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WEEK FIVE, DAY ONE, COMMON ENGLISH BIBLE

WEEK FIVE THEME: STEWARDSHIP

DAY ONE THEME: WHAT IS STEWARDSHIP

SCRIPTURE: LUKE 12:35-48 (CEB)

“Be dressed for service and keep your lamps lit.  Be like people waiting for their master to come home from a wedding celebration, who can immediately open the door for him when he arrives and knocks on the door. 

Happy are those servants whom the master finds waiting up when he arrives. I assure you that, when he arrives, he will dress himself to serve, seat them at the table as honored guests, and wait on them.  Happy are those whom he finds alert, even if he comes at midnight or just before dawn. 

But know this, if the homeowner had known what time the thief was coming, he wouldn’t have allowed his home to be broken into.  You also must be ready, because the Human One is coming at a time when you don’t expect him.  Peter said, ‘Lord, are you telling this parable for us or for everyone?’ 

The Lord replied, ‘Who are the faithful and wise managers whom the master will put in charge of his household servants, to give them their food at the proper time?  Happy are the servants whom the master finds fulfilling their responsibilities when he comes.  I assure you that the master will put them in charge of all his possessions. 

But suppose that these servants should say to themselves, My master is taking his time about coming.  And suppose they began to beat the servants, both men and women, and to eat, drink and get drunk.  The master of those servants would come on a day when they weren’t expecting him, at a time they couldn’t predict.  The master will cut them into pieces and assign them a place with the unfaithful. 

That servant who knew his master’s will but didn’t prepare for it or act on it will be beaten severely.  The one who didn’t know the master’s will but who did things deserving punishment will be beaten only a little.  Much will be demanded from everyone who has been given much, and from the one who has been entrusted with much, even more will be asked.

THE WORD OF GOD FOR THE PEOPLE OF GOD – THANKS BE TO GOD!

SOAKING IT IN: When you know better you must do better!  Ignorance is a good excuse only one time and once the ignorance is enlightened, ignorance no longer remains. 

A good servant knows his or her master, accepts their place and determines to be a good servant, and prepares accordingly.  They will know and understand how the Master functions and how the Master likes things to be done.  They will think ahead and prepare for the Master to have a smooth day and ready themselves to be instantly available should an emergency arrive to be the best asssistant the Master could hope for.  A good servant never takes advantage of their relationship with the Master, but keeps guard to protect the Master in all things. 

A poor servant would look for opportuniies for folly and laziness and render themselves poorly prepared should anything occur off schedule.  A good servant finds great fulfillment in being ready for anything and resourced to make a way for whatever the Master may need. 

As servants of the Most High God, we are to be like the good servant.  Our service is “on-call” every hour of every day of every week of every month of every year.  Even when we are at rest, our hearts need to be prepared for any situtaion that may arise to be a good servant representing the Master in the best way possible.  Even when on personal vacation or in private conversations, the servant’s demeaner should reflect the priorities and love of the Master. 

Likewise, the Master of good servants looks for opportunites to show love and appreciation for the good servant and honors their loyalty and faithful service.  Our Father Creater God is the epitome of the Good Master.  Before anything else, He provided for our every need.  Through His Son, Jesus, we have the perfect example of how to live our lives.  We see how to behave in Christian fashion in the midst of political strife and personal insecurities.  In all things, Jesus looked to God who He knew as his Father – having a prayerful communication – for guidance and power.  Everything that Jesus did was to glorify the Father.  Jesus kept the main thing the main thing always.

That is our personal job description as well and serves the whole Christian community as we each keep the main thing the main thing – shunning “popular opinion” or even “personal opinion” for God’s truth.  God gives us the example of Jesus and His Word as our example and guide.  And then, God gives us the gift of the Holy Spirit with all of the fruits of the Spirit to enhance and support keeping the main thing the main thing. 

This same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead dewells in each of us to give us all that we need to be good servants in our walk as children of God.  As this focus penetrates our very being and leads our day in and day out obedience, we read and hear God’s Word differently, we live out God’s Word and Will in ever deepening and joyful ways, we become good servants who will one day reap a full reward of a life well lived and in the meantime see glimpses of God all around us. 

The biggest message here is to stay alert.  It easy to keep the main thing the main thing when we know folks are watching, but the truth of our servitude is found when we are by ourselves or feel that no one is watching.  We serve a God who never sleeps or turns His back for one moment from His beloved creation.  As his children and his servants, we must never let down our guard or miss an opportunity to serve him faithfully and full of grace. 

Lead on on King Eternal.  Make me a vessel of You to all I meet in my daily living.

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