His lord said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.” Matthew 25:21
Prior to the modern age of education and opportunity, it was understood that starting at the bottom, and working your way up, was the norm. It was called apprenticeship, the period in which a young person would demonstrate talent, skill, and potential for the future. Today, few people want to start at the bottom. They sometimes leave college or graduate school and expect to be given the corner office.
Joseph eventually made it to the top in Egypt—he was “set … over all the land of Egypt” (Genesis 41:42). In modern terms, Pharaoh was the president and Joseph was the vice-president. Not bad for someone who entered Egypt as a teenaged slave. Joseph was promoted because of his faithfulness at two lesser jobs: steward of Potiphar’s house and “warden” of the prison (in which he was incarcerated). Because Joseph was faithful in small things, he was made “ruler over many things” (Matthew 25:21).
Let God be responsible for your promotion while you are responsible for your faithfulness. Faithfulness in little things leads to responsibility for many things.
When faithfulness is most difficult, it is most necessary. Unknown
Faithfulness, Matthew 25:14-30 – Pastor Chuck Smith – Topical Bible Study
God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. Genesis 1:3
The restaurant was lovely but dark. Only one small candle flickered on every table. To create light, diners used their smartphones to read their menus, look to their tablemates, and even to see what they were eating.
Finally, a patron quietly pushed back his chair, walked over to a waiter, and asked a simple question. “Could you turn on the lights?” Before long, a warm ceiling light flashed on and the room erupted with applause. But also with laughter. And happy chatter. And thank-yous. My friend’s husband turned off his phone, picked up his utensils, and spoke for us all. “Let there be light! Now, let’s eat!”
Our gloomy evening turned festive with the flick of a switch. But how much more important to know the real source of true light. God Himself spoke those astonishing words, “Let there be light,” on the first day when He created the universe, “and there was light” (Genesis 1:3). Then “God saw that the light was good” (v. 4).
Light expresses God’s great love for us. His light points us to Jesus, “the light of the world” (John 8:12), who guides us from the gloom of sin. Walking in His light, we find the bright path to a life that glorifies the Son. He is the world’s brightest gift. As He shines, may we walk His way.
Reflect & Pray
In what situation do you need Christ’s light to shine? When has His light guided you?
Loving God, we thank You for Jesus, the Light of the World, and the guiding light of His great love.
While we live on earth, Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior. However, as our days here draw to a close, and especially at the end of time, He takes His seat as Judge and prepares to reward believers for the good things they did in His name.
I think there is a widespread misconception that God the Father will be our judge. But John 5:22 says, “For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son.” Jesus has been given the right to judge our thoughts and actions.
Christ is an impartial judge. He is not influenced by what others think or say; rather, He determines what is right and good based on His honorable, just standard, which He gives us in His Word. We’ll be stripped of our worthless works—the actions and words we used for selfish ambition or vain conceit. All that will remain are the worthwhile things we thought, said, and did to honor God. These are the valuable parts of our life, for which we will be rewarded.
Reward is the whole point of placing believers before the judgment seat of Jesus Christ. Shame and guilt over past sin and mistaken motivation have no place there (Rom. 8:1). Our loving Savior is eager to show us our heavenly treasure.
Christ will expose the real you at the judgment seat by casting away the worthless things you’ve done. What remains will be a man or woman who endeavored to please the Lord. Let us determine to be powerful reflections of our Savior.
“But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.” (2 Peter 3:18)
These last words of the apostle Peter urge us to grow in each of two important phases of the Christian life—grace and knowledge. Such growth into Him in all things (Ephesians 4:15) will indeed give glory to Him, now and forever.
When we first become Christians, we are newborn babes (Greek brephos, 1 Peter 2:2). Our spiritual birth has been by the Word of God (1 Peter 1:23) on the basis of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (1 Peter 1:3).
As the Christian life began with the Word, it can only grow on the Word. “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby” (1 Peter 2:2). Here, “of the word” is the Greek logikos, elsewhere used only in Romans 12:1, where it is translated “reasonable.” It is the source of our English word “logical.” New Christians must feed on unadulterated, logical truth if they are to grow, and this can be found only in the Holy Scriptures.
There is another word used for babes: Greek nepios, “without speech.” This word is used for toddlers, old enough to walk but not yet able to speak plainly or to act unselfishly. It is used for “carnal” Christians. “I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat” (1 Corinthians 3:1-2).
Carnality in Christians is arrested growth at the “babes in Christ” stage and is clearly abnormal. Such stumbling, quarrelsome babes need to be fed with meat, as well as milk, if they are to grow: “For every one that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe” (Hebrews 5:13). May the Lord enable us to grow in His grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! HMM
And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.
We live at a fever pitch, and whether we are erecting buildings, laying highways, promoting athletic events, celebrating special days or welcoming returning heroes, we always do it with an exaggerated flourish. Our building will be taller, our highway broader, our athletic contest more colorful, our celebration more elaborate and more expensive than would be true anywhere else on earth. We walk faster, drive faster, earn more, spend more and run higher blood pressure than any other people in the world.
In only one field of human interest are we slow and apathetic: that is the field of personal religion. There for some strange reason our enthusiasm lags. Church people habitually approach the matter of their personal relation to God in a dull, half-hearted way which is altogether out of keeping with their general temperament and wholly inconsistent with the importance of the subject. OGM003-004
Lord, revive my zeal for things of God. I get caught up in the fever pitch of so many things. Help me to set my priorities right and give myself more completely to enhancing my relationship with You. Amen.
Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.—Philippians 2:2, 5.
Jesus, Thy all-victorious love
Shed in my heart abroad,
Then shall my feet no longer rove,
Rooted and fixed in God.
My steadfast soul, from falling free,
Shall then no longer move,
While Christ is all the world to me,
And all my heart is love.
Let our temper be under the rule of the love of Jesus: He cannot alone curb it,—He can make, us gentle and patient. Let the vow, that not an unkind word of others shall ever be heard from our lips, be laid trustingly at His feet. Let the gentleness that refuses to take offence, that is always ready to excuse, to think and hope the best mark our intercourse with all. Let our life be one of self-sacrifice, always studying the welfare others, finding our highest joy in blessing others. And let us, in studying the Divine art of doing good, yield ourselves as obedient learners to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. By His grace, the most common-place life can be transfigured with the brightness of a heavenly beauty, as the infinite love of the Divine nature shines out through our frail humanity.
“But I will have mercy upon the house of Judah, and will save them by the Lord their God, and will not save them by bow, nor by sword, nor by battle, by horses, nor by horsemen.” Hosea 1:7
Precious word! Jehovah Himself will deliver His people in the greatness of His mercy, but He will not do it by the ordinary means. Men are slow to render to God the glory due unto His name. If they go to battle with sword and bow, and win the victory, they ought to praise their God; yet they do not, but begin to magnify their own right arm, and glory in their horses and horsemen. For this reason our Jehovah often determines to save His people without second means, that all the honor may be to Himself alone.
Look, then, my heart, to the Lord alone, and not to man. Expect to see God all the more clearly when there is no one else to look to. If I have no friend, no adviser, no one at my back, let me be none the less confident if I can feel that the Lord Himself is on my side; yea, let me be glad if He gives victory without battle, as the text seems to imply. Why do I ask for horses and horsemen if Jehovah Himself has mercy upon me, and lifts up His arm for my defense? Why need I bow or sword if God will save? Let me trust, and not be afraid, from this day forth and for evermore. Amen.