Message: In Luke 14 Jesus was talking to the large crowds that were travelling with him and by chapter 15 the sinners and tax collectors were approaching to hear him as he spoke about finding the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son. By chapter 16 Jesus continued on with the parables, but he was specifically addressing his disciples as he spoke about money management, faithfulness and how all of that ties together with our character.
Command: We should use money with wisdom as a smart tool to accomplish things, but not allow money to be our master.
Promise: If we are faithful in the small things (whether it be financial or spiritual) we will have the character and discipline to be trusted as faithful in larger things.
Warning: If money (or anything else) is our master, we will not be faithful or wise with finances or other spiritual things because whatever is driving us will determine our financial and our spiritual direction. We will not have the wisdom, the discipline or the character to be trusted with kingdom things.
Application: This is both about money and spiritual direction. At times they are one in the same because money has such a powerful influence, but really anything can drive us to use our financial and spiritual capacity for either good or for bad. Whatever is driving us will be revealed in the way we use money. A common heart-check quote says “show me your calendar and your bank account and I will tell you what is most important to you.” Another heart-check quote says “We are to use money for people, not use people for money.” Our disciplines (or lack of) are revealed in the way that we manage our finances, our time and the way we lead our lives. This is a measurement of our faithfulness. In this measurement I can see where I am strong and where I am weak and it reminds me of the importance of strengthening the weak areas because all of these things are so deeply intertwined.