Sunday, December 11, 2016

Christmas Spending - up up up!

During the Christmas season, vast amounts of money pass through the high street banks. This world is all about money. Making it, keeping it and spending it. And in order to get it, you usually have to work.

Shortly before His sacrificial death and triumphant resurrection, the Lord Jesus talked to His disciples about trading in the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 25.14-30). He compared Himself to a businessman who gave varying amounts of money to people to look after while He was away. He wanted them to use the money to do business i.e. to trade. The word trade actually means to 'work or toil'. The Lord gave His servants resources to work with and He expected a 100% growth rate! The servant given five talents made five more, and the servant given two talents made two more. The Lord commended them for their faithfulness and gave them proportionate responsibility in His heavenly kingdom.
But there was a third servant who the Lord draws our attention to. He dug a hole and put his talent into the ground and on the Lord's return, presented it back to Him, untouched. His excuse was that the Lord was hard, austere and oppressive. That lazy servant got a stern rebuke and was cast out into outer darkness. At the very least he should have put the money in the bank to gain interest, let alone worked with it to make it multiply to full advantage. So, the Lord took the money given to the lazy servant and gave it instead, to the servant who had worked the hardest. He knew that it would then be used to full effect.

Serving the Lord begins when a person gets saved, when a person is born again and is filled with His Spirit (Eph. 1.13). An account is instantly opened in the ‘Bank of Heaven’ and the Christian starts the work of investing in heaven’s currency. It is hard work and the rewards are not measured in the currency of this world - money and material things. Instead the Lord Jesus expects us to make full use of the gifts and resources He gives us to show to others His love, like He showed God's love to us. That involves getting to know God as your Father, and behaving in this world like the Lord Jesus did. He did not seek high status even though He is the King of Kings (Rev. 19.6). Instead, in humility and godly fear, He served others, ministering to their needs and in purity of thought and action, demonstrating the principles of God's heavenly Kingdom. It is not possible to be made redundant from that job, or to be underpaid. And the rewards far surpass anything that can be accumulated in this world and are eternal (not left behind at the gates of death as the treasures of this world are). God promises to call all those who are born again His Sons (Rom. 8.15), not just his servants. He gives them eternal life immediately and promises the splendour of heaven in the future. In addition He rewards their faithful service with 'crowns of righteousness' (2 Tim. 4.8) and positions of authority in His future worldwide administration.  It is not possible to serve two masters; it is either the true God or the god of this world i.e. the devil (Matthew 6.24). 

Why not make 2016 the time when you choose to serve the Lord and invest in wealth that lasts forever? 

Written for FTMP by a guest blogger. 

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