Living with the End in View involves
And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon, that when you fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations. (Luke 16:9)
Jesus told the story of a master who found his overseer (steward) untrustworthy, so he fired him. The steward feared the prospect of unemployment. He did not want to be a beggar or dig ditches. So he hit upon a plan. He called his master’s debtors to himself and halved their debts. He made them grateful, which guaranteed open arms when he left his master.
“So the master commended the unjust steward because he had dealt shrewdly. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light” (16:8). Shrewd investors plan for the day they’ll retire in comfort. Canny entrepreneurs allocate their funds carefully to enlarge their empires. Teen movie idols save their money for the inevitable lean years when public infatuation wanes. How are we Christians spending our time and money? Shall we not plan for the future day when we’ll give an account of how we spent our lives for the kingdom of God? Shall we not involve ourselves in those activities which impact people’s lives for eternity?
The steward was smarter than many of God’s children. Fearing for his future, the unjust steward made plans. Christians, unaware of the day they must give an account, ignore it.
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men” (2 Cor. 5:10–11). Paul knew he would give an account of his stewardship, of the things he had “done,” so he worked wisely to give a positive account. Paul was certainly driven to work out of love for Christ. But he was also motivated from “the terror of the Lord” who will gloriously reward and terribly rebuke at the judgment.
Knowing a judgment is coming should strike fear in our hearts. Noah was so moved with godly fear at the approaching judgment, it kept him building an ark for over one hundred years! Is the judgment real to you?
The unjust steward used the “unrighteous mammon” in his care to secure his future. Unrighteous mammon may be things of no eternal value to God, such as the household chores or our daily job responsibilities. Yet God encourages us to take care of the temporal things He gave us with a view to pleasing Him.
Who are the “friends” who receive us into “everlasting habitations”? Perhaps they are Christians we’ve befriended and helped into the kingdom on earth and who died before us. They’ll be there to receive us when we arrive in our kingdom home. We can help them along by giving of our common things. For instance, my family is involved in giving food and belongings to military families. We’ve made friends with the people who are involved in the project. Some day we’ll be blessed when we see face-to-face all the people we’ve donated time, goods, and money to help. The prisoner who received our letters. The ill who received our blood given at the Red Cross. The teen we shepherded through hard times. The elderly we supported when she was alone.
Giving all for the advancement of the kingdom, we serve as just stewards who think with eternity in mind—who think of giving a good account of what was entrusted to us.
Living with the end in view means seeing our mundane goods and responsibilities as opportunities to serve God.
Steps of faith:
Renew our minds and hearts to serve the Lord anew with the mundane chores in our care.
Be encouraged to give away what you don’t need.
If we have been taking God’s love for granted and are lukewarm, then consider the many dire warnings in Scripture.