December 29, 2019 AM
Dr. Michael Catt - 1936
#8 in series
Speaking in Parables
ARE YOU AN HONEST OR DISHONEST STEWARD?
When I was in college, a professor told me that a parable is a “heavenly truth wrapped in earthly language.” The word parable refers to a Greek word which means a symbol, type, figure, or illustration. These stories from the lips of our Savior were a mystery to many, but the Lord had a purpose for speaking in parables. Parables have been depicted in art and stained glass, and their truths have been communicated for thousands of years across all cultures because they are easy to identify with. Today we’ll wrap up this series as we talk about stewardship.
For further study, this series is available online at sherwoodbaptist.net/messages.
Cultural Christianity applauds serving God and money. But as believers we need to be crystal clear about what Jesus says. Throughout Luke's Gospel, Jesus clearly states His position. In Luke 6:24 He says, “Woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort." Jesus keeps bringing up this issue of stewardship because it is an indicator of the heart. In the successive parables of the dishonest manager (Luke 16:1-13), the rich man and Lazarus (16:19-31), the story of the rich ruler (18:18-30), followed by the story of Zacchaeus who gave half his possessions to the poor (19:1-9), there should be no doubt on where God stands on this subject.
“There was no such thing as principal and interest. So they would hide the business interest by hiding it in the loan, so that the principal included the interest. It was not unknown to charge as much as 100 percent interest on profitable commodities. The manager, according to common, accepted business practice, was making such usurious loans, just like everyone else.” – Preaching the Word: Luke, Volume II
I. THE SETTING OF THE PARABLE
In Luke’s Gospel, there are successive parables on stewardship:
“According to Jesus, we have two choices: the dominion of evil (inhabited by ‘the sons of this age’) and the kingdom of God (populated by ‘the sons of light’). Unfortunately, ‘the sons of this age’ consistently live what they believe, while ‘the sons of light’ are often wishy-washy about their beliefs. The ‘sons of this age’ play by the rules of the present world order with ruthless abandon, while the ‘sons of light’ switch back and forth.” – Chuck Swindoll
Christians “bestow less pains to win heaven than the children of this world bestow to win earth – that they are less provident in heavenly things than those who are earthly, that the world is better served by its servants than God is by His.” – Trench
“The diligence of worldly men about the things of time should put to shame the coldness of professing Christians about the things of eternity.” – J. C. Ryle
II. THE LESSONS WE NEED TO LEARN
A) When It Comes to the Church
B) When It Comes to Sharing
“Christian stewardship goes beyond paying God a tithe of our income and then using the remainder as we please. True stewardship means that we thank God for all that we have and use it as He directs. . . . We are also stewards of our time.” – Warren Wiersbe
C) When It Comes to Stewardship