Tag: well done!

Entering the Master’s Joy!

Scripture reading for February 4th:  Matthew 25, Psalm 25, Proverbs 25

Key Scriptures: Matthew 25:22-23 “And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master,  you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.’  His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.  You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your Master.'”

One of the last stories Jesus told His disciples was this parable of the talents.  A master gathered his faithful servants and entrusted them with funds according to their ability.  He then left and told them to do his business until he returned.  Upon return, the servants were gathered for an accounting.  Two of the servants brought in an increase and one failed to produce any increase.  Those who were faithful were commended and rewarded.  The one who because of fear failed to produce lost everything he had plus his relationship with the master.

Faith’s Confession:  Lord, thank You for entrusting me with gifts and talents to be used for Your business of winning souls.  Help me to remember that there will be an accounting of my stewardship.  I want to hear:  “Well done!” from Jesus Christ!

Proverbs 25:13 “Like the cold of snow in the time of harvest is a faithful messenger to those who send him; he refreshes the soul of his masters.”  

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Woe to you hypocrites!

Scripture reading for February 2nd: Matthew 23:1-19, Psalm 22, Proverbs 6:20-26

Hypocrisy was one of Jesus’ pet peeves.  The word for hypocrisy implies “play-acting”, and describes a person who learns a part to put on a show.  Unfortunately, religious people are very prone to this type of thing and it made Jesus angry.  He addressed the crowds that came to Him concerning their teachers and leaders.  He told them that they should obey them and show them respect as they taught the law of God, but that they should not do as they did.  They simply did not practice what they preached! (Matthew 23:3)

Hypocrites do what they do for men and not for God.  They like to be seen as righteous and above the common person.  They wear special clothes, like to have titles and social prominence and preeminence.  In Jesus’ day, the liked the title of “Rabbi” which meant “teacher” and “father” which was a term endearing respect.  Jesus reminded that they had one Father, who was in heaven, and one “Teacher” who was the Christ!  If they truly wanted to be great, they should be the servant of all.  (Matthew 23:5-12)

Hypocrites, by play-acting, actually hinder God’s kingdom from advancing because those who lead in this manner are really building up their own kingdom.  They are still part of the devil’s crowd and have not experienced true redemption.  They teach others to do as they do instead of humbly repenting of their sins and finding true freedom by learning from Christ and finding God as their heavenly father.  They build large followings of people that use them as their “teacher” and “father” and learn to put on the same show for men!

Woe is the end result of a lifestyle of hypocrisy.  Woe is trouble and heartache and ultimately weeping and gnashing of teeth.  It is God’s displeasure for eternity as a consequence of seeking man’s approval by putting on a religious show.  It is a condition that Jesus wanted no one to experience!  My prayer for myself is that God would continue to reveal hypocrisy in my own life and lead me in His ways.  I want to hear “Well done, good and faithful servant.”  Wouldn’t you rather too?

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Well done, good and faithful servant!

Scripture reading for February 7th: Matthew 25:14-30, Psalm 28, Proverbs 8:1-10

Everybody likes the reward of a job well done!  We all long to have significance and recognition for making a contribution with our efforts.  Much of our lives are spent in doing things that often have no one to commend us.  In fact, often there are many who criticize us for our decisions or efforts.  The world values that which is popular or exciting.  God has told us in His word about the things that will bring us rewards and commendation.  Let’s look at this today and evaluate our obedience to God’s commands.

Jesus finished His message about what it would be like when He returned at the end of the age with a final parable.  This was a story of a rich man going on a journey and placing his servants in charge of his property.  Each of of three servants were given talents (property or money) according to their ability.  One got one talent, another got two talents and another got five talents.  Each servant chose how to use the investments.  The one with five, gained five more.  The one with two gained two more.  The one with one talent hid his in the ground and made no profit.

After a long time, the master returned and asked for an accounting.  The two servants that had wisely invested got a well-deserved commendation, “Well done, good and faithful servant!  You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things!  Come share in your master’s happiness.” (Matthew 25:21)  The last servant got a stern rebuke and thrown out into the darkness.  (Matthew 25:28-30)

Jesus summed up what he was looking for in order to give rewards. “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come you who are blessed by My Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.  For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you took me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” (Matthew 25:34-36)  Jesus told them that when they did these things to the least of these, they did it to Him!  Go for the reward!

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He passed away, to no one’s regret!

Scripture reading for April 29th: 2nd Chronicles 21-25

I have officiated at many funerals.  Most have been fairly well attended and most have been for people who knew the Lord and had a Christian testimony.  Sometimes there much crying and mourning because of the great loss of that person’s life.  Sorrow is normal and mourning can go on for several months or more.  Usually, if a person is a great leader or a person who has had public contact and great influence, the funeral is well attended and many kind words are said.  I remember attending the funeral of a famous Christian musician and songwriter.  The service was three hours long and the graveside service another half-hour! This man ended well and there were lots of people who were sad that he had departed.  Of course, we all rejoiced that he was with the Lord for he had a strong Christian testimony.

In today’s reading, we have the story of King Jehoram.  King Jehoram was a king of Judah who did evil in the Lord’s eyes.  He married a daughter of the wicked King Ahab and Queen Jezebel.  God raised up enemies who constantly caused trouble in Jehoram’s kingdom.  Jehoram sought idols and built pagan shrines instead of seeking the Lord.  The prophet Elijah sent him a letter that told him of his sins and the coming consequences.  (2nd Chronicles 21:12-15)  This letter warns of God striking Jehoram’s family and then the king himself with a wasting disease of the bowels.  It appears that Jehoram was unresponsive to God’s warning.

God aroused the Philistines and Arabs, and they attacked Jerusalem and carried off all of Jehoram’s sons but the youngest.  Jehoram was afflicted with the disease of the bowels and he died in great pain.  There is no record that he sought the Lord or tried to find help from God. When this king died, there was no big funeral or celebration of remembrance.  No one mourned or was sad to see this king leave this world.  No one regretted his passing!

How are you living your life?  What kind of legacy are you leaving behind in your community and family?  What will people say about you and your life when you pass from the scene?  More importantly, what will God say about your life?  Will the only record be that you “did evil in the eyes of the Lord”? (2nd Chronicles 21:6)   My prayer is that you hear “Well done, good and faithful servant!”  (Matthew 25: 23)

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