Sunday, July 27, 2014

July 27 – The joy of your Master

His master answered, “Well done, good and faithful slave! You have been faithful in a few things. I will put you in charge of many things. Enter into the joy of your master.”   (Matthew 25:21 NET)

This is part of a parable Jesus taught about three servants who each were given a number of “talents” or amounts of money to invest by their master.  One invested and multiplied his talents greatly.  Another invested as well, and increased what he had.  But the last one was so fearful of losing the one talent he had been given, that he just buried it in the ground and waited for the day his master would return so he could give it back untouched.  Needless to say, the master was very pleased with the first two, but the last one made him furious.  The last servant was considered lazy and ungrateful for the opportunity he had to multiply the little he had been given.

Jesus taught this to give us a picture of what God is looking for in each of us.  Everyone is born into the world with both blessings and limitations.  No one is alike, each of us grows up in different circumstances.  But one thing we all do share is the opportunity to make use of the blessings that we have.  It’s risky to invest your life in God, to kill off old ways of thinking and feeling and to submit your ways to His Word, but that’s the investment that exponentially multiplies positive changes and blessings in very real and practical ways.  Everyone has that chance: rich, poor, educated, American, Chinese, African, Russian – everyone. 

Like I’ve said before, faith is the great leveler – the great equalizer of people.  While we may feel pity for those suffering in underdeveloped countries, I have personally witnessed people in poverty taking great risks to believe in God against all odds, and coming out far more blessed than many Americans who only rely on the resources they were born with.  It’s hard to listen to overfed people with two cars and five Bibles collecting dust complaining about the economy, while far less privileged people are outdoing them just by sheer guts and faith!

Jesus teaches us here that God wants us to risk it all – all our lives, all our faith - and invest in giving our all to Him.  For if we prove trustworthy to God with the little, insignificant lives that we have now, He will see us worthy of trust to handle bigger and bigger blessings.  But those who are lazy to invest their lives in God or are too afraid to lose the little that they have, will have to deal with God’s anger sooner or later.  Remember that promise weeks ago, “for whoever keeps his life will lose it…”?

This parable can be used to encourage us in so many ways.  In how we spend our money with tithes and offerings, in how we invest our thoughts in reading His Word, in how we invest our time in coming to His house, and in serving and caring for others.  The more we risk for Him and His glory, the more He will trust us with greater and greater things.  And we can be sure that each time we take those risks, we can hear Him speaking the sweetest words ever, “Enter into the joy of your Master!”  

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