Dear Student of the Word,
It's been more than a month since my last update to Luke, and that is because I have been busy publishing some of my previous studies, specifically Acts and Matthew. Acts is now available to purchase and Matthew will be ready soon. Here is the link where you can view and buy Acts. Now, let's return to Luke's other work, which was his gospel. In this study 23, we focus on some of the parables that Jesus' taught the crowds, which I did not break down into a verse-by-verse study, preferring to comment on them in their entirety. In this seven-part study, this is what I wrote in part seven (the entire study 23 is available for download below):
Study Twenty-Three, Part Seven
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?
16:10 – I know of no more important verses for leaders and disciples than these three verses. These three statements are simple and straightforward, but profound. The first statement is the key to how you will handle much is how you are now handling a little. Are you punctual? Do you pay your bills on time? Do you keep your word? Do you do your job thoroughly? If you think that what you are doing is insignificant and “beneath” you, or that you will do better when you have something more important to do, then you are mistaken.
The issue here isn’t your quality of work, but your trustworthiness. Can people and God trust you to do everything to the best of your ability with excellence? If so, then God will promote you. If not, then you have a roadblock to success that you must remove.
16:11 – How you handle money is the second key to promotion and success in God’s kingdom. Are you honest in your business and personal monetary affairs? Do you pay your debts? Your bills? Do you give to the work of the Lord? Money, according to Jesus, is an indication of how you will handle “true riches.” What are true riches? They are spiritual opportunities and open doors for ministry. How you handle your money will determine how God uses you to advance His kingdom on earth.
16:12 – The final key to promotion and success is how you handle someone else’s property and that includes someone else’s money. One time I had used paper clips, tablets and other office supplies where I worked. One day I sensed the Lord prompt me to write a check and send it to our financial office to pay for what I had used (well, let’s be honest: what I had stolen!). I did so and learned a valuable lesson. I had to treat others’ stuff with more integrity if I wanted to stay out of trouble with God.
How about you? Do you have any books or tools long overdue to their owner? Do you treat your employer’s property like it is your own? There is a verse in Corinthians that speaks to these three keys: “The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual” (1 Corinthians 15:46-47).
God uses natural things to train and test us before He gives us spiritual assignments. He did this with Moses, Joseph, David, Daniel, Jesus, and Peter. If those men were trained for spiritual things through natural situations, then you and I will be as well.
Don’t overlook these three principles and expect God to use you. Rather renew your commitment to be faithful in these areas and in time you will see God promote you. Ignore them and risk being left on God’s bench as He puts more faithful players in the game of life and ministry.
As always, I welcome your comments to this week's study. For additional Bible studies, check out my website archive, which contains a complete collection of all my verse-by-verse New Testament studies, along with the daily devotional entitled The Leadership Walk. Thank you and I hope you continue to enjoy this study of Luke's gospel from God's word.