Stewardship – 2-4-22

“For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Matthew 25:29-30 NKJV

RELATIONSHIP:

Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

BIBLE READING:

Dear Heavenly Father – Please give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of who you are, who Jesus is, and who the Holy Spirit is. Open the eyes of our understanding, please, so we may know the hope of our calling and the vast sovereignty and power of the grace of the cross. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word and our sound mind. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is the Book of Matthew chapter 25 (embedded below for your convenience in the NKJV). 

The Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins

25 “Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.

“And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom [a]is coming; go out to meet him!’ Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.

11 “Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ 12 But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’

13 “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour [b]in which the Son of Man is coming.

The Parable of the Talents

14 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. 15 And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. 16 Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. 17 And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. 18 But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money. 19 After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them.

20 “So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’ 21 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ 22 He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’ 23 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’

24 “Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’

26 “But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. 27 So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents.

29 ‘For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

The Son of Man Will Judge the Nations

31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the [c]holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

41 “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; 43 I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’

44 “Then they also will answer [d]Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ 45 Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Footnotes

  1. a Matthew 25:6 NU omits is coming
  2. b Matthew 25:13 NU omits the rest of v. 13.
  3. c Matthew 25:31 NU omits holy
  4. d Matthew 25:44 NU, M omit Him

MEMORY VERSE CHALLENGE:

Matthew 5:16 “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

STUDY/DEVOTIONAL:

I hope you all do not mine the recap style of reviewing each day’s reading.

I usually try to keep track of how many days and which day is which from the triumphal entry until the cross. Jesus knew – so in my mind these last lessons seem all the more important. They were more parable style, so he knew they were not yet for those people – but he had little time and needed to download as much as he needed to, ready or not.

Our church (global) seems to have a pretty good handle on the meanings of today’s parables and it isn’t easy to understand how people did not understand it. But we have been given understanding and we ask daily for more and more understanding. And as the days shorten until the coming of the bridegroom, we will still learn and understand more and more.

We begin with the 10 virgins who go out to meet the bridegroom. 5 took extra oil. ALL of them fell asleep. The 5 with extra oil, made it… the 5 without had to turn back to go buy oil.
This always makes me think of my car when I was a teen.  I ran the gas almost out and coasted home on fumes and prayers.  And this is NOT just an occasional occurrence – it was a lifestyle. A lifestyle of praying for a miracle after being a poor steward and expecting God to provide all my needs. Slowly overtime learning God doesn’t provide all my needs and God doesn’t heal when hands are laid on and finances are broke and will not come through…. Poor stewards do not take responsibility for their own actions and lack of planning and expect a handout for salvation. Even though, the bailout has not always happened. This I NOT faith. This is hope – hope in the absurd, not even hope is Christ! None of it is scripturally based yet it is taught in churches and in families.  Jesus is NOT a genie in a bottle.  

Next is the parable of the talents – with Jesus still asking us what we are doing to be good stewards of what He has entrusted us. Our friend in the story who had one – hid it in the ground on a wing and a prayer that returning it will save his life.
We may not have been entrusted with a large seed to steward. Besides money and skill…. What about drams? What about the other things God puts in our hearts – how do we steward them.  God gave me a dream to travel the world with the gospel. I have no money and means to travel (and I actually hate airplanes and travel). I steward the messages God gave me and he gave me a means to write from my living room in New York State and it has traveled to more than 50 nations!! God has the ability to move me all over the globe as well. Occasionally my friend says come with me on a missions trip and my first reaction inside is always – NOPE! (I hate travel that much.) Then I pull myself together and say – if it is God’s will.  I will go where he wants me to go and do what he wants me to do. And how would such things get paid for? Well, if he wants it – he will have to pay for it. I cannot out give God. But if God wants it, He has made a way.

And Jesus will judge our stewardship of these things and if you have He will add and if you are lacking, He will take away. So how do you minimally spend your talents for His Glory and for His multiplication? Feed the hungry.  Give drink to the thirsty.  Take in the stranger who has need. Clothe the naked. Visit the sick and those in prison.
There are social programs that handle these things now a days – so we don’t have to… we pay into them with taxes. But there is still a personal assignment from God for each of us in these areas. If it is the beggar in town, or the woman’s shelter, or the rehab. Maybe it is volunteering at the food pantry?

These three parables are all about being a good steward of the tasks and assignments God gave us. He equipped us with understanding that we should bring more than we need. He gave us the talents, the dreams, the compulsion to fulfill His purpose. And he is specific about exactly what He expects – people tended to: body, mind and spirit. He wants us to get ourselves right and then turn around and help the next person do the same. We do not need to run some big program.  Reaching one person is enough for most of us – “Go and make disciples”. So one is enough to teach and groom.

***

Thank you for reading in 2022 – a Year of Wisdom and Salvation
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: