Friday, December 20, 2019

The Master Craftsman

What has the Spirit of the Lord been impressing on this brother lately?  This:

The Parable of the "Talents"

14“For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servantsc and entrusted to them his property. 15To one he gave five talents,d to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. 17So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here, I have made five talents more.’ 21His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.e You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 22And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here, I have made two talents more.’ 23His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 24He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’ 26But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? 27Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

The talent was a unit of money way back when but I dont think we have to dig too far to understand our Lord was talking about more than just money here.  He was talking about something He gave us, deposited in us that He expects a profit from.  How interesting that in the English language talents are exactly our gifts and abilities that many times do translate directly into cash because its what we are good at but thats not the real message either.  The real message is He gave us gifts and abilities to be used in His service.

He is the master craftsman and we are the tools in His tool box.  One of us is a hammer, another a saw, another a screwdriver.  What would happen if you were a craftsman and one day you had a job you wanted to do so you went out to your garage to grab a hammer and that hammer was no longer useful to hammer anymore?  It would be useless to you, time to throw it away right?  Now we are getting somewhere....

When we read the parable of the talents we can see the punishment for the useless servant who did not develop the talent given to him.  Fairly harsh punishment wouldnt you agree?

But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

In the case of the brother who writes to you today, some unique talents have been given that have no apparent, current use so it has been a struggle to find the motivation to develop them because the question "why" keeps coming up where there is no current use in sight.  Thankfully in His love, patience and mercy the Lord has not left His servants without answers.  Here is some of the answer that has been given to the question "why develop talent(s) that have no apparent current use?"

1.  Back to the hammer.  If the hammer had a brain and was sitting in the tool box watching the saw, the screwdriver and the tape measure being used but itself not being (currently) used it might wonder to itself why remain a hammer?  But we know why the hammer should remain a perfectly useful and functional hammer right?  When the craftsman decides He needs a hammer that hammer better be ready to act out its hammer skills

2.  The parable of the talents-we were given gifts for a reason.  The reason was Divine, we do not have to understand "why" we just have to recognize the "talent" and develop it in faith that He who deposited that talent knows how and when to use it when He decides to in the future.  Maybe its not today, so what.  The hammer was given its ability to hammer so on the occasion (maybe only once!) that it was needed it could be employed.

3.  Living in and with the talents we were given is our "happy place."  It is our zone, our calibrated setting, our edge, our purpose.  A horse rejoices in running because they are really good at running.  So we too rejoice in acting out our divine purpose in and through the talents we have been given.  Working with and developing the talent is its own reward.

4.  We do not have to know or understand how we are going to be used.  Stop trying to figure it out, just be ready when the call comes.  We are the tools who must be fit for use when our God comes calling on our talents.  He could do everything Himself if He wanted to but He decided not to do that.  He takes pleasure in working through His servants (that's us) so we need to be ready when He decides to act.

I think by this point you get the picture.  The Lord has been leaning on this message for some time now.  His work is obviously not finished on this earth.  If His work is not finished our work is not finished.  Sit down and take a hard look at yourself, what are you good at?  What weird or seemingly irrelevant talents do you have?  What has the Lord God deposited within you that He might call on some day in His service?  Develop those things, do not neglect them.  You do not have to understand how, why or when you will be used that's not your job.  Your job is to be ready and able to employ your gifting, talent when the Lord comes calling on them.

What a wonderful God we serve.  Oh yes, and this emphasis on "talents" is another loving way the Lord is preparing us for His unexpected arrival.  How?  When we are all judged, whenever we leave this earth the entire counsel of God-the Word, the Bible is what we will be judged by.  If we have read the parable of the talents we understand it and are responsible for it.  Our loving God does not want us to be ashamed on the day we stand before Him so He is mercifully preparing us now to do those things that maybe we have not done that would cause us to fall short in some way of His best for us.

The Lord Jesus Christ is coming back for us on an unexpected day and hour, of that we can be sure.  Those who say it cannot happen have a serious problem.  We do not want to be one of those people who was caught not watching and ready when our Lord shows up.  This talent thing is part of our readiness to meet our maker.  Glory to God.

grace and peace

Friday, December 13, 2019

Patient Endurance

This mornings post is a reminder that the Lord God Jesus Christ our Savior is coming back at an unknown day and hour and we are to be watching and ready for Him:

10Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth. 

Luke 21:36But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

Mark 13:32“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33Be on guard! Be alert e ! You do not know when that time will come. 34It’s like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with their assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch.
35Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back—whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. 36If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. 37What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’ ”

He told us over and over again to watch for His unexpected coming.  So, while things go from bad to worse on this God rejecting world, we are not to fret like them.  We have a hope that they do not have.  We believe something they do not believe.  We are waiting patiently for the arrival of our Lord God and King.  While this is exciting stuff for us, it throws them into apoplectic rage.  They tell us "who are you to think you will escape anything?"  They taunt, rant and hurl insults with an otherworldly anger for our patient optimism.  Where is their anger coming from?  If we are out of our minds and the lunatic fringe why not just write us off instead of writing book long essays trying to dislodge us from our hope.

It all makes perfect sense.  We are in a war, a spiritual war.  The enemy and those who serve him work in direct opposition to the Spirit of the Lord, the Word of the Lord and those who put their hope in trust in the Spirit and the Word.  So while we rejoice in patient expectation, they howl with rage.  The Lord Jesus Christ is coming back for us on a day and hour we do not expect.  His Word makes that very clear and anyone, anywhere that has a problem with that has a problem with the Lord God who promised this would happen.  We do not have to get creative, we just have to put our eyes on the promises and believe the Lord God will do what He said He will do.  Its that simple.  Oh, it vexes them to no end to think a group of quietly confident believers will escape the hell on earth they created.  They want everyone to suffer with them in the mess they have made.

Lets be very clear about where we are and where this is going.  The true believer in Jesus Christ today did not ask for this wicked, anti-Christ, God hating world.  We, the body of Christ did not ask for or endorse the removing of God Almighty from our schools, our courthouses and every other square inch of public space.  No, quite the contrary we want the opposite.  What we want is the Lord our God involved in EVERYTHING.  That's pretty much the direct opposite of what this world wants and is working toward.  So, back to hell on earth-they created it.  They made this bed, they get to lie down in it.

If the problems in this world stem directly from removing the God of Peace from it, and we never asked for that or wanted it, is it true justice that the believer should wade neck deep into it with the people of this world.  That is not what I read in the Word of the Almighty:

Isaiah 3:8For Jerusalem has stumbled,
and Judah has fallen,
because their speech and their deeds are against the Lord,
defying his glorious presence.d
9For the look on their faces bears witness against them;
they proclaim their sin like Sodom;
they do not hide it.
Woe to them!
For they have brought evil on themselves.
10Tell the righteous that it shall be well with them,
for they shall eat the fruit of their deeds.
11Woe to the wicked! It shall be ill with him,
for what his hands have dealt out shall be done to him.

There it is ^^, very simple.  We reap what we sow do we not?  Indeed we do.  A God hating world has sown wickedness, lies, deceit, cowardice, faithlessness, pride, arrogance, Godlessness and they wonder why things appear to be falling apart.  They are perplexed that the closer they get to their earthly "nirvana" (a world without the Creator in it), the worse things actually get for them.  Make no mistake, the Lord God has no plans of allowing these people a moments respite as they create their new world satanic order.  He has made Himself very clear:

Is 48:22 “There is no peace,” says the LORD, “for the wicked.”

In case we had any doubts we could flip back to the last chapter of our Bibles for more clarity on what the days will be like during this "new world order" with their "dear leader"-the King of Babylon in charge.  All the green grass will be burnt up a third of the water will be poisoned, the sea will turn to blood with a third of the ships ruined, burning mountains will fall from the sky, day will be turned to night and all kinds of other "fun" stuff will be the daily routine for the inhabitants of this world during their beloved new world order.  Problem is, it does not sound like nirvana to me.  No, they rejected the God of peace so they will have war.  They rejected the God of love so they will have hatred and death.  And we, the believer did not ask for any of this.

This  ^^ is NOT what we wanted.  No, we pray our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.  May thy kingdom come and thy will be done here on earth just as it is in heaven."  That is what we are asking for.  That is what we want.  We want our God to come down from heaven and straighten out the absolute calamity being created on this earth by a God hating world.  Rejecting the Creator is the problem this world has, not economic or political or social troubles.  It is all, 100% spiritual and it has been from the very beginning.  Spiritual problems are not solved through political solutions.  Spiritual problems are solved with spiritual solutions.  Perhaps this is why Babylon (the west) hates Russia so much.  While Russian spetznaz troops march through Red Square with crosses and bibles, in the west we see LGBTQABCDEFG parades instead.  The results of each are predictable.

The Lord Jesus Christ is coming back for His people and we are to be watching and ready for Him each and every day.  Yes, it will be a "secret" coming.  When Jesus Himself doesn't know when that day is, yes you can call it a secret.  Those who mock this unexpected coming of the Lord mock only their own foolishness and ignorance.  The Lord God is not mocked, a man reaps what he sows.  Be watching, be ready.  You do not have to convince anyone else what you believe you only have to convince yourself.  Read the Word for yourself, how do you read it?  What does it say to you?  The answers to those questions will determine your destiny.

grace and peace