Amen Herbert Dow, who is pictured here Uh is founded a company in 1895 called the Dow Chemical Company. And what he had done was he had invented a way that you could cheaply produce a chemical called bromine. And so he would sell it for 36 cents a pound around the US. He couldn’t sell it in Germany because there was a company there that also produced bromine and they had a monopoly on the market. And they uh and so so he was just constrained to the U. S. And so he did that for nine years. But in 1904 the business was kind of struggling and he knew, you know what, I really need to expand if I, you know if I want to make a go of this. And so he began to sell bromine in europe. And because he sold it for 36 cents per pound and the German company sold it for $0.49 per pound. He gained a lot of sales very quickly and started expanding like crazy. Now this german company was obviously outreach here, this guys coming in and so gaining all these sales and so they’re like, you know what, we are going to put this little guy in his place and we’re going to undercut him and put him out of business. So they began selling bromine in the United States for 15 cents a pound to just try to completely and utterly undercut this guy, make him go out of business. Now this is where Herbert dow demonstrated his, his shrewdness. So what he decided to do was he decided to take as much loans as he possibly could, and he began buying as much of the german bromine as he could for 15 cents a pound. Repackage it, put a new label on and then resold it in europe for 27 cents a pound. Now, the german company couldn’t understand why this guy wasn’t going out of business. They just, they kept selling all this product in the US and and he just kept hanging around. And so so they decide, you know what, we’re gonna lower it to 12 cents per pounds. He kept buying it and then they lowered it to 10 cents per pound and he kept buying it. And by the time they figured out what he was doing, uh he had broken that monopoly in europe and then they kind of came to this agreement that they’re both going to sell it at a good market price. And uh and so Del Dow chemical company still exists today because of the shrewdness of this man by the name of Herbert Dow. And that’s a fun story because we kind of like the idea of a small business taking on this giant company outsmarting them and this man becoming very wealthy, right? And and uh and it’s just kind of a fun story if you read uh stories of the richest people in the world today right now. What you find is you find people like this, who are very trude and who are passionately pursuing building wealth with all that they’ve got with all of their resources, with all their time with all of their energy. They are focused on making money and they’re good at it and they are extremely wealthy and that is how you become really rich by doing that. But here’s a question for you, what is better than being the richest person in the world? What’s better than being the richest person in the world as being the richest person in heaven? And today we’re gonna look at how to build heavenly wealth, Jesus provides lessons in this story for us and we’re gonna start going through the story here in the particulars. But before we do that, we have to remember the context that this takes place in and the last couple of weeks. So Jesus here is telling a series of stories in the book of luke and they are all linked together. First you tell the story of the lost sheep and then the story of the lost coin and then the Lost Son, which is what we looked at last week and then there’s this story about the shrewd manager and at the on the surface it seems like these stories are not linked together, but they are and jesus is communicating a clear point about what’s of true value in all of these different stories, he shows them that eternity is what matters and the that using your resources and money on this earth for an eternal impact is what is true value. So in the lost coin treasure, eternal finding eternal life is finding a treasure living for the kingdom of heaven is what we should do and and what we should use our resources for. And so these are all tied together. Okay so let’s go back to the passage chapter 16 verse one. Let’s start looking at this more. He also said to the disciples. So he had, he had been talking to the Pharisees now he switches to talk to his disciples to reiterate this point of what’s true value. There was a rich man who had a manager and charges were brought to him that this man was wasting his possessions and he called him and said to him, what is this? I hear about you turning the account of your management for you no longer can be manager. Alright. So the first aspect of this story that’s important is that the master calls the manager to give an account. Okay. And and so have you ever had one of those moments where your boss calls you in like hey did you do this report? You know or hey did you do this job? Uh and and you know you you can kind of have a couple of reactions when it happens right? And here the manager has one of those moments, the boss calls him in to give an account and he knows he’s corrupt, he knows he was doing a bad job and he has one of those moments where it’s like the sinking stomach and it’s like, okay, I’m in trouble, right? And so, um, but but when your boss calls you in, you know, you can kind of have to reactions if you know you did a good job, if you know that you’ve been doing a good job, you put your your effort into that report of that job and you did a good job, you’re confident in that work. Well, when the boss says, hey, did you do this? You can say, yeah, I did. And there’s no fear because you know, you put forward a great or a good effort, best effort. Um there’s no fear in that. And maybe the boss says, hey, great job on that, right? Or maybe that you find out you made a mistake, whatever, but but you put in your efforts, so there’s no fear when the boss says, hey, did you do this if you did a bad job and you know, you didn’t do a good job. Well then there’s this other response, this other reaction, like the man, the bad manager here says, um, and that’s the sinking feeling. The fear, like, oh, okay, what is going to happen? I know I’m in trouble. You know, right now, it’s it’s tax season, everybody’s doing their taxes right? And so if you do your taxes honestly and you turn them in. And the I. R. S. Sends you a letter and says hey we’re gonna audit you if you you know there’s no fear in that. If you did them right. If you did them honestly if you’re cheating on your taxes, which a lot of people do. And the I. R. S. Send you that letter then there’s this oh no this is going to be terrible. I hope they don’t find out what I was doing. Uh That kind of fear. So if you’re not being a good steward then there should be fear, guilt, shame felt and and the purpose of bringing about repentance and change. That’s the purpose of guilt and fear. And so the manager of this story, he experienced that second option that okay yikes this is not gonna be good. He was afraid because he was a bad manager. He’d been taking advantage of. His master had been taking advantage of his position. We don’t know exactly what he did. Maybe he cheated, Maybe he stole. Maybe he’s just lazy whatever the case, he was not doing a good job. And the master heard about it and called him to an accounts And we too will have to stand before the all knowing Holy God one day and we will have to give account. God sees all he knows all. Everything will be laid bare one day. And we too can have one of those two options of what we respond with. We too could have joy and peace instead of fear because we’ve done what’s pleasing to the master. We’ve been a good manager. We’ve done. We’ve been faithful with what he’s entrusted to us, where you could have this fear and terrifying type of response. Now the story jesus is sharing here is he’s telling us and giving us how to be able to have that first option. How to be able to come before the master and have joy. Okay, Let’s go to verse three. And the manager said to himself, what shall I do since my master’s taking the management away from me? I’m not strong enough to dig, I’m ashamed to beg I’ve decided what to do. So I’m removed from management. People may receive me into their houses. So summoning his master’s debtors one x one, he said at first, how much do you owe my master? He said 100 measures of oil, and he said to him, take your bill, sit down quickly, right, 50. And he said to another, how much do you owe? And he said 100 measures were, and he said to him, take your bill right down 80. And the master commended the dishonest manager for his shrewdness for the sons of the world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of the light. So what happened here was this manager? The shrewd manager um used that last little gasp of his present position to prepare himself for the next stage of his life. And what he did was he cheated all the more he’s like, you know, all right, I’m all in on this cheating thing. He took advantage of the Master one more time. He had been a bad manager, he’d been taking advantage, had been cheating whatever stealing from his master. And so now he does it yet one more time and he did so in order to make some friends in high places, he uh he gave big discounts to these powerful people, these merchants, these business leaders, these wealthy men, he didn’t want to dig holes, ditches, didn’t wanna be homeless. So he cheated his master and some big favors, make some friends in high places. Now the story takes an interesting twist here. What what does the man the master say here, Jesus makes a point by saying the master commended the dishonest manager for his shrewdness. Now what? It doesn’t say he, the master did not approve the manager’s conduct, but he did applaud his shrewdness and said that hey, business people here on this earth are often more shrewd than the sons of the light. Often more shrewd than christians. And so jesus, he’s telling this to his disciples not to the Pharisees, his disciples and he’s making the point in communicating and challenging his disciples to approach eternal wealth building with the same zeal and fervor and savvy as the best business people, the best people in business today. So think about in our day, you know, Warren Buffett Alice Walton, Elon musk, Jeff Bezos, those types of business people and the savvy and the fervor and the energy and the zeal that they put into making money, jesus is challenging disciples to, to put that same kind of focus into building eternal wealth. So the main point, Jesus communicating in this story, it’s not about shrewdness, it’s about truly using your resources to build wealth for the next life. He’s talking about becoming a wealthy person in heaven, so use your money, your resources to build future eternal wealth. That’s the main point, that’s the main concept, that’s what this story is all pointing towards, and this concept is not unique, Jesus talks about this elsewhere elsewhere, you’ve heard the phrase, you know, store up treasures in heaven, that’s, it’s from jesus, uh first timothy 6 to 18 through 19 says commend them and do good, be rich in good deeds and be generous and willing to share in this way, you will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age so that they may take hold of what’s truly life. So there’s this concept throughout scriptures of building a treasure building wealth building for the future for eternity, And that’s what Jesus is talking about, and then he goes on to describe, and to give us an idea of how to do so that we’re not left without some of these um ways to do this. Okay, so verse nine he says, and I tell you make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal dwellings. This is gonna go through a series of different points here, but the first one is use your money to make friends in the Gospel, use your money to build friendships. And it’s uh it’s very interesting, he says make friends like, what does that mean? He’s talking about how, you know, we’ve got money, we’ve got resources. And so can you use that to build some friendships? Can you take somebody out for dinner to build a friendship? Can you take somebody and buy something for someone? A gift makes way for a person, Right? So, so you’re you’re doing this with people who are not christians so that you have a chance to communicate christ with them. So you have a chance to have a friendship with them and to win them to christ right? Use money so as to communicate the gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven. And he also gives kind of the why behind it, which is a very interesting thing to think about. He says, if you do that, those who believe those who follow christ those who are saved and are and going to heaven will be the people that then welcome you into that eternal dwelling. Think about that, What an incredible picture. You know you you utilize your worldly wealth, the resources you have in this this life the money in this life in the gospel in making friends and then there’s people who give themselves to christ and follow and become disciples of christ and when they die they go into heaven and then when you die you’re gonna have this welcoming committee and I’m picturing in my mind, I have no idea what it’s gonna be like. But picturing in my mind, you know like you’re you’re coming in and there’s this, you know these people you’re seeing who they are. Oh yeah all these people that you know that you had an impact on and they’re they’re so excited that you’re there welcoming into eternity, cheering screaming, you know that like the sports kind of thing, right? Like come on in and and it’s an incredible picture friends with which you will have for all of eternity because of what you’ve invested in this earth, eternal rewards, treasure in heaven. Okay, He also describes using money to bless and to serve people. And this has also found out so proverbs 1125, whoever brings blessing will be enriched and the one who waters will himself be watered this concept of generosity and blessing and using your your your money and resources to bless and serve other people, it is so good. Not only does it um build eternal wealth, but there’s also a blessing here in this life to you bring blessing you’ll be enriched. The wonder waters, will himself be watered. This. This concept is it’s good to help others. It’s good to give and to bless feels good for sure. But it also builds this eternal wealth too. Okay verse 10. He goes on to further explain what it means to be a good steward, a good manager. One who is faithful and very little is also faithful much and one who is dishonest and very little is also dishonest and much if then you who have not been faithful with the unrighteous wealth who will entrust you to true riches. And if you’ve not been faithful in what is another’s who will give you that which is your own. So the third point he is making here is a good manager is faithful with the responsibilities. We’ve been given a good manager is faithful with the responsibilities we’ve been given. Now what are some of those responsibilities God has given us a lot of responsibilities. We’ve got friendships, we’ve got marriage kids, if you’ve got kids, there’s work responsibilities, church community group and money, there’s others. But those are ones that I thought of that responsibilities God has given us that we need to be faithful with. And if we can’t manage what God has given us. If we can’t be faithful with the little things God has given us. We won’t have more significant responsibilities given to us and provided to us. But notice here it’s not the amount, right? And he’s talking about money if you’re faithful little be faithful with much. It’s it’s not the amount whether you have a lot or little, it’s how you manage what you’ve been given. God is the master. He’s the one who owns it all. He’s he has it all. And he’s entrusted some to us. And there’s some of us in this room who come from privilege and have a lot. There’s some of us in this room who have very very little. It doesn’t matter whether you have little with you a lot. Are you being faithful with what you’ve been entrusted? How do you manage what God has given you? That’s the question here. He says. If you’re faithful with that a little bit, God won’t trust you with more your faithful that little bit. You’re demonstrating that you are a good manager. A faithful manager, a good steward and there’s and you’re building wealth from the life to come Verse 13. No servant can serve two masters for either. He will hate one and love the other or he’ll be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. So a good manager is one who serves gone want to build wealth for this life to come serve God and not money. Now listen up. You can have both God and money. But you cannot serve both God and money. You get that. You can have both. God and money, but you can only serve one. You can only serve God or money can serve them both and how you spend shows what you treasure. Right? So look back, think back have you been spending the resources God has given you? Who did you serve? You don’t have to be rich to serve money. You don’t have to be poor to serve God. It’s a matter of the heart. How who are you serving? That’s the question verse 14 The Pharisees who were lovers of money that reveals where they were at heard these things and they ridiculed him. They were listening and jesus communicating to his disciples but they were listening in and they loved money and so their response to this was making fun of them ridiculing and he said to them, you are those who justify yourselves before men by God knows your hearts. But what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God, God knows your heart. It’s impossible to hide from God. Now. You may be able to hide your heart and motivations from the people around you. You may be able to hide that from the people in this room. You may be even able to hide it from your family, but you cannot hide your heart motivations from God. He knows he knows whether you serve him or whether you serve money or possessions or security or wealth or the bank accounts size or the retirement accounts, God’s value system is different than what we see around us the world around us. It’s like how’s your how’s your retirement account doing right? The world values the new car, the six figure salary, the big house, the investment portfolio, the bank account, all that kind of stuff. But God looks at the heart, are you being faithful? Are you serving him? That’s what matters. And so jesus lays out here, these different aspects of what it means to build wealth for eternity and to be a faithful manager. Now, as you’re sitting there having gone through this story, you may be feeling a variety of things. You may be feeling guilt. You may have realized that your priorities have become misaligned. You may even be wondering, okay, yeah, I want to be a good manager, but how can I possibly do that? I want to be faithful with little things, but I struggle with that. Right? There’s good news and the good news is the Gospel. Even if you’ve not been a good manager, even if you’ve been serving money or been unfaithful with what you’ve been given, jesus offers a better way through, The Gospel has offers us an opportunity to turn from those things and to turn to him and to receive his grace and his power and his help to turn away from the power of money and to follow him. So then we have by his grace the ability and the power to build eternal wealth. It’s not found in ourselves, it’s found in him and his grace. And so the first step is to really to yield and to surrender to him. That’s the action point. Surrender and serve the Lord can’t do it on our own. We cannot be these good managers, these faithful stewards, faithful servant. We can’t on our own. We need jesus. And so some of you have realized maybe you’re not a great manager or you’re more like the bad manager here who serves money um instead of the Lord and I encourage you and I challenge you, surrender to him, embrace his grace for a better way, a way that leads to true reward, not just money here in this earth a true reward. Building wealth for eternity serve the Lord and invest in the eternal bank. Use money and faithful actions to build wealth in this life to come by being a good manager, a good steward in his power and his strength turn and surrender to serve him. Some of you who are serving the Lord right now have realized that your heart is maybe drawn towards worldly wealth, those kinds of things, I encourage and challenge you to surrender and serve the Lord jesus can help you so that when you give an account to the master and you stand before him, you can be filled with joy knowing that you have served him, can you feel with joy knowing that you devoted your life and your resources and your time and your effort energy to building wealth for the life to come. What’s better than being the richest person in the world, being the richest person in heaven and jesus. The Master can help you the money here in this earth like it’ll it’ll burn, it’ll go away. You cannot take a single dollar with you when you die and enter into attorney, you can’t it stays all here may benefit some others, may benefit your descendants etcetera. But it will not help you one single bit size of your account when you die. Absolutely is no longer any value when you die. What will be revealed is your the balance of your bank account in heaven, right? You’ll see how much treasure you’ve stockpiled in heaven and and there will be incredible joy. We will be astounded and overwhelmed I think as God pours forth his blessing and reveals, hey, your faithful here, your faithful there and there’s just gonna be this astounding reward that you’ll be shocked and filled with joy at because of these actions and how you use your money here in this earth God values those things and it’s building an eternal treasure. So surrender to him and serve him by his power. Use the resources, you have to build eternal wealth. Let’s pray Emily, Father, We thank you for these stories. They’re so powerful and they help us help us to connect and to understand what is of true value. And that building wealth for the for eternity is what we really need to be about. We’re here on this earth. We need you, we need your help, we need your grace. We cannot do it on our own, so we surrender ourselves to you. Lord. Once again, we say, fill us with yourself so we can serve you in jesus name. Amen.