You been given according to your ability…What will you with it?

STEWARDSHIP:  is an ethic that embodies the responsible planning and management of resources. The concepts of stewardship can be applied to the environment, economics, health, property, information, theology, etc.

What will you do with what you have been given? Will you show you are trustworthy? Will you show that you are capable of handling more? Will you show that you have been trusted with too much? To whom much is given, much is required! Will you be a GOOD STEWARD? You have been given talents, so what will you do with them?

Today’s reading starts on just such a topic and puts it this way…

14“At that time the Kingdom of heaven will be like this. Once there was a man who was about to leave home on a trip; he called his servants and put them in charge of his property. 15He gave to each one according to his ability: to one he gave five thousand gold coins, to another he gave two thousand, and to another he gave one thousand. Then he left on his trip. 16The servant who had received five thousand coins went at once and invested his money and earned another five thousand. 17In the same way the servant who had received two thousand coins earned another two thousand. 18But the servant who had received one thousand coins went off, dug a hole in the ground, and hid his master’s money. 19“After a long time the master of those servants came back and settled accounts with them. 20The servant who had received five thousand coins came in and handed over the other five thousand. ‘You gave me five thousand coins, sir,’ he said. ‘Look! Here are another five thousand that I have earned.’ 21‘Well done, you good and faithful servant!’ said his master. ‘You have been faithful in managing small amounts, so I will put you in charge of large amounts. Come on in and share my happiness!’ 22Then the servant who had been given two thousand coins came in and said, ‘You gave me two thousand coins, sir. Look! Here are another two thousand that I have earned.’ 23‘Well done, you good and faithful servant!’ said his master. ‘You have been faithful in managing small amounts, so I will put you in charge of large amounts. Come on in and share my happiness!’ 24Then the servant who had received one thousand coins came in and said, ‘Sir, I know you are a hard man; you reap harvests where you did not plant, and you gather crops where you did not scatter seed. 25I was afraid, so I went off and hid your money in the ground. Look! Here is what belongs to you.’ 26‘You bad and lazy servant!’ his master said. ‘You knew, did you, that I reap harvests where I did not plant, and gather crops where I did not scatter seed? 27Well, then, you should have deposited my money in the bank, and I would have received it all back with interest when I returned. 28Now, take the money away from him and give it to the one who has ten thousand coins. 29For to every person who has something, even more will be given, and he will have more than enough; but the person who has nothing, even the little that he has will be taken away from him. 30As for this useless servant—throw him outside in the darkness; there he will cry and gnash his teeth.’

~from Matthew 25 (GNT)

In other translations they use the word talents instead of coins. Consider the talents you have been given! What are you doing with them? Are you growing them? Are you investing in them? Are you burying them? Are you wasting them? Do you realize that if you waste them you could lose them all?

In the old days talents were a measure of money. 1 Talent = 3,000 shekels = 60 minas = 34.3 kilograms metric = 75 U.S. pounds of gold! 1 pound = 16oz. and 1oz. of gold = $1271.37 (per at 10/24/2014 5:48am) So 1 Talent = $1,525,644. So even in the case where the person was only given 1 talent, we need to realize the value and how much God is trusted them and is trusting us.

So how will you live your life? When Jesus comes back, what will He think of what you have done with the talents He has given you? Are you being a good steward? Are you going to be a better steward now? It’s not over yet and we are saved by grace through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ! We need to be good stewards of what we have so that we will be seen as good stewards upon His return! We need to be good stewards for as we read to the one who was a good steward more was given and to the one who wasn’t even what they had was taken away.

He is coming back! And when He does this time it will be for judgment! Be ready before He comes back!

The Final Judgment

31“When the Son of Man comes as King and all the angels with him, he will sit on his royal throne, 32and the people of all the nations will be gathered before him. Then he will divide them into two groups, just as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33He will put the righteous people at his right and the others at his left. 34Then the King will say to the people on his right, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father! Come and possess the kingdom which has been prepared for you ever since the creation of the world. 35I was hungry and you fed me, thirsty and you gave me a drink; I was a stranger and you received me in your homes, 36naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you took care of me, in prison and you visited me.’ 37The righteous will then answer him, ‘When, Lord, did we ever see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you a drink? 38When did we ever see you a stranger and welcome you in our homes, or naked and clothe you? 39When did we ever see you sick or in prison, and visit you?’ 40The King will reply, ‘I tell you, whenever you did this for one of the least important of these followers of mine, you did it for me!’ 41“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Away from me, you that are under God’s curse! Away to the eternal fire which has been prepared for the Devil and his angels! 42I was hungry but you would not feed me, thirsty but you would not give me a drink; 43I was a stranger but you would not welcome me in your homes, naked but you would not clothe me; I was sick and in prison but you would not take care of me.’ 44Then they will answer him, ‘When, Lord, did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and we would not help you?’ 45The King will reply, ‘I tell you, whenever you refused to help one of these least important ones, you refused to help me.’ 46These, then, will be sent off to eternal punishment, but the righteous will go to eternal life.”

~from Matthew 25 (GNT)

You will want to be on the right side of things! You will want to get to be part of the reward! You will want to spend eternity with God rather than eternity apart from Him. You will want to be found to be a “good and faithful servant“. How will you live your life till Jesus returns? How will you choose? It’s up to you!

Don’t give up! It’s not over yet! God’s got better plans for you to come! Press on! As God’s Word tells us to consider it all joy when we face trials of this world! It’s not easy, but it builds and strengthens us. Put another way it builds and produces perseverance. When perseverance completes its work we will be mature and complete, lacking nothing! And that is God’s will, so don’t give up! Not sure what to do? You have hope because God’s Word continues after this challenge with:

5If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.

~from James 1:5-6 (NIV)

So don’t doubt, just turn to God! Don’t give up for what is to come is so much greater than what we are having to go through now that in the end it will al be worth it!

The Future Glory

18I consider that what we suffer at this present time cannot be compared at all with the glory that is going to be revealed to us. 19All of creation waits with eager longing for God to reveal his children. 20For creation was condemned to lose its purpose, not of its own will, but because God willed it to be so. Yet there was the hope 21that creation itself would one day be set free from its slavery to decay and would share the glorious freedom of the children of God. 22For we know that up to the present time all of creation groans with pain, like the pain of childbirth. 23But it is not just creation alone which groans; we who have the Spirit as the first of God’s gifts also groan within ourselves as we wait for God to make us his children and set our whole being free. 24For it was by hope that we were saved; but if we see what we hope for, then it is not really hope. For who of us hopes for something we see? 25But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. 26In the same way the Spirit also comes to help us, weak as we are. For we do not know how we ought to pray; the Spirit himself pleads with God for us in groans that words cannot express. 27And God, who sees into our hearts, knows what the thought of the Spirit is; because the Spirit pleads with God on behalf of his people and in accordance with his will. 28We know that in all things God works for good with those who love him, those whom he has called according to his purpose. 29Those whom God had already chosen he also set apart to become like his Son, so that the Son would be the first among many believers. 30And so those whom God set apart, he called; and those he called, he put right with himself, and he shared his glory with them.

God’s Love in Christ Jesus

31In view of all this, what can we say? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32Certainly not God, who did not even keep back his own Son, but offered him for us all! He gave us his Son—will he not also freely give us all things? 33Who will accuse God’s chosen people? God himself declares them not guilty! 34Who, then, will condemn them? Not Christ Jesus, who died, or rather, who was raised to life and is at the right side of God, pleading with him for us! 35Who, then, can separate us from the love of Christ? Can trouble do it, or hardship or persecution or hunger or poverty or danger or death? 36As the scripture says, “For your sake we are in danger of death at all times;we are treated like sheep that are going to be slaughtered.” 37No, in all these things we have complete victory through him who loved us! 38For I am certain that nothing can separate us from his love: neither death nor life, neither angels nor other heavenly rulers or powers, neither the present nor the future, 39neither the world above nor the world below—there is nothing in all creation that will ever be able to separate us from the love of God which is ours through Christ Jesus our Lord.

~from Romans 8(GNT)

So let’s let today be our best day ever because we are walking transformed by God , accepting of our talents, and reading to be good stewards for His Glory!

Look what is going on all around us! Let’s come together and in agreement pray to God! Let’s align with today’s Psalm

A Prayer for Deliverance

1You have rejected us, God, and defeated us; you have been angry with us—but now turn back to us.2You have made the land tremble, and you have cut it open; now heal its wounds, because it is falling apart. 3You have made your people suffer greatly; we stagger around as though we were drunk. 4You have warned those who have reverence for you, so that they might escape destruction. 5Save us by your might; answer our prayer, so that the people you love may be rescued. 6From his sanctuary God has said, “In triumph I will divide Shechem and distribute Sukkoth Valley to my people. 7Gilead is mine, and Manasseh too; Ephraim is my helmet and Judah my royal scepter. 8But I will use Moab as my washbowl, and I will throw my sandals on Edom, as a sign that I own it. Did the Philistines think they would shout in triumph over me?” 9Who, O God, will take me into the fortified city? Who will lead me to Edom? 10Have you really rejected us? Aren’t you going to march out with our armies? 11Help us against the enemy; human help is worthless. 12With God on our side we will win; he will defeat our enemies.

~from Psalm 60 (GNT)

Let’s pray for God to heal our land! Let’s humble ourselves and turn back to Him!

Be Encouraged! God knows what you are going through!

Here are some good daily reminders:

1. Wake Up! Decide to have a good day. “Today is the day the Lord hath made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalms 118:24

2. Dress Up! The best way to dress up is to put on a smile. A smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks. “The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at outward appearance; but the Lord looks at the heart.” I Samuel 16:7

3. Shut Up! Say nice things and learn to listen.  God gave us two ears and one mouth, so He must have meant for us to do twice as much listening as talking. “He who guards his lips guards his soul.” Proverbs


4. Stand Up!… For what you believe in. Stand for something or you will fall for anything.. “Let us not be weary in doing good; for at the proper time, we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good…”  Galatians 6:9-10

5. Look Up!… To the Lord.  “I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me.” Phillippians 4:13

6. Reach Up!… For something higher. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, And He will direct your path.” Proverbs 3:5-6

7. Lift Up!… Your Prayers.  “Do not worry about anything; instead PRAY ABOUT EVERYTHING.”  Philippians 4:6

Be ready! Come prepared!

If you knew someone you loved was coming, would you get ready and be prepared for the wait of their arrival? What would you do to make sure you were prepared since you aren’t sure exactly how long it is going to be before they get there, you just know they are coming and already on their way? Would you prepare any differently than if you knew the exact hour? Would you still be ready if it took a while for them to arrive? What would you do if it took longer than you prepared for? What would the consequences be?

Now what if the person you were waiting for was Jesus? And His return would be the trigger for bring people home into the kingdom of God? And what if missing out would mean being left behind? Would that change your preparation? Would that change your perspective? Would that change your readiness plan?

This morning’s reading starts with just such an example and it goes like this:

The Parable of the Ten Young Women

1“At that time the Kingdom of heaven will be like this. Once there were ten young women who took their oil lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2Five of them were foolish, and the other five were wise. 3The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any extra oil with them, 4while the wise ones took containers full of oil for their lamps. 5The bridegroom was late in coming, so they began to nod and fall asleep.
6“It was already midnight when the cry rang out, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come and meet him!’ 7The ten young women woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8Then the foolish ones said to the wise ones, ‘Let us have some of your oil, because our lamps are going out.’ 9‘No, indeed,’ the wise ones answered, ‘there is not enough for you and for us. Go to the store and buy some for yourselves.’ 10So the foolish ones went off to buy some oil; and while they were gone, the bridegroom arrived. The five who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast, and the door was closed.
11“Later the others arrived. ‘Sir, sir! Let us in!’ they cried out. 12‘Certainly not! I don’t know you,’ the bridegroom answered.”
13And Jesus concluded, “Watch out, then, because you do not know the day or the hour.
~from Matthew 25 (GNT)

The reality nobody knows the day or the time of His return, but we do have the promise that He is coming back. So where is your hope and trust being put? Is it on the temporary of today or the eternity of life with God? Your perspective, your focus, your vision will impact your direction and your preparedness. So let’s get ready and be ready!

So what can we do to be prepared? Let’s live life in the Spirit! For when we received Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we were transformed! And when you receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you will be transformed. Today’s reading speaks to this in the following way:

Life in the Spirit

1There is no condemnation now for those who live in union with Christ Jesus. 2For the law of the Spirit, which brings us life in union with Christ Jesus, has set me free from the law of sin and death. 3What the Law could not do, because human nature was weak, God did. He condemned sin in human nature by sending his own Son, who came with a nature like our sinful nature, to do away with sin. 4God did this so that the righteous demands of the Law might be fully satisfied in us who live according to the Spirit, and not according to human nature. 5Those who live as their human nature tells them to, have their minds controlled by what human nature wants. Those who live as the Spirit tells them to, have their minds controlled by what the Spirit wants. 6To be controlled by human nature results in death; to be controlled by the Spirit results in life and peace. 7And so people become enemies of God when they are controlled by their human nature; for they do not obey God’s law, and in fact they cannot obey it. 8Those who obey their human nature cannot please God.

9But you do not live as your human nature tells you to; instead, you live as the Spirit tells you to—if, in fact, God’s Spirit lives in you. Whoever does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10But if Christ lives in you, the Spirit is life for you. because you have been put right with God, even though your bodies are going to die because of sin. 11(1 Co 3.16) If the Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from death, lives in you, then he who raised Christ from death will also give life to your mortal bodies by the presence of his Spirit in you.
12So then, my friends, we have an obligation, but it is not to live as our human nature wants us to. 13For if you live according to your human nature, you are going to die; but if by the Spirit you put to death your sinful actions, you will live. 14Those who are led by God’s Spirit are God’s children. 15For the Spirit that God has given you does not make you slaves and cause you to be afraid; instead, the Spirit makes you God’s children, and by the Spirit’s power we cry out to God, “Father! my Father!” 16God’s Spirit joins himself to our spirits to declare that we are God’s children. 17Since we are his children, we will possess the blessings he keeps for his people, and we will also possess with Christ what God has kept for him; for if we share Christ’s suffering, we will also share his glory.
~from Romans 8 (GNT)

So let’s live in this new way! Let’s live without condemnation! Let’s live as the Spirit tells us to live! Let’s not be fooled or tricked by our human nature that will try to lead us off track, but rather walk in the Spirit so that God’s power will be alive in us and we can glorify Him! Let’s live the lives of children of the most high God who we became when we were saved and adopted into God’s family. As His children, we get the inheritance of His blessings for His people.

So it’s not too late to ask Jesus into your heart! It’s not too late for a transformation! Is today your day? Do you want it to be? Ask God to forgive you (for all have sinned and fallen short of the will of God). Ask Jesus to come into your heart and into your life and to help lead you and guide you, to set you from the old ways and to create a new heart in you. We see in the book of Mark 16:15 tells us that all it takes to be saved is:

Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved;

So Lord as I prepare for this day, as I put on the full armor of God, as I look to You for wisdom, I ask Lord for your wisdom and your protection over me and my family and friends. May Your Word stand firm as it never returns void. And so I finish my reading and posting today from the book of Psalms…

A Prayer for Safety

1Save me from my enemies, my God; protect me from those who attack me! 2Save me from those evil people; rescue me from those murderers! 3Look! They are waiting to kill me; cruel people are gathering against me. It is not because of any sin or wrong I have done, 4nor because of any fault of mine, O Lord, that they hurry to their places. 5Rise, Lord God Almighty, and come to my aid; see for yourself, God of Israel! Wake up and punish the heathen; show no mercy to evil traitors! 6They come back in the evening, snarling like dogs as they go about the city. 7Listen to their insults and threats. Their tongues are like swords in their mouths, yet they think that no one hears them. 8But you laugh at them, Lord; you mock all the heathen. 9I have confidence in your strength; you are my refuge, O God. 10My God loves me and will come to me; he will let me see my enemies defeated. 11Do not kill them, O God, or my people may forget. Scatter them by your strength and defeat them, O Lord, our protector. 12Sin is on their lips; all their words are sinful; may they be caught in their pride! Because they curse and lie, 13destroy them in your anger; destroy them completely. Then everyone will know that God rules in Israel, that his rule extends over all the earth. 14My enemies come back in the evening, snarling like dogs as they go about the city, 15like dogs roaming about for food and growling if they do not find enough. 16But I will sing about your strength; every morning I will sing aloud of your constant love. You have been a refuge for me, a shelter in my time of trouble. 17I will praise you, my defender. My refuge is God, the God who loves me.