Disciples Resist Greed
Let us pray. Almighty God as we reflect upon your word this morning. May you make us more like you. You help us be better Christians better people. We pray this in Christ's name. Amen. I have to admit I really struggled with this week's passage. I don't like to talk about greed. I don't like to talk about money in the church people accuse us of talking about money all the time in the church and I don't want to be accused early on in my ministry here are doing just that but this is the passage that was selected for me this week out of the lectionary until we're going to dive into it and Parables this morning. We talked a little bit about breed in the past. And I believe truly it's an American problem. I truly believe it's it's a problem affecting the whole world today, but I'm going to try to leave politics out of it where I stand and I'm going to try to talk about the sin. And I believe it's greed that causes people to be homeless. I really do. I believe it's greed that causes people to go without food shelter water. I believe it's the reason why are we have people filing bankruptcy over medical procedures? And I believe it's white innocent people in the past have been sent to jail. free three causes marriages to fail for families to fall apart and every day you can turn on the TV and see someone that was killed over something as a result. greed Exist deeply in our culture. I was working for a church once where I had to turn in and Roi before I did a Ministry Outreach, why is it say return on investment? So if I invest $500 on reaching out to the community, what is my investment of people coming back? That's great was resulted of grief. When we look at profits more than we do people. Great. We as Christians as Americans. I hope that we look at people as our priority the hurting people that we spoke of people that are struggling with their faith that have left the church years ago hurt embarrassed. Like I can't walk through the front doors because they're not good enough. I hope it's the people. That we think up. So our first point this morning is through 1 through 7. Integrity first
and Jesus also said to the disciples a certain rich man heard that his household manager was wasting his estate. A call to the manager in and said to him. What is this I hear about you give me a report of your administration because you can no longer serve as my manager. So he's being fired here right now. So manager said to himself. What will I do now that my master is firing me as his manager. I'm not strong enough to dig and Too Proud to Beg. How many of us can fit in that category. I don't want to go and beg on the streets. Right? We we see people with signs, especially in the city, you know asking for money for a handout after some that to become a way of life for many. the difficult thing to get to but all desperation went when all job leads are gone.
I know what I'll do that. When I am removed from a management position. People will welcome me into their houses. One by one the manager sent for each person who owed his master money and he said to the first how much money do I owe my master. Any side 900 gallons of olive oil the manager said take him take your contracts it down quickly and white 400 gallons is 450 gallons. The manager said to another how much do you owe inside 1000 bushels of Wheat and he said take your contract and write 800 know at first. You think that this manager is being completely dishonest. He's stealing from his the owner of the the company right as a teenager ROTC and one of the values they taught us was Integrity first. Always have integrity. This was at the Honor Guard Academy in Maryland. And we had to do the whole hospital corners on our sheets were they will toss a quarter on there and keep tripping ounces. I bet you better not get caught lying while you were there and take her tea first. CS Lewis tells us Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is watching.
so does manager was he doing the right thing? by the business owner You know people get fired. all the time all the time people lose their jobs and I when I went to Dayton, Ohio, I actually learned the story of the word. You're fired the phrase. There's an ink company there a made typewriters cash registers and the millionaire boss of the company when he would fire somebody one time. He was so mad. He brought the person's desk outside and set it on fire.
That's where you're fired comes from. He literally set the desk on fire. So he must have been really mad at his employee now. I had an employee wants that you were so mad at our executive Pastor. He turned Us in for a code violations and our penalty was like $40,000 a day and we fix it by the end of the week. We had it all fixed, but he was so mad and when people get let go When people get let go they do crazy things. Sometimes they steal sometimes they they just want to get even You know, they've given their heart and soul to a company and all the sudden overnight their life changes and it's like they don't even matter. And I can tell you I've never been fired, but I've been asked to leave. But I was serving at church and why was up there? I kind of decided to know what I want to change to nominations cuz I've shared this with all of you. I am not a good company man. And I just said you know what God's leaving you for this direction. I didn't think anything about it. Well, I was told to leave so and you want to get even you want to do I feels good, right, but God tells us that we have to have some values as Christians in the military when you join their certain values and I've never been in the military. I am sure many of you have but for Christians, these are some of the things the fruits of the spirit that we really should have we should have some self-control. When were let go from a job when we're angry with people in the church? No matter whatever is going on. We have to have self control. We have to be honest. We have to have all these things that are up there for us this morning.
Matthew 7 15 through 20000
the real I'm at the end of it. In the same way every tree produces good fruit and every rotten tree produces bathroom a good tree. Can't Deuce bad fruit and a rotten tree can't produce good fruit. Every tree that doesn't produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. Therefore you will know them by their fruit and what they're talkin about as Christians. God Society will know us by the fruit that we bear that the way we behave the way we act the way we treat others, especially Society will know if we are believers. . And so I really challenged Us in this first part of the parable where this manager goes and does bad. Do not repeat that behavior, but we're going to dig a little bit deeper into it because I was completely confused by the scripture by the time I got to the 8th verse. I didn't know I didn't understand what was going on. I had to read some commentaries this week. So Jesus tells us to be prepared the dishonest manager. If you have to cleverly. People who belong to this road are more clever and dealing with their peers and then are people who belong to the light. And I tell you you was really well to make friends for yourself so that when it's gone, you'll be welcomed into Eternal homes now. What I really see at first is this manager who is fired angry upset wanting to get even? But the truth is if you really read into it, he had been being dishonest to the clients before that time. So he might have written out a thousand but they only really owed 500. And so what this manager is trying to do is trying to make it right before he leaves. And on the future I got this. You trying to make it right? It was going around and this word friends and verse 9. really mean angels this word friends means Angels into a Jesus is telling us in this passage is that we have to treat others so that when we die will be welcomed into the kingdom of God. By the way, we treat our brothers and sisters and I am glad that in this church. I have Alice in the back that deals with the money. I don't have to I don't have to ask you for your money but much about money 16 of the 38 Parables were concerned with how to handle money and possessions. in the Gospels the amazing one out of 10 vs $288 deal directly with the subject of money. The Bible offers 500 verses on prayer less than 500 on Facebook more than 2,000 verses on money and possessions. So we talk about money when we talk about possessions. I really think of Versailles the story end. Matthew 19 verse 21. I thought I had it up there.
And Jesus tells the rich tax collector. You guys might know the story if you want to be complete go and sell what you owe and give the money to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven and following me. Now. Is this an attack on his well? No, it's a tack on his part. Where does his heart lie? Where does he put his investment on a daily basis? And I don't want to skip forward to my next Point. Jesus is very clear. Where are your heart? It's where you put your time your money your energy. That's where it's at. It's very clear, you know, the first indication of the pastor going into a church. This is the trade secrets of Seminary. They tell you to look at the church budget. And I tell you where the budget is is where the heart of the congregation is. And you can tell right away how that church responds to The Community House that church responds to ministering the families and I think we're doing a pretty good job here. I really do see where it where told in the next few verses. Area there's my scripture. It was out of place.
We cannot serve two masters. Whoever is faithful with little is also faithful with much. And the one who is this honest with little is also dishonest with much if you haven't been faithful with worldly wealth. Who will trust you a true riches? Have you haven't been faithful with someone else's property? Who will give you your own? This is the important piece right here. No household servant can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other are you'll be loyal to the one and have contempt for the other. You cannot serve God and wealth. so for me
this is I know the summary of the parable this morning how many of us are guilty of serving two masters? You know, I realize I'm not even that long ago, when I was in Ohio, you know, John is the one for me that called me to Ministry god or goddess sent me. God has a purpose for each of us this morning. And we can't worry about what other people think. We can't we can't be restrictive at the congregation. So I've said it from day one if you have an idea God is calling you as a tender of this church for a certain purpose. Let's make it happen. Me and Jim were talking about this this morning. I want to be a permission giving Church of God calling into work with the poor. Let's figure it out the gods County to work with elderly. Let's figure it out of God's calling you into some crazy Mission overseas. Let's figure it out. If God right now is calling you to go to the Bahamas and minister to those people. Let's work together. We can't serve two masters. We can't serve God and all those things up on the board. And let me get this is a heart issue. that rich tax collector Got it. Tell him to go sell everything because he was rich he told him to sell everything because that's what separated him from his relationship with God. As Christians we are on this lifelong journey. The church key word is sanctification. I'm it's simply just as talking about that Journey with God at the more. We live in faith, the more we grow in our relationship. And if we're not growing in our relationship with God we have to check ourselves. We have to check and take out what is separating me from wholeness with you. And so I just encouraged you look at some of those words up there. Maybe maybe that's it. Maybe it is money. Maybe it is Agony family for some putting family before. And you have to take care of yourself before you can take care of others, right? And so Linda's looking at me cuz she I'm preaching to myself.
If if we don't take care of our relationship with God us and God first how in the world are we going to be effective at ministering to our community ministering to the people that come into our church ministering to our own families. We have to spend some time in prayer. Spend some time in the word of God every Sunday. We have some Bible trivia up there and I watched some people were actually a reading it this morning. It was great. I because I don't know everything about the Bible. I might have spent a decade in education and Seminary, but I don't know everything. So my challenge this week we need to resist read 100% but the angle is what is separating you from your relationship with God to be full. And so I next week you won't see me here. It's going to be preaching. Thank you Nate and and I believe God is going to bless this service as we have the congregation continue to look at at what is God exactly calling for us to do as a church. And so I let us continue to worship him this morning. Let us pray. Oh mighty God we We ask whatever is in between us and you this morning. Be that griebe that time that are jobs or money.
our other relationships
now we ask you to hold us accountable. the end that separation God so that when others see us. God they see a glimpse of who Jesus is. God I thank you for this group of people here this morning. After their love for you for investing in you and your kingdom. And I thank you for their hearts and their love that is shown every single week. God we are blessed to be here together.
We are blessed to be able to come here and worship you. And we thank you and praise you in Christ's name. Amen.