Thursday, May 07, 2009

The Parable of the Dishonest (Shrewd) Manager

The parable of the shrewd, or dishonest, manager is definitely worth a closer look. I listened to a good sermon on it recently. Here are some thoughts:


LUKE 16:1-3

We must have and use wisdom for success (both worldly and for eternity)

Always keep the end in view (as in the bigger picture, the future, the purpose for which all things are happening)

The manager was accused of wasting possessions (the prodigal son did the same); this may be why he was called "dishonest," not necessarily because of his later actions in reducing the debt owed to his master (in other words, he may have had approval to do that)

The rich man demands an account from him and effectively fires the manager

The manager contemplates his future and, thinking ahead and about the resources at his disposal, plans for what’s coming, and is commended for his shrewd behavior.

For what exactly is he commended?

The dishonesty? No!

His decisiveness? Not exactly...

Quick action w/ future in mind? Yes… His present action with long term purpose in mind (SHREWDNESS)

Jewish leadership (Pharisees) valued tradition over people, and Jesus challenges them on that point here

When Jesus says, "Use worldly wealth to gain friends so that when wealth is gone, you’ll be welcomed into eternal dwellings," He means that we ought to care for people (gain friends) with wealth, knowing that we benefit from that too (it is more blessed to give than to receive), instead of amassing wealth for selfish spending (and squandering)

Money ought to be used but not trusted
God ought to be trusted but not used

We ought to order our whole lives around larger purpose (small things lead to large things) Whoever can be trusted with little can be trusted with much...


Monday, May 04, 2009

DC 301 - Week 1A

As we move into the only summer session of the 21-month Discipleship Curriculum, the format changes quite a bit. We take a break from memorizing new Bible verses and simply focus on reviewing the ones we've already learned (25 passages! Way to go!). We don't have questions to answer in the workbook that deal with a weekly topic. Rather, we'll be reading and taking notes and teaching for 12 weeks. And this format shift will be handled gently - at least for our group.

We'll break down the first week's workload into two weeks (1A and 1B, as the blog post title suggests), though we need to be ready to discuss all of that material next week (we'll review it at the second meeting). Also, by taking Memorial Day off, we'll grant two weeks to complete the second week workload, though we'll only spend one meeting covering it. But then from there, we'll plow ahead at the usual weekly pace. Once we pass the first 5-6 weeks, the workload will lighten and discussion time will diminish for the sake of teaching opportunities. More on that will follow as we near those meetings. But for now, here's how the workload might break down for week 1 of DC 301:

Monday - Read Genesis 1-11 and review memory verses, such as 1 Peter 2:12, Colossians 4:5-6, and 1 Timothy 6:10
Tuesday - Read Psalms 1-2 and 4-6 and the introduction of Larry Crabb's Inside Out
Wednesday - Read chapters 1-2 of Larry Crabb's Inside Out
Thursday - Read chapter 3 of Larry Crabb's Inside Out
Friday - Read chapters 1-3 of Ian Thomas' The Saving Life of Christ and review memory verses