdom. Let’s pray that we have the courage to make this “180” in our behavior. Questions for Small Groups:
If you received an unexpected check, would your first thought be how you would save it, spend it, pay down debt or give some of it away?
On a scale of 1-10, how much do you see yourself as a steward? Why do you answer as you do?
Money will eventually fail us. Why do we struggle to embrace this truth?
What charities do you support? Why do you support them? How are they investing in eternity?
What is one step you can take to act more like a steward than an owner?