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Sunday, June 23, 2024

Higher Than Our Bitter Ideas: The God of Stunning Goodness


What’s the distinction between these welcomed into heaven and people thrown into hell? Can we think about a extra related or pressing query? Whereas depicting the ultimate judgment in parable kind, Jesus provides us a shocking reply: their ideas.

“What comes into our minds after we take into consideration God is a very powerful factor about us,” wrote A.W. Tozer (Information of the Holy, 1). Jesus exhibits this true for the evil servant within the parable of the abilities (Matthew 25:14–30). Within the parable, Jesus provides us a glimpse into one distinction between these welcomed into heaven and people thrown into judgment: their beliefs about God’s goodness. We get beneath actions into the psychology of the misplaced man, a window exhibiting what squirmed beneath his disobedient life.

As we contemplate him, be asking your self questions corresponding to: What involves thoughts after I take into consideration God? Who do I assume he’s? What does he love? What does he hate? What variety of Particular person governs the world? Is he good? Is he completely satisfied, blessed, disposed to present freely, or not? Beliefs about his goodness can result in a helpful life with heaven to comply with or a nugatory life with hell shut behind.

At Journey’s Finish

The grasp lastly returns from his lengthy journey to satisfy along with his three servants “and [settle] accounts with them” (Matthew 25:19). Earlier than he left, he had entrusted them along with his property, every in line with his means. He gave the ablest man 5 abilities; the following, two abilities; and to the final, he gave one. Jesus focuses the parable on their report of their stewardship in his absence. Had they been watchful for his return and about their grasp’s enterprise (verse 13)?

“Beliefs about God’s goodness can result in a helpful life with heaven to comply with or a nugatory life with hell shut behind.”

The primary two report, rejoicing with their lord that, by their buying and selling, that they had every doubled what their grasp left them. Eyes then flip to the third servant. “He additionally who had obtained the one expertise got here ahead” (verse 24).

Had he set off to the completely satisfied work like the primary two servants? No. He buried the treasure within the yard. However why? For a similar purpose as many in the present day: he didn’t know the goodness of his grasp.

The God He Thought He Knew

Observe the primary phrases out of the servant’s mouth: “Grasp, I knew you to be a tough man.” What a distinct evaluation from the primary two, and what an odd conclusion given the details we all know. Do many masters entrust such useful property to their servants’ holding? Pharaoh withholds straw to make bricks, however this grasp arms over valuable jewels from the vault. A expertise isn’t a single coin; it’s a treasure chest of valuable wealth, twenty years of wages. The grasp arms him as much as a million {dollars} in in the present day’s wages — and easily leaves. Who’s the servant to steward such wealth?

To account for this unbelievable alternative, the servant twists the interpretation to excuse his thanklessness. “Grasp, I knew you to be a tough man, reaping the place you didn’t sow, and gathering the place you scattered no seed” (Matthew 25:24). He thought he knew an exacting grasp, a groping grasp, a extreme man in regards to the backside line.

His lord — seemingly beneficiant past any grasp earth has ever seen — was actually greedy, not giving; extracting, not investing; extorting, not enriching. We even hear an accusation of laziness in opposition to the grasp — he was one who didn’t get his personal arms soiled. Don’t we typically venture our personal sins upon God, as this “slothful” servant did (verse 26)?

So, he noticed his grasp as an enormous fly, rubbing his grasping arms in anticipation of revenue. Faceless have been the slaves who constructed his home. Ought to this servant stoop to be ridden as a donkey? Was he an ox to tread grain? This grasp’s yoke was not simple, nor his burden gentle.

Lastly, his wickedness curls up within the fetal place. “I used to be afraid, and I went and hid your expertise within the floor” (verse 25). Thus, he knew a God to be feared, however not obeyed. This man knew his grasp’s will and thought to lazily disguise from the failure of attempting within the failure of disobedience. He dedicated his expertise to nature’s vault. Higher for his grasp to lose profit than go bankrupt. “Right here, you have got what’s yours” (verse 25).

The God He Did Not Know

That was the God he thought he knew: a tough and extreme grasp whose generosity was pretense for revenue, a grasp who fed his cattle nicely. He didn’t know the grasp that animated the service of the opposite two servants.

1. He didn’t know the grasp desperate to commend.

The passage stresses that the 2 trustworthy servants left “without delay” to do their grasp’s work (verses 16–17). I think about them going ahead with pleasure. Actually, me? I get to serve my Lord on this means? And that very same pleasure introduced them to point out their grasp the fruit of faith-filled buying and selling, as youngsters with a Father: “Listed here are your 5 abilities, grasp, and 5 extra!”

And the way does the grasp reply? With that fatherly twinkle of satisfaction in his eyes, he won’t allow them to do one factor extra with out warming them along with his pleasure: “Effectively carried out, my good and trustworthy servants!” (verses 21, 23).

2. He didn’t know the God who provides for retains.

Ultimately, how false and silly this servant’s meditations of the miserly God. Surprise with me: the grasp didn’t give the abilities for his personal revenue, however for theirs. He gave for retains. This Lord designed for loyal stewards to maintain their abilities and the rise.

The nugatory servant realized this lesson the arduous means: “Take the expertise from him and provides it to him who has the ten abilities” (Matthew 25:28). He doesn’t say, “Give to the servant who made me 5 abilities.” The abilities now belong to the servant, as confirmed within the subsequent line: “For to everybody who has will extra be given, and he may have an abundance” (verse 29). From earlier than the journey, this grasp gave meaning to make them wealthy. His pleasure — “Effectively carried out, good and trustworthy servant!” — was not in what he gained, however in what they gained. Is that this your arduous and stingy God?

3. He didn’t know the grasp who provides with the intention to give extra.

“You’ve been trustworthy over a little,” he tells the nice servants. “I’ll set you over a lot” (Matthew 25:21, 23). Don’t let that humble phrase little cross by unnoticed. The five-talent servant gained one other lifetime of worth by his buying and selling. Jesus calls this stewardship little in comparison with the a lot on its means.

Have you ever positioned your life and all that you just personal upon the altar earlier than God? Have you ever left household or fortune for the gospel? Have you ever despised your life on this world, seeking to that nation to come back? Little your buying and selling, nice your promotion. Stay fixed, as Joseph governing in jail: quickly, you shall stand second-in-command within the new heavens and new earth; he’ll set you over a lot. Our best labor for Christ on this world is however the small beginnings to our actual labor for Christ within the subsequent.

4. He didn’t know the God of spacious pleasure.

What did the depraved servant assume as he overheard the grasp’s last comment to the truehearted? “Enter into the pleasure of your Grasp” (verses 21, 23). The evil servant didn’t know that this Grasp’s pleasure was a nation of happiness. He thought him a tough man, an sad man, however he’s the happiest of all males. “Depart your joys behind and enter mine!” Or, “This stuff I’ve spoken to you, that my pleasure could also be in you, and that your pleasure could also be full” (John 15:11). Here’s a God to labor below. Here’s a God to belief. Here’s a God who can happify his servants ceaselessly.

He Hides a Smiling Face

If he solely believed within the blessedness of this grasp’s coronary heart, that the grasp actually meant to reward and welcome him into his personal pleasure upon his return, how issues may need modified. The issue was not his grasp; the issue was his coronary heart. The issue was not his talents; the issue was his sloth. The grasp’s evaluation proved him an evil, lazy, unreasonable servant (Matthew 25:26–27). Ultimately, he’s forged into outer darkness. Sinners who spin lies get caught in webs.

So, my reader, what do you consider God? Does he give us serpents after we ask for bread? Is he watching with an eagle’s eye to strike you while you stumble? Is he stingy, heartless, egocentric? Does he tax at excessive charges and supply mere rations to strengthen for tomorrow’s slavery? How does your life reply?

If we expect excessive of him, he’s greater. If we expect nicely of him, he’s higher. If we expect base of him, he shall not at all times right us. Unjust beliefs that result in unjust lives provoke his justice. “With the merciful you present your self merciful; with the innocent man you present your self innocent; with the purified you present your self pure; and with the crooked you make your self appear tortuous” (Psalm 18:25–26).

A few of you don’t serve him since you have no idea him. Others have let arduous and bitter circumstances deceive you into pondering he’s arduous and embittering. Enterprise isn’t going as deliberate. You simply obtained information that you just misplaced the child, once more. Life ought to have been so completely different by now.

And the superbly aimed query comes: Is that this your good Grasp? O saints, Devil is asking God about a few of you simply now — “Does this ‘trustworthy servant’ actually hold his integrity? Does he worry God for no purpose? Contact his well being, contact her fertility, contact his cash, and they’ll curse you to your face.”

“Our best labor for Christ on this world is however the small beginnings to our actual labor for Christ within the subsequent.”

O saints, the Grasp is so good — above our deserts or imaginings — and he proved it all the time. How? By handing us his property, taking the lengthy, faraway journey to Golgotha, and dying on the cross to pay our money owed that we would hold his blessings. The Grasp not solely provides his property to us — he provides himself for us. On the cross, Jesus lifted God’s goodness excessive above any of our earthly circumstances. “God exhibits his love for us in that whereas we have been nonetheless sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

So,

Ye fearful saints, contemporary braveness take;
The clouds ye a lot dread
Are massive with mercy and shall break
In blessings in your head.

Choose not the Lord by feeble sense,
However belief him for his grace;
Behind a frowning windfall
He hides a smiling face. (William Cowper, “God Strikes in a Mysterious Manner”)

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