October 16, Wednesday

Devotional Thought for Today

“Caught in the Act of… Doing the Right Thing?” 

Matthew 25:14-19 

“Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. 15 To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16 The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. 17 So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. 18 But the man who had received one bag 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.” 

When I was in high school, I would study in my own room. But I was always looking for a way to take a break, maybe watch a drama secretly on my computer or browse some internet wormhole. My mom would sometimes pop in with fruits, dessert, or tea to help me along. The reaction on my face whenever she burst in would completely betray me. If I was calm, she would know that I had been working hard. But if I was tense or nervous, I was totally busted! She could tell that I had been caught in the middle of my procrastination.

I use this story to illustrate what I’m always reminded of when reading this parable, especially because I don’t often live with this urgency. Most of us don’t live as though Jesus is coming back soon; in fact, we seem to live as if He is certainly going to return in another lifetime. This attitude begins to give us a free pass to take it easy when it comes to our work. After all, we might have another time to make it up, or someone later on could pick up the slack. 

But as the text reminds us, we should not live like this; rather, we should faithfully make the most of each day and be productive in the tasks He’s set before us. If He does come back, what kinds of workers will He find?

To be careful because we want the right motives, I propose that the key to diligent faithfulness should not be fear that we would be found wanting if He drops in. Rather, our motivation is that He is worthy of our faithfulness. Out of love and a desire to witness to others that we serve a good and wonderful God, we work hard joyfully and vigorously! 

The King is coming back one day, and our work will have to be accounted for! Let’s work hard today not out of fear, guilt, or shame that He might be displeased. Instead, let us work hard because He’s worthy for us to say to a watching world: my King deserves all my diligence and faithfulness.

Prayer: Father, thank You for this life You’ve given me. I want to honor You with faithfulness and diligence. Help me to be a good witness and steward of the time and opportunities You’ve set before me, and free me from laziness and procrastination. I want my work ethic to show that You are worthy of my best efforts. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Revelation 17


Lunch Break Study

Read Galatians 6:7-10: Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

Questions to Consider

  1. Why is it important to state upfront that God cannot be mocked and a man reaps what he sows?
  2. What are the two things we can sow? Why might it be important to know there are only two options?
  3. What is the motivation for perseverance that Paul states here?

Notes

  1. This is important for Paul to establish and remind us that there are no inconsequential actions and investments in our lives. Every action does beget some reaction. 
  2. There are only two possible investments we can make: destruction or eternal life. Paul says to us that we either sow for the flesh or sow for the Spirit; we either invest in worldly pleasures or eternal life. 
  3. The fruit of not giving up is that a harvest is assured. We should not become weary in doing good because we will always find a yield when our efforts go towards eternal life; God will never disappoint us in that reward.

Evening Reflection

Let’s think back to the day. Were there ways that we were faithful? Let’s celebrate those. Are there places where we can improve? Let’s ask God for increased faithfulness and for His Spirit to overcome any laziness or sloth in the coming day.

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