The Meaning of Life

JESUS SPEAKING

            He also said to his disciples: “There was a certain rich man who had a steward, and an accusation was brought to him that this man was wasting his goods.  So he called him and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you?  Give an account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward.’  Then the steward said within himself, ‘What shall I do?  For my master is taking the stewardship away from me.  I cannot dig; I am ashamed to beg.  I have resolved what to do, that when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.’  So he called every one of his master’s debtors to him, and said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’  And he said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’  So he said to him take your bill and sit down quickly and write fifty.’  So he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’  So he said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’  And he said to him, ‘Take your bill and write eighty.’  So the master commended the unjust steward because he had dealt shrewdly.  For the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light.  And I say to you make friends for yourselves with unrighteous mammon (money), that when you fail, they may receive you in to an everlasting home” (Luke 16: 1-9.)

 

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

This is a parable, in which certain characters respresent different people.  The rich man is a picture of God, and he is in control of life; he is the giver of life.  He gives life to each person as a stewardship.  The steward represents each human being God has placed on this earth.  Most people don’t realize their lives are not their own, but rather, they are on loan from God.  Every human being has been given a small measure of life; 60 – 80 years perhaps, (if one is blessed) to learn to live in submission to the will of God.  If they succeed, they will be rewarded with a never ending amount of life.  (Salvation comes through faith, but faith also carries with it the obligation to act as Jesus teaches us to act.)  Those who have had faith and ‘put their feet to their faith,’ will live forever.  Many people today, even those who profess faith waste the lives that they have been given.  They choose to live life their own way, spending time in pursuits of self pleasure, rather than seeking to do what is pleasing to God.  Every person will one day stand before God and give an account of the way they lived their lives, just as the steward had to stand before the master and give an account of his dealings in this parable.  They will have to explain every idle word, and every wasted moment.  God will take back for himself the lives he gave out.  The mortal life is his; yet some will receive eternal life in its place, and others will be condemned to eternal death.  Many people in this life choose to serve money, or material wealth.  It controls and guides the lives of whole populations of people.  However, money is supposed to serve the person who possesses it.  There is a great freedom that comes when the order of things is set right; the correct order of things is that the possessions of a person, money, property, even life itself, is meant to serve the one who possesses it, and to serve others, and to serve God.  Jesus wants us to know that money can be used to build relationships with other people.  When we give to others who are in need, we are using wealth the way it is supposed to be used.  Whatever we give away here in this place, we keep for an eternity.  When we ‘fail’ (as Jesus said) in this life, which is to say, ‘we die,’ then being welcomed in to an everlasting, eternal home is the end goal of all of human existance.

Today across the country and around the world, employers are hiring and firing.  Anyone can get hired, but remaining employed can be more difficult.  A good employee is someone who has proven themselves to be an asset to the company; if a person is a good employee they become a permanent fixture at a company, moving from the ground floor often times up in to more important positions.  Most new employees are given a 90 day trial period.  In that 90 days, an individual is looked at to see exactly how they handle themselves, and generally however they handle themselves in that short period of time is a reflection of how they will handle themselves if hired for a long period of time.  If they prove themselves, then they become fully employed.  They are given a short period of time, and it is what they do in that short period of time that decides the rest of their lives.  Some will stay, and many will go.

Today, you and I are given a very short period of time; a time in which you can profess your faith and actively seek to give freely of your time and resources in the service of others, which is to activate the faith you have been given.  Today, are you seeking to please mainly yourself, or are you sacrificing your time and your desires to take an interest in those around you?  Is the gym, the mall, the job, etc. worth more than the love you have to give away to others?  We are called to deny ourselves in this place.  To put the needs of others ahead of our own; we must place serving God and others ahead of serving ourselves.  Ultimately the way to eternal life is to follow the will and the teachings of Jesus Christ in this life, so we may continue that work in the life to come.  Let me give you some examples of serving others that may help you this week; picking up garbage in your path that isn’t yours and putting it in the trash bin.  Returning shopping carts that aren’t yours.  Listening to someone’s problems instead of talking; buying someone a cup of coffee; doing ministry; calling people to let them know you love them; jumping up to hold the door for someone; doing the dishes when it’s not your turn; taking out the garbage when it’s not your turn; buying a meal for someone who is in need; giving to anyone who asks you for money (amount not specified); tithing; praying with someone; praying for others; giving someone a ride who has no transportation…etc.  The list goes on and on.  This week be open to the needs of others, and if you see a need, try to let God use you to fill that need, and receive something in your heart that is priceless.

“Heavenly Father, we come before You today, and we ask that You give us a desire to serve You, and to commit our lives to serving all those around us.  Lord, give us wisdom in our daily lives, that we may be able to recognize opportunities to serve You when they arise.  Help us to let go of anything that is controlling us and leading us astray Father.  Convict our hearts when we are acting selfishly Father.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you.

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