But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. John 4:23-24
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:17-18
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like the wealthy man who went on a long journey and summoned all his trusted servants and assigned his financial management over to them. Before he left on his journey, he entrusted a bag of five thousand gold coins to one of his servants, to another a bag of two thousand gold coins, and to the third a bag of one thousand gold coins, each according to his ability to manage. The one entrusted with five thousand gold coins immediately went out and traded with the money, and he doubled his investment. In the same way, the one who was entrusted with two thousand gold coins traded with the sum and likewise doubled his investment. But the one who had been entrusted with one thousand gold coins dug a hole in the ground and buried his master’s money. After much time had passed, the master returned to settle accounts with his servants. The one who was entrusted with five thousand gold coins came and brought ten thousand, saying, “See, I have doubled your money.” Commending his servant, the master replied, “You have done well, and proven yourself to be my loyal and trustworthy servant. Because you have been a faithful steward to manage a small sum, now I will put you in charge of much, much more. You will experience the delight of your master, who will say to you, ‘Come celebrate with me!’” Then the one who had been entrusted with two thousand gold coins came in and said, “See, my master, I have doubled what you have entrusted to me.” Commending his servant, the master replied, “You have done well, and proven yourself to be my loyal and trustworthy servant. Because you were faithful to manage a small sum, now I will put you in charge of much, much more. You will experience the delight of your master, who will say to you, ‘Come celebrate with me!’” Then the one who had been entrusted with one thousand gold coins came to his master and said, “Look, sir. I know that you are a hard man to please and you’re a shrewd and ruthless businessman who grows rich on the backs of others. I was afraid of you, so I went and hid your money and buried it in the ground. But here it is—take it, it’s yours.” Angered by what he heard, the master said to him, “You’re an untrustworthy and lazy servant! If you knew I was a shrewd and ruthless business man who always makes a profit, why didn’t you deposit my money in the bank? Then I would have received it all back with interest when I returned. But because you were unfaithful, I will take the one thousand gold coins and give them to the one who has ten thousand. For the one who has will be given more, until he overflows with abundance. And the one with hardly anything, even what little he has will be taken from him.” Then the master said to his other servants, “Now, throw that good-for-nothing servant far away from me into the outer darkness, where there will be great misery and anguish!” Matthew 25:14-30
Today's thoughts from today's verses:
This story of Jesus teaches us about the kingdom of heaven. In telling a story that shows what the kingdom of heaven is like, Jesus is also showing what it is not like. This story about the kingdom of heaven is told in contrast to and in confrontation of conventional life on earth and the troubling religious system of the day that did more to draw its adherents away from God than it did to bring them closer to him. In showing what the kingdom of heaven is like and what it is not like, Jesus sought to gain and train followers who would embrace and serve the true kingdom of God. In this week’s devotional set we will be looking at how heaven and earth intersect as we explore various Scriptures and our story from Matthew 25. This emphasis for the first week of the Christmas season will serve well as a backdrop for the overall Christmas story of Christ’s birth that will be unfolded over the next several weeks.
We live in a physical world and we interact with it in physical ways including seeing it constantly with our physical eyes. There is a corresponding spiritual realm which requires a different kind of interaction and a different kind of seeing. In 2 Corinthians 4, the Apostle Paul speaks of our need to “look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal” and then in chapter 5, he speaks of our need to “walk by faith, not by sight.” While the physical (earthly) realm naturally predominates our lives, the Apostle Paul is keenly aware that it is the spiritual (heavenly) realm that must predominate in order for the fullness of our existence to become a reality.
The spiritual focus God desires is what the Scriptures above are all about (and our story as well as we will see). In keeping with God’s desires, the Apostle Paul says to the Ephesian believers, “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened.” God is Spirit, but Jesus Christ took on human form that God might be revealed to us. And now as believers in Christ, He dwells in and through us by means of the Holy Spirit for the purpose that God might be seen by those around us so that they too can believe. This is how the kingdom of heaven is advanced through our lives and it happens when we let spiritual (heavenly) realities predominate and not physical (earthly) realities. We have been entrusted with the kingdom of heaven and as such we are truly called to be good and faithful stewards who work to advance it. The three servants in our story were each entrusted with money and they must prove themselves to be good and faithful stewards by increasing (advance) it’s value. This is the simple lesson of our story that helps us to see something of what the kingdom of heaven is like.
Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:
Lord, I pray that the eyes of my heart may be enlightened. I don’t want to miss the fullness of what I am here for because I remain overly involved with and absorbed in the things of earth. Help me to be a true worshiper who worships you in spirit and truth. May the intersection of heaven and earth in my life take place in ways that allow others to see you clearly and the amazing spiritual transformation you are producing in my life here on earth. Help me fully be the steward of the kingdom of heaven you have commissioned me to be. Amen!
Posted on Mon, December 2, 2019
by Ken Hart