Make friends for yourselves by means of the wealth of unrighteousness, so that when it fails, they will receive you into the eternal dwellings.
In Luke 16, Jesus said we should be shrewd, especially when it comes to how we handle our money. Why should we act with foresight when it comes to our money? First of all, Jesus said, our money can be used to make an eternal difference. Look at verse 9: “Make friends for yourselves by means of the wealth of unrighteousness, so that when it fails, they will receive you into the eternal dwellings.” There is a day coming when money is going to be of absolutely no use to you, and that is the day of your death. But until that day, you can use your money to make friends for yourself.
What did Jesus mean by that? Consider what the shrewd manager in the parable did: he made friends on the outside so that when he joined the ranks of the unemployed, there would be people who would welcome him into their homes. In the same way, when you invest your money in God’s work, you are ensuring there will be people in heaven to welcome you when you arrive.
Second, our use of money is a test of our faithfulness to God. Verses 10-11 say, “He who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much. Therefore if you have not been faithful in the use of unrighteous wealth, who will entrust the true riches to you?” Money is a very little thing to God. And God says, “If you cannot be faithful in how you use a little thing like money, why would I give true riches to you in eternity?”
A modern biographer was writing about the life of the Duke of Wellington, and somebody asked why he was writing yet another biography when so many already existed. He said, “I have an advantage over earlier biographers: I found an old account ledger that shows how the duke spent his money.” If somebody got hold of your bank statements, what would they glean about your true priorities? How we spend our money is perhaps the best test of our faithfulness to God.
Finally, a love for God is the basis of all stewardship. Have you ever wondered why some people get so upset whenever money is talked about in church? What it comes down to is that they do not really love God. That is what Jesus said in verse 13: “No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.” Where is your time, thought life, and energy directed? Is your focus centered around the things of God, or is it centered around acquiring, managing, and worrying about material things?
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “How To Survive A Layoff” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2008.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org