December 22, 2009

Great Expectations

Luke 19:11-27

“‘Put this money to work,’ he said, ‘until I come back.’”
Luke 19:13


In the days before World War II, German theologian Helmut Thielicke wanted the kingdom of Adolf Hitler to fall quickly. He trusted Jesus would bring in a new era of freedom if the German people read the Word and prayed earnestly for him to come. He publicized a Bible study and waited for crowds to fill up the church. God gave him two old women and a much older organist. Thielicke did not think he could take on the German military machine with a nursing home army. Thielicke did not want the crew Jesus provided.

Jesus tells a parable about using the resources God has given us. A king goes away for a time, and he gives his servants money to use wisely while he is gone. Those servants include you and me as we wait for Christ’s return. What is he expecting from us while he is away?

First, that we not sit on our gifts but use them to expand the kingdom. We’ve been given treasures of blessings, not to hoard for ourselves but to bless others.

Second, that we prepare a report on our use of the king’s gifts. There are no exceptions, only expectations.

Third, that we not be lazy out of fear. One servant was judged “wicked” for playing life too safe.

King Jesus expects us to bless and extend the kingdom he is building through us. He expects us to put our gifts to work until he comes back. Let’s get to work!

Dear Lord, help me to think creatively in using my gifts to please you. Help us all to get to work. By your Spirit, may we be faithful servants. In your name we pray. Amen.

About the author — Reginald Smith

Dr. Reginald Smith is senior pastor at Roosevelt Park Community Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he has served for seventeen years. He has also served as a pastor in Paterson, New Jersey. He and his wife, Sharon, have three daughters, Janelle, Katrina, and Mariah.

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