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Wise and Faithful Servant

Mike Connell

But if you're a believer, then it's a different deal: now that we have a life with God, we are responsible to be productive. This is what will honour and glorify the Father, that we're fruitful, so this is why fruitful is a very important thing. So here's the interesting thing is that: one, everyone is evaluated; two, everyone experiences consequences. It's an enviable law of the kingdom you can choose to do whatever you wish; however you will have consequences. So everyone experiences consequences - and the third thing is that the consequences involve either reward and great gain in the future, or they result in loss of some kind.

Now Jesus speaks right through - His message from the beginning of the book to the end of the book is consistently about the kingdom of God. Now most people, most Christians and people particularly in the western world, when they think about this whole area of the kingdom, and think about Christianity, they think primarily in terms of getting into heaven. We're into heaven - we're not into heaven. The Jews would think of it completely different. They're not thinking about heaven at all, so when Jesus' talking about the kingdom, they're thinking about the kingdom on earth. They're thinking about the nation being changed. They're thinking about Jerusalem and Israel being the centre of the world, and a new global government in which Jesus is the king.

So who's right? Actually both are. Each was revealed a portion that's a bit different. If you look at Jesus' ministry and His teaching, He consistently emphasised one thing, and that is, the message of the kingdom; how to live in the kingdom, the values of the kingdom, how to relate to the king; and then He talks about through parables and various teaching about the life of the king; and much of it, He teaches about when that kingdom comes, and what it will look like. And that's something that's well worthwhile doing some looking into - so let's pick it up; and first of all, just summarise what we learnt in the last time.

The last time around we looked at the parable of the talents, and the parable of the pounds, and we found several things: number one, God invites us all to be great, so greatness is the call - oh, He calls us to be great, and we become great through serving. The second thing we saw was - in the message the last couple of weeks - is that everyone is given an assignment. You're given gifts, you're given grace, you're given opportunity, you're given a life, you're given freedom to choose. We have an assignment of God. Everyone has an assignment, something God wired just you to do, something He prepared beforehand just for you to do. So don't look at the person next to you and compare yourself. It's irrelevant, because what God has is for you and it suits you perfectly.

You're not required to copy someone else, or be someone else. You can't. You're required to be an original, and discover what God wired you to do, and then get busy doing it, and find a great and fulfilling life, fulfilling the course of God. The third thing we saw was this: that all of the servants of God will be evaluated for their service. That's not about whether you get into heaven or hell, or anything like that - got nothing to do with that. It's got to do with about do you qualify for promotion? It's as simple as that - or will you stay at a low level, and will you just be content with far less than what Jesus had for you? I remember it was an interesting thing, that when we were working with Uganda, we had about $60,000 in the bank at one point; and I was just longing to put it in John's hands, but he wasn't ready for it; and it was the first time I felt this thing in my heart, what it's like for God, who's got so much to give to us, but you can't put it in the person's hands, unless they're actually able to handle it. They just will fail. It will ruin them, so your generosity can ruin someone, if they haven't grown in the capacity to manage what they have, and as Brian was saying: faithful in small, and faithful in great.