Are We Keeping the Gospel To Ourselves?: Tell the Story, Invest In the Story

Posted: April 24, 2015 in Gospel of Luke

Luke 19:11-27 — As an accountant by trade, I am intrigued by this parable. In my job as comptroller for the company that I work for, it is my job to ensure that the company’s financial performance each month is fairly and reasonably presented. It is my job also to be the cynic who ensures that all of our company’s resources are used in an efficient and effective manner. It is my responsibility to ensure that the resources provided to us by our shareholders are used wisely and used in a manner that is in their best interest. It is, after all, not my investment but theirs that I am to monitor and try to grow in the most profitable and ethical manner that I can. It is this concept of fiduciary responsibility that Jesus speaks of in this parable as it relates to the kingdom of God. It is Jesus that invested in us at the cross. We are to take what He did at the cross and spread that good news in the best ways that we can with the talents and resources that He gave us. We are to speak the gospel and We are to make it possible for the gospel to be spread far and wide. Otherwise, what will the King say when He returns?

This story shows us what we are to do between Jesus’ ascension into heaven after His resurrection and His return in glory at His second advent. We have been given the good news. Are we to keep it ourselves and not share it? In this parable, the king punished the servant upon his return because he did not share his master’s interest in the expansion of his kingdom. His only concern was for himself. He did nothing productive. What if the first century Christians did see the need to spread the good news? You and I would be sitting here worshiping a tree, or some god of the ocean, or animals, or the sun or the moon. If we have accepted Christ as our Savior, we have a responsibility to Him to spread the news of the gospel. There is a world out there that does not know Him. We must speak. We must reach outside the four walls of our church. We must not sit back and bemoan the state of our world where eternally abnormal is considered increasingly normal. We must get out there and invest in the kingdom. We must dine with sinners and not just saints. We must reach down and give a hand to the adulteress and tell her of the kingdom instead of trying to stone her. We must love the unlovable instead of staying away from them. We must act on what we write about in our blogs. Love must invade. Love cannot just be theory to which we give our intellectual acquiescence but yet do nothing. We must not sit in our ivory towers and complain that the world is going in the opposite direction of Scripture but yet do nothing to change it. We must be in the world. We do not have to practice those things that are evil in God’s eyes but how else are we going to change the world if we are not out there sharing the gospel. We must share the gospel and not just say our life is our testimony. We must speak. We must invest. Otherwise, we are just bad servants of the message that has been invested in us.

Instead of protesting from a safe distance over gay and lesbian lifestyles, let’s get to know them, love them, and speak compassionately of the love that Jesus has for them. Instead of shunning those who live immoral lifestyles, let us get to know them and teach them of Scripture and of our Savior. Instead of distancing ourselves from those that do not believe in God, let us get to know them and lovingly show them that there is a God and that He loves them so much that He sent His Son to die for them. Instead of sitting in our insulated Christian circles, and worrying about what people might think. Let us get dirty with the sinners so that we have the opportunity to tell them of the Good News that they need to hear. If we keep the story to ourselves, we fall short of what Jesus commanded us to do. Jesus didn’t ask us to go into all the world and make disciples. He told us to. He commanded it. There are souls in the balance. Jesus has chosen to spread the news of the kingdom through us, His disciples. We are to make disciples. We are not to keep this story of redemption through Christ to ourselves as a closely guarded elitist secret. We are to share it with everyone. That’s investing in the kingdom. Otherwise we are just bad servants of the story that has been invested in us. What will our master say when He returns?

Another thing that is worth noting here is not only sharing the story but there is the level of this story that has to do with the money itself. We notice here that the money did not come from the servants themselves. It came from the king. This is a reminder to us that our talents and our resources are given to us by our King. God gives you and me the talents that we have. Why then do we not give graciously to the body of Christ. Why then do we covet our money? Why do we want to keep it for ourselves? If we are believers and we say that we take the Bible seriously and the Bible tells us to give at least a tenth of our income to the Lord, why then do churches struggle? Why then do we Christians on average give only 2% of our income to the church? We are given the gift of talent by God to earn the living that we make but yet we hoard our money and say that since we are under grace we do not have to observe the OT tithing rules. Easy cop out for being selfish with our money. The Sermon on the Mount tells us that (1) the law is not abolished only the penalty of it has been done away with through Jesus and that (2) the law is the minimum of behavior. Jesus tells us that we should strive do more than the minimum of the law. So, we should at leas be tithing if not more. What if we all tithed. Imagine how the world would be changed by a LifeSong Church full of at least tithers if not more. Imagine the lives we could touch with the gospel. Imagine the missionaries that we could send out. Imagine the way that we could invade our community with love. Imagine how we could spread the gospel in ways that we wish for now but cannot afford. Let us begin to arrange our lives so that we can live off 90% or less of our income. Let us be faithful to the Word. Let us trust God to provide for our needs and freely give of our money to our church so that it can be invested in the ever increasing returns of the kingdom instead of selfishly living off 104% of what we make as most Americans do. None of the stuff that we acquire matters in the end. Invest in the kingdom of God. Otherwise, we are just bad servants of the talents that He, I repeat He, gave us. What will the master say when He returns?

Father, help us to not selfishly hoard the message of Jesus Christ and barricade ourselves in our Christian circles behind the fences of our church properties and bemoan a world gone mad. Help us to invest spiritually in the world around us. Help us to get out there with the message of Jesus Christ. Help us to change the world with our spoken testimonies of the changes that Jesus wrought in us. Help us to convince the world that Scripture is the eternal Word of the One who created them and teach them of His love expressed through His Son. Help us to also put our money where our belief is. Help us to arrange our lives such that it is not a question whether we can give to the Lord, it is just our nature. Help us to honor you with the first fruits of our labors. Help us to put expansion of Your Kingdom above the expansion of our own little kingdoms of acquired things that don’t matter when our lives are said and done. Amen.

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