So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?A lot of believers misread this. They think being trustworthy with worldly wealth is keeping their money in banks and making it grow big there, buying big properties (doing so is "wisely" investing our money, they say), getting rich or being careful to put money only on things that will guarantee ROI. To many churches this is "good" stewardship. If you lose money, they'd say you're a bad steward.
But Jesus tells us in the parable that using worldly riches to gain friends is how to be trustworthy with world wealth. Nothing is said about banks, investment or careful disposal. In the parable of the talents, Jesus tells us to invest money to make it grow. Okay, but then, after making it grow, what would you use it for? Just keep it in the bank?
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After making money grow, we go back to Luke 16:1-15. We give it away to gain friends for ourselves---gain friends for Kingdom purposes, that is. This is backed by Luke 12:33:
Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.Being trustworthy with worldly wealth means you give up everything you have.
...those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples. [Luke 14.33]It's not about wealth hoarding or accumulation. Thus, churches with mega properties and real estate should give up everything they have and give to the poor. The same with rich Christians. Your wealth and properties will have meaning in the Kingdom only if you do this. It's how to be trustworthy with worldly wealth so God can give you true riches.
I'm not impressed one bit by churches or denominations with vast properties and costly buildings. They just prove how they fail in good stewardship. And it's not enough to have a feeding program for the poor. Jesus is crystal clear---give up everything you have. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Use worldly riches to gain friends for yourself. So far, no church denomination has done this. They're all wealth hoarders.
The disciples were impressed by the nice temple buildings they saw one day. And they called Jesus' attention to them, probably expecting him to get impressed, too. But like me, Jesus was not roused one bit.
As Jesus was leaving the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!”
2 “Do you see all these great buildings?” replied Jesus. “Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.” [Mark 13]You think your magnificent church buildings will please God? You think you're a good steward if you build or own them? Nope. You just prove yourself untrustworthy with worldly wealth and untrustworthy with God's true riches.
And who will give you your own property if you cannot be trusted with others' properties? In other words, if you cannot be entrusted with God's worldly riches, how can God give you his true riches?
And what are God's true riches?
Spiritual treasures in heaven. All things spiritual and supernatural. The things of the Holy Spirit. Believers who are wanting in spiritual riches often just rely on the human intellect, logic and reasoning---and they bask in their earthly glory---earthly achievements in ministry. Because they can't get God's true riches, they just try to excel in earthly riches and wisdom, especially getting titles and degrees and recognition.
They mainly use their own efforts. They get things done themselves. You see how they're not led by the Holy Spirit---in fact, they mock things like that. They pay lip service to the spiritual things of the Spirit but don't really heartily believe them. They get things done by their own hard efforts---and yup, they seem to accomplish a lot in the earthly realms and applauded by earthly churches. Those who operate in the earthly realms congratulate themselves.
Like what Jesus keenly observed:
How can you believe since you accept glory from one another but do not seek the glory that comes from the only God? [John 5.44]In short, they don't know how to be trustworthy with worldly wealth. Naturally, they don't have a hint about God's true riches. It's why God's true-riches standards are never in their standards.
Kingdomly believers, however---those who are not particular about congratulations or recognition but seek glory from God---are never assuming. They just quietly obey and stay low-profile and meek:
7 “Suppose one of you has a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Will he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’? 8 Won’t he rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink’? 9 Will he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? 10 So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’” [Luke 17]If you understand the Kingdom mindset of being trustworthy with worldly wealth, you begin to understand these things as well, and how they are aligned and connected---how to be trustworthy with worldly wealth, worldly recognition, fame, positions and servitude.
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