Wednesday, February 9, 2011

How Pleased Will Jesus Be With You On His Return?

As a disciple of Jesus Christ you should be aware that what we do with our time and abilities is important to Jesus. Many of us are beginning to notice how short the time has become before the return of Jesus. More and more signs are being fulfilled as well as many worshipers are sensing it in their spirit. As a result I am provoked to the point of crying out to people to get prepared if they are not already prepared. If we have fallen asleep in the urgency of our calling, of our mission, now is the time to wake up and get serious about the tasks that have been given to us to do.

First of all we need to recognize that Jesus did not die for us so that we could spend an hour a week with him, sitting in a building with a bunch of other people singing songs. He has called us into a full time relationship with him. He has called us into a relationship that goes deeper than any other relationship in our lives. Our love and passion for him must be greater than any other love we have, so much so that any other love could look like hate in comparison. This is how Jesus described our relationship with him:

My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. (John 17:20-23)

This is an intimacy that we seldom realize because we often deny it is possible but I know you want it. Not just anyone reads these type of blogs. It takes a real seeker, a person desiring more, to have the patience to read through these blogs. You have a desire for greater intimacy, to be more with Jesus and I encourage you to keep seeking because those who seek will find it. He is in us and we are in him and this must be the reality we live every single moment we breathe. Every moment of our lives belongs to Jesus. It takes this realization to open us to the understanding that we have purpose.

The second thing we must realize in order to become serious about our responsibilities is that simple fact, we have purpose. Our purpose is not to sit around and wait for Jesus to return. If that is all there was to it then we would be taken home the moment we accepted Jesus. That would certainly make it easier, avoiding the whole process of maturing in our faith, however, he has left us in this world because he has given us a mission: we are to make disciples. That is the responsibility all of us have, regardless of what our gifts are in the Body of Christ. As a Body we work together for this purpose but I ask you, how seriously are you taking this responsibility?

This is what concerns me because Jesus told us that he needs to find us faithfully carrying out our responsibilities on his return. Yes, the greatest responsibility is to be found faithfully loving him but the second is similar to the first, where we are faithfully obeying him. In Matthew 25 Jesus told three parables concerning his return and all three need to be urgently considered as this age of last days comes upon us. The second parable is concerning the man who was going away but before he left he gave some money to his servants to invest. The short version is that on his return most of the servants had invested as instructed and so were rewarded. However, there was one servant who was too lazy and he simply returned what he was given. Mind you, he did not lose what he was given, he just didn't do anything with it which was disobedience to the instruction he had been given. The results were predictable:

“‘Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’" (Matthew 25:28-30)

Remember that this parable was told as part of a series concerning Jesus' return. It is a parable of accountability. It is a parable that should cause most of us to tremble as we realize how much we have become lazy in our mission and how little we have invested what we have been given. Some of you are automatically thinking of your talents, such as singing, writing, preaching, music playing and so on, however, I do not see any such thing in what Jesus taught. I do know that he has given us certain blessings that are meant to be invested in other people's lives, such as love, mercy, grace, forgiveness. Jesus warned time and again that we are to do for others what we would want done for us. He tells us that we will be forgiven in the manner we forgive. He also said to his disciples:

As you go, preach this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven is near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. (Matthew 10:7-8)

The money the servants had to invest did not belong to them, it belonged to their employer. The love, mercy, grace, forgiveness that we possess and are to invest did not come from us but has been freely poured into our lives from our Father, through Jesus Christ. We are Kingdom investors, investing the wealth of the Kingdom into the lives of the people around us so that we can make disciples. When Jesus returns I do not think he is going to be too concerned about how many Bibles we own or how many blogs we have written. I honestly believe he is going to be looking for the return on what he gave us to invest. Consider this matter seriously and urgently act upon it. The days are growing short and the opportunities for investing will soon dry up. I pray he will not return to find us to be a bunch of lazy servants sleeping our days away, but instead a hard working faithful people who have freely invested what we have freely received.

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