Growing Contentment and Generosity – Day 3, April 20

This is a 4-week topical study on growing contentment and generosity in our hearts (click on the Reading Plan tab on the website for a list of the scriptures by day).  The word “content” means not needing more, and the word “generous” means open-handed giving. As we look at what the Bible has to say about wealth and riches, it is my prayer that we would open our hands’ grip just a little bit more on the stuff of this world and grow generosity in its place. During this study, I hope you will share your stories of how God provides in our comments section on the website, as a testimony and encouragement to our readers to take these baby steps in the direction of God and just see what happens.

Read today’s scripture, journal on it using SOAP, then please share as we encourage one another in this one thing. Below is the NIV version of today’s reading, then below that is a SOAP from one of our study leaders. The Comments section on our website is an open forum for sharing, requesting prayer, and asking questions.

Luke 16:1-15 – The Parable of the Shrewd Manager

Jesus told his disciples: “There was a rich man whose manager was accused of wasting his possessions. So he called him in and asked him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your management, because you cannot be manager any longer.’
“The manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do now? My master is taking away my job. I’m not strong enough to dig, and I’m ashamed to beg— I know what I’ll do so that, when I lose my job here, people will welcome me into their houses.’
“So he called in each one of his master’s debtors. He asked the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’
“‘Nine hundred gallons of olive oil,’ he replied.
“The manager told him, ‘Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it four hundred and fifty.’
“Then he asked the second, ‘And how much do you owe?’
“‘A thousand bushels of wheat,’ he replied.
“He told him, ‘Take your bill and make it eight hundred.’
“The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light. I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.
10 “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. 11 So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? 12 And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?
13 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”
14 The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. 15 He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight.

You Can’t Serve Both God and Mammon | Rebecca Hoyt

Scripture

Luke 16:13

Observation

My Bible uses the word “mammon” in this verse. I  looked it up to see its meaning. The definition is wealth regarded as an evil influence or false object of worship and devotion. It was taken by medieval writers as the name of the devil. Mammon in the New Testament of the Bible means money or material wealth and is associated with the greedy pursuit of gain. In the Middle Ages, it was often personified as a deity.

  • Material wealth or possessions especially as having a debasing influence  <you can not serve God and mammon.
  • Riches and material wealth, a personification of wealth from late Latin mommona, from Greek mamona, mamon”riches, gain”

Application

Having money or possessions is not a bad thing in itself, but it’s when greed comes in when you are not using it how God wants you to. The words you cannot serve both God and mammon, it doesn’t matter how much money you have, it’s what you feel in your heart. I need to take a close look at my heart to see if there are any areas where I’m serving that more than God and let go of any hold it has in my life.

Prayer

Dear Father, thank You so much for this study. This can be a hard one for a lot of us, not wanting to let go of hard-earned money. Please let us use our money wisely for You. Thank You that as I’m writing this I get to listen to the rain You are using to water my garden that we planted this weekend. I love rain, how it smells and refreshes the ground. I am also so thankful for the women’s retreat this weekend. I was reminded of God’s love for us. Spending time with my moms group ladies, I got to be refreshed also.

The Discover One Thing main website continues to follow the Life Journal Reading Plan which covers the whole Bible in one year. Click HERE to check out today’s Discover One Thing post.

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Posted on April 20, 2016, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Today’s reading just left me baffled. Doesn’t it appear that Jesus is commending this man for being dishonest and shrewd? But when I don’t understand and God gives me a One Thing anyway, I’m even more blown away! God desires us believers to be calculating and smart in our stewardship of what He has given us; though not shrewd, He wants us to invest today in what will provide eternal gains tomorrow. What does this look like for me? You want smart choices now of time, talent, and treasure that will glorify You now and forever.

    Investing in my husband–praying for him and serving him and generously giving him my time so he can better serve you

    Investing in my children–not buying them the best clothes and technology but giving them intentional time of love and encouragement and pointing to You as well as being open and ready for teachable moments

    Investing in others–using the resources you’ve given me to generously love on others and produce eternal gains

    A story about Adam LaRoche, a former professional baseball player, popped up on my newsfeed today, shared by one of my mentors so I thought I should take some time to read it. Here’s a man who gained riches I can not even imagine through playing baseball but was always vocal in his faith throughout his career. The media made a big deal about him leaving baseball, trying to frame it as a spoiled rich kid who didn’t get his way. But this Godly man has an eternal investment strategy. Our culture can’t see past him giving up a $13 million contract, but he’s had this income for several years. God has provided these riches, and this man is now able to invest in his family and others full-time. Read the article to see how he’s chosen to invest in others: http://qpolitical.com/the-heartbreaking-reason-mlb-star-adam-laroche-quit-baseball-to-follow-his-faith/

    Like

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