“If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities. And if you are untrustworthy about worldly wealth, who will trust you with the true riches of heaven? And if you are not faithful with other people’s things, why should you be trusted with things of your own?”

‭‭Luke‬ ‭16:10-12‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Yet another title where I said scripture please. He’s in rare form today, let me tell you! Lol anyway, can’t wait to hear what this message is about, I’m just the messenger. As I read the last lines the Holy Spirit reminded me of a conversation I had with a friend of mine. We’re going back years ago. So he had to have brought it back to my memory for a purpose. I’ve learned there are no accidents with Him. On to the story.

It was days after a snow storm, and I asked my friend if she had gone outside. She said girl, I’m not going out until my landlord cleans the snow off my steps. She was living in a private home, not an apartment building. So I asked her why can’t she do it, she said it’s not my house. Immediately the Holy Spirit brought that verse of scripture to me, and I shared it with her. If we’re not willing to care for someone else’s house, then the Lord will not entrust us with our own. Sometimes before we’re promoted, we’re tested. That mindset, is why most Christians are not promoted to the next level. That apartment is your home, your name may not be on the title deed, but as long as you’re paying your rent on time, it is your home. Let the Landowner try to evict you without just cause, and the court will back you up.

If you’re careless with what belongs to another, how can you be trusted with your own? I’ve strived to treat every place I’ve rented as though I owned it. It’s a reflection on me and my witness for Christ. I’ve heard the horror stories of how renters have destroyed properties. The damages exceed their security deposit. Why wouldn’t you want to take care of where you’re living? And why would God bless you with a house of your own? The same with a car. You’re praying for a new car, but you’ve never maintained the one you have. Whatever God blesses us with, no matter how small, we should show our gratitude by taking care of it. And it shouldn’t matter if it’s rented, leased or owned. It’s yours while in your possession.

Go back and read the text again. If you’re faithful. What did Jesus say? Yes I want you to respond, I can hear you. If you’re faithful.

Listen to this definition: faithful implies unswerving adherence to a person or thing or to the oath or promise by which a tie was contracted. Read that last line. Unswerving adherence to the oath or promise. When you rented the apartment, leased the car, took a loan, got a credit card. You signed a contract promising to honor the trust of the guarantor in renting, leasing, loaning or whatever it is to you, and that you would take care of what had been entrusted to you. Am I correct? So what changed? The contract didn’t. We broke the trust. We still have the car, the apartment, the credit card, the loan, but what does it all look like to the lender?

Jesus has made it very clear, that if we can’t be trusted with another’s wealth, we will not be trusted with our own. We learn to be responsible, by taking care of what belongs to someone else. Why do you think credit checks are done? Why do you think most places require character references? They’re interested in finding out if you’re a risk worth taking. When I first came to this country, I had no concept of credit. I was used to paying cash or doing layaway. So the first time I went to make a large purchase, the man asked if I had any credit. I had no idea what he was referring to. So then he said I needed a co-signer. What was that? He explained and I told him it was my furniture and my responsibility. He could hold the furniture until I paid it off, but I wouldn’t be getting a co-signer. He relented. But apparently layaway didn’t count as having credit. Then I faced the same problem when I went to buy my first car. I had no credit so they were not able to check past payment history. The salesman told Ford motor credit that someone had to give me a chance to establish credit, so they did. But this time they wouldn’t budge without a co-signer. I was only in this country for three years. Finding someone who was willing to sign their name to my debt was going to be a challenge. I approached an acquaintance, now my friend for forty years, and she didn’t hesitate. She only had one question. “I won’t have to pay for this car, will I?” I gave her my word. And she never did. But after that, I now had established credit in the United States. Long paragraph but I’m going somewhere.

This in no way prepared me for the “credit card “ that was a lesson taught and learned the hard way. My very first card was Sears and Roebuck. Money on a card, you could spend to your hearts desire. But then the bill showed up, they didn’t ask for it all up front, but it was designed to keep you in debt. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. The less I paid the more I owed. But I kept paying. Thank Jesus for maturity and wisdom. Were it not for Jesus, and my eyes being opened, I would be owned by the credit card companies. Being entrusted with someone else’s wealth, means being responsible and not abusing their trust. Credit score? What was that lol I had no idea. But life will grow you up. My score is over 800 now, but there was a time when I needed the help of professionals, to help me climb up from under the weight of creditors. Are you there now? Have you been there? I didn’t take care of someone else’s wealth because of ignorance. 1 Corinthians 13:11 But now, they’re begging me to take their cards lol I say get behind me Satan, you’re an offense to me! It doesn’t matter that I can pay it off responsibly, it matters that I get out of debt. Romans 13:8. The Holy Spirit has given me a strategy and I’ve committed to following it. Deuteronomy 15:5-6

There’s nothing wrong with having credit, but we’re to be responsible with it. Why do we need 10 credit cards? I’ve watched folks, get declined and they keep going until they find one in their wallets that hasn’t been maxed out. It’s going to take a miracle to repair that damage. Excessive debt is the reason most Christians don’t tithe. When we’re unable to keep our word to pay on time, or take care of what has been entrusted to us, it reflects poorly on our witness for Christ. When I was having a hard time with paying my mortgage, I’d say Lord, you gave me this house, if the bank takes it and boards it up, it’s a reflection on You, because I told everyone You gave it to me. So before that ever happens, let me sell it. I didn’t care what people would say about me, it’s what they’d say about Him. That went for everything else in my life. When we’re honest, He will help us. But we must make every effort to be good stewards over what is someone else’s as well as what is ours.

Jesus also said, if we’re untrustworthy with the world’s wealth, which is inferior to His wealth, how will we be trusted with the true riches of heaven? Jesus spoke using terminology they understood. We all understand wealth. You don’t need to have it to understand it, but you need to understand it in order to be responsible with it. The people Jesus was addressing, loved money, and did whatever it took to gain it. Zacchaeus comes to mind, as well as some of the Pharisees. Jesus was indeed saying, if you can’t be trusted with money, which is of far lesser value than what I’m offering, how can you be trusted with the message of Grace, which is of greater value than money? How can I entrust you with the Truth of heaven. I encourage you to read the entire chapter. I’ve used the verses He led me to use. But read it from the beginning.

True riches is the Word of God. It’s wealth that never fades away, doesn’t rust or decays. It will bring us riches in every area of life. We’re to guard and take care of it as we would precious gems. Jesus has entrusted His riches to us. He expects us to live it and teach it. Our lives are to reflect His message, which He rightfully calls the riches of heaven. How do we handle what belongs to the world? How are you as an employee or a boss? How are you as a friend, a teacher in a public school, how are you regarded in the world? How do you handle your role as a banker, an investor, handling other people’s money? God is watching. Are you faithful as a housewife as you are an executive of a large corporation? Are you faithful as a janitor as you are the owner of the business? Do you arrive early to work and leave later? If you’re faithful with the wealth of the world, God will trust you with your own. The same principle applies in both realms. If you can be trusted in one, you’ll be trusted in the other. Faithfulness is key. Taking care of what belongs to someone else as though it were yours, that moves the heart of Jesus.

Don’t be careless with the Word of God. Live what you say. The riches of heaven has been entrusted to us. However you treat the Word, is how you’re treating Jesus. They’re One. If it’s of little value to you, so is He. Meditate on that for a while. Jesus said “who will trust you “ with the true riches of heaven? Translation: who will believe in what you’re saying? Actions speak louder than words. 🙏

Written by permission of the Holy Spirit

W. Tennant

March 17, 2021

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