This week I traveled alone across the ocean and back.
I stayed in a hotel alone, met with Italian officials at the Chicago Consulate alone, walked the streets of Chicago alone, went to a baseball game alone, and went for a bike ride along the beautiful Chicago lakeshore alone.
Except because of my faith, I wasn’t really alone. We’re never really alone, especially when we invite God’s Holy Spirit into our lives. I faced major travel hardships, loneliness, along with worry and doubt over the appointments with the officials. Through this, I found so much peace with the sense of God’s presence and him calling me to lean on him and trust him. He carried me and continued to prove his faithfulness, and I’m so grateful.
I shared this story because it ties to today’s verses as a reminder that our omnipotent God sees all and knows all, Jesus is coming soon, and we will all be judged. We can run from him, but we cannot hide.
Today once again, we have the story of the wise and foolish servants:
45 “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his master has set over his household, to give them their food at the proper time? 46 Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. 47 Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions. 48 But if that wicked servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed,’ 49 and begins to beat his fellow servants and eats and drinks with drunkards, 50 the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know 51 and will cut him in pieces and put him with the hypocrites. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 24:45-51)
My takeaway (apart from the metaphor that this is about the return of Jesus) is the contrast, and it all comes down to a matter of the heart. Is my heart focused on putting me first or others and God’s will?
From this passage, I see these contrasts-
The faithful & wise:
- Serve others
- Treat others with respect
- Exhibit honorable behavior even when no one is looking
- Recognize their position was given to them
- Stay focused on their mission
- Remain diligent and sober
- Anticipate the return of their leader
- Will be granted more responsibility and an honorable reward
The foolish & wicked:
- Focus on self
- Become deceived and disregard the consequences of their actions
- Are two faced, behaving differently when they think no one will notice
- Abuse others
- Seek the pleasures of this world
- Will be punished severely
At the end of this passage we find death and separation, the punishment for our sin. Any one of us can admit to being guilty of being put in some sort of leadership position but yet falling victim to sin; being of the world instead of having our hearts focused fully on the Kingdom of Heaven.
The beauty is that faith in Jesus Christ is what can and will redeem us. Until we get to Heaven we will have a sin problem. Meanwhile, we can repent and submit to the one who was and is perfect. The one who knew of our sinful nature and sacrificed his body and blood so that we do not receive the punishment we deserve. Thank you Jesus.
Today’s other reading: Psalm 134