torsdag 26. januar 2017

No. 1456: Whoever is entrusted much - requires even more of!

No. 1456:
Whoever is entrusted much - requires even more of!All we are entrusted with something, from one to ten pounds. God does not expect more of us than we can give. Therefore we should not compare ourselves primarily with each other, but think what I can do for God and my fellow man.
And do it as best we can.
Photo of my wife Berit Nyland Christensen who is a great blessing for me and many others, especially our children. It is the preachers and Christians have their major goal in life to defame their children, so low, some come. But then I doubt whether they are believers!

Luke 16 10 Whoever is faithful in little is faithful also in much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest in much.
Luke 12 42 The Lord replied, "Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? 43 Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes back! 44 Verily I say unto you, he will set him over all his goods. 45 But suppose that servant says to himself: 'It lasts long before my master comes' and then begins to beat the servants and maids, and eat and drink until he gets drunk. 46 Then the servant's master will come a day when he does not expect and at an hour he does not know, and cut him down and let him share the fate of the infidels. 47 A servant who knows his master's will and yet not caring able or does the gentleman will, he shall receive many kinds. 48 But someone who does not know it and make it deserving stroke, should not have fewer. Of those who have received much must be expected much, and whom much is entrusted, shall be required even more.
Jesus said, "Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes back! Truly I tell you, he will set him over all his goods. But suppose that servant says to himself: 'There, My lord is coming,' and so lends itself to beat the servants and maids, and eat and drink until he gets drunk. Then the servant's master will come a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and chop him down and let him share the fate of the infidels. A servant who knows his master's will, and yet not caring able or does the gentleman will, he shall receive many kinds.
But one who does not know it, and make it deserving stroke, should not have fewer. Of those who have received much must be expected much, and whom much is entrusted, shall be required even more.
So spoke Jesus. What do you think when you hear the word "management"?
Perhaps you think of your own personal finances. Perhaps you think of cultivating the land. Perhaps you think of environmental protection and food production, equitable distribution, global warming, politics and multinationals. Perhaps you think of nothing or something completely different to what I know?
Throughout this chapter 12 of Luke's Gospel urges Jesus listeners to be heavenly. Jesus told his disciples: "Do not worry about your life, what ye shall eat, or for the body, what ye shall clothe you with." And he said, "Consider the lilies, how they grow!" The idea is that God so clothe the grass of the field, he has even greater care for their children. The fact that God has this care for their children, it should in turn make us free to seek the Kingdom of God above all things. The occupying our time and our minds should not be acquiring things and property on Earth, but to have our treasure in heaven and our wealth in God. So I think that in today's consumer society is this more relevant than ever before. How easy is it not that we own sets the agenda for us. The more we have of properties and things, the more time and consideration, we use it. Everything is supposed to be maintained and used. Jesus said at the time to his disciples: "Sell your possessions and give alms," Luke 12.33 and he warned against the deceitfulness of riches. Maybe you should more take those words to himself today, for it is true that Jesus said, "Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." Luke 12.34. Our prosperity has given us a stronger identity as consumers than probably any era before us. The slogan is: what we spend our money, our time and our abilities is a private matter. It concerns no one but myself. I am my own fortune. I can be whatever I want. I can use my life as I want. I can freely choose who I want to be and how I want to live. But so can the thinking who live without God.
The text reminds us that we are primarily managers, not consumers. Now it is not necessarily a contradiction between the owning and managing. But the attitude is another.The Greek word for steward is "owner Oikonomos." That we recognize as our own "economist". We should therefore not count ourselves as property owners, but as someone who has a financial responsibility. As economists, we have something to manage on behalf of the owner.
For us it will be for the Lord. Does that in any case that we have what we own on loans? Whole life is the so arranged that we spend years of our lives to acquire things and assets, plus family and job. So there comes a time when we deliver what we have received from us, until finally life itself blown out. What do you have that you did not receive?Yes, you might say, I have struggled and worked for everything I have and own. It is right and proper. Industriousness is a virtue, and it is well bestowed. Yet we are all lucky to live in the rich world. Compared to the truly poor, we are all born with a silver spoon in his mouth. We have got life. Many have good health. We have gotten richer opportunities than most. Let's just use it as good stewards. To this day it sounds a message which is widely Christian. It is about being faithful in the service of the Lord. It's about staying the course. All together we have something to manage. You do a favor for your neighbor, but have you thought of that you just then managed in a good way abilities and time given to you by the Lord? It follows blessing with such. I think that being a Christian is like going on a road with street lighting.
We have a skylight that follow us. When we go to an enlightened way we think maybe not so much over the blessing of this light, but we can see it well when the power goes.Maybe we'll see it the same way with being a Christian. It is to "walk in the light of God," to say it with a familiar hymn text. The light makes us tasks that lie ahead as we go. It may be good deeds. There may be financial contributions. It can be spiritual help and support, or human warmth. I am sure that in the church there are many good managers in everyday life.
Going to worship or Christian meetings is a good management of Sundays and holidays. It is in itself not only a work one does for the Lord or an inspiration to others, but primarily a gas station along the highway where one gets filled up the tank, or a desert oasis where one can rest, life-giving water and provisions for further - a place where the Lord himself will equip you for today and the week that lies ahead. Will this be a regular and part of the pulse created in life, you go in and out of the house of God, while the Lord Himself preserves thy going out and thy coming in from now on and forever. For a good interaction between the service and being served. Pieces fall into place. You see correlations not seen before. Jesus gives meaning and positive surprises in life, confidence and exciting renovation. 
Now's not all about what we can get out of life, even though many are focused there. In a larger skylight, it's as much about what the Lord can get out of us and our lives. There are many who ask the Lord for help. Perhaps it is you or I who will be part of the answer to their prayers. Perhaps it can also seem daunting to imagine a God who requires.Some may have experienced that life itself may require more than one can cope with. In particular it can be hard to live up to expectations felt. On the other hand, there are also those who feel forgotten and not counted. For them it might be good to know that in any case the Lord Jesus expects them in their ministry. In any working there should be a balance between what we can provide and what is required. The point is that God knows what we can. It's he who has created us. God requires no more than what he gives us. We have not always all that is required when we start, but as we were inside; in the alternation of worship and everyday life is the source of hinged and new power. We just have to dare to live heavenly, for we are all probably headed toward a larger goal?
We do not go aimlessly. Surely life full of small and large tasks, depending on life stage. In large and small, we show loyalty and obligation fulfillment. That's how it should be.Then, days and years. New tasks come, others are gone and some remain. There is a significant commitment for many with friends and family, education and work. For some, health is a challenge in itself. But also in the church, the Lord has intended all he knows his place. I think no Christian should adjust to not having a church service to God. Lord equips his church with gifts to be managed to ward best. Are you unsure of your space and grace, so ask for clarification. It is good advice. Many have been aware of, be it gift that life's mission after prayer. Maybe the answer comes in the form of someone asks you to participate or contribute. Perhaps clarification as an inner conviction, or tasks that just lying there in front of you. Life can sometimes seem more like a puzzle than as a gift. And in a sense, it is also so. But we do not just fall short as a measure of our walk, but heaven and eternity. So we have one Lord requiring yet he requires no more than he gives. It takes faith to walk in His power. Think not slowly about your mission and what you can do, but be responsive and heavenly. Faith is like a muscle; it becomes stronger to be used. I said to begin with that today sounds a message which is widely Christian. The apostle Peter asked Jesus about what he said about fidelity in the service, whether to stay the course and warning against shirks work, whether this applied to everyone, or only for the twelve. Then answered Jesus so that we understand it applies to everyone, but that those who have received much must be expected much, and that it is much entrusted, shall be required even more of.
Jesus says: "Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes back! " 
Some have been given greater management responsibility than others. The apostles were men who were chosen by the Lord to give spiritual food to the servants, that since Christian congregation. It should be great grace to reach for those who have received considerable management missions. As preachers and church leaders we need prayer.
There will always be temptations to adapt more time than Scripture justify. Jesus says in this same chapter 12 of the Gospel of Luke that there will always be a real danger of apostasy. We know that Peter's later denial of Jesus was described as apostasy of the Master himself. "And when you once turned back, strengthen your brothers." Luke 22.32.Today, Jesus reminds us that one day he comes back on the great day of reckoning. Every generation has been waiting for this day, some with fear, others with joy and anticipation. We know that no era has lived so close to this day as ours. Maybe Jesus will come today, tomorrow - what do we?
The point is that when he comes he must find us about the service that we received. So this is about a freedom to serve the Lord, to live under his kingdom blessing, but also a strong commitment in the service one is called in and an infinity seriously.
Final Comment:
For me it is important and vital to take care of what God has given me, and to manage it in the best possible way.
God has given me a wife, children, family, house, home, capabilities, opportunities and more.

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