S: Luke 16:9-13 Here’s the lesson: Use your worldly resources to benefit others and make friends. Then, when your earthly possessions are gone, they will welcome you to an eternal home. 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 both God and money.”
O: Just before this passage, Jesus told the perplexing Parable of the Dishonest/Shrewd Steward. Here is Anne Robertson's take on it, here is Ross Rhodes' take on it, and here is Jack Kelly's take on it.
Jesus then makes the point that we should use temporal money for eternal benefit. After all, we can't take it with us. So we might as well use it to further the Kingdom of God.
A: We are to serve God and not money. Too often, we make money our master -- modifying our actions to gather more of it. Instead, we should view money as a tool -- a tool for encouraging more and more people to be closer to God.
I am by nature a very stingy person, so I have had to set aside in my budget ahead of time money that can be used for God's purposes. That way, when a need arises, I can feel free to give that money set aside -- because in my mind it's already not my money. Other people are more generous naturally, and they can just give freely out of their general pool of money.
P: Father, help me to become more generous, and bring me into conformity with Christ's image. In Jesus' name, amen.
Note: this is using the SOAP method. For more information, see this page (not written by me.)