1 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.
2 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.’
3 “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.
4 I have resolved what to do, that when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.’
5 “So he called every one of his master’s debtors to him, and said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’
6 And he said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ So he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’
7 Then 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.’
8 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.
9 “And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon, that when you fail, they may receive you into an everlasting home.
10 He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much.
11 Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?
12 And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?
13 “No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”
14 Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, also heard all these things, and they derided Him.
15 And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.
16 “The law and the prophets were until John. Since that time the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is pressing into it.
17 And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the law to fail.
18 “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced from her husband commits adultery.
19 “There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day.
20 But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate,
21 desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
22 So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried.
23 And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
24 “Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’
25 But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented.
26 And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.’
27 “Then he said, ‘I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house,
28 for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’
29 Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’
30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’
31 But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’ “
Especially here in America, but really anywhere in the world, the degree of prosperity enjoyed is determined by how well resources are cared for. Those who have grown from nothing to great wealth have been wise in their use of the money in their hands, striking deals and making investments that secured their future status. While there is a movement to make sure everyone is at the same level, most often those without are so, not because they weren’t given enough, but because they weren’t wise with what they were entrusted with. Either because of ignorance or laziness, they have not secured anything for themselves from the opportunities they’ve been given. The only real limitation is the time allotted to invest or care for these things. The wise will recognize this timeline and make strategic moves to ensure their future financial position when no longer employed.
This truth that is clearly represented in the world is also a reality in the economy of heaven, although not as widely recognized or understood. All of us have been provided with an opportunity to care for an eternal treasure of life in Christ. There is a very restricted timeline for our stewardship of this treasure, though, and because of complacency, ignorance, laziness, distractions, etc., very little has been done with it. Other than claiming it and living in some of its benefits, it has received very little priority of care. This gift of forgiveness, mercy, and grace was meant to be shared with others indebted to the Lord, for them also to be freed from the crushing burden of sin’s debt. To fail in sharing this provision of the Father is to have near-sightedness with regard to one’s own eternal wealth. There may be an accumulation of earth’s wealth standard, but once this is all over, non of this will matter with regard to what we will leave all this behind for.
How very near is that final call for what we’ve done with what we’ve been given, and how easy it is to be oblivious and unresponsive to the gravity of our position of stewardship over the Lord’s treasures? Once the last breath is taken, there will be no going back, no more time for doing the only things that will be of worth where we’re going. Just the selfish purpose for doing this would surely be enough to do whatever it takes to even ineptly steward, if it could just be seen for how critical it is. Especially for those near and dear, there will be no doing later to secure the treasure of their forgiven debts. It can only be done today.