Archive for February, 2016

working-out-loud

The last installment of this 3-part series involves the story of the Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25. When these last 3 posts are woven together, they give us a true understanding of what our role as faithful Christians is to be while we wait for Christ’s return. In this parable, you see the characters are working diligently and with initiative while waiting for their master’s return. That is our job too as we move through our own lives…we must be working all the time WHILE we wait. Let me explain further…

On a quick side note, one sharp difference though is that we are not called to drop out of our lives and plant ourselves on top of a hill top and wait for Christ’s return…no. We are told to be careful prudent planners with an eye for the future. Remember what Christ said in Luke 14:

“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish’ (Luke 14:28-30 NIV)

The Parable of the Talents is the one that commends faithful work while the master is away as well prudent planning. The rich master travels far away and gives each of the 3 men a portion of his wealth to manage while he is away. Two of them proceed to take the initiative and double their masters money while the third one buries his portion.

When the master returns, he rewards the first two with great opportunity. He says to them both, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!”

But the third guy, who had just one talent to take care of, was a different story altogether. As mentioned, he did not invest his talent but rather decided his best course of action was to hide it and return it to his master when the time was right. As the master said in his anger, “Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest!” But, he didn’t even do that.

While the master was away, two out of the 3 men immediately set to work, without being told, by trading and investing their masters talents. They worked hard while he was away and I would imagine, stressed somewhat at times as the market swayed back and forth, always striving to improve their situation. They did not rest but continued working faithfully until their masters return.

The third guy had a different mindset. He decided to do what HE wanted to do while the master was away. Maybe he convinced himself that by burying the money, he was avoiding financial risk? Whatever the case was, he simply was evading his duty. The money the master gave him would never make any profit.

Finally, I think the hardest part for me to grasp about this story was this third guy’s lack of responsibility and his complacency on his requirement of giving an account for the money he represented while the master was away. He just didn’t care or thought that day would never come? I am not sure. But what is worse was his attempt to blame the master for his own poor management when he was called to give an account. He was caught in his pattern of doing absolutely nothing and ultimately, he would pay a very stiff price.

Jesus tells us in this parable that the third guy is cast into the imagery of Hell:

“And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 25:30 NIV)

I say imagery because this same language is used in other parts of the Bible to represent Hell and the torture that it there…and will be for those unfortunate souls who will enter there.

Guys, this is a very simple story but yet represents a very clear picture of what we are supposed to be doing while we wait for Christ’s return. I urge you to NOT become complacent and forget that Christ is even coming back. I understand the importance of what you are doing or may be doing in the future, weddings, grand children, vacations etc. but all of that pales in comparison to eternity…your eternity.

We all have one job while we are here and that is to stay faithful to Him until He returns. That job requires effort and focus on your part. You cannot do this while on autopilot…it will not work.

Guys, I encourage you to plug into your local church or men’s group and refocus on your top priorities while we all wait…I assure you that this positive decision will be the best one you ever make in your life…

 

Until next time guys…

 

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