Faithful Servants

18 The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour. (Luke 4:18-19)
 
Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.  (Luke 16:10)


14 It will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. 15 To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16 The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. 17 So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. 18 But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19 After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20 The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. “Master,” he said, “you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.” 21 His master replied, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” 22 The man with two bags of gold also came. “Master,” he said, “you entrusted me with two bags of gold: see, I have gained two more.” 23 His master replied, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” 24 Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. “Master,” he said, “I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.” 26 His master replied, “You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest. 28 “So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. 29 For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”  (Matthew 25:14-30)
Christians have been anointed with the Spirit of God. The word Christ means literally Anointed One, so the word Christian means little anointed one. Take a moment to pause and reflect on the enormity of that truth. The third Person of the Trinity – God himself! – has come to dwell in your heart. He is a spring of living water within you, first changing you, and then overflowing from you to change the people around you.

Who wouldn’t want to live their life as Jesus promised us in the synagogue at Nazareth in Luke 4? Who wouldn’t want to bring freedom to those around them? Who wouldn’t want to bring them a supernatural ability to see things clearly? Who wouldn’t want to tell those who are afflicted by life’s challenges that they have good news for them – they have been sent by God to proclaim the year of the Lord favour towards them? What an enormous privilege.

And yet it’s so easy to forget it. If we are not careful, we quickly start to see the proclamation of the Gospel to those around us as a burden – as a chore that we have to do, rather than a privilege that we get to do.

That’s one of the reasons why Jesus spent three years with his disciples before he sent them out into the world. The more we get to know Jesus and the more we witness his saving grace in the lives of our brothers and sisters at church, the more we long to become his Gospel missionaries to the nonbelievers all around us. By the time that Jesus ascended back to heaven, his disciples were eager to step into his footsteps and continue his mission. How about you? Do you live your life as someone who has received a privileged calling to deliver God’s good news?

Jesus has some pretty sober words to speak to people who are happy to enjoy what God’s good news means for them but who have very little motivation to tell others what God’s good news means for them. He tells us a parable about three servants, the last of whom hid in the ground what his Master entrusted to him. When the Master returned, he rebuked him as ‘wicked’ and ‘lazy’. He told the parable as a warning that one day he will return to ask us how we have stewarded the good news that he entrusted to us. Let’s be faithful servants ahead of that day!
  1. Would you describe yourself as a faithful servant when it comes to stewarding God’s good news?
  2. What are the biggest things stopping the good news overflowing from your mouth through the Holy Spirit? How could you address those blockages today?
  3. At Everyday Church, we talk a lot about our ‘Lost Lists’ – the list of nonbelieving friends, neighbours and work colleagues that each of us has decided to bring before the Lord in prayer each day. Who is on yours?
  4. Take a moment to read through the following list of statements. Spend time worshipping God that this is true of you through your faith in Jesus. Then spend time asking him to make this true of those on your ‘Lost List’.

In Christ I am accepted.
I am God’s child (see John 1:12)
I am Christ’s friend (see John 15:15)
I have been justified (see Romans 5:1)
I am united with the Lord, and I am one spirit with Him (see 1 Corinthians 6:17)
I have been bought with a price: I belong to God. (see 1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
I am a member of Christ’s Body (see 1 Corinthians 12:27)
I am a saint, a holy one (see Ephesians 1:1)
I have been adopted as God's child (see Ephesians 1:5)
I have direct access to God through the Holy Spirit (see Ephesians 2:18)
I have been forgiven of all my sins (see Colossians 1:14)
I am complete in Christ (see Colossians 2:10)
Father God, I thank you so much that these statements are all true of me. The good news of your Gospel is truly good news to me. Please help me to steward this Gospel well when it comes to sharing it with others. I lift up my ‘Lost List’ to you and I ask you to make these statements true of each of the friends that I have listed. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Today’s Everyday Devotions were written by Phil Moore, who leads our team of whole-church elders.

If you have time, consider carrying on your conversation with God using one of our helpful Prayer Pathways.

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