Make friends for yourselves by means of the wealth of unrighteousness, so that when it fails, they will receive you into the eternal dwellings.
–Luke 16:9

In Luke 16, Jesus tells the story of an investor who had very few assets but a lot of time. He said, “There was a rich man who had a manager, and this manager was reported to him as squandering his possessions” (v. 1). This rich man told his manager to get his affairs in order and then he would be fired. The manager thought, “What am I going to do?” So he came up with a plan. He said, “I know what I shall do, so that when I am removed from the management people will welcome me into their homes” (v. 4). He formulated a plan to use the final weeks of his employment to prepare for the future.

Here is the plan, recorded in Luke 16:5-7. He called each one of his master’s debtors. He asked the first one, “How much do you owe my master?” The man responded, “A hundred measures of oil.” The money manager said, “This is your lucky day, because today I am going to let you discount what you owe my master by 50 percent. Take your bill, cut it in half, and write 50 instead of 100.” Then he called in another one and said, “How much do you owe?” He said, “I owe 100 measures of wheat.” The manager said, “Guess what? It’s your lucky day as well. I am going to give you a 20 percent discount on that debt. Instead of 100, take your bill and write 80.” Do you see what the manager was doing? He was making friends on the outside so that when he became unemployed, some of the people he did a favor for might give him a job. You say, “Wasn’t that dishonest?” Yes, it was–which makes the rich man’s reaction so remarkable.

When the rich man heard about it, how did he respond? “His master praised the unrighteous manager because he had acted shrewdly” (v. 8). He was saying, “That was an ingenious plan. If you had shown that much ingenuity when you worked for me, then you would still have a job.” The master praised him not for his dishonesty, but because he acted shrewdly. The word “shrewdly” means “to act with foresight.” The master praised him because he looked beyond his present situation and into the future. He knew he would soon be out of a job, so he used the last weeks of his employment to prepare for the future.

Jesus said, “I say to you, make friends for yourselves by means of the wealth of unrighteousness, so that when it fails, they will receive you into the eternal dwellings” (v. 9). Do you realize there’s a day coming when we are all going to get fired from our present position, so to speak? That is the day of our death, when we have no more earning potential. Jesus says to us, “You ought to use the few years you have here on earth to prepare for the future, because the day is coming when money will be of no use to you.” Proverbs says, “Riches do not profit in the day of wrath,” or Judgment Day (11:4). The wise person is the one who uses money now to prepare for his future.

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Today’s devotion is excerpted from “A Tale of Two Investors” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2015.

Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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