May 20, 2018
Parable: The Shrewd Manager
How much am I willing to give? Generosity is defined as: unselfishness. the quality of not putting yourself first but being willing to give your time or money or effort etc. for others; nobility of character. If someone were to ask our friends and family if this definition describes us we would hope that the answer was a resounding “yes.” If there is an innate desire to “be generous” and God’s Word promises blessings for those who are generous, then why is it so difficult to be generous with what God has given to us?
In the parable of the “shrewd servant” God praises a dishonest servant for his ingenuity, not because he is being dishonest, but because he is using his creativity in a good way, to be generous to others. One of the reasons some of us hold back from being generous is because we do not want to be hypocrites. We feel if we really do not want to be generous then it is hypocritical to give just for show. The truth is, if we are blessing others through our gifts then God is using this opportunity to help us gain a better understanding of why “being generous” is so important. Our motives may not always be perfect, but the fact that we are allowing God to use our willingness to “try” opens up an opportunity for the Spirit to ignite that innate desire and demonstrate the blessings that He has promised. Isn’t it time for us to allow God to unlock that innate desire inside us so that we might be blessed and be a blessing to others?
Questions to ponder:
· What do you think was the main point of Matt’s sermon?
· Why do you think being generous is so difficult for some people?
· What message do you think Jesus was trying to communicate to His disciples through the “Parable of the Shrewd Servant (Luke 16:1-14)?
· How does knowing this affect your relationship with God and those around you?
1. What does this say about God?
2. What does this say about me?
3. What does this say about how God wants me to be?
Do something about it
Most of the things we do are learned behaviors. Many of those behaviors or practices are now things we value and enjoy, but it took the establishment of a regular practice to make it a habit. Consider this with regard to generosity. If we, as believers, already have this innate quality built in to who we are, then establishing a regular practice will bring it out and ultimately will make it a valued and enjoyable habit instead of a duty. Step outside of your comfort zone this week and accomplish at least one act of selfless generosity.
Luke 16:1-14; Matthew 10:16; Psalm 37:21; 112:5; Proverbs 11:25; 22:9; 2 Corinthians 9:6,7