In a real sense, each one of us is a sharecropper for the Lord. We don’t own anything; we just manage a part of God’s creation. But sometimes we make the same mistake the tenants in the parable made. We start imagining we own the vineyard.
Most babies are born with their fists clenched—but there’s nothing there. Then we start grabbing and we spend our lives grabbing and grabbing for more and more. In death, rigor mortis returns our hands to a fist—and we carry nothing out.
We are a generation that is piling up more and more toys based on the misconception that this life is all there is. Everyone in the millennial generation recognizes what these four letters mean: YOLO. It means You Only Live Once. That’s a half-truth, and a half-truth is a full lie. Yes, you only live once physically, the Bible says that. But the Bible goes on to say that after this life, there is eternity. The Bible says it is appointed unto man or woman ONCE to die and after that, the judgment.
The parable of the talents is about money, but the application is about managing ALL the resources God has given you. In addition to your money, God has given you health, time, talent, energy, abilities, influence, and relationships. This is not just about money management; it’s about life management. But it all starts with acknowledging that everything I have is a gift from God. I don’t own it; I just manage it.
Money can be a monster if you love it more than God. There’s nothing inherently evil about money—it’s just a measure of value. Money can be used for good or evil. Money can be used to buy drugs, or it can be used to buy bread for a hungry child. Money can be used to buy missiles, or it can be used to send missionaries around the world.
If you lie in a hospital bed for a week without exercise, you’ll lose your strength. Atrophy occurs when muscles aren’t used. That’s why physical therapy, exercise, and rehabilitation are so important after you have been hospitalized. It’s true of your muscles and your mind. It’s also a spiritual truth. If you don’t use God’s resources you may lose them. If you aren’t actively doing business for God, you may lose the ability or the desire to do business for God. Are you investing time for God? Are you obeying the truth He has given you? Are you taking advantage of those opportunities to serve Him?
If you want to learn how to live well and prosper you need to get into God’s economy. It’s going in only one direction! The very first principle in God’s economy is acknowledging that God is the source of your wealth. It’s not your job, or your investments, and some of you got your money the old fashioned way-you inherited it! But these things are not your true source of wealth, God is. Some of you disagree with me because you think you trained, and worked, and slaved and you earned everything you possess. Who do you think gave you the ability to work and earn?
One of the most important disciplines of the Christian Life is the discipline of stewardship. Some of you in the investment business work very hard to understand our local and national economy so you can make wise investments for yourselves and your clients. Nowadays, you also have to understand what we call the global economy. Sharpen your pencils, because God has His very own economy, and understanding God’s economy is absolutely essential if you want to be a good steward.