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  • Writer's picturePastor Hans Fiene

Matins Devotion: May 7, 2024

The parable of the dishonest manager is probably the most difficult of Christ’s parables to understand, at least in terms of application. It’s not hard to understand what’s happening in the story, of course. A man recognizes that he’s about to be thrown out on the street so he uses his master’s money to buy friends who will take him in. Simple enough. The tricky part is figuring out how exactly this applies to us. What’s the metaphor? What are we supposed to learn from his behavior?

I think the best answer to that question is “we should do the sanctified version of what this self-dealing man is doing.” After all, God the Father is the sanctified version of this master in the sense that He gave us everything He had and wants us to do likewise. God took the bill of our sins, a nine-mile long receipt, a debt that could never be paid, and with the ink of Jesus’s blood, He wrote “paid in full.” That’s what the Father did with His money, His gifts. He gave them all away to make us His children. And we should use the gifts He gave us in this life. Before those gifts turn into mammon that corrupts us, we should buy friends for ourselves in a world that is going to swarm with persecution and rejection.

Give your money to Christians overseas so that, if the day comes when you need to flee religious persecution in your own land, they will receive you into their arms. Give your compassion and mercy to those in your congregation so that, if your children turn against you and refuse to care for you, the children of your congregation will take you in. Use your time, your talents, your treasure to buy friends for yourself with the Gospel. If politicians know how to give away tax dollars to people who will hire them to be high-paid consultants after they get booted from office, we should do the holy version of that.

So be shrewd and holy. Be wise and merciful. Be opportunistic and innocent. Be extravagantly generous with your Lord’s gifts because that will benefit you. It will benefit your brothers throughout the world. And your Lord will smile upon you as He uses your shrewdness to grow the kingdom of salvation.

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May 07

Thanks for this. When helping people who have little to offer me in return, I try to remember that, when we get to Heaven, they might be positioned above me in the Heavenly hierarchy--that I might end up being a direct report of the person who is a burden to me now. It's very motivating.

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