Today’s devotion builds on the thoughts from Sunday’s Sermon – Week 9 of “Fan or Follower – Be Faithful!” (LISTEN HERE).
“Just be faithful!”
“As long as you are faithful.”
These phrases I have heard often at pastor’s conferences when a brother shares ministry struggles and how things from an outward perspective are not going well. The common answer that I think was supposed to “soothe the soul” was, “As long as you are being faithful.” This phrase, honestly, was confusing and not comforting.
In ministry, we understand that “success” is not simply measured by meeting the budget, attendance, or annual growth. We understand that the return on the Gospel is governed by the Holy Spirit who blows when and where he wishes.
So “just be faithful” his hard to measure…for a pastor…perhaps for everyone.
Yet, we are encouraged, “Be faithful!” (Revelation 2:10)
So perhaps the devotions this week are more for me than for you, reader. But my desire is that together we can discover what faithfulness is and looks like in our lives, as that IS what the Lord desires, but ISN’T always what we exhibit.
Jesus tells us a parable about faithfulness in Matthew 25:14-30. Perhaps this morning I am going to invite you to read this parable through a few times and simply ask the question, “What does faithfulness and unfaithfulness look like?
14 “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. 15 To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16 The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. 17 So also, the one with the two talents gained two more. 18 But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.
19 “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20 The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.’
21 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
22 “The man with the two talents also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.’
23 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
24 “Then the man who had received the one talent came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’
26 “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.
28 “ ‘Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. 29 For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Apply: Would you be willing to share your thoughts on faithfulness and unfaithfulness? Email email@example.com.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for your perfect faithfulness to us. Lead us by your Spirit to both understand and live faithfully for you! AMEN.