Page 4 - 2015 November Newsletter
P. 4

Pastor’s Notes • Pastor Tom Karl
FAITHFULNESS VERSUS PERCEIVED FAITHFULNESS

    Jesus said, “A nobleman was called away to a distant empire to be           entitlement mindset when we think that way. So, to progress from
crowned king and then return. Before he left, he called together ten of his     here… after the reality-check, we must begin to look at what we have
servants and divided among them ten pounds of silver, saying, ’Invest this      been given to do today as an honor and a blessing. What are you
 for me while I am gone.’ But his people hated him and sent a delegation        doing with what you have been already given? Have you been merely
                                                                                counting your current role as just a stepping stone to a more
    after him to say, ’We do not want him to be our king.’ After he was         prestigious one? Maybe right now you are thinking “no, I have not”.
   crowned king, he returned and called in the servants to whom he had          Be careful... Let me ask you this, if you were to die tomorrow in a car
                                                                                crash… like, it was very obvious God ended your life… what could you
     given the money. He wanted to find out what their profits were.”           presume your calling in life was? Answer: the thing you are currently
                                    Luke 19:12-15                               involved in. Tell me then, how would the Lord’s words, “Well done,
                                                                                good and faithful servant” compare to your heart and motives behind
     Over the last few weeks I have had the blessing of talking with            what you are currently doing for the Lord?
various people about life and ministry. It has been really amazing to
develop those friendships to just sit and talk about such things. In the             See, in the story of the profitable servants and the unprofitable
process I began to sense something… an idea that God was speaking to            servant the story ends with that very quote, “well done” to the two
me on and it was formulated in the process of having legitimate ministry        faithful servants.
discussions with people… conversations I wish to have more of, by the
way. The idea that materialized is centered on looking at the mental             The first servant reported, ‘Master, I invested your money and made
process we go through when we think about where we want to go in our             ten times the original amount!’ ‘Well done!’ the king exclaimed. ‘You
ministerial futures. Many of us look at ministry-future as some magical         are a good servant. You have been faithful with the little I entrusted to
gift from God that will be more fulfilling and will eventually come
together simply by our belief that it is what God wants for us and that He         you, so you will be governor of ten cities as your reward.’ The next
will one day bring it. In other words, we think that if we really, really want  servant reported, ‘Master, I invested your money and made five times
that position or that calling in our future that God will magically make it      the original amount.’ ‘Well done!’ the king said. ‘You will be governor
happen. So, that is what our focus needs be on right now. That future            over five cities.’ “But the third servant brought back only the original
imagined position in ministry is our goal so… whatever I have to do now         amount of money and said, ‘Master, I hid your money and kept it safe.
to get there is what I’ll do. Do you see what I am trying to say? Single        I was afraid because you are a hard man to deal with, taking what isn’t
men often think like this when contemplating marriage. In their minds,          yours and harvesting crops you didn’t plant.’ ‘You wicked servant!’ the
they believe God wants them to marry and so they position themselves
in the things that will help them get what they want. They hang around            king roared. ‘Your own words condemn you. If you knew that I’m a
the ladies and go to things the ladies are at… but it often goes no further     hard man who takes what isn’t mine and harvests crops I didn’t plant,
than that. What I mean is, there is often no focus on character or
appearance or respectability… just a desire to bag a bride (…never mind           why didn’t you deposit my money in the bank? At least I could have
them even knowing what to do with a woman if they inevitably get one).             gotten some interest on it.’ “Then, turning to the others standing
Additionally, they assume they know what they want in a woman so they           nearby, the king ordered, ‘Take the money from this servant, and give
go after superficial attributes instead of the quality of the person. So it is  it to the one who has ten pounds.’ “‘But, master,’ they said, ‘he already
with this same way when people pursue ministry position. Without                  has ten pounds!’ “‘Yes,’ the king replied, ‘and to those who use well
thinking appropriately, they navigate through their lives to position            what they are given, even more will be given. But from those who do
themselves in such a way where they hope God will present the “big gift”
of their real purpose. It is as though some of you are doing your current                 nothing, even what little they have will be taken away.
routine… showing up… being present… for now, waiting until God opens                                             –Luke 19:16-26
a door or drops the call in your lap. If this is you, please pay attention to
where we are going from here.                                                        This story is designed to show us some good Christian-servant
                                                                                perspective. As you can see, for the unfaithful servant, things didn’t go
     Corporate America knows this concept very well. In business, you           so well. Why did it turn out like this? Let me ask you, were the first
are very much encouraged to develop your self-centeredness because              two servants the best buddies of the King? No. Were they the most
that is how you get higher up the corporate ladder. There is butt-kissing       attractive servants? Not sure, the story doesn’t really say. Were they
and fraternizing involved but it’s all worth it to get the higher pay and the   the most well-to-do? Not sure, again irrelevant. What caused them to
greater position. People will sacrifice a lot at the altar of self to obtain    gain bigger responsibility and the honor of being revered as “good
what they ultimately want. They will go against conscience and step on          servants” by the King? They were honored for their faithfulness in
people to climb up to the next level. It’s shameful how we’ll cook our          taking what they were already given and returning a profit for the
own schemes in our minds but get flabbergasted at seeing someone else           King. Listen closely… being dang good at the ministry and service
play the same game… especially when that other person is chasing after          opportunities you already have IS the path to greater responsibility.
the same promotion we are. Having said all of this, it is a sad state of        There is no cheating this. You can’t weasel your way into God’s
affairs when we allow ourselves to think the same way in any                    purposes.
environment as Christians let alone in the church… but we do it… and we
presume our perceived faithfulness is going to buy us that end-goal                  God holds your future. You and I have no power to control it
position we really want. Until then, we’re just biding our time; in our         within us. Let Him mold you day to day as you strive to remain faithful
minds, saying something like, “God, look how faithful I have been as I          in what you already have. Be the best dang ________ you can be. If
endure this work and position I am in right now that I really don’t like or     you would commit yourself to that… I am telling you, the sky is the
want to do… you let me know when you are ready to move me up… God?              limit. But don’t look at the sky, guys. Keep your eyes on turning a
…you there? Well, maybe if I suck up to the right people I can still get it     profit for the King. Only He can appoint you to greater things but
anyway…”                                                                        remember, the end-goal is not about a better position for you but
4 Reality can begin to set in when we finally wake up to the fact that          about building of the Kingdom of God. Doing that, you and I will never
God does not owe us anything and it is evidence of that American-               be unsatisfied.

                                                                                     -=pastor tom
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