October 18, 2016
14 “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. 15 To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16 The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. 17 So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. 18 But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.
The calling of a disciple of Jesus is to align all that they are and all that they have to the end of the great agenda of the Kingdom of God in the world: “on Earth as it is in Heaven.” This does not mean to take up a religious vocation. (It will mean this for some, but this is exceptional, and should that be you, you can trust God to make it clear.)
Jesus expects and thereby empowers his followers to be fruitful—to “get things done” and to advance his concerns and interests in the world. Chances are he wants us to do this precisely where we are presently placed in life— within our family, in our neighborhood, at our place of employment, through our various associations, and so forth.
What if we saw everything about our lives, resources, gifts, skills and relational networks as entrustments to us to “trade on” as though they were a form of venture capital we could invest for the advance of the Kingdom of God. What if we thought about all of that as carefully and strategically as we might think of, say, our money. Yes, our money. Might that be the reason Jesus chose “bags of gold” for his example.
What if I looked at my education as a “bag of gold” I could strategically invest, risk even, in the interest of seeking “on Earth as it is in Heaven?” What if I looked at the unique mix of relationships and networks entrusted to me as a “bag of gold” I could strategically invest in the work of seeking “on Earth as it is in Heaven?” What if I inventoried my entire existence, exploring the whole portfolio that has been entrusted to me—my marriage, my job, my country music skills, even my status as an American citizen (which is no small thing)—as so many bags of gold, venture capital for the Kingdom of God. In the end, this will be the true definition of creativity—how our lives became leveraged to do this.
To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability.
Did you catch that last phrase—”each according to his ability?” Jesus will not compare us to anyone else. He knows our ability. He knows what he has entrusted to us. He will not evaluate our fruitfulness according to what he entrusted to someone else.
Now, here’s the best part.
Then he went on his journey.
The most beautiful part of this whole story is that Jesus has gone on a journey, but he remains with us. He has sent the Holy Spirit. We aren’t left to ourselves to figure it all out. God, our Father, wills to fill us with the Holy Spirit, who is the wisdom and power and love of God and who will lead us step by step. In response to Jesus entrusting everything to us, the Holy Spirit will help us to, in turn, entrust everything back to him.
The Judgment is real. It will happen. What a glorious celebration it could be. Or not.
Heavenly Father, thank you for giving us such images of what will ultimately matter in the end. Thank you for showing us what a life well invested looks like. Thank you for the gift of the Holy Spirit who leads us day by day, step by step. Reveal to us the possibility of our lives invested completely in the glory of your Kingdom, which means your life invested in us for the glory of your name. Grant us the courage to move. In Jesus name, Amen.
1. Do you view the final judgment as a good thing or a bad thing? Why?
2. What would an inventory look like of the entrustments Jesus has made to you in this season between his comings?
3. What would change about your life if you saw those entrustments as venture capital for the Kingdom to be invested and even risked for the glory of God?
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J.D. Walt, is a Bond Slave of the Lord Jesus Christ. firstname.lastname@example.org.