As I read through Jesus’s words, especially as Luke records them, I can’t help but notice several themes woven throughout Jesus’s ministry and teaching. I’d like to share one of those with you today.
Readiness. Jesus often warns those listening to him and teaches his disciples to be active in obedience to God’s Word. He seems to be speaking into a culture who thought they had a good grasp on religion. They believed knowing the right things and acting on a few of them was enough to count them as faithful. Jesus seemed to disagree. He rebuked them for knowing the Scriptures but not producing fruit which glorified God or which lifted up their neighbors.
Perhaps the harshest word comes in Luke 12:47-48
“The servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows… From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.
Jesus doesn’t shy away, in fact, he’s insistent, that obedience to God’s Word and faithfulness producing action are critical in the lives of those who follow him.
This raises two questions for us.
One: Am I ready? In other words, if Jesus were to return right now would he find me busy doing his work? Producing Kingdom fruit? Keep in mind, Bible studies, church attendance, and conservative moral views don’t count. The Pharisees did all that.
Two: Am I counted in the group with those who have been entrusted with much (Lk. 12:48)? Until we shut our eyes for the last time here on earth, our Lord expects to find us stewarding all he’s given to us for his mission. Our money, our time, our attitudes and hearts, our words, our relationships, all of it!
For those who consider yourselves followers of Jesus and brothers and sisters in Christ at White Oak Christian Church, let me challenge you with this:
Each time you read God’s Word don’t just ask questions about it or underline the things that you find interesting or affirming. Ask yourself, what is God prompting me to do? And then, do it.
Consider how you can offer your resources to further fuel the things that matter most to God. Your treasures, your time, your life being shared with others. You have much to give and to offer. Give more of it. You will not regret it. Your Father in heaven will reward you.
As we have entered into the holiday season and creep toward the end of the year, I want you to know that we will continue to lean unapologetically into God’s Word at White Oak and obedience to it. We will get uncomfortable. We will need to separate our traditions and preferences from Biblical necessities and God-given priorities. We will do new things because of an old promise in order to connect more and more of our community to full life in Jesus. I want to invite you to give, share, serve, lead, teach, and gather as we go together. Your good Father in Heaven, who finds you more valuable than anything in all his creation, asks you to do the same.
Catch last Sunday’s sermon message on this topic below.
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Lead Pastor, White Oak Christian Church