Devotional Thoughts for Today
Lk. 16:10-13 (NIV): “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.  So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?  And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?  “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”
Serving God is not only important, but it can be quite exciting. Let’s suppose that teaching the Bible interests you, but on what basis will your pastor give you that kind of responsibility? Similarly, in order for a baseball player to move up the ladder to one day reach the Major League, he needs to demonstrate his ability to hit and pitch better than others in the Minor League. One major difference: while God looks for faithfulness and honesty to evaluate, a baseball GM evaluates solely on output.
Now, desiring to do something more influential or substantial for God is honorable: “If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task” (1 Tim. 3:1). So, how does God determine whether someone can handle greater responsibility from Him?
For that, look at Joseph who had every reason to quit on life. First, after his brothers’ betrayal, he became a slave in the house of an Egyptian official. Instead of pouting, Joseph so faithfully carried out his task that his boss “entrusted to his care everything he owned” (Gn. 39:4). But his life quickly hit rock-bottom when a false accusation landed him in jail. (It’s like going from AAA to A league). But rather than giving up, he continued to work faithfully; seeing this, the warden “put Joseph in charge . . . [of] all that was done there” (39:22). And it was from that pit that God brought Joseph out and “put [him] in charge of the whole land of Egypt” (41:41). What does this show? “Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful” (1 Cor. 4:2).
The parable itself deals with another important factor used to determine our faithfulness: how we handle money. If we’re stingy and not generous toward God and people in need, then it would affect whether or not God will trust us with the true riches, which include greater ministry responsibilities.
So, if you haven’t been faithful in this area, be generous toward God and those in need. Start today.
O heavenly Father, I praise and exalt You. So often I live with a delusion that I’ve been blessed because I have worked so hard. But apart from the strength, ability and investment You’ve made in my life, I cannot do anything. Awake my soul, O Lord, to radically use this worldly wealth for your kingdom work. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Isaiah 47
Lunch Break Study
Read Col. 3:22-3 (NIV): “Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord.  Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters . . . .”
1 Tim. 6:2 (NIV): “Those who have believing masters should not show them disrespect just because they are fellow believers. Instead, they should serve them even better because their masters are dear to them as fellow believers and are devoted to the welfare of their slaves.”
Tit. 2:9-10 (NASB): “Urge bondslaves to be subject to their own masters in everything, to be well-pleasing, not argumentative,  not pilfering, but showing all good faith so that they will adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in every respect.”
Question to Consider
- What are some factors behind why people, in general, are unfaithful in their work, including God’s work?
- What understanding can help us to be more faithful to God’s work as well as our secular work?
- How is your faithfulness? What adjustments are needed for you to be more faithful to God?
- We are so accustomed to doing our best only when someone is around that when no one is watching, we take it easy. Sometimes, because we are on friendly terms with our coworkers or bosses, we don’t listen as readily as we should. And oftentimes, we steal company time to do our own thing (e.g., web surfing, plan our trips with the company time and computer).
- First, being aware that God is watching us all the time; second, as far as secular work is concerned, our faithfulness matters to God as well. For example, if you are a carpenter, it matters to God that you make quality chairs.
- I think many of us are battling over wasting too much time with our electronic gadgets. These are necessities, since so much of what we do for work depends on it, but every time we open our iPhone or tablet, it is so easy to get distracted and waste time. For some, it is a matter of reprioritizing: we need to put God before all things (Matt. 6:33).
Anything can be God’s work, even giving a cup of cold water to “one of these little ones” (Matt. 10:42). Do feel like you did God’s work today, or did you pass up some golden opportunities? Did anyone do God’s work on your behalf? Pray about how you can be more pro-active in serving God tomorrow.