"Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.”
How much of what you have belongs to God, Beloved?
If you keep it now, if you rationalize away your responsibility to be a faithful steward of what God has given you (no matter how much or how small), can you get away with it?
Or is there a payday someday even for the children of God?
These are important questions that need to be dealt with biblically, questions we need to think about now, while we still have time.
How practically this was brought home to Jack and myself just recently. We have been working with a trusted group of men of an organization that helps Christians plan finances so that their monies, however great or small, are protected and used the way they want them to be used when they die, rather than squandered in unnecessary taxes or distributed by the government at a court’s discretion. Such planning gives the assurance that whatever they have will benefit rather than hurt their loved ones.
As we listened to their presentation, Jack and I decided we would use their services — services Precept offers at no charge to those who support our ministry. We reasoned that although we have a will, it would be wise to make certain we are on target.
How thankful we are that we did. Little did we realize how much of what we have (although it is not a lot) would be eaten up by taxes, become a burden to our family, and shortchange what we want Precept Ministries International to have. Once we realized this, we moved quickly.
As Jesus made His way to Jerusalem, He realized that His followers were mistaken about the amount of time they had before God’s kingdom came to earth in full power. Luke 19:11 tells us they “supposed that the kingdom of God was going to appear immediately.” Although Jesus had told them He was on His way to Jerusalem to be crucified, buried, and raised, it hadn’t sunk in! He was going to leave them, to return to the Father.
Consequently, He told them a parable to wake them to their stewardship — a stewardship of the days and gifts God gave them, days they would “spend” on earth before they, too, were taken to heaven. It was a stewardship they would certainly give an accounting for, but not immediately.
I believe our Father wants us to be “awakened” to our stewardship so that we don’t miss our window of opportunity — and then, to our deep regret, find that we have squandered away what we have because we gave no thought to the future and the account we will one day give to God.
What parable did Jesus tell? Let’s read Luke 19:12-25 together. As we go along, I‘ll interrupt with some comments. Then, Beloved, you can take it before God in prayer.
As you read this, you’ll notice that Jesus depicts himself as “the nobleman.” This becomes clear in Luke 19:27. The slaves are His followers, while the citizens are those described in the Gospel of John (1:11) as “His own” — that is, fellow Jews, kinsmen — who do not receive Him. They refuse to believe that He is the Messiah, the promised One from God. Consequently, they ultimately perish, according to Jesus’ words in Luke 19:27.
In verse 13 Jesus lets His slaves know that He is going away. He came to earth — “a distant country” — from heaven to receive a kingdom for Himself. However, He’s not staying. He is going to leave and won’t return for a while. However, the parable makes it clear: He will return; and when He does, there will be an accounting for what He gave His slaves.
Let’s read on….
15 “When he returned, after receiving the kingdom, he ordered that these slaves, to whom he had given the money, be called to him so that he might know what business they had done.
Don’t miss this! You can see it for yourself, can’t you? He does return! He does receive a kingdom! There is a day of reckoning!
Beloved, where does your treasure lie? Are you so busy worrying about your earthly treasures, that you are neglecting your eternal ones? We are accountable, and the quicker we realize it and do something about it, the better off we will be.
In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul prays God will “open the eyes of their hearts” to know “what is the hope of His calling” on their lives. Learn how to walk in a manner worthy of this holy calling.