ルカ 16:10-11 「小さい事に忠実な人は、大きな事にも忠実であり、小さい事に不忠実な人は、大きな事にも不忠実です。ですから、あなたがたが不正の富に忠実でなかったら、だれがあなたがたに、まことの富を任せるでしょう。」

Verse 13 of this chapter is perhaps more famous, but this is equally deserving of our attention. This is the ultimate answer to those who those who ignore God in financial matters, whether by insisting that tithing was only for OT days or whether by perhaps tithing but then ignoring God in the use of the other 90%. Jesus is saying that material wealth is like play money, to teach us stewardship principles so that we will be ready for the real stuff. The problem is, we get entranced with the play money, and don't value what is real. I'm reminded of a cartoon I saw of someone who, for some reason, had been allowed to take a bar of gold with him to heaven. When he showed it to a friend who had arrived before him, the friend said in astonishment, “You brought paving!?” Children often play with pebbles they pick up, sometimes pretending they are gems. Jesus is saying that all material wealth is exactly like that. God has “the riches of glory” (to use Paul's _expression) available for us, but we need to show that we are ready to handle it by our stewardship of material things.

この章の13節はひょっとするとより有名かもしれません、しかしこの節も等しく私達の関心を向けるに値します。これは金銭的な問題において神を無視する人々 ―十分の一献金は旧約時代に限られたことだと主張したり、ひょっとすると献金はしているかもしれないが残りの90%を遣うことにおいて神を無視しているような人々―に対する究極的な答えです。イエスは物質的な富はお金で遊ぶようなものであると言っています、そして本質的な物事に備えられるように責任の原理を教えているのです。問題は、お金で遊ぶことからはいってしまうと、本質的なものを重要視しないということです。私は、何かの理由で、金の延べ棒を持って天国に入ることを許された人の物語のアニメを思い出しました。彼がそれより先に天国へ行っていた友達にそれを見せると、その友人は驚いて「君は(わざわざ)敷石を持ってきたのかい?」と言ったのでした。子供たちはよく小石を拾い集めては、それらを宝石のふりをしてごっこ遊びをします。イエスはすべての物質的な富はまさしくそのようなものだと言っているのです。神は(パウロの表現を用いるならば)「栄光の富」を私たちのために備えてくださっています、しかし私たちは物質的な富を舵取りできる準備があることを示さねばなりません。

Once again, I had a head start on a lot of people in this area because of my upbringing. In a missionary family there were certainly times when money was tight, but I don't remember ever feeling like we were poor. On the contrary, God provided abundantly for us in various ways, to the point that I think quite a few people thought we were wealthy. The point is, the focus was never on the material, but on spiritual, intangible riches. We loved music and reading and family, and above all we loved God, and He took care of everything else. As a missionary myself, and in my case, without the support of a sending organization, I have certainly experienced God's faithfulness in more ways than I could list. However, the temptation is always there to get anxious about material things, despite God's perfect track record. Right now we're in the middle of trying to simplify and eliminate, and that too is a part of stewardship. I need to be faithful in all of it, not just for my own sake but because I am an example for many, and almost everyone is caught in materialism to some degree.


Father, help me be faithful with everything You put in my hands, whether material or spiritual. As You said through me yesterday, everything You give us has a purpose. Help me recognize Your purpose for each thing so that it may be fulfilled, for Your pleasure and glory. Thank You. Praise God!


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