The New Testament portion of our Take Up Your Sword reading plan this week has us in Ephesians. One of the things Paul tells us he prayed for them was…
“…that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints.” (Ephesians 1:17-18)
In particular, he wanted them (and us) to know that great future riches lay ahead for us because of the “riches of his grace which he lavished upon us” (Ephesians 1:7-8) when he shed his blood to redeem us and forgive our trespasses at the cross. He describes these great future riches as God showing us “the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:7).”
And He wants them (and us) to keep these great future riches securely in our mind’s eye so that we won’t make the mistake of playing the short game, living for riches that won’t last, but that rather, we would invest our earthly riches in a manner that will bear lasting fruit in the age to come.
This Sunday morning, we’ll come to one of the most unexpected parables Jesus told, commonly referred to as The Parable of the Dishonest Manager. From that description, we would expect this to be a cautionary tale about lying and not an illustration of good stewardship, but we’d be wrong.
When my son, Levi, was little he would always ask us when were we reading a book or watching a movie, “Who’s the good guy? Who’s the bad guy?” Well, in our parable this week, the “bad guy” is held up by Jesus as a “good guy” (sort of) to provoke us to consider how we’re using our earthly riches and what sort of hold they might have upon our hearts.
Fred Sanders will be preaching Luke 16:1-13 and Kenny Clark will be leading our sung worship. Would you pray for each as they prepare? And let’s ask the Lord to enlighten our hearts to know the riches of our glorious inheritance that is still to come so that we might not only “keep our lives free from love of money (Hebrews 13:5),” but gladly store up treasure in heaven “where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal (Matthew 6:20).”
Join us at 6pm for our baptism service. Eric Twisselmann will be taking us to God’s word to remind us why we celebrate each new life in Christ through the practice of baptism. And we have a number of great family matters to share with you during family time.
See you Sunday, Grace. Come hungry!
Song Link of the Week
Love Still Bids You Welcome by Keith and Kristyn Getty, with Skye Peterson
He will not cast you out
He will not cast you out
Whoever enters in
Will forever dwell with Him
Draw near, faint heart, draw near
Oh, Love still bids you welcome here