And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal dwellings. “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.  If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own? No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” —Luke 16:9-13

            How are you using the wealth God has given you to be a steward of? Are you using it for self or for others? What is the responsibility God has given you for that wealth? Where is the wealth He has given you being used? Is it being used for His glory or your own, for building His kingdom or your own?   If your checkbook was looked into, what would be seen as important to you? If your footsteps were retraced, what would be seen as important to you?

            In the verses above our Lord is encouraging us to use our wealth in such a way as to make friends who will give us a joyful reception in heaven. Of course Jesus is not talking about buying friends… of course not. He is talking about ministering to and serving people through our wealth to have a positive impact in their lives. In this way we will have grateful friends who will rejoice together with us in glory for the great things God has done through us.

            This principle that Jesus gives could apply to many situations— “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.” But in the context here He talking about faithfulness or dishonesty with the wealth we have been entrusted with. So the questions I have for myself are— Am I being faithful or dishonest with the wealth my Lord has entrusted me with? Am I seeking to bring glory to Him by serving others with it?   Or, am I being dishonest with His wealth entrusted to me to bring glory to myself? The answer to those questions will give conclusion as to who or what really is my master because I cannot serve two masters at the same time— God is either my master or wealth, however much or little I have, is my master.

            Jesus goes on to tell the story of a rich man and a poor beggar name Lazarus in Luke 16:19-31. The rich man had the best this world had to offer. Lazarus had nearly nothing and had to beg to survive. Jesus never mentions whether the rich man ever even paid any attention to Lazarus, but that the man was focused on his own comfort and pleasure. The time came that they both died. Lazarus was a believer and went to glory. The rich man was not a believer and went to Hades where he was in torment.   His desire there was one drop of water to give him relief. When that was not possible he then requested someone go to tell his five brothers of this terrible place he was in so they would not wind up there. He was told that the Word of God and the servants of God were proclaiming the message and if they would not listen to them then they would not listen to someone who came back from the dead to tell them.

            Those who focus on wealth and not their relationship with Jesus will wind up in the same place as the wealthy man who focus only on his wealth. Those who know Jesus are to use their wealth wisely for the glory of God to serve others.   May we who have trusted Jesus do so that many will rejoice with us in heaven. Yes, dear Father, may this be so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus.

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