Words of Faith 10-18-18
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2018
Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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Luke 16  "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.
Okay. So why did the master commend the dishonest manager? And what does Jesus want us to learn from this strange story? We can understand acts that are shrewd. We often hope to act shrewdly in investments. We may even like to drive a good hard bargain. There is nothing wrong with this. But what Jesus was talking about was different. Jesus said, "Use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.” Jesus was saying that we often miss the most important stuff. We need to look beyond the temporary matters of earth and life. We are called to shrewdly invest in things that are eternal. This is not just a matter of giving away money. We are called to use financial resources in shrewd ways that will influence people for the Kingdom of God. Shrewdly using the finances that God has entrusted to you to touch lives, change people or just make folks happy. The problem is that the shrewdness of the Kingdom will often look frivolous to the world. Take Millard Fuller for example. From humble beginnings in Alabama, Millard Fuller rose to become a young, self made millionaire. A graduate of Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama and the University of Alabama Law School at Tuscaloosa, he and a college friend began a marketing firm while still in school. Fuller's business expertise and entrepreneurial drive made him a millionaire at age 29. But as the business prospered, his health, integrity and marriage suffered. Fuller was as shrewd as they come in the eyes of the world until he did what he did next! The Fullers' found healing and reconciliation in Jesus and decided to sell all of their possessions, give the money to the poor. In 1976 the Fullers began building modest houses on a no profit, no interest basis, thus making homes affordable to families with low incomes. Each homeowner family was expected to invest their own labor into the building of their home and the homes of other families. This reduced the cost of the house, increased the pride of ownership and fostered the development of positive relationships. Money for building was placed into a revolving fund. Money from the fund was then used to build houses, and house payments were in turn made back into the fund, enabling the building of even more homes. What Millard did seemed absolutely ludicrous to the world. He invested his entire fortune in building decent houses for the poor that they could buy at NO interest. It makes no business sense at all. How could such an idea ever take off? It was not smart and nothing could come
from such a thing. Thirty years later Habitat volunteers have built homes more than 800,000 homes for families in need in more than 1,300 U.S. cities and 83 other countries. And Habitat for Humanity International has grown to be one of the top 20 house builders in the U.S. Fuller says: "I see life as both a gift and a responsibility. My responsibility is to use what God has given me to help His people in need." Jesus calls us to look for some frivolous ways to influence the world because that is shrewdness in the Kingdom. Kingdom shrewdness is found in any honest means by which we may influence people and make differences that are eternal.
Father God, open my eyes to see things from Your Kingdom perspective. Help me to see the ways that You would have me invest in and influence people for You. In Jesus' name.
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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2007, 2018 Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)
2820 Business Center Blvd. Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200 Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com
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