Saturday, February 28, 2015, 7:00 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Your New Life.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Luke 19:11-27 (NASB).
Until He Returns
While they were listening to these things, Jesus went on to tell a parable, because He was near Jerusalem, and they supposed that the kingdom of God was going to appear immediately. So He said, “A nobleman went to a distant country to receive a kingdom for himself, and then return. And he called ten of his slaves, and gave them ten minas and said to them, ‘Do business with this until I come back.’
Jesus Christ, God the Son, left his throne in heaven, came to earth and took on human flesh. He lived on the earth as fully God yet fully man. He is the embodiment of the kingdom of God, so while he walked the face of the earth, the kingdom of God was among the people, though many did not recognize him for who he is.
During his earthly ministry he healed the sick, raised the dead, comforted the sorrowful, and delivered people from evil spirits. He preached repentance for the forgiveness of sins, forgave people their sins, and he called people to deny themselves, die daily to sin and self, and to follow him in obedience and in surrender to his will for their lives.
At the beginning of his ministry on earth he called twelve disciples to himself who were to follow him in ministry. They were his closest companions on the earth. They went with him nearly everywhere he went, and they joined him in preaching the gospel of salvation, in healing the sick, raising the dead, in delivering people from demons, and in comforting the sorrowful. Yet, they were not his only disciples (followers).
Jesus gave many instructions to his disciples which they were to follow, and most of which also apply to us, his disciples. Many of those teachings were repeated by the writers of the New Testament. We are to follow those instructions (teachings/commands) until Jesus returns.
We are to live and walk in the Spirit and not gratify the sinful desires of our flesh. We are to live and walk in the Light and to be the light to the world around us. We are to go out into the world and to make disciples of Jesus of the people of this world, baptizing and teaching them to obey Jesus’ commandments. We are each given spiritual gifts which we are to use for God’s glory and for the encouragement and strengthening of the body of Christ. We have each been given an assignment of the Spirit within the body of Christ, too. We have been given natural gifts and abilities, as well, and we have been given people in our lives for whom we are to care and to minister to their needs. We are to put these gifts and spiritual assignments to work in our lives (do business with these) until Jesus returns.
They Hated Him
But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to reign over us.’
Though Jesus was loved by some, he was hated by many. They did not want him as their King. The leaders of the Jewish temple of that time were jealous of Jesus, and they resented him because he claimed to be God and their promised Messiah. They did not like it, as well, that he confronted them with their sins and that he called them out for being hypocrites. So, they plotted how they might bring him to ruin. Eventually they had him falsely arrested on trumped up charges and they hung him on a cross to die, as though he was a common criminal. Yet, this was in God’s plan and design that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, should suffer and die on the cross for our sins so that any who would believe in him might not perish but might have everlasting life (See Jn. 3:16).
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. The first appeared, saying, ‘Master, your mina has made ten minas more.’ And he said to him, ‘Well done, good slave, because you have been faithful in a very little thing, you are to be in authority over ten cities.’ The second came, saying, ‘Your mina, master, has made five minas.’ And he said to him also, ‘And you are to be over five cities.’
Although I believe these words of Jesus allude to when he returns for his bride, and when we go to be with him, and we receive our heavenly rewards, the context also indicates that there was some continuance of ministry and giftedness, so I imagine this also speaks to our lives and ministry while we are still here on this earth. The Biblical principle that I believe is being taught here is that God gives each of us natural abilities and talents, spiritual gifts and assignments within the body of Christ, i.e. our roles (parts) within the body which we are to fulfill. If we are faithful in using what God has given to us for his glory, and in obedience to his personal direction and leading in our lives, then he will give us more.
Another came, saying, ‘Master, here is your mina, which I kept put away in a handkerchief; for I was afraid of you, because you are an exacting man; you take up what you did not lay down and reap what you did not sow.’ He *said to him, ‘By your own words I will judge you, you worthless slave. Did you know that I am an exacting man, taking up what I did not lay down and reaping what I did not sow? Then why did you not put my money in the bank, and having come, I would have collected it with interest?’
Then he said to the bystanders, ‘Take the mina away from him and give it to the one who has the ten minas.’ And they said to him, ‘Master, he has ten minas already.’ I tell you that to everyone who has, more shall be given, but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. But these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slay them in my presence.”
Yet, if we are unfaithful in fulfilling what God has purposed for us even before we were formed in the wombs of our mothers, what we have been given may be taken away from us and given to someone else who will use what God has given to them for his purposes, and for his glory, and to fulfill the great commission to go and to make disciples of Jesus of peoples of all nations. I can tell you from personal experience that there is no greater joy than to be right in the center of God’s will, doing exactly what you know he has called you to do, no matter how hard it may get, and even in the face of much opposition. And, I can tell you that there is no greater sorrow than to be out of God’s will doing what we want to do, going our own way and resisting God instead of resisting Satan. So, I pray that all who are reading this today will say “Yes” to following Jesus wherever he leads you from this moment on, and that you will be a faithful servant who will bear fruit for God’s kingdom.
Your New Life / An Original Work
Based off the Gospels / May 15, 2014
Go and make disciples of peoples,
Teaching them to obey their Savior.
Do not fear, but go where He sends you.
Tell them all of what you have heard.
The kingdom of God now is upon you.
Come, and follow Jesus, your Lord.
He will make you fishers of man.
If the people Jesus desire,
They must die to sin and to self-life.
If they want to hold on to their lives
They will lose them forevermore.
Surely you heard that coming to Christ
Means a new life in Jesus, your Lord.
Follow Christ wherever He leads.
Love the Lord with all of your heart, and
Love your neighbors as you would yourself.
Preach the gospel to all the nations.
Do not worry what you will say.
Proclaim the freedom for all the captives.
Share the light with all who are blind.
You are ministers of our God.