Thursday, September 3, 2015

Much Given, Much Required

"...From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more." Luke 12:48 NASB

This is the last half of the verse about the servant who did not know the Master's will and did not do it. At first glance, the words didn't seem to flow quite as well as I usually expect, mainly because I assumed these words referred to material things. The principle holds true for material things, but, in this instance, Jesus was speaking of knowing God's will. When I turned to the original language, it was eye-opening.

The word translated as "entrusted" is paratithÄ“mi and conveys the idea of "to set before". When God provides teaching concerning His will, when He "sets it before me", He is entrusting it to me and I am accountable to Him for how I use that knowledge. Whether I choose to ignore it or incorporate truth into my life, I am accountable for that decision. 

You, like me, have probably heard one of those sermons that lacks "zip", that's dry and difficult to ingest. Does it "set God's word before me"? If so, I'm accountable for the teaching, whether I choose to listen or not. 

A while back, I was having a terrible time listening to the preacher. I understand why preachers begin with jokes, but I've never liked jokes in a sermon. I had developed a tendency to let my mind wander until the minister "got through wasting time" and got down to business. The problem was that my wandering mind wandered so much that I didn't always realize when the actual sermon had begun. When I tuned back in, it was obvious I had missed important points. My solution was to carry a small spiral-bound notebook to church and take notes during the sermon, regardless of what was being said, to prevent "missing something good."

I flipped through one of those notebooks last night and found something very interesting. On a page where I'd doodled during the jokes, I had written these words:

"When my greatest joy is in knowing God, 
my wants will take second place to what God wants in me."

Those words were a portion of the harvest from that sermon (the one with all the jokes at the beginning). Had I tuned out because of the jokes, I'd have missed important truth for which I was responsible to receive. 

We have tremendous religious freedom in this country in comparison to most of the world, and, because of it, a feast of preaching and teaching is set before us on a regular basis. 

I can know God's will, if I want to know God's will.

Our focus verse points out a very important truth. My desire for God's will is not the deciding factor in accountability. If teaching of truth is available to me, I'm accountable for how I use it, whether I "want" it or not, whether I choose to receive it or not. 

There's a simple solution to this problem of being accountable for God's will. Pursue His will with all our heart, mind, soul and strength.

When we do, we can expect to hear those six beautiful words as we step into eternity. "Well done, good and faithful servant."
Our Father, forgive us for our laxity in pursuing Your ways. Create in us a desire for truth and a willingness to obey. In Jesus' name, Amen.

If you want to read more, about this topic, check out the previous posts in this series. We began our study of this portion of Scripture with the unfaithful servant , then being salt and lightChrist and the Constitution, and the importance of praying for our leaders, and yesterday, the importance of knowledge.  If you missed one of them, I hope you'll follow the link (it opens in a new tab) and get caught up.

#disciple #obedience # obediencematters #JesusChrist #faithful servant