Handling Money      Luke 16:1-3       Dec. 26, 2004

How do you learn to manage money well? Some churches offer money management courses during their discipleship hour that are helpful. I do believe a person who honors God with their tithes and offerings will learn to be a better manager of the ninety percent after they pay the tithe. In addition God has promised to bless the tither. I can see in my own life how God has blessed, and increasingly worked in my abilities in Handling Money.

1.    The . . Accountability Of Handling Money. 16:1-2

A.    The . . Allegations of Accountability. 16:1
        1    He also said to the disciples: "There was a rich man who received an accusation that his
        manager was squandering his possessions

B.    The . . Appraising of Accountability. 16:2
        2    So he called the manager in and asked, 'What is this I hear about you? Give an account
        of your management, because you can no longer be [my] manager.'

        In our life time most of us have been accused of not handling our money well. As a child I remember my mom saying "money burns a hole in your pocket," because I wanted to spend it quickly. As a younger adult I was guilty of spending too much too quickly. All of us need to appraise how we spend the money for which we are responsible. When we manage for others we definitely will be judged. Christians must recognize we manage money for the Lord. It really is not ours but a stewardship given to us by the Lord.

2.    The . . Advantages Of Handling Money. 16:3-7

A.    The . . Assessment of Our Advantages of Handling Money. 16:3
        3 "Then the manager said to himself, 'What should I do, since my master is taking the
        management away from me? I'm not strong enough to dig; I'm ashamed to beg.

B.    The . . Arrangements From Our Advantages of Handling Money. 16:4-7
        4 I know what I'll do so that when I'm removed from management, people will welcome me
        into their homes. '5 "So he summoned each one of his master's debtors. 'How much do you
        owe my master?' he asked the first one. 6 " 'A hundred measures of oil,' he said. 'Take your
        invoice,' he told him, 'sit down quickly, and write 50. 7 "Next he asked another, 'How much
        do you owe?' 'A hundred measures of wheat,' he said." 'Take your invoice,' he told him,
        'and write 80.'

C.    The . . Astuteness In The Advantages of Handling Money. 16:8 a
        8 " The master praised the unrighteous manager because he had acted astutely."

    There are advantages to being a manager of money; wise use of it may bring favorable assessments, and make friends. In the world those who manage money will be appraised for the financial arrangements they make. The earthly master praised the manager for his shrewdness in handling money even though it was not to the master advantage. In recent years several cases of mis-management in the secular markets have gained notoriety, and the managers certainly did
not gain any praise. On one occasion a man gave me $3,500.00 to pay the expenses in hosting
the drama called Heaven's Gates and Hell's Flames. People came from as far as ninety miles
away to see this drama, and many made profession of faith. There are advantages to
Handling Money wisely.

3.    The . . Applications From Handling Money. 16:8 b -13

A.    The . . Transferred Applications from Handling Money. 16:8 b -9
        ". . . For the sons of this age are more astute than the sons of light [in dealing] with their
        own people. 9 And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of the unrighteous
        money so that when it fails, they may welcome you into eternal dwellings. 10 Whoever is
        faithful in very little is also faithful in much, and whoever is unrighteous in very little is
        also unrighteous in much.

B.    The . . Trusting Applications from Handling Money. 16:8 b -9
        11 So if you have not been faithful with the unrighteous money, who will trust you with what
        is genuine? 12 And if you have not been faithful with what belongs to someone else, who will
        give you what is your own? 13 No servant can be the slave of two masters, since either he
        will hate one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You
        can't be slaves to both God and money." (HCSB)

    Jesus made an application from the unrighteous manager by transferring the principals to a Christian. He urges us to use money to make friends of the unrighteous; so they will hear the message of salvation and become believers who will precede us into heaven, and ultimately welcome us into our heavenly home. When we look at church budgets we probably need to make increases in the areas of outreach, and missions. It is true in most churches that people come to know Christ related to the amount of money spend in the areas of outreach. If we faithfully use our opportunities in handling money the Lord can trust us with larger opportunities. In the process we must not become slaves to money. A few years ago I preached one Sunday for a church that has an entire years budget in their bank account, but in several recent years won no one to Christ. I judge the church was more pleased at their bank account than their ministry to the lost community. They were not an example of Handling Money, but we should follow the Lord's instructions. Amen? Amen!