July 2: Fruit of the Spirit – Faithfulness

Read Luke 19:11-27

FAITHFULNESS — I am consistently and perpetually loyal.

Not everyone in this guy’s hometown believed in him. In fact, some of them really despised him and took great measure to let him know it. But he was to become king of the land, this man born into nobility, so he took the necessary steps toward kingship and went away to procure the appointment, that he might return with his “I am the king of this land” papers.

Apparently, the trip was a long one, the powers that be lived a long way off, so the soon-to-be-king nobleman took precautions to ensure the continued growth of his finances. He chose 10 of his servants and gave them each some money, to keep the business up as they saw fit.

The servants, having been entrusted with their master’s cash, went to work. Well, most of them did, anyway. They went to work because they knew that their master would one day be king, and they wanted his kingdom to prosper. They conducted business with their master’s money in a way that grew his riches even more. Because they believed in their master, unlike those in the kingdom who opposed his rule, and they believed in his success.

You see, faith in their master was the root of the servants’ faithfulness. The servants’ faith in their master led them to be faithful with what he had given them.

When Jesus delivered His parable on faithfulness, He knew that His followers held expectations about His own Kingship and Kingdom that couldn’t be farther from the truth. In fact, many of those closest to Him believed that as soon as He arrived in Jerusalem (where He was headed), He would take the throne and overthrow the Roman government right there and then. They had no idea that He would instead conquer a much bigger kingdom, the one called darkness, with its death and sin. Those with Jesus right then didn’t know that He would first return to His Father until the appointed time. Only then would He return and physically rule His kingdom on earth.

When Jesus spoke the words of this parable, He knew that His followers’ faith in Him would be tested by severely unfulfilled expectations. So He called them to faithfulness. He wanted them to know that there was much work to be done on His behalf. He wanted them to trust that He would return. He wanted them to see that their trust in Him needed to go deeper than their own expectations.

As followers of Jesus Christ, we can include ourselves in the audience of those to whom He told this parable. Because He wants nothing less than our faithfulness. Because we, too, contribute to His kingdom using the gifts He gives us.

brw

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