Windows on Finance Part 4
In Luke 16:11-12 Jesus makes a curious statement: “Therefore if you have not been faithful in the case of unrighteous mammon, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not proved faithful in that which belongs to another, whether God or man, who will give you that which is your own, that is, the true riches?” (Amplified Bible - emphasis mine)
mammon wants us to believe that riches, money and possessions are “true riches”. He wants us to trust in them (which is actually him). Jesus is saying that in reality, unrighteous mammon is deceitful or false riches and that it is God’s heart to give us true riches, but there is also a process to receive them.
I don’t know about you but I’m really keen to receive God’s true riches and if there’s something I’m doing or not doing that’s keeping me from them, I want to know about it. Here’s brief list of some of God’s true (real and eternal) riches just so you know what you might be missing out on:
- God’s grace, salvation, mercy, goodness and glory
- The forgiveness of our sins and release from guilt
- The wisdom and knowledge of God
- The glory of His inheritance
- New birth, eternal life, the renewing and empowering of the Holy Spirit
- Faith, hope, deliverance, healing, health, prosperity
- A right and loving relationship with our Heavenly Father
- God’s kindness and forbearance
- Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, longsuffering, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control
- and the list goes on…
Here’s the heavy for the day: Jesus is saying that if we haven’t been faithful in the case of unrighteous mammon (our stewardship of money), He’s not interested in giving us His true riches. Ouch.
One of the first lesson’s I learned about reading the Bible is that if you see a “therefore” (as in Luke 16:11) you need to check back to the previous verses and see what it is there for!
In the first part of Luke 16 Jesus tells a parable about a servant who finds out his boss is about to sack him so to make friends before he gets fired he severely discounts all his bosses’ debtors’ accounts (some by 50%!). The debtors are wrapt that he has written down their bills and the servant hopes his favour will be returned when he loses his job. Now Jesus is not suggesting or condoning hurting your employer here, rather He is talking about a spiritual reality and hurting (in fact blaspheming) our spiritual employer, let me explain...
Before we became Christians we were in the world and of the world and mammon under satan’s jurisdiction had rights over us (he is the employer in the story). What Jesus said was if you’re going to follow Me, mammon will fire you, so take some of his stuff (money) and hurt him by giving it away. Taking his stuff and giving it away is kind of sealing the deal that you’re fired and it also pleases your Heavenly Father that you are taking a courageous stand and saying “mammon, I don’t need you any more and I’m burning my bridges with you because God is now my Source.” It provides a Biblical foundation for giving (as opposed to giving so that God “owes” us and will supply our needs). It also opens the door to God’s true riches.
In Luke 16:9 Jesus says: “And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon, that when you fail (ie when you die), they may receive you into everlasting habitations.” (bracketed words mine)
So Jesus confirms we should blaspheme mammon till our dying day. Through ongoing giving to the poor we are lending to the Lord who will receive us into His everlasting habitations when we leave this mortal coil. Now that spins my wheels.
And just in case you’re in any doubt about this employer business, check out verse 13:
“No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”
Jesus puts a very clear line in the sand. He is also very clear which side of the line holds true riches. The challenge is that our stewardship (faithful handling of riches and money) is a condition for the release of what God considers to be true riches. So if your life or ministry is not flourishing, check out your financial stewardship. It may or may not be the reason, but it’s certainly worth checking.
God not only wants to bless us financially, He also wants us to overflow in His true riches which are priceless beyond measure. So who wants to put a price on their salvation? How about your eternal life, what will you sell that for?
As we learn to be faithful stewards by managing riches and money correctly, God will start trusting us to steward more of His true riches. God teaches us to be faithful and good stewards using tangible, physical things (riches and money), which belong to another (the world system) to prepare us to handle His intangible, but far more real “true riches.”
This series is designed to build your faith in God as your Provider and to enable you to release His full abundance into your life. If you have a testimony of God’s provision as a result of applying the principles from this ministry please share it with us (and let us know if we can share it with others). If this article has helped you, please consider praying for me and this ministry. Thanks and God Bless, Richard BP.
This article is provided for educational and edificational purposes only. It does not constitute and is not a substitute for professional advice. If you require financial advice or assistance please contact a suitable professional advisor.