You are always making yourselves look good, but God sees what is in your heart. The things that most people think are important are worthless as far as God is concerned.
~Luke 16:15, CEV
Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of those that matter least.
~Stephen F. Covey
Currently, I am reading the Contemporary English Version and it is a highly interesting read. This was the first bible that I read cover to cover some twenty years ago and I had forgotten how insightful this version can be. I must say that it changed my life dramatically when I read it before and again I find myself fascinated by the clarity of this translation. In Luke 16, Jesus confronts the Pharisees who are upset with Jesus’ teachings on STEWARDSHIP. Let me summarize Jesus main points, the ones that ticked the Pharisees.
- The people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light.
- Anyone who can be trusted in ‘little’ matters can be trusted in ‘important’ matters.
- Anyone who is dishonest in ‘little’ matters will be dishonest in ‘important’ matters.
- If you cannot be trusted to handle worldly wealth [money], how can you be trusted to manage ‘true’ wealth?
- You can not serve two masters: you cannot attend to what matters least and what matters most at the same time. One of the two will be neglected.
- You cannot serve both God and money.
MONEY was the key word, when Jesus said, “You can’t serve both God and money,” the Pharisees went into orbit. The reason being: they loved money and whether they knew it or not, it had become their god. Jesus then makes the statement: You folks are always making yourselves look good, but God sees what is in your heart. The things that most people think are important are worthless as far as God is concerned. So in answer to the question: who decides what is important–the answer is God! There is no question that I thought the ball game last Monday night was important but who made that determination? It was not God, was it? Sometimes the things that are important to us are only trivial pursuits that don’t amount to a hill of beans. So Jesus indictment against the Pharisees is that they have sacrificed what matters most for what matters least. Their big thing was performance and conning folks into thinking they were respectable. They were so intent on managing the externals of life [church attendance, alms giving, fasting, tithing] that they completely neglected the internals. Jesus told them point blank: God is looking at whats on the inside. These folks were so busy pleasing men that they neglected to please God. That was Jesus left hook, His right cross was ‘your money, which is vitally important to you, is worthless to God.’ Actually, nothing the Pharisees did had any real worth because their motives were wrong.
Are you sacrificing what matter most for what matters least? Do you really want to know the truth? If you do, look at your check book. Where are you investing your [His] money? Do you spend more on entertainment than you do on missions? Some folks invest more money in one vacation than they do the church for the entire year. The average church attender gives only $500 per year. This is pitiful stewardship and trust me, when the world to come appears, these miserly givers are going to be a paupers. Like the Prodigal, they have squandered what God gave them to manage on themselves and trivial pursuits. If we fail to manage properly what God entrusted to us in this world; we will not be trusted with anything in next world. I’m just telling you to listen to Jesus: the meek are going to inherit the earth. Abraham, Moses, and John the Baptist are going to be filthy rich in the world to come. Unless they repent and change, Bloomberg, Soros, Gates and all the rest of the world’s billionaires will have nothing. You don’t believe that, do you? I do!
We had a good day yesterday: June’s surgery went well. We want to thank all who came by and all who prayed. Wendy Hembree’s surgery went good also. I pulled one on June. The kids and I are doing home improvement while she is in the hospital and she is not thrilled. Pray for me, I probably will not get the house restored before she comes home and right now there is no TV and Big Mama has to have TV. I started to ask Dr. Ward to keep her through Tuesday but I had a hard time getting him to listen. He wanted to do all the talking. Anyway, we got a good start and all of her furniture is in the garage. If I want her to know all this, I will tell her.