Drew here, pinch hitting for Andrea. :)
This week's study comes from Luke 16:1-13, where Jesus gives the parable of the shrewd manager. This passage was part of our harmony of the gospels study in Sunday school a couple weeks ago and it was a tremendous blessing on my life and I felt the Lord lay it on my heart to share it with our group and whoever may be reading this post. I sincerely hope and pray you get a blessing from it as well.
(1-8): How much we're willing to let God be in control of our finances is a good litmus test as to our relationship with him, more specifically, his lordship in our lives. Money has a lot of power in our lives and can be used for good or evil. We must use our resources wisely as they belong to God and not to us, and in such a way that will foster faith and obedience. Store up your treasures in heaven!
(10-12): There is nothing wrong with having ambitions, hopes, dreams, desires, and so forth, so long as they don't take the place of God's plan for our lives. Personally, I feel in a state of transition in my life. I feel the house we're currently living in isn't likely going to be the house we end up buying. I feel like my field is a dying profession and I feel the Lord calling me into full-time ministry at some point in the not too distant future. We're also in need of a new car. Andrea and I have many other wants and desires for ourselves, our son and our friends and loved ones around us. But times like these, we need to step back and take stock of the blessings we currently have in order to give way to clarity and peace of mind right now, so the answers that are to come later on don't take precedence in our lives today. Are we being responsible with what God has already blessed us with? It's been my personal experience that God has rightfully (though I didn't feel that way at the time) withheld blessings because I was neglecting what was already under my nose. For example, if I have a poor attitude at my current job, why should God see fit to bless me with the job promotion I've been praying for for a while? God needs to see that we can responsibly handle the little things before he often provides more for us here on Earth, and not to mention trusting us to responsibly handle the heavenly riches to come. It's an old adage, but count your blessings. God will reward you on this side of heaven and in his kingdom of glory.
(13): As I touched on in the first section of verses, money has the power to take God's place in our lives. It can become our master ahead of God easier than we realize. Money is a very hard master, and a very deceptive one. Have you become a slave to money today? Do you think and worry about it frequently? Do you sacrifice things you should do and would even like to do in order to make more money? Is it hard for you to give away money? Just remember that great fortunes can be made and lost overnight, but no amount of money can buy your happiness, health, or more importantly, your eternal life. Let's let God be our master today. He offers us a peace of mind and security unlike any material thing in this world, both now and forever.
Please feel free to leave any feedback, praises, or anything we can help you pray for in the comments section! Have a blessed week!