How to Win Friends and Influence People | Luke 16:1-9

How to Win Friends and Influence People | Luke 16:1-9

Introduction

Please Stand for the Reading of God’s Word

Luke 16:1-9 ESV  He also said to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was wasting his possessions.  (2)  And he called him and said to him, ‘What is this that I hear about you? Turn in the account of your management, for you can no longer be manager.’  (3)  And the manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do, since my master is taking the management away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg.  (4)  I have decided what to do, so that when I am removed from management, people may receive me into their houses.’  (5)  So, summoning his master’s debtors one by one, he said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’  (6)  He said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’  (7)  Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ He said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’  (8)  The master commended the dishonest manager for his shrewdness. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light.  (9)  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, for me, was the hardest parable to swallow, because at first glance it seems that this parable is suggesting that God commends unrighteousness.
    • It seems that God is happy with the unrighteous and blatantly sinful act of the dishonest manager.
    • But as we look deeper we see that isn’t the case… so let’s take a look and see what I am talking about.
  • Up until this point, if you remember, Jesus was talking to  and gently rebuking the Pharisees.
    • He was instructing the Pharisees about how much God loves repentant sinners, even the gentile repentant sinner (If you don’t know what Gentile means let me tell you, it simply means someone who is not Jewish).
  • But now Jesus is turning His attention to His disciples, this teaching was for them… for the Christian.
  • And Jesus tells this story, the one we just read, of a dishonest manager…
    • Let me recap it for you…
    • There was a very rich man who hired a manager to manage his money and possessions.
    • The manager was stealing money from the rich man who hired him.
    • When the rich man found out he fired the manager…
    • But before everything was finalized the manager made a plan…
      • You see the manager was old, lazy, and proud…
      • He wasn’t about to go work in a field… and he was way to proud to beg for money…
      • So he decided the best thing he could do was make some very rich and very powerful friends as quickly as possible…
    • So, he went out to the people who owed his master lots of money, and he was so sly…
      • He was like “Let me help you out, because I like you, because we are friends… how about you just pay half of what you owe and we will call it good”.
        • Well hey! That’s a good deal, they must have thought, this guy is awesome!
    • And so, the dishonest manager made some very powerful and rich friends very quickly, so much so that his old boss was even impressed with his craftiness!
    • Now, make no mistake, what the manager did was FRAUD. It was theft. He was a thief when he worked for his boss, and he was a thief as he was fired.
    • And if you know the 10 commandments then you know that the 8th commandment is  “Thou shall not steal”… so what he did was sinful.
  • Now here is where the confusion came in for me, as a Christian reading this parable…
    • First, I thought this parable was about the thieving ways of a manager… but it’s not… the focus is not on his fraud… but on his cleverness… this parable is about the cleverness of a dishonest manager.
    • But second, and this is where I got trapped for a long time in my thinking…
    • I thought this parable was supposed to some how be about the kingdom of God.
      • Most of the other parables have phrases in them like “so it is in heaven when one sinner repents” or “The kingdom of heaven is like a woman who lost a coin”… so many of the other parables are about heaven, Jesus using word pictures to describe how the kingdom of God works…
      • BUT THAT IS NOT WHAT IS GOING ON HERE.
      • THIS PARABLE IS NOT ABOUT THE KINGODM OF HEAVEN, IT IS ABOUT THIS WORLD!
      • JESUS IS NOT TALKING ABOUT A PERFECT HEAVEN, HE IS TALKING ABOUT A FALLEN EARTH… Look, I will show you… look at verse 8.

Luke 16:8 ESV  The master commended the dishonest manager for his shrewdness. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light.

  • You see the parable ends at the word “Shrewdness” then Jesus tells us the moral of the story…
    • You see that word “for” we have talked about that word before… it means “This is the point, everything I just said… here is why I said it…
    • For the sons of this world… the sinners living in sin in a sinful world… LOOK HOW CLEVER THEY ARE WITH DEALING WITH OTHER SINNERS! They are so much more cleaver than Christians are.
    • Jesus is saying “Learn from the wicked cleverness of the world and transfer that knowledge into righteous cleverness… as the world uses wicked cleverness to gain wicked wealth, you ought to use righteous cleverness to gain eternal reward!
  • And then Jesus says this in verse 9

Luke 16:9 ESV  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.

  • Make friends for yourself by means of unrighteous wealth. Jesus says… He turns the parable on it’s head!
    • Look, I hope you get this, pay attention to this…
    • The dishonest manager made unrighteous wealth for himself by making friends.
    • Jesus says that we should do the opposite… we should make friends by means of unrighteous wealth.
    • Let me say that again…
      • The dishonest manager made unrighteous wealth for himself by making friends…
        • He didn’t care about friends… he only made friends so they would give him money when he needed it… because he was about to be out a job… So he did all he could to make friends so that he would have money later.
      • Jesus says “We ought to be just a clever Christians! We should use unrighteous wealth to make eternal friends! We ought to use unrighteous wealth to make new believers!
  • That’s why today’s sermon is titled “How to win friends and influence people”

Show title slide

  • I am halfway through my sermon and we haven’t even gotten to point one yet! Well we better get there! Point one is this: What you do with your money matters!

Point One – What You Do With Your Money Matters

Luke 16:9a ESV  And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth

  • First let’s talk about the fact that Jesus keeps referring to “Unrighteous wealth”…
    • When He says that it makes there seem like there is some kind of “Righteous wealth”…
      • But that’s not what He is saying…
      • Jesus isn’t asking you to sell meth on the side to pay for a church building ok…
      • He is not asking you to rob a bank…
      • He is not telling you to scam people by calling them and pretending to be a social security officer or telling them their car warranty has expired.
    • No, Jesus is not saying “Sin! And use the gain from that sin for God’s goodness”. That’s nonsense.
    • What Jesus is simply saying is that all wealth is unrighteous… but it can be used for a righteous reason.

1 Timothy 6:10 ESV  For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.

Matthew 19:23-26 ESV  And Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven.  (24)  Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”  (25)  When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?”  (26)  But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

  • What then? Is having wealth sinful? No!
    • But loving wealth is.
  • But then is it sinful to be rich?
    • No, not at all, Jesus never says that… but what He does say is that money is so wicked in it’s working that it brings a lot of trouble to those who have it.
      • As a notorious young poet once wrote: “Mo money, Mo Problems”.
  • The fact is, money is a result of the fall. There was no money in the garden of Eden, nor will there be money in heaven.
    • But money is a reality. We need it to eat, to pay our bills, to survive.
    • In the same way that clothing is a result of the fall… it’s not God’s ideal, but it is a reality… you don’t see me telling people to walk around naked, in fact I am often trying to get people to wear MORE CLOTHES.
  • But what we have to realize is that money is temporary… we don’t take it with us.
  • HOWEVER… this is what’s important… HOW WE SPEND OUR MONEY MATTERS.
    • We can use our money to buy things that wont matter in 10,000 years.
    • Or we can use our money to influence the spiritual growth of people.
  • When I was 18 and in college I saved up money and worked as hard as I could to buy an xbox 360.
    • Oh how I wanted that videogame system… It cost around 300 bucks, which was a lot for a college kid.
    • But I finally got it, and played the heck out of that thing.
  • When I was 19 there was a thing called the “Million bible challenge” where the Christian bookstore was selling Bibles with large print and study notes for a dollar a piece with the intent on people buying cases of them to give away.
  • I bought 300 bibles… spending the same as I spent on the xbox. Then I gave those 300 bibles away doing street evangelism.
    • Which purchase do you think will matter more in 800 years.
      • I mean I had fun with the xbox, and I was really good at Halo…
      • But don’t you think that those Bibles will matter more in 800 years, especially if people used them for spiritual growth… especially if people used them to get saved and/or discipled?
  • Point one is “What You Do With your Money matters”
    • So point two is “Use Your Money to Change Eternity!”

Point Two – Use Your Money To Help Change Eternity

Luke 16:9 ESV  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.

  • “So that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal dwellings”.
  • On the amazon page for the book “How to win friends and Influence people” it says this to sell the book:
    • You can go after the job you want—and get it!
    • You can take the job you have—and improve it!
    • You can take any situation—and make it work for you!
      • See the book is called “How to win friends and influence people” but really what the book is about is how to make your life better.
      • It is about using friends and influence to help yourself in life.
      • The dishonest manager would have LOVED this book, it was all about Him!
    • And this is a best-selling book. The world loves this stuff.
  • But God says “Instead of using friends and influence to gain money… what if you used money to gain friends and influence for GOD?!”
  • Have you ever considered the eternal impact of your spending decisions?
    • Have you ever considered that an extra 5 dollars in the offering basket could mean an eternal difference… while that late from Starbucks is just gonna make you satisfied for a moment?
    • Or that taking your disciple out to Tacobell and paying for their meal could mean an eternal difference… while eating alone at Texas Roadhouse won’t matter at all tomorrow?
      • Y’all remember eating out with people… that was nice…
  • I know this is true… because it was money that lead me to Christ… let me tell you about how I got saved…
    • My best friend started going to church and I got jealous… so I decided I wanted to go with him to church.
    • So I went to church one Sunday… I didn’t drive yet… so his parents picked me up.
      • Church was weird… it was kind of boring… and I didn’t like this Pastor Matt guy all that much, in fact he kind of rubbed me the wrong way.
    • After church the O’Neil’s took me to lunch with the family. FREE FOOD IS THE BEST FOOD AS A TEENAGER.
    • The next week James asked if I wanted to go to church again… I would have said no, but he also added “And we will go to lunch afterwards.”
    • THAT SOLD ME.
    • For a month or two I went to church with the O’Neil’s only because I wanted the lunch afterword.
    • And then, one Sunday morning, the Holy Spirit got a hold of me and I gave my life to Christ.
      • I am not sure it would have happened if the O’Neil’s, who were not wealthy at all, did not spend there money to take me to lunch.
      • That lunch money changed eternity for me.

Conclusion

Altar Call

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