Thursday, June 28, 2007

Investing for Joy

I love how Jesus breaks reality down for us in terms we can really understand. For example, he tells a simple story about money and investment in Matthew 25 that powerfully illustrates a deep eternal truth. He says,
The kingdom of God is like a master who went on a journey entrusting three servants with measures of money, five measures, two measures, and one measure, each according to the servant’s ability. When the master returned to settle his accounts, the servant with five measures brought back ten; so the master said, “Well done, good and faithful servant, You have been faithful with little so I will entrust you with much. Enter into my joy.” the servant with two measures brought back four; so the master praised him as well saying, “Well done, good and faithful servant, You have been faithful with little so I will entrust you with much. Enter into my joy.” Finally, the servant who had received the one measure returned but with only the one measure he had been given, saying, “Master I hid your money in the ground and here now you have back what is yours.” So his master answered him saying, “Take away the one measure from this wicked and lazy servant and give it to the one who has the ten.” For to everyone who invests, abundantly more will be given; but those who do not invest what has been given to them, even what they have will be taken away.
The story is connected with other more direct teachings of Jesus, like those in Matthew 5, where he explains to his disciples,
You are the salt of the earth . . . You are the light of the world . . . No one lights a lamp and hides it under a basket, but they put it on the lampstand to share the light with all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven!
Again and again, Jesus tells people that he is eager to give them the treasure of himself and his kingdom; but he also explains that such a treasure is to be shared, not hoarded or hidden. That's the idea of Ephesians 5, "Be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, redeeming time from the corruption of these days."

God has given us so much! Our time, talent, treasure ... the message of salvation through Christ from disconnection and death ... his Holy Spirit ... they are all stewardships given to us by God who will, one day, ask us to give an account.

Each day is a treasure and a stewardship. May we grow into our stewardships as we seek greater relational intimacy with the God who loves us. May we make wise decisions in the wisdom he freely offers us as we grow. May we persevere sacrificially, knowing that as Paul writes in Romans 8, "the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is coming." And may the return on our investments result in those long-awaited words, "Well done, my good and faithful servant. Enter into my joy!"
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2 comments:

Alan Knox said...

John,

Your post reminds me of part of the Sermon on the Mount from Matt 5, specifically where Jesus teaches about doing good deeds, praying, and fasting. According to Jesus, some do good deeds, pray, and fast so that they will be recognized as religious by others. Jesus said this recognition would be their only reward.

For others, who do good deeds, pray, and fast for the Father, their reward is the Father himself. And what a reward he is! Everything and everyone else pales in comparison!

-Alan

John Lynch said...

Totally, Alan. Good word bro.