Thursday, August 05, 2021

He is the completion

Luke 16:16-17…

Jesus declared that the old writings of the Law and the Prophets had revealed God and His righteousness to the Jewish people up to the time of John the Baptist. Now, since John had come and announced the Messiah, who was Jesus, the good news of the kingdom of God was being preached. Multitudes were coming into this kingdom, eager to accept the “good news,” redemption through Jesus Christ the Messiah.

Jesus said the Law of God will be fulfilled. He affirmed that His teaching was consistent with those old writings. Why then did the Pharisees hate Jesus? The reason the Pharisees despised Jesus is because He took away their authority. That authority was not really theirs to start with and when Jesus said “follow me”, the Pharisees realized Jesus was showing people a better way. They wanted control of the people and thereby have control of their money.

The good news tells us that we don’t have to follow man made rules or be manipulated into following religious men in order to be reconciled to God or have a relationship with Him. All of the Law was fulfilled, completed, satisfied in and through Jesus Christ and His works. The Bible says God is love and love is the fulfillment of the Law. By faith we are in Christ and in that love; we have fulfilled, completed, and satisfied the Law because of Him (Romans 3:21-31).

Wednesday, August 04, 2021

Inside out & upside down

Luke 16:14-15…

The Pharisees heard what Jesus had been saying and responded with ridicule. They seemed to stay silent when Jesus had spoken of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son. But when He spoke about their money, look out! Their scorn stemmed from their being lovers of money more than mercy. Much like today’s charlatan teachers, they esteemed wealth, and viewed their supposed keeping of God’s standard of the law as having earned God’s standard of living. They despised the poor as accursed people who were ignorant of the law (Proverbs 17:5).

Jesus tells them that while they may be able to fool other people into thinking that they were good and right, God knows better than that. You can fool yourself most of the time but you can never fool God at any time. We cannot hide what we are and who we are from God (1 Samuel 16:7 / 1 Kings 8:39 / 1 Chronicles 28:9 / Proverbs 15:11 / Jeremiah 17:10 / Acts 1:24, 15:8-9 / Hebrews 4:12-13 / Revelation 2:23).

Jesus took their value system and turned it around on them. The values of God’s kingdom are the opposite of what the world teaches. When the world says stop, Jesus says go. When the world says go for it, Jesus says no. Jesus says that you must give things away before you can truly have anything worthwhile. Jesus says that we must become fools to the world’s ways to become truly wise. Jesus says that we must lose our lives if we are to find them. The question isn’t whether or not God knows your heart; it is whether or not He has your heart.

Tuesday, August 03, 2021

The quality of trustworthiness

Luke 16:9-13…

Jesus is teaching about how to live wisely in anticipation of His return. He urges us to invest in our eternal future by using our “worldly wealth” in an appropriate way. Money is for building treasure in heaven and you can’t serve both God and money. Our use of our resources is an indicator of where our true loyalties lie. The truth is that you cannot be trusted with truth unless you can be trusted with money.

Sometimes the worst thing that can happen to someone who isn’t building quality into their lives is for them to have some easy success. They may have some success, but they cannot handle success, and they wind up back where they started and usually even worse.  For many people, what they need isn’t success in their life, but stability in their soul.

Even small things matter; faithfulness to a little thing is a big thing. The little only becomes much when you use it (Mark 4:24-25).  Doing the right thing with what you have now shows that you will do the right thing if given more. Being a person who is faithful with someone else’s stuff proves that one is ready for their own stuff. If you can’t be a good subordinate, you won’t be a good supervisor. Invest in other’s lives and other’s will invest in yours (Luke 6:38).

Are you building up the things that make you trustworthy? Can people trust you because you take care of the details? Can people trust you because you know what is important? Can people trust you because you care about their stuff?  Can you be trusted with more things, with better things, with control of things?  

Your influence is beyond money, it includes time, talent, and treasure. You cannot serve both sides at once: who are you serving at this moment? Are you giving glory to God through the stewardship of small things, lesser things, and other people’s things? The most important ability is dependability. You can cultivate that, but are you serving yourself or your Savior? If all you do is act entitled, you won’t be a person who is entrusted.