Blessed… Give Yourself Away

 “Who then are the faithful and wise servants whom their master puts in charge of giving food at the right time to those who live in his house? Happy are those servants whom the master finds fulfilling their responsibilities when he comes.  I assure you that he will put them in charge of all his possessions.  But suppose those bad servants should say to themselves, My master won’t come until later.  And suppose they began to beat their fellow servants and to eat and drink with the drunks?  The master of those servants will come on a day when they are not expecting him, at a time they couldn’t predict.  He will cut them in pieces and put them in a place with the hypocrites. People there will be weeping and grinding their teeth (Matthew 24:45-51, Common English Bible).

Yesterday we talked about the day and the hour which Jesus says nobody knows except the Father. I told you when I am asked about when I think the end will come, my standard answer leads to what I consider the most important question, “If you knew the end would come tomorrow would you live your life any differently today?”

It boils down to being ready for whenever the end may come. Things happen in this life. Bad things. And the end could come at any time. I have talked to people who say, “Matters of faith are important but I will worry about that tomorrow or next week or next year. I’m young, there will be time later.” For most people, there is time later, unfortunately, that time later always has something else getting in the way that is more important at the time. For others, those bad things happen and the end comes before they are ready.

“But suppose those bad servants should say to themselves, My master won’t come until later.  And suppose they began to beat their fellow servants and to eat and drink with the drunks…He will cut them in pieces and put them in a place with the hypocrites. People there will be weeping and grinding their teeth”

Life in the business world can be hard and cruel. We might find ourselves thinking we must make decisions that are opposed to our faith and values. To sum it up, we live outside the law of love. We are outside what Jesus called the most important commandment, to love God and to love neighbor. What Jesus is saying in today’s lesson about beating fellow servants and eating and drinking with the drunks, we are living in a way that is in conflict with how God calls us to live.

“Happy are those servants whom the master finds fulfilling their responsibilities when he comes.” Not only will we be found fulfilling our responsibilities, we will feel fulfilled because we are living out God’s call on our lives. We are taking our call seriously and having a faithful life to show for it.

We are, as Paul said, “justified by faith” (Romans 5:1-2). We also must remember that “Faith without works is dead” James 2:17. In other words, the words we say we believe must be aligned with the living faith we demonstrate to the world. We also need to remember Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 13, “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” We may be justified by faith but that faith must be alive and real. Additionally, love is always greater than faith. Without love, there is no faith.

We will be fulfilled and God will find us fulfilling our call when the end of our days come and we have served in love.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Joy and Thankfulness,
Keith

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Author:

Spirita Spiro (Esperanza for "Spirit's Breath) is rather new in my life. But the blog is not. I began writing a blog several years ago. It lived under the title, "The Pastor Ponders." Over the years I have tried several different names and "The Pastor Ponders" always seemed to fit best. I am trying again with Spirita Spiro. For 27 years I was a full-time pastor in the United Methodist Church. This year, August 2018, I semi-retired (I can't actually retire quite yet) and began teaching social studies. It is something I have always wanted to do and if I was going to do this, I needed to make it sooner rather than later. So, I made the move. I thought with the career change there also needed to be a name change to the blog and other things, such as spiritual direction. Spirita Spiro is my attempt to share some of my thoughts. I often share what I am thinking with my dog "Bishop," but he keeps his thoughts to himself. He will even go to sleep sometimes while I am sharing my thoughts with him. The truth is, if it doesn't involve getting his ears scratched, his belly rubbed or some kind of treat, he really doesn't care. I will say this for him, he never argues with me or tells me I am wrong. So, I decided to share some of my thoughts with whoever might come across this blog in their ramblings around the Internet. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 27 years as a full-time United Methodist pastor. Most recently I served as pastor of First United Methodist Church in Sweeny, Texas. I have also served United Methodist congregations throughout East Texas including rural Madison County (Elwood UMC), Lovelady (First UMC) and Kennard (Center Hill UMC), Canton (First UMC), rural Smith County (Mt. Sylvan UMC and Union Chapel UMC), Grapeland (First UMC), Tyler (Pleasant Retreat UMC), Santa Fe (Aldersgate UMC), Freeport (First UMC) and Oyster Creek (Oyster Creek UMC), Diboll (First UMC), and now Sweeny (First UMC). My wife Cindy and I have been married for over 40 years. We have two grown sons. Wayne and his wife Nikki and all our grandsons (Kaleb, Noah, and Jaxon) live in Southern California. Christopher and his wife Morgan and both our granddaughters (Jenna and Natalie) live in Tyler Texas. I enjoy preaching and all aspects of preaching from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading, playing the guitar as well as a bit of drawing. I have spent quite a bit of time over the past two years working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I sing bass with a local barbershop chorus called The Coastalaires. I have also recently begun doing a little wood carving. I also enjoy playing with Bishop, something he likes a great deal better than listening to my thoughts. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, specializing in Microcomputers from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. When I was a student at Carolina, the school was in Iron Station North Carolina. They have since relocated to Manassas Virginia (Yeah, go figure, a school named Carolina geographically in Virginia). This blog is mostly devotional writing, but there are other things here too. Just about every week I will either post my sermon manuscript or a video of the worship service. On occasion, I will post something I see in society. Occasionally I write a short story, a poem, or a song and will post it here too. I will say this, my motivations for writing this blog are really selfish. I write it to get what I am thinking out of my head and onto something a bit more permanent. They say, after all, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. And, should you desire, you can one-up Bishop and actually tell me what you think. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. With Joy and Thankfulness, Keith Sweeny, Texas May 2018

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