Lord, make me to know my end and what is the extent of my days; let me know how transient I am.
How can you make money your slave rather than your master? In his commentary on the parable of the shrewd manager, James Montgomery Boice noted several actions of the manager worthy of our emulation. First of all, the manager viewed the future realistically. Until this momentous day in his life, he probably thought he was going to have this job forever. But when his boss fired him, suddenly the manager had a sobering dose of reality. He, for the first time, had a realistic assessment of his future.
I am amazed at how many Christians do not have a realistic grasp of what awaits them. Most Christians live their lives as if they are going to be on this planet forever. They treat death as a remote possibility instead of an absolute inevitability. But death is not an option; it is a certainty for every one of us. You and I are going to die, and we are going to leave everything behind. The manager understood that. He viewed the future realistically.
Second, he made preparation for the future. Instead of being paralyzed with panic over what awaited him, he decided to take action. In the church where I served previously, there was a military man who received word that he was going to be transferred to Korea for a year, leaving his wife and two small children behind. He said, “Pastor, I just want to make these final weeks I have with my family count. I want to spend every moment I can with my wife and children.” So we prayed together that God would give him the opportunity to do that. About a week and a half before he was to leave, my wife and I saw this man with his family at a local park. And just by the expression on his face, it was evident that he was trying to squeeze every possible meaningful moment he could out of the time he had left. He realized he was about to make a great transition, and he wanted to prepare for it.
You and I are also going to face a great change one day: we are going to move from this life to eternity. A wise person is one who makes preparations for that inevitability. Now, if you are not a Christian, then the most important preparation you can make is to accept Christ as your Savior, to trust in Him for the forgiveness of your sins. But if you are already a believer, then the most important preparation you can make is to invest your time, your efforts, and your dollars in God’s eternal work. That is what the manager did. He made preparations for the future.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “How To Survive A Layoff” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2008.
James Montgomery Boice, “The Parables of Jesus” (Chicago: Moody, 1983), 133-40.
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