WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
OCTOBER 1, 2021
TOPIC: BE FAITHFUL WITH WHAT BELONGS TO OTHERS
BY T. O. BANSO
“And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?” (Luke 16:12 New King James Version).
God is interested in how you handle what belongs to another person or others. He’s looking at how faithful you are. He’s looking at whether you’re wasting the resources of others because they’re not yours or you’re managing them well. If you are not faithful with what belongs to others, you hinder yourself from receiving from God what will be yours.
That is the reason many people have remained where they are. God can’t promote them from being a tenant to a landlord, from an employee to employer, a hired driver to a car owner or owner of a transport company, etc. because they’re not faithful with what belongs to another. “And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?” (Luke 16:12 New King James Version).
How do you use the things that belong to others that are in your care? How do you spend the money that belongs to others that you’re supposed to utilize? Do you squander it just because it is not your own? Maybe you’re saying when you get your own money you’ll spend it judiciously. That’s a lie.
That kind of attitude may never allow anyone to get his own money! If anyone can’t manage well other people’s money entrusted to his care, he does not deserve to have his own. Hear how the New Living Translation puts Luke 16:12: “And if you are not faithful with other people’s money, why should you be trusted with money of your own?” (New Living Translation). Did you get the message?
Nobody can be wasting other people’s money and hope he’ll get his, at least not legitimately. Even if he acquires such money, he will squander it because he has not learnt how to manage money well or utilize money judiciously. Managing other people’s money well prepares one for managing one’s money well.
Managing other people’s property well teaches one how to manage one’s property. An unmarried young girl who faithfully helps her sister, mother, or guardian in taking care of her children should see it as an opportunity to learn how to take care of children before she gets married. She should see it as a blessing in disguise. On the other hand, she could see it as a burden and miss a great opportunity to learn.
Dexter Yager and Ron Ball wrote a book entitled, “Everything I know at the top I learned at the bottom.” I believe part of learning at the bottom what would be useful to one later in life comes by being faithful with what belongs to others. Whatever you’re going to become, you’re already becoming! If you’re unfaithful with what belongs to others, and you don’t repent, you can’t do better when you’re independent. If you’re lazy in another person’s business, you can’t be diligent when you establish yours.
1 Corinthians 4:2 says, “A person who is put in charge as a manager must be faithful” (New Living Translation). If he is not faithful on his job as a manager, he can’t manage his own business faithfully. The unjust, shrewd or dishonest manager in Luke 16:1-12 was a bad example.
Verse 1 says, “There was a certain rich man who had a steward, and an accusation was brought to him that this man was wasting his goods” (New King James Version). Anyone wasting what belongs to another will also later waste what belongs to him. The employer of this manager fired him because of the reports that he was wasting his goods.
Some people make a mistake, saying that Jesus commended this dishonest manager. No, the Master (Jesus) didn’t commend him; it was his master who commended him for his shrewdness in his deal with his (his master’s) debtors. Verse 8 says, “So the master commended the unjust steward because he had dealt shrewdly. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light” (New King James Version). The master (small m) in the scripture refers to the rich man.
The lesson Jesus wanted to teach with this parable is in verses 9-12. “I tell you, use your worldly resources to benefit others and make friends. In this way, your generosity stores up a reward for you in heaven. ‘Unless you are faithful in small matters, you won’t be faithful in large ones. If you cheat even a little, 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 money, why should you be trusted with money of your own?” (New Living Translation).
Jesus continued, “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money” (verse 13 New Living Translation).
God demands from you faithfulness with what belongs to others. Work as if you’re working for the LORD and not a human being. “Work hard, but not just to please your masters when they are watching. As slaves of Christ, do the will of God with all your heart. Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will reward each one of us for the good we do, whether we are slaves or free” (Ephesians 6:6-8 New Living Translation).
Whatever you do, do it heartily, as unto the Lord and not unto men, knowing your reward will come from the Lord whom you serve. “Servants, obey in all things those who are your masters according to the flesh, not just when they are looking, as men-pleasers, but in singleness of heart, fearing God. And whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord, and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. But he who does wrong will receive again for the wrong that he has done, and there is no partiality” (Colossians 3:22-25 World English Bible).
An unfaithful person is an unreliable person, and nobody wants to continue a relationship with such a person. Proverbs 25:19 says, “Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a bad tooth and a foot out of joint” (New King James Version).
Proverbs 28:20a says a faithful man will abound with blessings. Jesus said, “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods” (Matthew 24:45-47 New King James Version).
In the parables of the talents and the ten minas, the Bible shows us how the faithful servants were rewarded. In the parable of the talents, the master of the two servants who earned five talents and two talents with their five talents and two talents, respectively, told them, “well done, good and faithful servant” and made them rulers over many things (Matthew 25:20-23).
They were faithful with what belonged to their master, and therefore, abounded in blessing. The wicked, lazy, and unprofitable servant, who went to hide in the ground his one talent, was thrown into the outer darkness after the talent had been collected from him and given to the servant who had earned five talents (verses 26, 30).
Those who are unfaithful with what belongs to others don’t know that they’re actually working against themselves. They’re destroying themselves. When the two servants who earned more talents with the talents were doing business with their talents, they might not have known that their master would make them rulers over many things or promote them. The unfaithful servant robbed himself by refusing to serve his master faithfully.
A similar story is recorded in Luke 19:11-27. Maybe if the unfaithful servant in this scripture had understood that by serving his master faithfully, he was also working towards creating a future of abundance for himself, he would have done business with the one mina he was given like the other nine servants. Probably, he would not have kept his talent somewhere in a handkerchief and would not have accused his master of being an austere man who collected what he did not deposit, and reap what he did not sow (verses 20-21).
His mina was collected from him and given to the servant who earned ten minas with the one mina he had been given. It turned out that in the process of serving their master, doing profitable business with their minas, this “good and faithful servant” and the second servant, who earned five minas, were also working for themselves. Their master rewarded them by giving them ten cities and five cities to rule over, based on the minas each had earned. There was nothing for the unfaithful servant.
It is in your own interest to be faithful with the things that belong to others. Faithfulness pays; unfaithfulness destroys. “The integrity of the upright will guide them, but the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them” (Proverbs 11:3 New King James Version).
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, I repent of my unfaithfulness in the things that belong to others. From today, I shall be faithful anywhere I have been unfaithful. I won’t waste, spoil, mismanage, or misuse anything that belongs to others. I shall demonstrate love towards others in the use of or management of what belongs to them.
(For over 600 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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