It’s time you know. I have been chosen to be part of an extremely select group – very few people in the history of the world have been/will be given this opportunity. It’s not something I can turn down. I am extremely honored and grateful that I have been selected, but our task is great and I will be held accountable for each of my actions along the way.
So just what is this group? We are the few individuals who have been raised in God-fearing homes. We are/ have been part of Christian communities that actively teach and live God’s word. We have had men and women of God continually pouring into our lives. We have been given multiple opportunities to serve the Lord and learn from Him and grow in Him. We have a plethora of resources available at our fingertips. And we have been given the beautiful gift of years dedicated to studying the Bible and our great God.
Yes, we are blessed beyond measure. But these blessings also mean an increased burden. We have been given much, much will be required (Luke 12:48). We will be held accountable for what we have done with what we have been given (Romans 14:12, Hebrews 4:13).
I am sure I have thought of this before, but the reality really sunk in last night. I am reading a book on prayer and it dawned on me that if I passively read this book and do nothing to actively strengthen my prayer life, I will still be held accountable for all the information in that book. Then I realized how many other great resources I have consumed – including the Bible itself, other books, movies, articles, lectures, sermons, songs, stories, etc., etc., etc. One day I will stand before God and give Him an account of how I used all of the information for His glory or how I failed to do so.
All believers have been entrusted with the precious gift of the Gospel (1 Thessalonians 2:4, 1 Timothy 6:20, 2 Timothy 1:12). We must always be prepared to share Truth with people, knowing that our Lord could return at any moment (Matthew 24:44, Luke 12:40, 2 Timothy 4:2, Titus 3:1, 1 Peter 3:15).
The Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25) reminds us that simply taking what He gives us is not what He has required. We must actively seek to use the resources He has given us to increase His kingdom and care for what He has entrusted to us. Stewardship is not just about money, folks (though that is a part of it). It involves taking the best care of and making the absolute most of everything He has given us – our bodies, our time, our resources, our relationships.
God issued a warning in Ezekiel 33 that just as a watchman is responsible to warn the city of coming danger, so we are responsible to warn those we meet about the coming judgment. For those who are in leadership over God’s flock, the standards are even higher, and the judgment for disobedience more severe (Ezekiel 34). To remain silent, to speak lies or half-truths, to do nothing when we are called to act, to move when we are called to be still – it’s all sin. James says (and Hebrews 10:26-31 echoes a similar sentiment), “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” ~ James 4:17
In light of all this, it’s no wonder that the Apostle Paul consistently admonished the churches to live “in a manner worthy of the calling” and prayed for them in that regard (Ephesians 4:1, Philippians 1:27, Colossians 1:9-10, 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12)! But Paul also knew that it’s ultimately not about us. It is all about Him working in and through us. He gives us the strength to obey and grace when we fail. 1 Timothy 1:12 says, “I thank Him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because He judged me faithful, appointing me to His service.” It is God who makes us sufficient for the works He has prepared for us (2 Corinthians 3:5-6, Ephesians 2:10).
This does not give me a free pass for carelessness, sinfulness, or apathy (Romans 6:1-2). But rather, because of the grace and gifts He has lavished on me, my ultimate desire is to bring Him glory. My aim is to please Him. One way I can do that is by making the most of all of the opportunities He has given me. “…but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts.” ~ 1 Thessalonians 2:4
Lord, let me be found faithful!