Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Parable of the Lamp, part 9:

So take care how you listen; for whoever has, to him more shall be given; and whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has shall be taken away from him." (Luke 8:18 NASB)

"For to everyone who has, more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. (Matthew 25:29 NASB)

Our focus verse from Luke is part of the Parable of the Lamp. The companion verse from Matthew is from the Parable of the Talents. These words are included more than once in Scripture because they are important and the repetition serves as confirmation. Jesus really means this, and we would do well to listen and live accordingly. In fact, Jesus has told us that very thing. "Take care how you listen."  

The principle here is one of stewardship. The one who handles that which is entrusted to him will be entrusted with more. The one who does not handle that which is entrusted to him (or her) will not only not get more, but what they do have will be taken away. 

If you have an employee who cannot be trusted to do what they are told, you either decrease their responsibilities or fire them. You certainly do not give them more responsibilities. This is not a hard concept to understand, but we do not like it when it is coming from God. What we prefer is for Him to give generously and indefinitely, without an accounting of our stewardship. We may prefer that, but Jesus is very clear that we should not expect that, because we are not going to receive it. Accountability is a part of the life of a disciple, and it is not optional. 

In general, the passages on stewardship deal with "things".  In this passage, we see that accountability extends to the truth of God, as well. What we do with what God gives us from His Word is subject to scrutiny, as well as what we do with the material resources He has entrusted to us. 

Now that we have the principle of accountability established, let's look at the good news. "For whoever has, to him more shall be given;" We can take great encouragement from this verse. If we embrace the truth we learn from the Words of Jesus and live accordingly, more truth will be revealed. This "living accordingly" means that we allow God to change us. Hearing the truth without allowing it to change us is not optional if we want to receive more. When we do "live accordingly", however, we will learn more, live more righteously, and grow closer to our Lord. The intimacy with Christ will be worth the effort needed to manage (or steward) what He has given us. 

We do well to pause here and ask ourselves, "Where are we in this parable? Where am I?" Are we allowing the word of God to change us on a regular basis? Are we more like Jesus today than we were yesterday? 

Pray today that we and our loved ones will have the heart of a steward, willing to allow God's word to so infuse our lives that the flavor of Christ is present in every thought, every word, every action. 
Link to last night's post is here:
Our terrorist prayer focus this week is Ibrahim al Asiri, one of the most creative and dangerous bomb makers in the world. He is sworn to destruction of believers in general and the US specifically. Pray that his terrorist efforts would be thwarted, that a miraculous conversion would occur, and that his fervor for the cause of Christ would exceed his fervor for destruction.
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