Is my life “my” life? Or is it God’s? Is it “my” life, my stuff, time, talents, money, etc? Or does it all belong to God? That’s pretty much the heart of this teaching, where Jesus said that we are to use what God has given us to serve Him and do His will (not our will).
Faithful or Unfaithful?
In Matthew 24:45-51, Jesus said a faithful servant is one who watches for the master’s return and is found following his master’s instructions. The unfaithful servant is one who is found not following his master’s instructions. Jesus does not mince words when He describes what will happen to the unfaithful servant: The master will “cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites” (Matthew 24:51) and the servant “will be beaten with many blows” (Luke 12:47).
The word “hypocrite” is specifically addressing those who call themselves Christians. Hypocrisy is something that really got Jesus riled up. Read Matthew 23:13-33 where six times He called the Teachers and Pharisees “hypocrites”! This tirade of Jesus’ should give pause to anyone who calls themselves a Christian but is not faithfully following the Master Jesus’ instructions in his absence.
If not certain what Jesus’ instructions are, study what Jesus said by reading His “Instruction Manual” (i.e., The Bible) and, in faith, following the leading of the Spirit of God.
The More You Have, The More is Expected
In Luke 12:48, Jesus said, ”From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked”. Some are called to serve God on a global scale by being a television evangelist or a missionary worker overseas. All are called to serve God in the corner of the world assigned to them, for we are not where we are at by accident (Acts 17:26). No matter how much or how little has been entrusted to us, we are to use it to serve God faithfully and fully, but the stakes are higher for those who have been given more.
Jesus said ,”Consider carefully what you hear” (Mark 4:24) and ”Therefore, consider carefully how you listen” (Luke 8:18). This is a “heads up” by Jesus, similar to when he prefaces a statement with the words, “I tell you the truth” (see “Born Again of Water and Spirit//Part I for a list of the 75 times Jesus said this!). In Luke 8:18, after telling us to listen carefully, Jesus said “Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has will be taken from him”. The reward for faithful service is “more” of the same; the consequence of unfaithful service is losing what you “think” you have.
Both of these scriptures are part of the parable “A Lamp on a Stand”, which is immediately after “The Parable of the Sower”. Jesus does not want us to kid ourselves and think we are doing His will if we are not really doing it. He has left specific instructions for His servants. Read those two parables and see the heart of Jesus as He calls you to be a lamp, a sower of seeds. . . someone who seeks and saves the lost.
Does God Own YOU?
True or false:
God is all?
God created all, in love?
God maintains all, by His power and love?
God has given us all we have, all we are?
If we really believe what we profess to believe, God’s ownership includes everything: our time, talents, words, minds, bodies, material possessions, money, influence…..EVERYTHING! Being a good steward with what He has entrusted to us includes wisely using His gifts, all of them, in His service.
This is the essence of scripture that says Jesus died for all so that we will no longer live for ourselves but instead live for God (see Corinthians 5:15). This is the life of a sold out disciple who lives, not for their own wants, pleasure, comfort, and convenience but for WHAT GOD WANTS. This is the life of a disciple with the purpose and goal of living as God’s Spirit leads them to live; to seek to know God’s will for their life, as revealed in the Scriptures, shown in Jesus’ example, and as the Holy Spirit speaks to them in prayer. And what does God want above all??!? To save the lost!!!
Call to Action
Back to the original questions:
Is my life “my” life? Or is it God’s?
Is it “my” life, my stuff, time, talents, money, etc? Or does it all belong to God?
Take time to prayerfully consider these questions. Be honest with yourself; be honest with God. He knows the truth anyway, so there is no point in pretending otherwise. Admitting where we are at, today, is half the battle. Repenting and confessing is the next step (see 1 John 1:9). Then, as you pray to God in faith, ask Him to change you, and yield to each and every prompting of His Holy Spirit. Do not grieve the Spirit, but listen to Him. Live consciously and purposefully, following the Spirit’s promptings to adopt a “servant lifestyle”. God has a beautiful life planned for each and every one of us. Trust the One who loves you so much. Trust Him enough to trade in “your will” for “His will”, to yield to His calling in your life, and serve Him with all your heart!