“You can’t take it [money] with you, but you can send it on ahead.”

Oswald J. Smith

TODAY’S READING: Luke 16–17

The point of the potentially confusing parable of the unjust steward is that we are to be resourceful and use all the means available to us for maximum benefit.[1] We will all give an account of our stewardship. One day we will stand before God and He will ask us: “What did you do about my one Great Commission? How did you leverage your life and all your resources for the maximum glory of my Father among all nations?” This question should either terrify or motivate us. If we have not been faithful to make disciples from among all unreached peoples with unrighteous mammon (Luke 16:9), why would Jesus trust us with true riches?

The haunting question for the wealthy of the world, which includes most every Christian in the West, is whether if we are serving money or if we are using money to fulfill the Master’s commission. We castigate the Pharisees of Jesus’ day, willfully forgetting that we who are ministers and missionaries are the Pharisees of our day. We travel land and sea to make converts, yet we are not immune to serving money. The human heart does not change that much, and if the religious leaders and respected spiritual missionaries in the time of Christ were susceptible to the allure of riches, let us not pretend we are immune (18:18–24). It is particularly important for those (ministers and missionaries) who live off the sacrificial donations of hardworking men and women to give careful account of our stewardship. Some at home may be at fault for squandering money on themselves, while some on the field may be at fault for squandering the trust of the faithful. It is all too easy to live a comfortable international life, a life that gets credit for being abroad but a life that is not reflective of the sacrifice which empowers it. We all will give an account for our stewardship, and if correction is needed, it must be made now. The time is coming when no changes can be made (16:19–31).

Reverend Larry Griswold gave my wife and I some advice when we were young missionaries. We have referred to it countless times, needing to revisit it now more than ever.  Putting his loving hands on our shoulders, he looked right in our eyes and quoted Luke 17:10: “When you have done all those things that you are commanded, say: ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.’” The error of missionary senders is to think that our giving removes responsibility to go, and that those who go are special. The error of missionary goers is to think our going removes the responsibility to give, and that we who go are special. Jesus cuts through both levels of nonsense and lovingly but curtly says: “Just do your duty. Just be a good steward. Just use all your life and all your wealth for My glory among all the nations.” When the Son of Man comes, may He find many faithful on this earth (18:8), those who never stopped giving, never stopped going, never stopped praying, never stopped living (and dying) for His glory among every unreached people.

[1] The Chronological Study Bible. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2008. 1178.

Prayer Focus: Algeria

Today’s Unreached People Group: Berber, Imazighen
Population: 1,602,000
Language: Tamazight, Central Atlas
Primary Religion: Islam
Evangelical: 0.63%
Estimated Workers Needed: 32

[Source: Joshua Project]

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