Jesus was going through all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness. Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.” Matthew 9:35-38
So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. Colossians 3:12-15
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like the wealthy man who went on a long journey and summoned all his trusted servants and assigned his financial management over to them. Before he left on his journey, he entrusted a bag of five thousand gold coins to one of his servants, to another a bag of two thousand gold coins, and to the third a bag of one thousand gold coins, each according to his ability to manage. The one entrusted with five thousand gold coins immediately went out and traded with the money, and he doubled his investment. In the same way, the one who was entrusted with two thousand gold coins traded with the sum and likewise doubled his investment. But the one who had been entrusted with one thousand gold coins dug a hole in the ground and buried his master’s money. After much time had passed, the master returned to settle accounts with his servants. The one who was entrusted with five thousand gold coins came and brought ten thousand, saying, “See, I have doubled your money.” Commending his servant, the master replied, “You have done well, and proven yourself to be my loyal and trustworthy servant. Because you have been a faithful steward to manage a small sum, now I will put you in charge of much, much more. You will experience the delight of your master, who will say to you, ‘Come celebrate with me!’” Then the one who had been entrusted with two thousand gold coins came in and said, “See, my master, I have doubled what you have entrusted to me.” Commending his servant, the master replied, “You have done well, and proven yourself to be my loyal and trustworthy servant. Because you were faithful to manage a small sum, now I will put you in charge of much, much more. You will experience the delight of your master, who will say to you, ‘Come celebrate with me!’” Then the one who had been entrusted with one thousand gold coins came to his master and said, “Look, sir. I know that you are a hard man to please and you’re a shrewd and ruthless businessman who grows rich on the backs of others. I was afraid of you, so I went and hid your money and buried it in the ground. But here it is—take it, it’s yours.” Angered by what he heard, the master said to him, “You’re an untrustworthy and lazy servant! If you knew I was a shrewd and ruthless business man who always makes a profit, why didn’t you deposit my money in the bank? Then I would have received it all back with interest when I returned. But because you were unfaithful, I will take the one thousand gold coins and give them to the one who has ten thousand. For the one who has will be given more, until he overflows with abundance. And the one with hardly anything, even what little he has will be taken from him.” Then the master said to his other servants, “Now, throw that good-for-nothing servant far away from me into the outer darkness, where there will be great misery and anguish!” Matthew 25:14-30
Today's thoughts from today's verses:
The intersection of heaven and earth is all about transformation. When the earthly realm yields to the heavenly realm change takes place. This proper blend of the physical realm and the spiritual realm is meant to be seen very clearly in the life of the believer. The presence of God transforms the way we live (heart of compassion, etc.) and it is this transformed living that makes the presence of God real to those around us. When our lives are wrapped up in God and spiritual things, we soon learn to get our focus off of ourselves and on to the concerns and desires God has for this world. The love and compassion we experience from God overflows from us into the lives of those around us (where the harvest is plentiful). People are most impacted by our love and compassion when the only explanation for it is God. The outcome is that they become open and receptive to God and the message of the Gospel.
Transformed living is essential for advancing the kingdom of heaven on earth. This is the starting point for how we fulfill our stewardship in regard to the kingdom. We see from the highlighted portion of our story that two of the servants increased (advanced) the money they had been entrusted with, while the third one did not. We are called to be workers in God’s harvest. Without transformed living through which people are impacted by the reality of God’s presence in our lives, we will have little hope of advancing the true kingdom of heaven that we have been entrusted with.
Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:
Lord, I am tired of being overly focused on me. I choose to make you and others my main focus. May your presence become so full in me that I am thoroughly transformed. May you become real to the people around me through the transformed living they see. This is my commitment to you, Lord, as a steward of the kingdom of heaven. I care deeply about the impact of my changed life on others that will come about when they readily know that you are the only explanation for it. Amen!
Posted on Tue, March 19, 2019
by Ken Hart