Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Matthew 25:31-46


31 ``But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. 32 ``All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; 33 and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left. 34 ``Then the King will say to those on His right, `Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 `For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36 naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.' 37 ``Then the righteous will answer Him, `Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 38 `And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39 `When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' 40 ``The King will answer and say to them, `Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.' 

41 ``Then He will also say to those on His left, `Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; 42 for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; 43 I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.' 44 ``Then they themselves also will answer, `Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?' 45 ``Then He will answer them, `Truly I say to you, to the extent, that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.' 46 ``These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.''

NOTE two things here: FIRST--Those in need are at the heart of God-hungry, thirsty, a stranger, naked, sick and imprisoned. Human nature is to take care of those who can do something for us. Therefore, we look to treat those who are important from an earthly perspective-the athlete, the musician, the highly positioned person in society. BUT Jesus points us in another direction entirely!

SECOND--Ministering to the needy is in fact ministering to Jesus, Himself. So, if you want to find and interact with Jesus, He is right there in the midst of those in need.

So what does this mean to you? Where is Jesus in your world?

Matthew 25:14-30


14 ``For it is just like a man about to go on a journey, who called his own slaves and entrusted his possessions to them. 15 ``To one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, each according to his own ability; and he went on his journey. 16 ``Immediately the one who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and gained five more talents. 17 ``In the same manner the one who had received the two talents gained two more. 18 ``But he who received the one talent went away, and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money. 

19 ``Now after a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. 20 ``The one who had received the five talents came up and brought five more talents, saying, `Master, you entrusted five talents to me. See, I have gained five more talents.' 21 ``His master said to him, `Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.' 

22 ``Also the one who had received the two talents came up and said, `Master, you entrusted two talents to me. See, I have gained two more talents.' 23 ``His master said to him, `Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.' 

24 ``And the one also who had received the one talent came up and said, `Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow and gathering where you scattered no seed. 25 `And I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours.' 

26 ``But his master answered and said to him, `You wicked, lazy slave, you knew that I reap where I did not sow and gather where I scattered no seed. 27 `Then you ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest. 28 `Therefore take away the talent from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents.' 

29 ``For to everyone who has, more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. 30 ``Throw out the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

This teaching, as all of Jesus' messages, has an immediate application as well as a universal one for us today! The immediate is another warning to the Scribes and Pharisees and anyone who follows them. For us there are, at least, four principles.

FIRST-God gives men different gifts. It's not what is given a person, but how he or she handles it that matters. Although talents aren't equal, effort is.

SECOND-God's reward of "well done" leads to more work to do. Each of the two who received their rewards for their great effort are given the opportunity to carry an even greater responsibility in the Kingdom work.

THIRD-God's punishment is only given to the one who was not willing to try. He didn't lose it, but he was unwilling to invest it that it might become more productive. In other words, this man missed the point of what he was given. All that is given to us by God is given for us to manage, not to own for ourselves. It is given to use for the Kingdom. And, if we are seeking His righteousness and His Kingdom, God will take care of our security needs.

FOURTH-The only way to keep God's gift is to use it and then more will be given in the process. If you don't use it, you will surely lose it!

Matthew 25:1-13


1 ``Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 ``Five of them were foolish, and five were prudent. 3 ``For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, 4 but the prudent took oil in flasks along with their lamps. 5 ``Now while the bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and began to sleep. 6 ``But at midnight, there was a shout, `Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.' 7 ``Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. 8 ``The foolish said to the prudent, `Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.' 9 ``But the prudent answered, `No, there will not be enough for us and you too; go instead to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.' 10 ``And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut. 11 ``Later the other virgins also came, saying, `Lord, lord, open up for us.' 12 ``But he answered, `Truly I say to you, I do not know you.' 13 ``Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour.

Jesus continues His warning of being ready. BE READY and BE PREPARED for the most important event yet to come in your life. The Bride-groom is coming! God's Messiah (the Bride-groom) is coming for His Bride.

In its immediate significance it was directed against the Jews. they were the chosen people; their whole history should have been a preparation for the coming of the Son of God; they ought to have been prepared for him when he came. Instead they were quite unprepared and therefore were shut out.

The only way I know to BE READY is to have a fresh, daily, relationship with Jesus, strengthened by my relationships with other followers of Jesus.