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Women World Leaders' Podcast

Jun 28, 2023

We each have been given gifts and treasures from God. It can be easy to want to hold them close, but in today’s teaching, Jesus reminds us that we are conduits of the blessings we receive. What we have been given has a purpose that is beyond us. As we study Luke 16:1-18, ask God to show you how and where to offer up all He has given you.


Welcome to Walking in the Word, the biblical teaching arm of the Women World Leaders’ podcast. I’m your host, Julie Jenkins.

Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to spend with God. On this, the Wednesday edition of the podcast, we open the Bible together and ask the Holy Spirit to teach and guide us about what He wants us to know today. We are currently walking through the gospels together, and today’s teaching comes from the gospel of Luke, chapter 16, verses 1-18.

On every episode of our podcast, our goal is to point you to the glory of God and empower you to walk in your God-given purpose. On Mondays, Kimberly Hobbs hosts Empowering Lives with Purpose, during which she interviews a different woman of faith about how she has seen God work in her life. And on Fridays, we have a team of hosts who shower you with blessings as they Celebrate God’s Grace.

This podcast is just one of the many things God has called Women World Leaders to. We would love for you to join us from wherever you are for any of our amazing offerings – please visit to find out more and to dive in. While you are on the website, be sure to sign up on our contact form so we can send our monthly newsletter to your email so you won’t miss a thing.

Before we begin…let’s pray…

Dear Most Holy God – we come to you today seeking your presence. Father, our days are busy and it can be easy to feel burdened down by all that we see as our responsibility. Right now, we breathe out the world and its worries, and we breathe in you. Help us revel in your teaching over these next few minutes. Open our minds so we might learn what you want us to learn today. Help us accept your teaching so that we can be transformed into who you have called us to be. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.


The portion of scripture that we will be studying today is one that has confounded me every time I have heard it. If you have been following along in this podcast, you know that we are studying the gospels chronologically. As I prepare, I simply look to the next passage and, in prayer, read it in several versions, study the teachings of different theologians, and do my best to share with you all the Holy Spirit is imparting to me. Then, as I write, I pray for myself…that God would give me His words…and I also pray for you, asking God to tell you DIRECTLY what He wants you to know – in spite of my words. And God honors those prayers. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve taught in front of a group of people, only to have someone come to me and share that what I said, “xyz,” was EXACTLY what they needed to hear. And I walk away from those conversations in awe…knowing I NEVER said “xyz,” but that God spoke directly TO that individual.

So today…as I came across this scripture, Luke 16:1-18, I followed the same method – giving the teaching completely to God, and trusting Him even more than usual because, as I’ve said, this scripture has always confounded me.

And what the Holy Spirit showed me were 3-points He wants each of us to walk away with today.

First – God has a purpose for everything He entrusts us with – it is up to us to use it for His glory.

Second – To understand the purpose God has for all He has given us, we are to listen to Him daily.

And third – To correctly respond to God, we are to listen to Him deeply.

Let’s begin in Luke 16 from the New Living Translation…

Jesus told this story to his disciples: “There was a certain rich man who had a manager handling his affairs.

I’m going to pause here. Often in Jesus’ parables, the “rich man” or the “owner,” is a representation of God. But as I studied this scripture and prayed to understand it, which theologians agree is one of the most confounding stories in the gospels and for which they have many different interpretations, God told me to look at it in a different light. Perhaps the “rich man,” in this case, does NOT represent God. He is simply a rich man.

I say this for several reasons: first, this section of teachings in Luke is all about putting money in its respective place, that is, far below blessings and spiritual gifts. So money, it seems in this case, represents actual money.

Next, we will see that the “rich master” responds positively to his manager’s shrewdness – and God always calls for our honesty and integrity. So the rich man does not portray God’s attributes.

Third, verse 8 says… the children of this world are more shrewd in dealing with the world around them than are the children of the light. To me, this indicates that the “rich man” was a “child of the world” dealing “shrewdly” with his manager.

And fourth…some theologians, upon studying this scripture in its original language, observe that this account was never expressed as a story OR a parable…therefore it was likely a retelling of an actual event. And no true, living person can stand in for God.

So…if you will go with me…let’s look at the “rich man” in the account as simply…a rich man…

“There was a certain rich man who had a manager handling his affairs. One day a report came that the manager was wasting his employer’s money. So the employer called him in and said, ‘What’s this I hear about you? Get your report in order, because you are going to be fired.’

“The manager thought to himself, ‘Now what? My boss has fired me. I don’t have the strength to dig ditches, and I’m too proud to beg. Ah, I know how to ensure that I’ll have plenty of friends who will give me a home when I am fired.’

“So he invited each person who owed money to his employer to come and discuss the situation. He asked the first one, ‘How much do you owe him?’ The man replied, ‘I owe him 800 gallons of olive oil.’ So the manager told him, ‘Take the bill and quickly change it to 400 gallons.[a]

“‘And how much do you owe my employer?’ he asked the next man. ‘I owe him 1,000 bushels of wheat,’ was the reply. ‘Here,’ the manager said, ‘take the bill and change it to 800 bushels.[b]

“The rich man had to admire the dishonest rascal for being so shrewd. And it is true that the children of this world are more shrewd in dealing with the world around them than are the children of the light.

By reading this story using a different character analysis of the master than I was used to, seeing him as a shrewd man who put money first rather than as a representation of God, I was able to see this story in a new light.

God IS our master. But the reality is, we are also under earthly masters – bosses and other authority figures. And sometimes our earthly masters will laud and praise us for following the ways of the world rather than living righteously and using our resources as God intended. However, despite who our earthly authority is and what they praise us for, we ultimately answer fully and completely to God himself.

The shrewd manager made his rich master proud – birds of a feather flock together. But neither of them made God, our ultimate master, proud – because they both put money above God, and treated it as, well, money, when, in essence, money is a blessing and a tool God gives us to use as a resource for His glory. God has a purpose for everything He has entrusted to us. Verse 9 explains…

 Here’s the lesson: Use your worldly resources to benefit others and make friends. Then, when your possessions are gone, they will welcome you to an eternal home.[c]

In this world, we like to make everything about money. What’s that saying, “the one who dies with the most toys, wins.” But that saying could not be further from the truth. If God has entrusted you with a lot of money, He has also given you the honor of using that money responsibly for His glory.

Jesus continues in verse 10…

10 “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities. 11 And if you are untrustworthy about worldly wealth, who will trust you with the true riches of heaven? 12 And if you are not faithful with other people’s things, why should you be trusted with things of your own?

13 “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.”

So how do we know what God wants us to do with our money and the other resources He has provided us with? We ask Him. Daily.

Having money is quite the draw in this world…we long for nice cars, homes, fashionable clothing and jewelry. And it's fun to show off our stuff. It makes us feel like we have made it. But remember, God’s ways are so far above our ways. And He doesn’t give us money to bless US, He gives us money to bless OTHERS. But, as with EVERY gift, God also gives us the ability to CHOOSE our actions. Will we live honoring money and material belongings, heaping up our blessings, or will we live using all that God has given us to honor Him? The Pharisees didn’t really even consider Jesus’ words…Verse 14…

14 The Pharisees, who dearly loved their money, heard all this and scoffed at him. 15 Then he said to them, “You like to appear righteous in public, but God knows your hearts. What this world honors is detestable in the sight of God.

Jesus explains to the Pharisees, as clearly as any place I’ve seen in the gospels, what is happening in the big picture of God’s reign on the earth…

Verse 16…

16 “Until John the Baptist, the law of Moses and the messages of the prophets were your guides. But now the Good News of the Kingdom of God is preached, and everyone is eager to get in.[d] 17 But that doesn’t mean that the law has lost its force. It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the smallest point of God’s law to be overturned.

Jesus appeals to the Pharisees…seek God and what He has for you today! It is true that God is unchanging – He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. BUT…God understands that THE WORLD is constantly changing – and He is always there to meet us where we are. The Pharisees were stuck in the old teachings of the law – which Jesus did not abolish, but He did come to fulfill. Jesus ushered in the Good News – a time of mercy and grace and love and ummerited forgiveness. I think we would do well to hear and understand that today. Even today, and maybe especially today, it is tempting for God’s people to be so consumed with the law that we have forgotten that Jesus came to bring mercy and salvation to all.

Jesus knew the hold that money had on the Pharisee’s hearts, and, Christian, he knows what holds your heart as well.

He wants us to go to Him daily and seek freedom from those desires and oppressive idols that hold us captive. And what He has to tell us isn’t always easy to hear.  

Jesus demonstrates this in His one-line about God’s thoughts on marriage…verse 18…

18 “For example, a man who divorces his wife and marries someone else commits adultery. And anyone who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.”

God wants us to go to Him daily, and He wants us to listen to Him deeply. That’s what He was teaching the Pharisees, and that is what He is teaching us today.

The background here is that religious leaders of the day granted divorces for nearly anything… leaving women destitute and not taken care of. So Jesus reminded them that to truly seek after God’s heart we are are to go to God daily and listen deeply. Our God is not a god of surface rules and regulations. His ways are above our ways and His reasoning is deeply beyond our reasoning.

We are ALL here on this earth together—scarred, broken, sinful, and a mess. Yet God loves each of us individually and beyond our imagination, and He has future for us that is so glorious that the thought of it should knock us flat on our face in submission and reverence to Him.

God has showered you with blessings – perhaps monetary, perhaps talents and abilities, perhaps all of the above. This teaching is clear – all that God has given us has a purpose in the kingdom that can only be realized when we go to Him daily and deeply and trust His guidance as we commit to using all that He has showered us with for His glory.

You hold gold in your hand, my friend. Let me encourage you to release it and give it to God. He will make it shine brighter than you or I ever could!

Let’s pray…

Dear Most Holy God – you have entrusted us with so much! We hold it with open hands, and ask you to guide us today into how best to use all that you have given us for your glory alone. We want to work for you, we want to give you our resources – our time and talent and treasure. And most of all, we want to shine the spotlight on you! We thank you for being our good and loving master. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.