Monday 28 October 2019

Set your mind on the coming Kingdom of God

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Lessons from The Parable of the Unjust Steward - Luke 16

By Phillip Medhurst - Photo by Harry Kossuth, FAL, Link

He (Jesus) also said to His disciples: “There was a certain rich man who had a steward, and an accusation was brought to him that this man was wasting his goods.  So, he called him and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward.”

This steward had his hand caught in the cookie jar that didn’t belong to him. He was probably claiming personal expenses over what he was allocated. Therefore, the rich man asked the steward to justify his expenses before the termination of his position. Now, that gives the steward time to plan for his future.

“Then the steward said within himself, ‘What shall I do? For my master is taking the stewardship away from me. I cannot dig; I am ashamed to beg.  I have resolved what to do, that when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.”

The plan according to the steward was to take advantage of the time left of his employment to falsify the master account book while he has still access to it. His scheme was about reducing the debts from the master debtors - in return, the debtors would give credit to him in a different form of reimbursement.

“So, he called every one of his master’s debtors to him, and said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’  And he said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ So, he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’  Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ So, he said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ And he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’”

The reaction from the master surprised me, he admired the steward.

“So, the master commended (highly praised) the unjust steward because he had dealt shrewdly.”

Not only did the master compliment the steward, but Jesus also made a comparison between the steward and the sons of light (Christians - believers). Jesus regards the steward as smarter, sharper, more astute, and wiser than most Christians are. Go figure… Jesus' remark doesn’t seem to help understand either, it made it somewhat difficult to comprehend the benefit of struggling to be honest when someone is complimented for being dishonest. But the point is, that Jesus' lesson is not about honesty.

“For the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light.”

Christians (sons of light, sons of the truth), don’t you realize that Jesus insulted you? Jesus points out that seculars act more shrewdly and more wisely toward their future, on their worldly cares and its rewards whether it is acquired by honesty or dishonesty than the sons of light (Christians) have toward their eternal future, which is a reward, a statue of leadership reserved for them in the Kingdom of God. Hence, most Christians act indifferently toward the Kingdom of God to come.

The seculars concentrate all their time and energies on leaving a legacy to be remembered in their lifetime, while Christians waste their time and energy not seeking God’s rewards, which is a position of governance in the coming Kingdom of God. There are many Christians that are not preparing for it. Worst, most Christians act no different than the secular. Most Christians are caught up in the cares of this world, (Matt 13:22). The two main reasons for Christians' indifference toward the kingdom of God are ignorance, (Hosea 4:6) and the lack of curiosity, (Proverbs 12:1, Proverbs 14:18).  Few pulpits teach about the coming Kingdom of God and its rewards. Too many pulpits are keeping their followers totally oblivious of their true destiny and purpose, teaching instead that once you die you go straight to heaven without a resurrected body, (2 Tim 2:18) and/or focus on the subject of Christ's return for His Church - the true rapture (1 Cor 15:50-54). Then once reunited in heaven, we just hang around happily for eternity. 

In 1 Corinthians 3:9, Paul explained; “For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building,” workers meaning stewards, field meaning the Church (refer to the parable of the tares, Matt 13:36), and the building is the temple where the Holy Spirit dwells (James 4:5). As a steward, God entrusts us in a position of guardian over all His sphere of influence, which is spiritual, political, and factual within our communities, in our nation's - most importantly parenthood. We are the salt of the earth (Matthew 5:13), the light on the lampstand (Matt 5:15).

That is why I find it so sad when I see Christians living in denial concerning their true calling and wasting their time working out for their salvation (the doctrine is better known as Lordship Salvation). They just don’t understand that Jesus did all the works of salvation on the cross once and for all time, (2 Tim 1:9, Heb 10:10). many denominations are actively preparing for the kingdom now. That also is Jesus's responsibility to build the Church by saving one soul at a time and to establish His kingdom. Have they not read the Book of Revelation?  The Roman Catholic Church clergies and as many protestant ministries alike keep their congregations uninformed, by keeping their flocks in a state of fear of losing their salvation, and in a state of repentance always, preaching the gospel of grace continuously which is unprofitable works. I know, I was reared in the Roman Catholic tradition.

Moreover, it is sad to see Christians living in meaningless secular conditions for material good that will eventually perish, (Matt 6:19). They have left their freedom of Christ's foundation and His promises for mammon… go figure

“But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: “A dog returns to his own vomit,” and, “a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.”2 Peter 2:22

The Western nations' Christian Church is the most lukewarm in the whole world[3]. The first thing you know is that we are caught up in the care of this world with all its frustrations. It is a distraction, and very unfruitful. I have my fair share of experiencing anxiety due to financial downfall.  The care of this world causes Christian parents to lose their sovereign rights and sole influence over their children's upbringing and education. We are too busy making ends meet to be involved in parenting and actively being involved in politics - public opinion. The result of our omission is that the federal and provincial governments are now teaching sex and religious education which goes against our Christian faith and values.

“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.”     Matt 5:13

Canadian Christians have become a doormat trampled underfoot by the federal and provincial legislative bodies. Canadian Christians failed to represent God’s principles within all Canadian institutions, universities, schools and more importantly, within our own family.

“Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful,” Matt 13:22.

He/she who becomes unfruitful is he/she who denies his/her calling as a good steward. Jesus will deny them their reward,

“If we endure,
We shall also reign with Him.
If we deny Him,
He also will deny us.
If we are faithless,
He remains faithful;
He cannot deny Himself,”
2 Tim 2:12-13


“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also,” Matt 6:19-21.

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you,” Matt 6:33.

Jesus proceeds in teaching the principles which are to be applied for good stewardship here on earth so that we may qualify for a level of governance in the Kingdom of God to come. His principles have a profound impact on our societies when applied.  Many man-made principles have sneaked into the Church (2 Tim 4:3). It is not surprising to see that tithing is one of them, a mosaic covenant, (Deut 14: 22-29) not ordained by God to the Church which is used as part of the prosperity gospel scheme and scam. The Church is not Israel and lives by a different covenant. Within the Church, tithing has everything to do with the false doctrine of indulgences, which is a process used to accumulate wealth by many ministries. They run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit, (Jude 1:11). No one can buy God’s gift of eternal life (Acts 8:20),  it is given freely to whoever believes in the Son of God, whose name is Jesus of Nazareth. No one can use wealth to appease God's judgment as idol worshippers do toward their gods. No one can use their wealth to buy favours from God either. The Mosaic covenant of tithing never has been intended for the Church.

Many Christians are also deceived into purchasing items considered sacred with power. Peter was not in the ministry to make money, by selling objects with the promises to heal or provide protection, and good luck. Peter freely gave the gospel of Christ resurrected and more (Matt 10:8b). Incredibly many ministries such as Simon the Sorcerer take advantage of gullible Christians making a fortune by selling promises with his magic that supposedly fulfill many unanswered prayers. Sad, since many superstitious Christians do fall for false promises that turn up to be a myths, believing in the power behind a statue, a cloth, an oil, a piece of jewelry made in the shape of the cross, and bottled water from the Jordan River.  We, the Christians are the temple of His Spirit that dwells in us, (1 Cor 3:16, 6:19). Let go of the lies and the myths.

The Holy Spirit that dwells in each individual Christian is the greatest gift ever given by God. God's Spirit in you - God’s permanent presence in you, that makes you son of God; given only by an act of grace and mercy to whoever confesses that Jesus is Lord and believed in their heart Jesus resurrection, (Rom 10:9). The Father, The Son, The Holy Ghost, and you - are one. (John 17:21). Why can’t Christians see and believe that? Because we are living as humans instead of human beings as intended, blinded from the purpose of our calling. That is to prepare us to reign with Jesus Lord of lords, Priest of priests


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