Serve while you wait . . .

I was reading Beth Moore’s book, “JESUS 90 Days With The One and Only.” In one of her daily meditations she talked about the 12th chapter of Luke, where Jesus told several parables regarding His return. Each one of them dealt with being watchful and doing whatever Christ has assigned us to do. Now for those of us with a knowledge of God, any wickedness during our wait carries a heavy price. He said, “Suppose the servant says to himself, ‘My Master is taking His time in returning,’ and he then begins to beat the men and women servants and to eat and drink and get drunk, that servant’s Lord and Master will return suddenly and unexpectedly, and He will punish him severly and send him to share the penalty of the unfaithful.” (Luke 12:46-17). One translation puts it even stronger: “He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers.”

Who is He talking about? Well, Luke 11:52 says, “Woe to you experts in the Word, because you have taken away the key to knowledge. You have never gone in yourselves and you have hindered everyone else who was at the door.”

This seems to be talking about the spiritual abuse from the hands of religious leaders. God will hold those of us who teach and lead, responsible for how we present the Word of God.

Think of the preacher who beats and bangs hellfire and brimstone and damnation on his pulpit, piously condemning his flock for all kinds of evil . . . at the same time his is abusing his wife and children at home.

Or maybe it’s using Scripture or the name of God to manipulate others. We will be called to account for the times we used God’s name to get what we want. Christ despises all forms of human oppression. A huge penalty awaits those who possess a knowledge of God yet persist in meanness and selfindugence.

He went on to say, “The slave who knows His Master’s plan but doesn’t get ready or act on it will be severely punished, but the servant who did not know the plan, though he has done wrong, will be let off lightly.” Now how is that fair ?

Well, I’ve seen the good and the bad. I’ve witnessed–and experienced that abuse, how one man, or even a group of men can abuse the members of churches. In fact, if it wasn’t for authentic examples and display of goliness and faithfulness, I be really depressed over all the abuse I’ve seen in the Church.

Well, however our Lord judges His Church and those who are unfaithful, it will be fair:  “Much will be expected from the one who has been given much, and the more a man is entrusted, the more people will expect of them” (v 48) That’s fair. But it’s also serious. I have been given so much, and now, I must accept the fact that much is also required. But that’s okay. Our joy and security in the midst of all that is required, is that Christ is never the author of spiritual abuse (or physical, by the way). Every single thing required of us will be amply rewarded–far beyond our imagination.

Paul counseled the church in Roman by writing, “Why all this stress on behavior? Because, as I think you have realized, the present time is of the highest importance—it is time to wake up to reality. Every day brings God’s salvation nearer.

“The night is nearly over; the day has almost dawned. Let us therefore fling away the thing that men do in the dark; let us arm ourselves for the fight of te day! Let us live cleanly, as in the daylight, not in the “delights” of getting drunk or playing with sex, nor yet in quarreling or jealousies. Let us be Christ’s men from head to foot, and give no chances to the flesh to have its fling.” (Romans 13:11-14)

Doulos Studies

(I send out messages like this each morning in emails, and if you are interested in receiving them, send me your email address and I will add you to the list: Mail List)

I do thank you for your gifts. It is your faithful and continued support that makes these messages possible.

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