At dinner he was seated at the table next to none other but the President of the bank – His Big boss – THE BOSS. They engaged in conversation. “Well then young Bob” said the President, “so you are going to be one of my managers then eh?” Bob replied that that was his plan. “So what is the most important attribute that a manager can have?”
Bob saw his chance to impress the boss but this was a tough question. “The ability to forecast the markets” – Answer “No” “Spotting good investment opportunities” – Answer “No” “Striving for the best customer service” – Answer “No” “Being good with figures?” – “No”
This went on all night until Bob gave in and said to the President that he didn’t know, but would the President enlighten him.
“Loyalty” came the answer.
There are some special lessons in this important story Jesus told. Remember that in every parable there is a personal application – in this story it is all about faithfulness – not success, but faithfulness. The words of Jesus to the two loyal managers were, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” Let’s make sure that we are busy doing the Lord’s work when He returns - because He will return!
Jeff Strite is the pastor of a church in Logansport, IN. He tells this story about his mom and dad regarding the most important decision of any person's life. Here is the story: “My Dad was what was known as ‘a rounder.’ A man’s man. Hard worker, hard fighter, and a hard player of baseball and basketball. He was attractive to women and he loved to go out and dance.
Now, it’s not that dad was a stranger to church (when he first met mom, he kissed her behind the furnace in a church basement). He wasn’t unfriendly to church, it’s just that God held little interest for him. He didn’t need God to run his life.
After he married mom, they settled down as married couples did. Mom, a deeply religious woman, never failed to go to church, but Dad always had work to do. And - well, church wasn’t all that important anyway. But after awhile, mom’s church going got to bothering him. He accepted the idea that he might go to hell, but the idea of being there without the woman he loved troubled him.
Dad finally decided to force mom to avoid church. He asked her if she would feel comfortable in heaven if he were in hell. Now, Mom was the quiet type of Christian who didn’t try to force her faith down dad’s throat, but now she had the opportunity to address his need. How would she respond? She thought for a couple of moments and then asked him: "Lowell, would you really feel comfortable if I were in hell with you?"
The simplicity of her response led Dad to change his way of thinking and he turned his life over to Jesus. Why? Because hell wasn’t a comfortable concept to him especially when it came to someone he loved.”
This Sunday we will study the story Jesus told that is found in Luke 16 that paralles this story. I have titled our lesson, “Rich Man, Poor Man – Does It Matter?” In Luke’s account Jesus talks about the reality of heaven and hell. Jesus believed in both and so should we. Heaven is to be sought with great earnestness and the other is to be avoided at all costs.
Invite a friend to join you as we study one of Jesus’ most sober stories regarding eternity.
Remember that you are loved and appreciated.
One of the shortest parables (stories) that Jesus spoke is found in Luke 6:46-49. It is here that He is teaching His disciples the value of building on a permanent foundation. In a world that is obsessed with attraction, a foundation doesn’t seem to be that important. After all who has ever come to your home and complimented you on the foundation of your house? Probably no one. Yet we all are aware of the importance of a good foundation - without it whatever we are building will not be able to sustain the storms that will surely come.
I read about a pastor and congregation that were building a new facility over a former lakebed. It seemed to the pastor that the construction crew was obsessed with the foundation and were taking an inordinate amount of time with this part of the construction project. The pastor finally had enough and went to the construction manager and asked why the superstructure had not been started. Why were they spending so much time on the foundation? The man carefully responded, “Pastor, unless you go down deep, you cannot go up high.” What a lesson! Too many want to go up high, but not pay the price of going down deep. What a big mistake!
That is exactly what Jesus is teaching in the scripture lesson for this Sunday. Two men were building their houses (actually they were building their lives) and one was hasty in the construction and the other quite meticulous. When the storm finally came, which it always does, the man who took his time building on a solid foundation (the rock or Jesus) withstood the storm. Not so with the other guy.
The point of this brief parable is to tell us the importance of constructing on the right foundation if you want a life that will weather the storms. In the words of the construction manager, “Unless you go down deep, you cannot go up high.”
I hope you come Sunday ready to learn. Our worship is special. The Worship Team does a great job of preparing us for what the Lord has for us - it has been that way in the past and will be so this Sunday too.
Why not invite a friend to join you? What a great way to spend a Sunday morning with Jesus and your friends!
I look forward to seeing you this Sunday.
You are greatly loved and appreciated!
This Sunday we continue our study, “A Look in the Mirror - A Study of the Parables,” as we are introduced to the widow of Luke 18. The Gospel writer, Luke, mentions little children, politicians, Jewish leaders, rich men, poor men and widows numerous times.
In Jesus’ day any widow was almost an invisible person. The widow of Luke 18 faced extreme odds of ever getting her request granted from the judge. Why? First, she was a woman so therefore she had little standing before the law. Second, she was a widow so she had no husband to stand with her in court. Third, she was poor and could not pay the bribe to the judge that was customary to be granted your request.
A widow seems like a strange person for Jesus to use to teach about prayer. After all, what can a widow teach us? Yet Jesus used this poor woman as an example to His disciples about the mechanics of prayer. She really was the perfect person to teach us valuable lessons about prayer.
As you read the Luke 18 account, one thing you discover is that this widow was persistent when it came to her request. She wanted justice, but the judge, who was wicked and cared little about people’s needs, kept rebuffing her. That did not stop her from going to him multiple times with her request. Finally he granted her request simply because he was tired of hearing from her - she was wearing him out.
One lesson that the story teaches us about prayer is that it is always too soon to quit. What if this widow had grown tired and chose to simply “accept her lot” in society? She already had three strikes against her. If she would have given up she never would have received justice!
What was Jesus saying to His disciples (and to us)? Keep on asking! You can faint if you want, but if you do you will never have your prayers answered. God is always answering prayer for His glory and our good, and He never grows tired (unlike the wicked judge) when we come to Him.
I encourage you to come Sunday with a desire to have the Lord teach you some of His truths about prayer because prayer always works. In preparation for Sunday, why not read Luke 18:1-8 a number of times?
Never forget that you are loved and appreciated!