Monday, February 27, 2006

Active Waiting

Last evening at PBF we looked at the "Parable of the Talents" in Matthew 25:14-30. It is a parable in which Jesus challenges his people to be making the most of our time on earth while we wait for his return. In fact, we are not waiting for Jesus as we should, if we are merely sitting around, or busy doing things that have little or nothing to do with the kingdom of heaven. We are expected to make the most of our time here on earth. Ours is to be an active waiting like those on a tour of duty, not the waiting of those at a bus stop or doctor's office.

We are to be active because God has given us all something to do. This is one of the main points of the parable. The kingdom of heaven is like a man going away on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them according to their abilities. To one he gave 5 talents, to another 2 talents, and to still another 1 talent. He did not entrust them with these large sums of money just to have them keep it safe. He expected them to put the money to work so that when he returned they would have something to show for it.

The same is true of all God's people. We have been given various jobs to do, responsibilities to perform, tasks to accomplish before we are called to stand in the presence of the Lord. This is so basic and important that in the parable the servant who does nothing but play it safe at the expense of the Master is not just reprimanded but he is thrown into the darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. Failure to serve the Lord is a fatal flaw, one that exposes the true state of the unbelieving heart. The two servants who obey are both commended in exactly the same words as being 'good and faithful servants who are bid to come and enjoy the happiness of their Lord.' There is no worst fate than the outer darkness and no greater blessing than to enjoy the sunshine of God's smile forever.

All of this challenges us with regard to our own Christian walk. Are we seeking to serve the Lord where he has placed us? For his honor and glory? These are vital questions and we need to pray for daily grace that we might be found faithful while we wait for the coming of the Lord. And if we find our spirits lagging and the going is difficult, we can cheer ourselves with the wonderful thought of hearing his words of commendation! Oh to hear from Jesus himself: "Well done, good and faithful servant!" In a moment, it will all be worthwhile!

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