WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
JANUARY 24, 2022
TOPIC: USE YOUR WORLDLY WEALTH TO HELP PEOPLE COME TO CHRIST
BY T. O. BANSO
“And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon, that when you fail, they may receive you into an everlasting home” (Luke 16:9 New King James Version).
In Luke 16:1-13, Jesus told a parable of the unjust steward or shrewd manager who wasted his master’s possessions and when he heard the report, he sacked him and asked him to give an account of his stewardship.
Saying to himself that after he had lost his job he could not dig and was ashamed to beg, the manager decided to make a deal with his master’s debtors. He asked them to change the amounts they owed to lower figures so that when he was finally put out of his position, they might receive him into their houses (verses 3-7).
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). Some people have misunderstood this verse as Jesus commending this shrewd manager. But from the verse, it is clear that it was his master, not Jesus, who commended him for dealing shrewdly or wisely.
Nevertheless, Jesus has something to say about this manager, which is the lesson He wants us to learn. His focus was not the man’s dishonesty but his shrewdness. “And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon, that when you fail, they may receive you into an everlasting home. He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?” (Luke 16:9-12 New King James Version).
The lesson Jesus wants us to learn from this parable is the need to use our worldly wealth to help people to come into the Kingdom of God so that when our wealth is gone and we live this earth, the people we have used our wealth to help to come to Christ will welcome us into our eternal home. Jesus considered such use of our wealth as faithfulness because we are stewards of our wealth. God is the owner and we shall give account to Him how we have used the wealth He gave us.
How are you using your wealth? Are you using it selfishly or unselfishly? In the parable of the rich fool, the rich fool said, “And I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry’” (Luke 12:19 New King James Version). He was a selfish person. He didn’t realize that his wealth was not to be used for himself alone. He didn’t bother about giving to God or blessing others. “But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’ So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God” (Luke 12:20-21 New King James Version).
How are you using your wealth? If Jesus is your Lord, is He also the Lord of your wealth or it’s a no-go-area for Jesus? Are you using your wealth to help others to come to Jesus? This is the way to affect people’s lives eternally. Or are you squandering your wealth for vainglory as non-believers do?
Jesus says, “And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon, that when you fail, they may receive you into an everlasting home” (Luke 16:9 New King James Version). In other words, those who become your friends through the use of your worldly wealth will be in an everlasting home and welcome you also after your death.
Jesus says, “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:2-3New King James Version).
How many people have come to Christ through you? How many people will occupy the mansions Jesus has gone to prepare in heaven because you used your worldly wealth faithfully with the consciousness of eternity? Or are you like many who are abusing the wealth God has given them? Are you saying you can use your wealth anyhow without being accountable to God because you feel your power and might got you your wealth (Deuteronomy 8:17)?
The New Living Translation renders Luke 16:9 thus: “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.” Those who come to Christ by blessing them with your worldly riches, giving towards evangelism and gospel advancement in your church, and supporting Christian ministries that are doing the same are your friends. How many such friends do you have? This is the best use of your wealth. Jesus says you cannot serve God and mammon. In other words, you cannot serve God and money. But you can serve God with money. You can use your money to serve God. You can use your money to help people come to Christ.
See how the Amplified Bible puts Luke 16:9: “And I tell you [learn from this], make friends for yourselves [for eternity] by means of the wealth of unrighteousness [that is, use material resources as a way to further the work of God], so that when it runs out, they will welcome you into the eternal dwellings.”
GOD’S WORD® Translation says, “[Jesus continued,] ‘I’m telling you that although wealth is often used in dishonest ways, you should use it to make friends for yourselves. When life is over, you will be welcomed into an eternal home.’”
Use your worldly resources to support the preaching of the gospel. Give generously to support Christian ministries that are focused on soul winning. This is how to lay treasure for yourself in heaven. As it has been said, you can’t take it (your money) with you to heaven but you can send it on ahead. “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21 New King James Version).
Use your worldly resources to help those who have not given their lives to Jesus and through that you can show them the love of God. It is often said that people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Make friends for the Kingdom of God with your wealth and they’ll welcome you in the future to your eternal dwelling or home.
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, help me to be a faithful steward of the wealth you’ve given me and will give me. I will not be like the rich fool; I will be rich towards God in Jesus’ name. Holy Spirit, help me to faithfully use my wealth to help others come to Christ.
(For over 800 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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