Make sure you check out Part 1 of Jesus Talk$ Money! Luke 16 is Jesus’ primary and definitive teaching about money and how to treat money as believers, and these blog posts unlock 8 revelations related to money from this parable.
Revelation number 5 is extravagance, that God gives according to your measure. Jesus put it this way, “Give and it will be given back to you.” And, “the measure you use will be measured to you.” So, if you use a little teeny-tiny measure, that’s the way God will measure back to you. If you use a big, giant measure, that’s the way God will measure back to you. So, how do you want God to give to you? Would you like God to give to you skeptically? “He’s probably going to blow it again.” Begrudgingly? “Oh, OK.” After a year of due diligence, “Well, I’ll really check her out …” Or, how about never quite enough? You need $1,000 and He gives you $400 … How about last minute, where it’s just too late? Is that the way you want God to give to you? I tell you: we determine how God gives to us. How about the generous, always ready, double what you need extravagance? “Oh, you need a thousand? Here’s two thousand. You need it in 30 days? I’ll give it to you tomorrow.” I just think we’ve got to change the way we give. How about the way-too-early giver? The too-celebratory giver? The “Yeah, that’s probably going to be wasted, but what the heck!” giver? You determine how God gives to you with your standard of measure that’s given to you, and that’s what this guy understood in the parable. With the standard of measure that I use to give away that which is not even mine, it’s measured back to me, extravagance.
Revelation number 6 —verse 8 says, “The master praised the unrighteous manager,” and here is the sixth revelation. It’s that we give God pleasure. The master praised the unrighteous manager, because he acted shrewdly. I mean, to think about being able to give God pleasure, where God praises you, He says, “Wow, that is great!” It’s interesting, the Bible talks about honoring God with the first fruits of your wealth, Proverbs 3:9. Honor God. We have the opportunity to honor the creator of the universe. To honor him! It says, “He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord.” Man, I want to lend to the Lord. Can you imagine lending to the Lord? That is so bizarre and reversed and upside-down and wrong, and I want to do as much as I can.
Seventh revelation is the good we can do. “Make friends for yourself by means of the wealth of unrighteousness, that when it fails, they will receive you into eternal dwellings.” Here’s the truth: we can take what doesn’t belong to us, that we cannot keep, and we turn it into something that we can keep and that does belong to us. By giving it away! This donor friend of mine, one of his favorite investments he makes is the Exodus Road Girls Home, where literally they go buy girls out of sex slavery for $30. He just keeps buying these girls’ freedom. Imagine what is going to happen to my friend when he gets to heaven. Can you see 10,000 girls lined up? That’s making friends. He says they’ll welcome you into eternal dwellings, that they line up, and each of those, the children that they had, thank you. Each one that they touched comes and thanks you as well, and it ends up being millions of people go, “You changed everything.” Wow, the friends you can make. You think about the Schindler revelation. Do you remember Schindler’s List? Remember this guy, and it’s just such an astonishing movie. Here was a guy who helped the Jews, and at first, he was just a hardboiled business man, and it was a business decision. By the end, I remember, he looked at his car and said, “How many could I have bought with this car?” and he pulls out his pens and says, “How many could I have bought with this pen?” It’s the Schindler revelation, the good you can do. Man, the good I can do. I’ve got to spend it all!
The final revelation is true riches. This is what Jesus said: “He who is faithful in a very little thing is also faithful in much.” When Jesus was talking about a very little thing, do you know what he’s talking about? Money. In fact, Jesus refers to money as a very little thing. He who is faithful in this very little thing called money is also faithful in much, and 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 intrust true riches to you? This very little thing is money. It doesn’t belong to you. You cannot keep it, but it’s a test that if you are faithful with this very little thing that doesn’t belong to you, that you cannot keep, you get true riches. You will receive true riches that you can keep, that do belong to you. He says, “That which is your own.” He actually gives you something that you can keep for eternity that 100% belongs to you. Isn’t that outrageous? That is true riches.
This life is an internship for the age to come, and money is a test. What you do with it determines partially your reward and position in eternity. Sound radical? No, biblical. Remember the parable of the minas: a nobleman went away to receive a kingdom for himself; in return, he called ten of his slaves, he gave them each 10 minas and said, “Do business until I come.” When he returned after receiving the kingdom, he ordered these slaves who had been given the money to be called to him that he’d know what business they did. They appeared. The first one said, “Master, your minas are 10 more,” and he said to him, “Well done, good and faithful slave. Because you have been faithful in a very little thing, you are to have authority over 10 cities.” Wow. So, you know Jesus is returning, right? Jesus is coming back to be a literal king over little Planet Earth, and do you know he is going to co-reign with you? And he is going to choose you partially based on the way used money, and this is exactly what this verse says. You don’t have to like it, but it is the Bible. Is that outrageous? A very little thing called money is a test, and if we’re faithful with it, it’s one of the things that will determine what our position is with Him forever. Forever. You realize, again, that this life is the blink of an eye in the face of eternity? Jesus goes on and finishes, and he says, “No servants can serve two masters. You either hate the one and love the other.” You cannot serve God and money. Now, the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, were listening to these things and were scoffing at Him, and he said to them, “You are those that justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your heart, for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God.”
Money is a tool. These revelations have changed the way I view money. The clock is ticking. I want to get as much as I possibly can, and I want to get rid of it all before I breathe my last breath, and I want to affect as many people as I can, bring the kingdom as dramatically as I can possibly bring it. We have a brief window of opportunity, don’t we?