No Such Thing as Small Blessings
Posted March 10, 2019
A few days ago, I received a comment on a bible study I posted a couple of years ago about Esau and Jacob. The commenter shared a testimony of how has learned to appreciate the Lord’s blessings whether small or large. She said, “in fact, there are no small blessings because they are all important,” which brought a smile to my face.
Before he passed away in 2011, my dad started a text message ministry in which he would send out daily text messages to a group of his contacts. I continued that ministry after he passed away and I still do it to this day. Now and then I glance at the daily verse that the Bible app sends out on my phone just to see how often the verses they share cross with the verses I share. Of course it rarely happens – we are usually weeks apart.
The other day, however, they shared a scripture (Luke 16:10) that really caught my attention. It caught my attention mostly because it tied into the commenter’s thought of appreciating all of God’s blessings. Today, I want to speak from that scripture and focus on how we as believers must learn to invest in and appreciate everything that the Lord gives us.
Are we mismanaging God’s goods?
In Luke 16, we are introduced to a certain rich man and his steward. This parable is both a unique parable and unique to Luke’s gospel so be sure to read it. Let’s take a look at what we are told about this steward:
1 He also said to His disciples: “There was a certain rich man who had a steward, and an accusation was brought to him that this man was wasting his goods.Luke 16:1 NKJV
Immediately, we are told that there was an accusation made against the steward for wasting the goods of the rich man. We do not know how the steward was wasting the goods of his master, but we do know that he was not acting just in his job.
You may be reminded of the man who chose to bury the 1 talent given to him by his master (Matt. 25:14-30). It may also remind you of the lost son (or prodigal son) that we read about in Luke 15:11-32. You should definitely give both of the other parables a read. (The parable of talents can also be found in Luke 19:11-27 as the parable of pounds or minas.)
As with many of the other parables Jesus told, this parable is an illustration of the relationship between mankind and God. In today’s scripture, we, the genuine believers, should be viewed as the steward and God as the rich man. Paul refers to us as stewards in much of his writing.
1 Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.1 Corinthians 4:1 NKJV
As stewards of God, that makes the Lord our boss or our master. Some translations of Luke 16:1 will substitute the word manager for steward – this is fine.
The Master’s goods
So, by any chance are we like the unjust steward who was wasting the goods of his boss? For us to answer this question, we would have to consider what goods the Lord has given to us.
Let’s start off with what the Lord first gave to mankind – the earth. This world provides us the air in which you and I share and breathe. The world provides us with the food we eat and the water in which we drink. The Lord placed Adam into the garden of Eden and charged Adam with managing the garden (Gen. 2:15). The earth is our garden and we should be tending to it but we are doing a poor job of it.
A lot of the goods that the earth provides us are taken for granted. Not to make a big political speech here, but the earth is not in really good shape nowadays. Plastic and other debris is in our oceans, and the earth itself is warming up whether you believe that’s mankind’s doing or not. The idea of caring for the earth and managing it better is often mocked routinely. Would you say that we are doing a good job of being stewards of the earth?
Another good that God has given us is the gift of life. Every day is a brand new opportunity that God gives us. We can choose to continue what we did the day prior or we can try to do better. To me, that is a remarkably good blessing that the Lord has given to us but we waste this precious opportunity of life. This gift should be considered as a “large” blessing but we don’t treat it as such.
The question is: are we mismanaging what God has freely given us?
Not investing in His goods properly
The day came where the boss called the unjust steward into his office.
2 So he called him and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward.’Luke 16:2 NKJV
Due to the mismanagement of his boss’ goods, he was fired from his stewardship. Someone may ask the question, “is it possible for me to lose my stewardship?” For us as stewards, there will be a day when our stewardship will end in this world and we will pass on from it. We will get called “into the boss’ office” by the Lord to be held accountable for how we managed His goods. Will there be any accusations made against you?
We learn something important about this steward in the next verse.
3 “Then the steward said within himself, ‘What shall I do? For my master is taking the stewardship away from me. I cannot dig; I am ashamed to beg.Luke 16:3 NKJV
The steward was a lazy man! He didn’t want to do any hard work after being fired by his boss, not because he could not or because he was disabled. We then see that the steward at least had some pride because he says he’s not going to beg. So, this steward has now hit a low point! What is he going to do? Will he sulk or complain? Let’s take a look at what this steward does next.
Fixing his wrongs
He comes up with a very important plan (v.4-7) that I want us to pay attention to. He chooses to be generous with the debtors of his boss by lowering the price they owed. You see, I am of the belief that he had been getting some extra money before he was fired by upping the amount the people owed. I have nothing that can back up my thoughts on so admittedly I could be wrong.
However, what I am not wrong about is that the unjust steward repents from his unjust ways. He is at a low point but this man chooses to grow at this point. Some of us would say that this was a blessing in disguise! In his change of character, he finds himself in the good graces of the debtors and even in the eyes of his boss. We find that his boss even commends him.
8 So the master commended the unjust steward because he had dealt shrewdly. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light.Luke 16:8 NKJV
He tells the steward, “you have acted shrewdly (intelligently).” From this, we start getting towards the key scripture that I mentioned before. We notice in this scripture that Jesus says, “the sons of the world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light”. People of the world deal more intelligently with the things that they have than the children of God. To me, this is an absolutely remarkable statement by Christ.
Big or small, they are all blessings!
The Lord has given us, His stewards, the tools (gifts) to use in this world that we do not fully use. For many of us, what God has given to us is too small of a blessing to put to use. How can that be possible? James said that God is a liberal giver without reproach.
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.James 1:5 NKJV
As I said before, we are the ones that like to quantify the Lord’s blessings. God gives freely, but it is up to us for how we choose to use His blessings. The people of the world do a great deal better at taking something small and investing into it. We don’t want to invest in something small, do we? Nope. We want the success without the struggle.
The believer is one of the biggest complainers you will ever find! We want God to give us instant success overnight. Then we get upset when the people of the world have grown that “small” thing into something large! That’s when we start to get even more upset and complain that God has given the person of no faith a big blessing. How about we take a page out of their book and learn to invest and grow in whatever the Lord gives to us!
Take a page from their book
We need to learn how to be fully invested in all that God gives to us.
10 He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much.Luke 16:10 NKJV
If we cannot be fully invested in what God gives us in this world, how can we ever be fully invested in what God gives us in the after? That is an important question that we must ask ourselves. The life that we live today is not for the present but for the future! Those who invest in the present set themselves up for a better future. The people of the world understand this a lot better than what we do and they also put forth a better effort. Let us do better when it comes to this!
Faith in this world and the tools that the Lord provides us are needed in order for us to get to the Lord’s great blessing – eternal life. We would say heaven is a 10 on a scale from 1 to 10, right? Well, it takes faith to get to that 10! You can’t be singing about going to heaven when you don’t have faith right now when life seems like it’s at a 1 or 0!
Every opportunity that comes our way, we need to be fully invested in it! Let us not sit around and wait until the boss calls us in the office and accuse us of wasting His goods. At that moment, when our stewardship comes to an end, we won’t get another chance like the steward in today’s parable. Let us use this parable for knowledge and understanding now. We must take advantage of every opportunity that we get – whether they are big or small.