Monday, September 20, 2010

17 Pentecost

+ Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost +
September 19, 2010
“One who is faithful”
And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth, so that when it fails, they may receive you into the eternal dwellings. Luke 16:9 With these words, Jesus gives us the reason he told this strange story that leaves many people scratching their heads in confusion. Why would Jesus tell a story in which a worldly, dishonest man is commended? In order to make a point about how to use temporal things for eternal gain. As followers of Jesus, we are called to a higher standard of faithfulness, both with unrighteous wealth, and with true riches. And remember, my friends, God’s standard can only be met by complete reliance on the grace and mercy of God revealed in His Son.

Be faithful in a very little
a. Does God have a plan for handling money? Spend less than you have coming in, get out of debt in order to have savings and be generous in giving.
b. If you have not been faithful in that which is another’s – it all belongs to God! Attitude check!

Be also faithful in much – only those who have clothed themselves in Christ!
a. How do we see the faithfulness of Christ Jesus? We read in John’s Gospel:
Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do, for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner…I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge, and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me….I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me…When you lift up the Son of man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself, but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things…For I have not spoken on My own authority, but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak…Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority, but the Father who dwells in Me does the works.”
b. Those who love money will ridicule us, but Jesus has the last word: what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God. Let them laugh. What qualifies as “your own”? What is in your heart! Love of God, love of your neighbor, your time and energy, your choices of how to give your time and energy to your family, church and community. This no one can take away from you. What a joy to serve God and play a part in filling those eternal dwellings with the souls Christ died to save!

We’re pilgrims on the journey of the narrow way
And all who come behind us light the way
Cheering on the faithful, encouraging the weary,
Their lives a stirring testament to God’s sustaining grace

Surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses.
Let us run the race not only for the prize
But as those who’ve gone before us Let us leave to those behind us
The heritage of faithfulness Passed on through Godly lives

Oh, may all who come behind us find us faithful,
May the fire of our devotion light the way,
May the footprints that we leave, Lead them to believe
And the lives we live inspire them to obey
Oh, may all who come behind us Find us faithful

After all our hopes and dreams have come and gone,
And our children sift through all we’ve left behind
May the clues that they discover And the memories uncover
Become the light that leads them To the road we all must find

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