Thursday, January 12, 2012

What are you doing with what you have?





Scripture

And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and sensible steward, whom his master will put in charge of his servants, to give them their rations at the proper time?
(Luke 12:42 NASB)
“Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes.
(Luke 12:43 NASB)
“And that slave who knew his master’s will and did not get ready or act in accord with his will, will receive many lashes,
(Luke 12:47 NASB)
but the one who did not know it, and committed deeds worthy of a flogging, will receive but few. From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.
(Luke 12:48 NASB)

Observation

We expect to hear harsh criticism from Jesus for those who live a sinful life, and yet, it seems that some of his greatest concern is for those who would call themselves followers of God. Jesus is looking for good and faithful stewards; those who will take responsibility in his kingdom. We are called to be God's responsible stewards here on this earth. We are servants of the Master and our responsibility is to work for him each and every single day. Jesus' frustration and criticism wasn't the harshest for those who were away from God and walking in sin, but rather, for those who knew that they were stewards and didn't do their jobs. The stewards had been entrusted with much, and Jesus was wondering what they would do with all that he had given them.

Application

Many years ago I was deboarding a plane in Frankfurt, Germany. The flight had originated in Moscow. In the jetway there were border control agents to greet our flight. As we walked down the jetway we were to show our passports. We weren't even going to get off that plane if we didn't have the right documentation. I looked around and saw the fear in others' eyes. I felt a bit guilty. I had one of the enviable blue passports. While others' documents were scrutinized and the line grew longer, all I had to do was hold up my US passport and I was waved off of the plane. I almost felt ashamed that others were being treated in a rather undignified manner and I could simply walk free because I had a particular passport. What did I do to deserve that passport? Absolutely nothing! I was simply born, not even in the United States, but to two individuals who were US Citizens. That day I began to realize that I had been given resources within the kingdom through no effort of my own and that with those resources came great responsibility.

Just because I was born a citizen of a particular country I have had privileges that others would love to enjoy. I have been blessed with enough food, a good education, a life without war and the freedom to work and make money. But it was that day in that airport that I realized that I had not been blessed for myself, but the only reason I had the privilege of these resources was because I was God's steward. I only had access to these resources because I was to care for them -- because they were his resources. We must recognize that everything we have in this world is simply his and we are only given the opportunity of utilizing the resources to make a difference. What would Jesus do with all that we have?

Thank God for the blessings that you have in your life, but realize that they are given to you for his purposes. Ask yourself on a daily basis whether you are being a good steward of the things he has placed into your possession and serve him faithfully. Jesus' greatest disappointment is with those who call themselves his servants and then do not faithfully care for what he has given them. Sobering thought!

Prayer

Lord, thanks for reminding me today that everything is from you. Please, help me to be a responsible servant in your kingdom. Amen.

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