The Judgment Seat of Christ - Part 2 (9 of 12)

Mike Connell

A man goes to a far country, calls the servants to deliver his goods, and to someone he gives five talents, to another two, to another one, each according to his own ability, then goes on the journey. After he's been on the journey a long time he comes back. He calls them all to give account, and the one who had gained five brings his talents and trades with him, made another five. The one who had two, traded and made two. The one who had one, buried it in the ground. Then he came back and reckoned with them, and the one who had five said: I've got five more; and he says: “well done, good and faithful servant, you were faithful over few things, I will make you ruler over many things, enter into the joy of the Lord”.

The one who had two talents says: you gave me two, I've got two more. I've done 100%, like the other guy did, and he gets exactly the same commendation: “well done, good and faithful servant, you've been faithful over few things, I'll make you ruler over many things, enter into the joy of your Lord”. Then of course, there's the one-talent man.

The man travelling to the far country represents Jesus, and He entrusts His servants according to their ability - they're each given some talent, and a talent was a very big sum of money. In other words, we all have a precious entrustment given to us, which we must do something with “according to his own ability”.

The master recognised that different servants have different capacities, different levels, different limitations, and so he assigns responsibilities accordingly. God gives everyone talents, giftings, abilities… but this is the opportunities that He has given to us. So regardless of our personal capacity, our ministry role, our task, our assignment, everyone is expected to be faithful with what has been entrusted and be productive.

The opportunities God gives you, are not only for your development, but also to show your heart loyalty and faithfulness to Him - that you care about Him, and what He's interested in. That's really the problem with that servant with one talent. He was only concerned about himself. Fear does that. It makes you focus on yourself, and your primary framework for operating is: what's in this for me?

But the others… they had a heart that was faithful, a heart that loved the Lord, was faithful to Him and they knew that He would want to see a fruit for what was given to them - and that's true for every believer. Jesus has paid a price to save us - given up His life, paid such an immense price for us to be saved, and so, as a consequence of that, we should in response of love then have His interests in our heart.

What is He interested in? He is always interested in people! He's always interested in people being loved, and blessed, and benefited. So regardless of personal capacity, we're all expected to be productive. It's got nothing to do with your capacity, your background, your learning or anything like that. Every believer, no matter what your capacity or entrustment, can earn the same commendation from the Lord.

So, the master comes, and He settles accounts - that's referring to the Bema Seat of Christ. He will call each of us before Him, to give account of how we have served Him, during that period when He was absent. Notice the commendation: Well done, good and faithful servant! That was the commendation given to the five-talent man who got five, and the two-talent one who got two. Both did the best they could. They were hundredfold believers. In other words, if you go back to the Parables of the Sower and Seed, you realise that the hundredfold came where the guy had the good and pure heart.

The master was full of praise: “well done”. I have received great pleasure in what you have done. Jesus expresses His pleasure for what the servant has done. Secondly, He honours the kind of character he has. He affirms this, He affirms that he's good. That means to be excellent. You have distinguished yourself. You are a man or woman of honour. He says: you are an honourable, distinguished person. You are faithful. He highlights their diligence, their follow-through, in doing the tasks assigned to them, in spite of the pressure, obstacles, mundaneness, and the temptations around it.

That's a very big lesson for every believer! Whatever task, whatever assignment you're given, no matter how small, don't look at it as a small thing. Look at it as an entrustment, and God is watching, not just that you did it, but how you went about doing it. When we have a spirit of worship, when our heart is surrendered to the Lord, then every task that we do, we bring His presence and blessing and favour into that task. It could be the simplest thing like making a cup of tea. Your cup of tea can bring blessing to people, because of the joy you've done it with, the spirit of excellence you've done it with, the way you've made people welcome. When you see someone, who's got that love for what they do in their heart - they love people through the tasks that they're doing. You can tell the difference!