Meditations: Luke 16:10-11

Copyright Clarissa Pardue 2014
Copyright Clarissa Pardue 2014

Luke 16:10-11
NLT

10″Unless you are faithful in small matters, you won’t be faithful in large ones. If you cheat even a little, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.
11 And if you are untrustworthy about worldly wealth, who will trust you with the true riches of heaven?

 

Jesus pretty much hits on every aspect of life in these two verses, and keeps hitting on the money aspect in the verses that follow.

 

10″Unless you are faithful in small matters, you won’t be faithful in large ones.”

Every parent knows this to be true. Even toddlers can be given small jobs to do – small jobs that lead to bigger jobs as they prove themselves equal to the task. Parents watch their children and, as they show themselves to be diligent in their responsibilities, they receive larger responsibilities – more opportunities to shine. So also does our heavenly Father watch us as we grow and prove that we can handle responsibility.

 

If you cheat even a little, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.

One can look at this sentence in many different ways. Because my most long-term experience within the church was in the music ministry, I instinctively look to this group for illustrations. Unfortunately, they’re easy to find where this topic is concerned.

I suppose it is human nature to want the spotlight for ourselves. Often it is man’s greatest desire to step into the limelight and shine there – and his second greatest desire is to get there without paying the price.

The most obvious example of this in my experience is singers’ views of being a Front Line member (one who is out front with a microphone) versus a choir member. How many people have joined their church’s choirs with one goal in mind – to use the choir as a stepping-stone into the Front Line position they covet?

It is true that most Front Line singers, at least in our church, rise out of the ranks of the choir. And they do so just as these verses imply that they must – through faithfulness in all areas. They study to learn not only how to sing in harmony, but to hear their parts without needing to be taught each song. They are diligent to allow the Holy Spirit the freedom to minister through them at all times, whether they feel like it or not. They have also committed themselves to spiritual growth and maturity, to walk worthy of the calling with which they are called long before that calling actually draws them onto the main platform.

Who does not get called to the Front Line?

The one who cannot be bothered to be faithful to the choir – rehearsals and services – had best not expect to be called. The one who cheats even a little, choosing to depend on others around him to know the parts rather than learning them himself, had best never count on attaining any step higher than the one he stands on. Even more, the one who cheats God, refusing to grow up into the mature Christian God has called him to be, will not see God giving him any responsibilities greater than those a spiritual child can handle. Man may give them to him, but God assures us that He will not, and God is the one who counts.

Finally…

 

[11] And if you are untrustworthy about worldly wealth, who will trust you with the true riches of heaven?

Again, this can be looked at from many angles, but three words ring in my hears.

“tithes and offerings”

In Malachi, God speaks to a troubled people, a people who are troubled, He explains, because they have robbed Him of tithes and offerings.

God puts worldly wealth – money – into our hands. He expects us to return to Him the tithe and offerings beyond the tithe. If we prove untrustworthy in this, choosing to keep the entirety for ourselves (or even stealing from Him only part of what is His – cheating “even a little”) we cannot expect Him to trust us with the “true riches of heaven.”

As we say here in Texas, “It ain’t gonna happen.”

Celebrating Jesus!
Tammy C

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