Today’s Reading: John 12:4-6(NIV)
4 But one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray [Jesus], objected, 5 “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.” 6 He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself in what was put into it.
I spent many years working downtown, walking the streets to and from my place of employment. Employees who work downtown, learn not to linger or meander along the sidewalks, especially when walking alone. I carried a fanny pack, so that when I walked to and from my car, I did not have to carry a purse. I could wear it around my waist, tucked underneath my suit jacket, and most people didn’t even know it was there. To what lengths do you go to protect the money in your pocket?
As wage earners, all of us make choices about how to spend our resources. I believe that everything I receive is a gift from the Father above. Therefore, the wages I earn do not belong to me. It belongs to Him, the giver of all good gifts. It is His present to my family, and He expects me to use the resources I’ve been given in such a way that is pleasing to Him. God wants me to be a blessing, just as He blesses my life. All of us have been given an important responsibility to keep. Our family’s survival depends upon the wise use of our income. Who is our family? Does it only include our parents, spouses, children and grandchildren? As members of the family of God, we are responsible for the care of our brothers and sisters around the world. There are moments when we may not take our responsibility as seriously as we should. We spend frivolously, seeking personal pleasure and comfort over the needs of others. At some point, you and I may be placed in positions of authority at work, at church, or in our civic organizations, whereby we become keepers of the community treasury. Many will depend upon you to display a model of good stewardship with the resources that have been entrusted to your care. Do you demonstrate the utmost integrity as keeper of the money bag?
Apparently, Judas was not as trustworthy as many believed. He may have known a lot about managing money, having a reputation for being a great businessman, but Jesus knew what Judas was up to. He gave the impression of keeping the disciples’ money close at hand, as sole protector of the disciple’s trust fund. Still, Judas was double-dipping into the pot for his own personal gain. Why didn’t the Lord replace Judas with another, more trustworthy disciple? God allows each of us to experience the temptations and consequences of the sinful choices we make each day. Just because we think we can get away with it doesn’t mean that God won’t ask us for a full accounting later. We will all answer for our actions. None of us are exempt from the judgment. A day of reckoning will come, when God's checks and balances will be put into place. How will you respond to the Lord when He asks you give a full accounting for the gifts He has given you?
Grace and peace,
Faith UMC -
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