A Lesson in Street Smarts

Rev Patrick Dominguez | September 18, 2022 | Luke 16:1-13

Are you as shrewd as a Wall Street money manager? Jesus says you need to be.


A Lesson in Street Smarts | Luke 16:1-13

Let me try that again. Good morning, everybody. Yeah. This is the day the Lord has made, and we will
rejoice and be glad in it. You know that verse, this is the day the Lord has made. It actually refers to
the day of salvation, to the day when the cornerstone that was rejected, when he gave his life for us
and brought us into life. So whenever we look at a beautiful day and we go, wow, this is the day that
the Lord has made. It's meant to remind us of the day when the Lord saved us from all our sins. So
let's stand and let's give the Lord all the praise. Heavenly Father, we thank you that this is the day that
you have and we will rejoice and be glad in it. I just want to give thanks for Will Hoggart here. Will is
worshiping and leading with us for the first time. And his wife Bianca and Isaiah are here. Welcome to
you all. So God bless you and let's worship the Lord.
How's everybody doing on everybody doing good? All right, let's go. If you know, let's get together.
I searched the world but it couldn't feel me.
They simply pray and treasures that fade are never enough.
Then you came along and put me back together and every desire is now satisfied here in Your love
better than you. Lord is nothing nothing is better than you.
And I know a stream.
I'm not afraid show you how we in there my failures and flaws. Lord. You seem to still call me friends
and there's not a place your mercy and grace won't find me again.
I love you. Happy to wake up this morning is.
Nothing better than you, Lord is nothing better than you, Lord is nothing nothing.
Is better than you one more time one more time.
Better than you the Lord is nothing better than you, Lord is nothing nothing is better than you.
Can I get amen?
You turn graves into gardens. You turn graze into garden.
You turn bones into armies. The only one who cares you're the only one who cares there's nothing
better than you.
There's nothing it's everyone.
Better than you, Lord there's nothing hallelujah. Better than you, Lord there's nothing is better than
Praise Him. Thank you.
Please join me for the opening prayer. Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and
from you no secrets are hid. Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of Your Holy Spirit,
that we may perfectly love you and worthily magnify Your holy name through Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Lord gave Himself for us on.
On the crossing I'll see the sound that saved a rich like me.
Once was loved and now I'm found was blind but now I see was.
Grace that hard my heart to fear and grace my fears really how precious need that grace I got my
Savior that land on me and I got lost his mercy love of amazing grace the Lord has come is good to
me his word my whole my shield and portion be as long as life.
Indoors marchings are gone.
I've been set free I got my savior has ran on me unending love amazing grace.
Trains are gone experience an ending love amazing grace.
Everybody doing okay today? Doing alright? Good. I like to talk a little bit. Me and my family, we're
from Fayetteville, North Carolina at the moment. So had a long, long drive to gear, but we're happy to
be here. Happy to be here in the spirit and just want to be a vessel for everyone to get close to the
goodness of God. And I thank you for allowing us to be here. Thank you for just your time. And let's
keep praising together and let's keep singing some songs as you listen to my paper shuffle. All right?
This one's called Jira. There we go. I'll never be more loved than I am right now wasn't holding you up
so there's nothing I can do to let you down it doesn't take a.
Trophy to make you happy.
I'll never be more loved than I am right.
Now going through a storm but I won't go down I hear your voice carried in the rhythm of the wind to
help me out you would cross an ocean so I wouldn't shout you've never been closer than you are right
I don't want to forget how.
I feel right now from the mountaintop.
I can see so clear what is.
All about save my life when the sun goes down don't wanna forget right now you are shy road you are
another always enough always more than enough.
Forever forever enough always enough always more than enough just one more time forever.
Enough always enough always more than enough forever enough always enough always more than
enough I'm already loved. I'm already chosen. I know who I am. I know what you told me.
One more time, Jire.
You are enough. You are enough.
And I will be and I will.
Be content in every circumstance. You are just.
You guys.
A reading from the Gospel of Luke 16 113 he also said to the disciples, there was a rich man who had
a manager. And charges were brought to him that this man was wasting his possession. And he
called him and said to him, what is this that I hear about you? Turn in the account of your
management, for you can no longer be manager. And the manager said to himself, what shall I do?
Since my master is taking the management away from me, I am not strong enough to dig. I'm
ashamed to beg. I've decided what to do so that when I am removed from management, people may
receive me into their houses. So summoning his master's debtors one by one. He said to the first,
how much do you owe? My Master? He said, 100 measures of oil. He said to him, Take your bill and
sit down quickly and write 50. Then he said to another, and how much do you owe? And he said, 100
measures of wheat. And he said to him, Take your bill and write 80. The Master commended the
dishonest manager for his shrewdness. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with
their own generation than the sons of light.
And I tell you, make friends for yourself by means of unrighteous wealth, so that when it fails, they
may receive you into the eternal dwellings. One who is faithful and very little is also faithful and much.
And one who is dishonest and very little is also dishonest and much. If then you have not been faithful
in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in
that which is another's, who will give you that which is your own? No servant can serve two masters,
for either he will hate one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.
You cannot serve God and money, the word of the Lord of God.
And when he was talking to the people of Israel, he said, you know what? You're going to have lots of
choices as you come into this land. You can serve this guy, all these other gods, all these guys that
aren't real gods, right? Like all the other nations around us, we will serve. And that's why your parents
bring you, because they believe the same thing. As for me and my house, we will serve.
Going to have to get used to being outdoors again. We've been in the warehouse for so long, and
everything's going different ways and all that, but we're good. So let's pray. Father, I thank you for Your
children that are here today. That's us lord. We never grow out of it. You're our god. You're our father.
And so we ask you to send your Holy Spirit. And Jesus promised that if we ask you give, we pray, lord,
that the truth. Your Word would impact our hearts today, and our lives and hearts being impacted
would never be the same. That in small measure or great, we may leave this place a little more or a lot
more like Jesus. We offer ourselves to you, and we open our hearts to you, and we say, come, Holy
Spirit, come now, be present in the preaching of Your Word. In Jesus name, amen. So today's passage
is one of those interesting ones. I mean, Jesus says some really interesting stuff. He actually looks at
a guy who's a cheat and he actually says, we ought to be more like that guy. And then he starts to talk
about money.
And you know how it is with church. If people come in and the pastor is talking about money, they're
likely to leave that church and say, all that guy ever does is talk about money. Money is a funny thing
and people react to it in funny ways. There was a pastor who hadn't seen one of his parishioners for a
while and he ran into him on the street. I said, Jim, how are you? And Jim says, I'm not doing well.
What's the matter? He said, well, three weeks ago my uncle died. The pastor said, oh, I am so sorry to
hear that. You must have been really close with them. I said, oh, no, I wasn't really close with them at
all, but he left me $10,000. That's amazing. I was really nice to him. So why are you sad? He said, well,
two weeks ago my aunt died and you must have been really close with her, right, so that's why you're
sad? And he said, no, she left me $25,000. He said, $25,000 for your hand? He said, yeah, pastor's like
that. That's amazing. But I don't understand, why are you sad? He said, well, last week my grandfather
He said, oh, and you were close to him? And he said, no, not really. But he left me $100,000. The
pastor said, 100,000. I don't get it, Jim, why are you so sad then? He said, well, this week, nothing.
People are funny about money, and if we laugh at that is because in some ways we can relate.
Sometimes it just seems like it's never enough. Wealthy tycoon named JP. Morgan, at least I think, I
think I've seen it attributed to others. But he was asked, how much is enough? And he said, A little
more. He's multi billionaire. A little more. Money is a funny thing. And I would guess that if we went
around and had each of you come up to the mic, you could tell some story about money. You could
tell some story of God's great provision of money. You could tell of a time when somebody ripped you
off and how you felt about that, or somebody stole something from you. You could tell of a time when
you didn't have a lot of money and when, well, you were struggling. Or you could tell of a time when
you had plenty and you didn't know what you did to deserve it.
You could tell of a time maybe where you chose to move somewhere for the opportunity to earn more
money and then maybe you got the job and you wondered if it really was worth it. We all have money
stories and we all have money woes and money worries and sometimes it really does seem like it's
never enough. Something happens, a medical event or whatever, and you're like, wow, how am I going
to deal with this? And so Jesus and the Scriptures actually speak a lot about money. And the reason
that he does and the reason that the scriptures do is the same reason that we bless these kids here
today, a good parent, a good father, a good mother, will take their child aside at some point in their
life, and they'll say, here's how you deal with money. They may give them an allowance, they may have
them work some kind of a job, but they're going to want them to learn and understand what money
can do and what money cannot do. If you're a believer, you're going to want to teach your kids how to
be generous and how to give. And why do we do these things?
Because we love them. It's because we love them. And it's the same reason when Jesus speaks
about money and why he spoke about money almost more than any other thing. It's because he loved
people. And he saw people running after money like crazy and sometimes wrecking their lives over
money and being distracted and diffused. And he said that it's like somebody who receives the Word
of God, but the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke out the life of God within
them. When you look at the front of our bulletin, what does it say? It says, I've come that you might
have life and have it to the full. And that's why Jesus speaks about money. And so I'd be a negligent
pastor if I never addressed the issue with my people, because all I'm doing is being a channel for the
Word of God to speak to us about matters that are important now, so we're going to take a look at this
interesting parable. Like I said, it might be one of the only times where Jesus points at an unrighteous
guy. And this guy has been given a charge by his master, and he's maybe been skimming money off
the top.
Maybe he's been using the expense account for luxurious items for himself, I don't know. But the
master hears about it and he says, what's this I hear? You can't manage my wealth anymore? You're
done. You're fired. But before you go, we're going to do an audit of the books. And so he starts
scrambling because he's like, oh, my gosh, when I get thrown out on the streets, I'm not strong
enough to do any manual labor, and I'm too ashamed for the life I've lived to beg for myself. So I know
what I'll do. I'm going to go to the people that owe my master something, and I'm going to cut their
bill. I guess he still had the authority to do that. Perhaps he was cutting off the interest. Perhaps he
was cutting out his own share of the profit. Whatever it was, he thought, that way they're going to
welcome me into their homes when I get thrown out on the street. And Jesus said, that guy is street
smart. That's how I want my people to be. That guy is street smart. And the people of this world are
shrewd in the manners of this world.
And the matters of this world. In the same way I want my people to be shrewd and street smart about
matters of eternity. So here's what he says. Verse chapter 16 of Luke. In verse verse eight, the Master
commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are
more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light. I tell you, use worldly
wealth to gain friends for yourself so that when it is gone, you'll be welcomed into eternal dwellings.
Jesus is saying money matters. It matters in this life and it matters in eternity. So what does that
mean? If we could see it. Right. If we could absolutely see it the way Jesus does. If we could see the
reward in heaven that awaits. We'd have no problem. Right. With giving to God's missions. Giving to
God's church. Giving to people in need. Giving to matters of ministry and to missionaries or whatever
it is. Because we would know that God is using it to welcome us into eternal dwellings. Now, there's a
problem with this version because as you look at it, you could read it to say, oh, so I buy my way into
heaven, is that right?
Is that what you're saying, Pastor? That I can never quite be sure about how I stand with eternity? So I
really need to I need to tide, I need to give to missionaries, I need to give to poor people, and I need to
make sure I'm doing it enough so that nothing will be taken away from me and I'll be able to enter into
the pearly gates. But if you notice this, you know that's not what he's saying. Jesus said, what can
man give for ransom for his soul? He can't give anything. He can never pay the debt. He tells the story
of a man who owed more than he could pay to a king. And he said, that's what it's like. That's the kind
of forgiveness the Father has given you. You cannot outpay Him and you cannot repay Him. So Jesus
is not saying, hey, you're going to buy your way into heaven. But what he is saying is that there's going
to be a measure of enjoyment that you enter into in this life and in the life to come. When you give to
the work of the Lord, when you give to people in need, when you support mission work and charity
work and work that is going to help lift people up out of poverty, you'd be walking the streets of
heaven and people will come and say, thank you.
Thank you for being part of me. And we'll probably turn around and say, thank you. Thank you for
praying for us who had so much that we often weren't aware of how rich we were. But as we visited
you in Uganda or Rwanda or the Dominican Republic, and we saw your joy we saw that all the money
in the world can't buy that kind of joy, but you had it. So thank you for praying for us. You see, money
can be used to tie ourselves in with others relationally. You know, Jesus said that where your heart is
or where your treasure is, there your heart is. Right. Do you know what that means? Well, let's say I
hear about some fund and I hear that fund was really doing well. And so I determined to invest in that
fund and to continue to invest in that fund. Do I pay attention to that fund? Absolutely. I'm invested,
I'm connected with it. Jesus saying what you invest in, whether it's mission or the church or the life of
someone else, what you invest in your heart naturally begins to care about you naturally become
connected with those things.
So Jesus wants us people to understand money matters. Money also is a metric, for he tells us
whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much. And whoever is dishonest with
very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly
wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else's
property, who will give you property of your own? So what Jesus is saying there is this principle is
really true, that if you look at the little you have and you're not faithful with it, you don't see that it
actually belongs to God. And here's where we start to teach our children, right? What do your children
have? But this is the time now to begin to teach them. Hey son, if you've got $10, is there some of that
that you could give willingly and happily for the work of the Lord? Is there some of that you could give
for somebody else in need? You begin to help your son or your daughter learn to handle worldly
wealth and to be faithful with it.
Son, are you going to spend the other $9 or can you save some of it right? Can you think about the
future? Can you think about Christmas that's coming up and you need to buy a present for your little
Test. Test. Isn't that funny? Thank you Lord for the sound. And now you get our hearts right back on
track with what we were saying. What was I saying? Oh, yeah. I'll never stand before you and say you
need to give 10% to Tree of Life. You need to give what the Holy Spirit leads you to give. You need to
give prayerfully. The Scriptures say sacrificially generously and without compulsion. So whatever you
can give joyfully either to the church or to any thing that the Lord calls you to give to, it is a matter
between you and the Spirit of the Lord and to seek after. So Jesus says if you've not been trustworthy
with someone else's property who will give you property of your own. If you're not trustworthy as a
steward of the wealth that God gives you, will he entrust you with true wealth? Now, what is true
wealth? Money. True wealth is the capital of the kingdom. What is true wealth? I'm looking at true
wealth right now. It's the people of the kingdom of god. It's how you invest your lives into them. It's
those teachers over there who are teaching the children right now.
That's true wealth. God is entrusting them. And if you're not faithful with a little with what little
resources God gives you, how can God truly entrust you? So this kind of ends in an interesting way.
Jesus says, no one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will
be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. He's saying
money is actually going to be a metric for you to understand. Am I using money for the glory of God,
or is money using me? Am I controlling the money for the sake of the kingdom, or does money have
control over me? And so he says this, and then it says in verse 14, the pharisees who loved money. I
don't know if that means all the pharisees loved money or if there were certain pharisees who loved
money, and there were a lot of them. Either way, there was a group of pharisees who loved money,
and they heard all this, and they were sneering at Jesus. Some translations say scoffing at him. So
what he's showing us is these guys are guys who did their duty.
They tithed. They were considered the leading citizens, but he knew their heart. And in their heart,
their giving their giving was under compulsion. It was about keeping the law. It wasn't out of a
joyfulness, and it was the end of their giving. After they gave like that, they felt like they could walk
right by needs that were right in front of them. In fact, at one point, he criticized them. He said, you
pharisees, you hypocrites, you tithe even your spices, which the law doesn't require, but you neglect
the weightier matters of mercy and justice. You should have done the latter. You should have done
the former without neglecting the ladder. He says your tithing was good, but it wasn't out of a heart of
abundance and of joy, so that when you saw real need, you just walked right by it. So money is a
metric that we can look at and say, what's my attitude towards money? How do I view it? Do I view it
as mine or the lord's? Do I view it as limited or limitless? Yeah, I might not get all the money in the
world, but the lord has it all.
Is the way I handle my money lead me to need a provider right to need? Jaira that's what we were
singing today, God the Provider. Do you ever step out sacrificially? Do you ever do something with
your money that would make no worldly sense to anybody else around you who the Pharisees would
go, no, don't do that. You ever do something with your money that causes you to go, I'm gonna have to
trust God for the rest? That's what he's saying. That's what he's saying right there. You are the ones
who justify yourself in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is
detestable in God's sight. Now, what people value highly again, we might be thinking money, but the
Pharisees valued their position, they valued their possessions, they valued how other people looked at
them. And so they tried to justify themselves. And so often when they gave, they made a show of
giving. And Jesus said, God knows your heart. He knows that what you value is the opinion of others.
He said, what people value is highly detestable in God's sight. God is raising up a band of disciples of
Jesus followers who become like Jesus, who say, I don't care what people think of me, although I
I don't care, right? Because I care more about what God thinks and I care more about God's kingdom.
And I want to invest in that kingdom in every possible way with my time, my talents, my resources,
because that's what's valuable. So how do we get there? Well, every Sunday we bring forth an offering,
right? And when we bring that offering forth, it represents many of you give online and you've got
those wooden tokens. Those tokens represent that giving. Some of you bring your giving and you put
it in the offering basket. And what do we do? We sing Praise God from whom all blessings flow. We
say, God, you're our provider. We're actually doing an act of worship when we give. And so we hold it
up to God and we ask him to multiply it for his purposes, to use it as he will in this world so that the
kingdom of God and the next world will be impacted. And why do we do that? Because Jesus Christ
made himself an offering. In Isaiah 53, it says that God made his Son an offering to be for us a pure
sacrifice. Jesus gave his life for us upon the cross.
And it's only when the gospel kind of gets into you that you begin to look at all that you have. And I
say it's more than enough. Lord. It's only when the gospel gets into you that you can be content in any
in every circumstance, whether well fed or hungry. It's only when the gospel gets into you that when
you see a need and you go, oh, man, I was going to spend that on something else. You go, all, but
Christ, spend it all on me. There's more where that came from. And you give and you do it joyfully.
That's what the gospel does. It changes us. And so this table reminds us as we bring our offering,
there's no way to out give what Jesus gave and what he's still continually giving to us through the
power of His Holy Spirit. So, yeah, I'm a pastor and I have to talk about that funny thing money every
now and then. But my prayer is this. My prayer is that you will step more and more into the adventure
of using everything that you've got for the sake of the Lord and being able to see what the Lord does
through that and rejoice.
Would you pray with me, Lord? You are more than enough. We ask now that our lives would be made
an offering to you. We pray that we could become shrewd, Lord, that we could begin to see the
coming kingdom. We would invest in the lives of others. We would see the poor raised up, the broken
made whole. We would see lives changed for the goodness of the Gospel because of the lives
represented around this table today. We love you, Lord Jesus. We thank you for giving yourself for us.
It's in Your name we pray. Amen. Am.
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only
son, our Lord. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under
Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. On the third day, he rose again. He ascended into
heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the
dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness
of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen. Father of glory. God of our Lord
Jesus Christ. May you give all members of Your church the spirit of wisdom and revelation and the
knowledge of you having the eyes of our hearts enlightened. Please equip enable and inspire us to
discover and use our spiritual gifts to serve each other. Father, please enable Your church to receive
the word of God, not as a human word, but as it actually is Your Word. Heavenly Father, how we thank
you for the gift of the church. It is a conduit of untold blessings in our lives.
I invite you now to add Your own prayers in silence or aloud
now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or imagine according to the
power at work within us. All right, let's confess our sins to Almighty God. Most merciful God, we
confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word and deed, by what we have done and by
what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart. We have not loved our
neighbors as ourselves. We are. Truly sorry. And we humbly repent for the sake of your son Jesus
Christ. Have mercy on us and forgive us that we may delight in your will and walk in your ways to the
glory of your name. Amen.
Now may our God and Father have mercy upon you, pardon and deliver you from all your sins, confirm
and strengthen you in all goodness, and bring you to everlasting life through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Amen. Peace of the Lord be always with you. Let's turn and greet each other in peace.


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