Alert and Ready
Heavenly Father, may Your holy Word speak clearly to me today, and may I willingly go forth to obey it.
Consider: We must always be ready to give an account of ourselves to God.
It is intriguing that the book of Acts begins with the story of bewildered disciples being asked: "Why do you stand here looking into the sky?" (Acts 1:10-11). The implication? Jesus is coming back, but there is work to be done.
Today's parable continues Jesus' teaching about the fact that his return will be unexpected and speaks of the need for faithful stewardship. The master leaves home, entrusting the care of the household to two servants. One is responsible, honoring his master--even in his absence--by sustained and undistracted service. The wicked servant, in contrast, thinks quite differently, with no urgency or sense of accountability; only the exploitation of others motivated by self-interest. Being ready for Jesus' return does not mean passively waiting: it is an energetic commitment to good stewardship, obediently serving others. Being faithful leads to higher responsibilities, but being unfaithful leads to punishment (51; Matt. 8:12; 13:42, 50) The unfaithful servant is condemned, just as the hypocrites of the previous chapter heard Jesus' repeated "woe" of condemnation.
Our calling is to live our lives faithfully, acting responsibly towards the Master and being ready for the day of his return. It might be the way we carry out our responsibilities in our business life or the challenges of living according to God's kingdom in a secular environment; the way we do the menial tasks which have been entrusted to us or the way we handle difficult relationships, serve as a parent or caregiver--in all of these ways we must serve with steady faithfulness in the light of Jesus' return.
In addition to your own areas of service, pray for those close to you who carry responsibility, that the joy of the Lord's return might energize both them and you.
Gracious God, I long to serve faithfully and to wait expectantly. Infuse me with Your strength to serve and Your patience to wait.
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