Pastor Joynt's Devotionals

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Faithful, Faith Works, Day 56

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MATTHEW 25:14-30 | “For it is as if a man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them; to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. The one who had received the five talents went off at once and traded with them, and made five more talents. In the same way, the one who had the two talents made two more talents. But the one who had received the one talent went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. After a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. Then the one who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me five talents; see, I have made five more talents.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ And the one with the two talents also came forward, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me two talents; see, I have made two more talents.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ Then the one who had received the one talent also came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew that you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed; so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ But his master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy slave! You knew, did you, that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I did not scatter? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him, and give it to the one with the ten talents. For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

 

The church must be a place of deep compassion and great charity with people who are broken in body, mind, and spirit. But the church must be tough, even ruthless, about evaluating the effectiveness of its own work and leadership. Because the Kingdom is so important, we must not waste valuable time and resources, whether capital or human, on work that does not multiply or bear fruit. Loyalty to failure is never an option. Jesus makes this point very clearly in Matthew 25. We see the infinite concern for other needs in verses 31-46 and the almost brutal judgement of the unproductive in verses 24-30.

We want to be effective for Christ and to have the courage to invest in partnerships and projects that work and heal and bless, not in efforts without any clear yield.

What are your criteria for fruitfulness?

Pray your Session and staff can have both sets of virtues described in Matthew 25, mercy and tough-minded investment.

 

Posted by David Joynt with

Faithful, Faith Works, Day 55

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JOHN 15:5-8 |  I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.  

Our potential for fruitfulness is great. If we abide, we will bear more fruit. On the other hand, no success we have apart from Christ means anything! When we abide, we become attuned to God’s will, and the things we ask for will be granted. Further, God himself will be glorified by our fruit.

There is a sense in which Jesus’ friends were already his faithful disciples. They had given up homes and careers to follow. They had listened and learned from his wisdom. They had come to love and obey him. But they became his disciples in a deeper way when they start to “bear much fruit.”

Pray for fruitfulness for yourself and VPC.

 

Are you attuned to God’s will?

 

Posted by David Joynt with

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