Time and Opportunity

God wants us to change our perspective on “mammon” or the “mammon of unrighteousness.” “Mammon” is an umbrella term. It means our possessions, money, talents or anything of this world that perishes. In this parable, God shows us that it’s not our possessions, but our perspective on our possessions needs to be changed.

“Now He was also saying to the disciples, ‘There was a rich man who had a manager, and this manager was reported to him as squandering his possessions. And he called him and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your management, for you can no longer be manager’” (Luke 16:1-2).

Let’s keep in mind that we don’t know what the manager is doing wrong. What we do know is that the master finds out what the manager is doing wrong and he gives him two-weeks’ notice to put things in order, clean out his desk and hand in the key.

“The manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do, since my master is taking the management away from me? I am not strong enough to dig; I am ashamed to beg. I know what I shall do, so that when I am removed from the management, people will welcome me into their homes’” (Luke 16:3-4).

The steward hopes he can benefit from the two weeks, so he comes up with a plan.

“And he summoned each one of his master debtors and he began saying to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ And he said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ And he said to him, ‘Take your bill and sit down quickly and write fifty’” (Luke 16:5-6).

The steward just slashes it in half.

“Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ ‘A hundred measures of wheat,’ he replied. He said to him, ‘Take your bill and write eighty’” (Luke 16:7).

At this point, Jesus’ audience must have been thinking, “Boo, bad money manager.” Then Jesus spins this parable around and catches them completely off guard.

“And his master praised the unrighteous manager because he had acted shrewdly; for the sons of this age are more shrewd in relation to their own kind than the sons of light. And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by means of the wealth of unrighteousness, so that when it fails, they will receive you into the eternal dwellings” (Luke 16:8-9).

You can hear the disciples saying, “Now, wait a moment, Jesus. We don’t get it. Isn’t the manager a bad guy? Why is he getting praised?”

Convert Mammon into Eternal Benefits

“And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by the means of the wealth of unrighteousness, so that when it fails, they will receive you into the eternal dwellings” (Luke 16:9).

Jesus is saying something very important — He says people of this world understand this principle better than you and I. They understand it, but they have impure motives.

You have to understand and figure out how to leverage your little bit of time and little bit of opportunity and then convert mammon into eternal benefits and eternal results.

Everything I have is a tool for the Kingdom of God and for God’s use.

We should use everything as a tool. When we do, people’s lives will be touched for eternity. One day, people will be in heaven because of the way you used your possessions, your money and your mammon.

Jesus was telling us in the parable that we have an incredible opportunity. We can use what has been given to us. We just need to change how we view it and convert it for eternal results.

The way I use what I have is not only a tool, but also a test of my heart.

Everything belongs to God. We are stewards; not owners. How I manage His money and possessions gives Him a way to evaluate the condition of my heart. How I do or do not use it or convert it is a test of my heart.

He wants to know if we can convert what He gives into eternal purposes.

Remember, take what is given in its original form and convert it; otherwise, you cannot redeem it. God is watching to see if we convert it; this is a test for our hearts. For where you store your treasure, that’s really where your heart is.

We need to be stewards who redeem wealth with the little bit of time and opportunity for eternal results. Then, we will understand what it is to be a good steward. Convert what God has given you for eternal purposes.

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