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smart watch on wrist October 21 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today’s Bible reading or alternate versions (use your browser arrow to return): Luke 14:25-17:19

Stewardship of Time and Resources

God gives each of us time and resources. We have twenty-four hours a day. After we take into account sleeping, eating, bathing, dressing, daily chores, and travel time, most of us have less than twelve hours which we might spend profitably. How do we use our resources? Resources include our abilities, money, and assets. These are things God gives us to use, and hopefully we will use them for his glory. How will we be a good steward of our time and resources?

As Jesus is ministering to the masses, he warns them to count the cost of being his disciples, his followers —it may not be easy. We have covered this theme in a previous message when Jesus told his twelve disciples the same thing. There is a cost to following Jesus. We are stewards of God’s message and his resources, and yet, we may encounter criticism and even persecution from the world. Is it worth it? Jesus wants us to be willing to give up everything we have to become his disciples. Afterward, we will be rewarded in heaven for our faithfulness.

Pharisees and teachers of the Law of Moses (religious leaders) oppose Jesus. They do not think he should spend his time with tax collectors, sinners, and prostitutes—they have bad reputations. Through the use of three parables, the parable of the lost sheep, the parable of the lost coin, and the parable of the prodigal son, Jesus makes the point that it is well worth his time to go after sinners. He says to them “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Luke 5:32, NIV). Jesus is spending his time where it is the most profitable—that which makes an eternal difference. Do we do this? Whether in the home, business, or the community, we need to genuinely care about people and lead them to Jesus.

The Lord tells another parable to his disciples and some Pharisees hear it. The story is about a wise steward who uses worldly wealth to his advantage. The point of the parable is not for Christians to use money selfishly and greedily, but to use it graciously so that those who need it will be helped. This builds true friendship with people, and we will be rewarded in heaven. Our grace also illustrates the grace of God which helps us all to find the way to eternal spiritual life (more...).

Jesus tells the people they can't serve God and money.The Pharisees sneer at his words; they make themselves rich from the people. Many religious leaders (not all) do the same today by teaching the gospel of prosperity. They instruct followers to give money to their particular ministries, and then God will bless them. However, if these ministries or religious leaders are already rich and are just building castles or retreat centers, this is not a good investment. Why not give our resources to ministries that operate with a low overhead so our resources can help the truly needy? Ask for a financial statement to find out how money is being spent and what percentage helps those most in need. This is being shrewd and wise with the money God allows us to earn. and it will gain us many true friends. This is good stewardship of our resources and will be rewarded in heaven.

Increasing our wealth for the sake of increasing our wealth is detestable to God (Luke 16:15). Money and other resources that God gives us are meant to be used for his glory, not just accumulated or used for selfish purposes. Those who are ungodly will be judged for how they misuse their resources and the lack of mercy they show to the needy. If we claim to be religious, then let us be truly religious. A right relationship to Christ is all important (more...), and it is often revealed by how we use our resources. The early church leader and author of the Bible book of James says,

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world (James 1:27, NIV).

Let's give ourselves to glorifying God in our spirits and actions. Let's exercise compassion, show mercy and pity, and do good where we can. Let's lead others to know the Lord by being gracious. Let's be faithful and good stewards of the resources God gives us.

Lessons to Live By

  • There is a cost to being a disciple, or steward of the grace of God. We must be fully committed to Jesus Christ, the one who shed his blood so we could have eternal life, and be willing to suffer for his name.
  • We should spend our time where it will be the most profitable—that which will make an eternal difference.
  • Let's be gracious to those truly in need. By this we show the love of Christ.
  • Increasing our wealth for the sake of increasing our wealth is detestable to God. Money and other resources that God gives us are meant to be used for his glory, not just accumulated or used for selfish purposes.
  • A right relationship to Christ is all important (more...), and it is often revealed by how we use our resources. Let's be faithful and good stewards.

Focus Verses

Matthew 24:44-47 (NIV)

So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. I tell you the truth, he will put him in charge of all his possessions.”

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A Look Ahead: Who is Jesus?

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