Sunday, November 19, 2017

Investing God's Love in All We Do

Matthew 25:21 (GNT): Investing God’s Love in All We Do
“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!”
How do we manage the blessings that God gives us? In each of our lives, we are given many representative “talents.” In first-century Palestine, “talents” were coins of precious metal that carried great value. Our “talents,” however, come in many different forms. Some examples are as follows: our spouse and children, our vocation at work, our position in the community, our role as friend and family member, and our role as neighbor to everyone we meet. A “talent” can be any blessing we are given in our lives, and those blessings carry responsibility.
Jesus calls us to be “faithful in managing small amounts.” And this faithfulness is measured by how we invest those talents in our lives. And no, Jesus is not just talking about how we invest our money. Instead, He emphasizes an investment of love. How are we loving others through our blessings? In everything Jesus teaches throughout Scripture, the core truth is that of love, which is the principle investment of the Christian disciple: “If you have love for one another, then everyone will know that you are my disciples” (John 13:35).
Let each of us, therefore, take up this call to be faithful servants of God’s love, investing His love through the many blessings we are given in life.
Heavenly Father,
You give us many talents in our lives for which we are thankful. Please grant us the grace to reciprocate that love to others, investing Your love in all we do. In Jesus Christ we pray.
Amen.
Have a blessed week and Happy Thanksgiving!

Stan

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Am I a True Servant?

Luke 17:9-10 (GNT): Am I a True Servant?
Jesus said, “The servant does not deserve thanks for obeying orders, does he? It is the same with you; when you have done all you have been told to do, say, ‘We are ordinary servants; we have only done our duty.’”
It is a challenge to put our heart and soul into something only to be ignored or forgotten. It is easy for the good in the world to go unacknowledged. Service to others, kindness, love, reconciliation, and peace are the essential elements of what makes our world and our lives worth living. But those responsible for perpetuating these virtues are often unsung, ignored, or distanced from the good they do. Should the servants of peace be recognized and held up, entitled and enshrined as purveyors of greatness? Jesus instructs that a servant simply does their duty, expecting no privilege, public acclaim, or payback.
As Christ’s disciples, we are purveyors of peace, missionaries of mercy, heralds of hope. And in our service to God and humanity, we toil and labor for love, peace, pardon, and justice. Our expectation is only that we have done our duty, no matter who sees or recognizes it.
Therefore, when we prepare the family meal, listen to the frustration of a friend, console a sick child, give to a needy cause, devote our time to a project, stay up late to make sure something is done right, or wake up early to ensure our spouse and children have what they need, we are being true servants, often ignored but rewarded in our duty to God and those we love.
Henri Nouwen, the ivy-league professor, priest, writer, and caretaker of the multiply disabled, stated, “The fruits of your labors may be reaped two generations from now. Trust, even when you don't see the results.” Sometimes we only see the furrowed field or the barren tree; however, perseverance and faith ensure that our service in Christ matters. In our faithful duty, we are to “trust, even when you don't see the results.”
Loving God, please grant us the grace of humble service to You and our neighbor. Let our duty, even when it is unacknowledged, yield good fruit in this world. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ, Your Son. Amen.
Have a blessed week!

Stan