STEWARDSHIP OF HEAVENLY & EARTHLY RICHES

LUKE 16:19-31

December 6, 2005

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INTRODUCTION

God has given us all have spiritual and earthly gifts and abilities. We live in a culture highly focussed on material blessings and well being. Even in doing good, we often aim to help people by improving their material standards. Our standard of living is often measured by what we produce and own. In his book, Discovering the Pearl of Great Price: The Parables of Jesus, Eldred Echols tells a story of a wealthy Texas oil man who entertained a guest. After supper the oil man took his guest up on the roof of his house and pointed out all that he owned as far as the eye could see in any direction. When he was finished the guest put his hand on the oil manís shoulder and pointed up. When he asked the oil man what he owned in that direction, he replied, AI never thought of that. Jesus tells us about a rich man who never realized he was a steward of heavenly as well as earthly riches. How he used Godís gifts here determined how he lives in eternity. This is a sobering teaching but one that bring us great blessings if we see first that we belong to God and are meant to be servants with Him for the good of others, and the health of our own souls.

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LUKE 16:19-31

Look at the beginning verses of Luke 15 and 16 as well as Luke 16:14 and identify the context in which you would situate Jesus= teaching about the rich man and Lazarus.

16:19         How do you visualize the rich manís life style?

Is there one word that would characterize it?

16:20-21  How do you visualize the lifestyle of Lazarus?

In what sense was the rich man blind?

16:22-23    How would the rich man view his life from Hades?

What does Jesus show us about the impact of death in the lives of people
regardless of their stature on earth?

16:24          What is ironic about the rich mans appeal to Abraham?

16:25-26    What does Jesus tell us about

                the justice of God?
                eternal realities?
                how we should live now?

16:27-28, 30   What has the rich man learned that made him concerned about his family?

16:29         Abraham tells the rich man to listen to Moses and the Prophets. What does this include;

in other words, what important message from God would he hear if he did listen to Moses and the Prophets?

16:31         What is prophetic about Abrahamís answer to the rich man?

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What blessings and gifts did the rich man have that could have made a difference in the lives of others and his own?

If you could change the attitude of the rich man toward God, what specific changes would you bring about?

What spiritual and material blessings do we have of which we can make more selfless use? Describe the attitudes of Lazarus that we should possess.

Who owns us and why is it important to know to Whom we belong?

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Paul Birston

December 2005©