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Invest Your One and Only Life (Luke 16:1-13)

Sermon on 12 December 2021 by Ps Paul


Jesus shared a parable with His disciples about a shrewd manager, or also referred to as the unjust steward. Whether our earthly life is long or short, we only have one life, and all the days are given by God. How does God want us to invest our one and only life?


Jesus told this story to his disciples: “There was a certain rich man who had a manager handling his affairs. One day a report came that the manager was wasting his employer’s money. So the employer called him in and said, ‘What’s this I hear about you? Get your report in order, because you are going to be fired.’ “The manager thought to himself, ‘Now what? My boss has fired me. I don’t have the strength to dig ditches, and I’m too proud to beg. Ah, I know how to ensure that I’ll have plenty of friends who will give me a home when I am fired.’ “So he invited each person who owed money to his employer to come and discuss the situation. He asked the first one, ‘How much do you owe him?’ The man replied, ‘I owe him 800 gallons of olive oil.’ So the manager told him, ‘Take the bill and quickly change it to 400 gallons.’ “‘And how much do you owe my employer?’ he asked the next man. ‘I owe him 1,000 bushels of wheat,’ was the reply. ‘Here,’ the manager said, ‘take the bill and change it to 800 bushels.’ “The rich man had to admire the dishonest rascal for being so shrewd. And it is true that the children of this world are more shrewd in dealing with the world around them than are the children of the light. – Luke 16:1-8

It is important to note that God is not telling us to be like the dishonest manager. God desires honesty and truth. He detests dishonesty. Do not read just a few verses out of context, otherwise you might miss the true intent of God.

Here’s the lesson: Use your worldly resources to benefit others and make friends. Then, when your possessions are gone, they will welcome you to an eternal home. – Luke 16:9

God is telling us to make friends with bad company. James 4:4 tells us that God does not want us to be in close fellowship with the world. He does not want us to indulge in worldly pleasures that cause us to drift away from God. Rather, God wants us to use our worldly resources wisely.

You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God. – James 4:4

“If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities. And if you are untrustworthy about worldly wealth, who will trust you with the true riches of heaven? And if you are not faithful with other people’s things, why should you be trusted with things of your own? “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.” – Luke 16:10-13

Be faithful. Love God, and not money.

Luke 16:9 tells us to use our worldly resources to benefit others. What are our worldly resources? They include our money, possessions, talents, connections with others, time and life. How do we invest our life wisely in a way that is pleasing to God?

1. Seek God’s kingdom first

God does not want us to focus on earning money as our priority. We work to earn a living, but the love of money should not be our focus. He wants us to seek His kingdom and His righteousness. Our first priority is to seek God. Love God, and not money. He will give us everything we need for our benefit. Note that it is not want we want, but what we need. He knows what we need.

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need. – Matthew 6:33

The love of money will cause many problems. We cannot serve both God and money. Don’t have a mindset of transaction-making with God. You cannot buy God’s blessings with money. We are merely His vessels; it is up to God as to what to provide us with.

For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows. - 1 Timothy 6:10

In Acts 8:20-23, Simon the sorcerer offered Peter and John money to buy power. But Peter rebuked Simon.

But Peter replied, “May your money be destroyed with you for thinking God’s gift can be bought! You can have no part in this, for your heart is not right with God. Repent of your wickedness and pray to the Lord. Perhaps he will forgive your evil thoughts, for I can see that you are full of bitter jealousy and are held captive by sin.” - Acts 8:20-23 – 20

God is our everything. He is all that we need.

2. Recognise that all that we have belongs to God

He is the giver of life. All our resources belong to Him. We are stewards of these things. Let us not boast about what we have. Give Him thanks for all that we have.

So don’t boast about following a particular human leader. For everything belongs to you— whether Paul or Apollos or Peter, or the world, or life and death, or the present and the future. Everything belongs to you, and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God. - 1 Corinthians 3:21-23 – 21

He said, “I came naked from my mother’s womb, and I will be naked when I leave. The Lord gave me what I had, and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord!” - Job 1:21

3. Be faithful

Be faithful, honest and trustworthy in completing your tasks. We are to be accountable to God in all that we say and do. Let us be responsible for the things entrusted to us.

If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities. And if you are untrustworthy about worldly wealth, who will trust you with the true riches of heaven? And if you are not faithful with other people’s things, why should you be trusted with things of your own? - Luke 16:10-12

Don’t scheme against others, don’t use dishonest games, for we must be accountable for all that we say and do to Him.

Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God. - Romans 14:12

4. Give generously

The bible tells us to give generously to those in need and to God’s kingdom. When you recognize that all you have belongs to God, and see those in need, you will be so willing to give your resources to help others.

Give generously to the poor, not grudgingly, for the Lord your God will bless you in everything you do. - Deuteronomy 15:10

They share freely and give generously to those in need. Their good deeds will be remembered forever. They will have influence and honor. - Psalm 112:9

If God has given you a gift, use it to support God’s kingdom.

In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. 8 If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly. - Romans 12:6-8

You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. As the Scriptures say, “They share freely and give generously to the poor. Their good deeds will be remembered forever.” - 2 Corinthians 9:7-9

When we give, give cheerfully, give generously. Our God is generous. He gives us grace even though we do not deserve it.

In Acts 10:1-4, Cornelius was a Roman officer who gave generously to the poor and prayed to God everything. An angel appeared to Him and told Him his actions were pleasing to God. King David, in 1 Chronicles 29:3-5, set aside almost all his wealth to build the holy temple of God and all the people of Israel also generously gave.

5. Share the good news

Let us tell others about Jesus, for this is the Great Commission given to us by our Lord Jesus Christ. How can others believe if they do not know about Jesus? Share with others about who Jesus is and what He has done for you. We are God’s spokespeople. Even if only one person receives the good news and decides to repent and live right with God, there is great rejoicing in heaven.

For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!” - Romans 10:13-15

In Acts 3:1-26, Peter and John saw a crippled beggar and had compassion on him. They made him walk again in Jesus’ name. When everyone saw this and were amazed, Peter and John could share about Jesus. In Acts 8:26-40, Philip shared about Jesus with an Ethiopian eunuch who then was baptized and received salvation. In Acts 17:16-34, Paul shared about God with a group of people who worshipped many idols. Although many did not accept the gospel, there was a small group that stayed and believed.


Let us seek God’s kingdom first and recognise all that we have belongs to God. Let us be faithful, give generously, and share the good news.

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