Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Lord gives and the Lord takes away - Blessed be the name of the Lord!

For I say to you, that to everyone who has will be given; and from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.’ (Luke 19:26)

This is a most interesting statement it is found in the gospels in many places twice in Matthew (Matt. 13:12, 25:29) once in Mark 4:25 and twice in Luke (today’s verse and Luke 8:18). It also seems that it is given in the context of teaching and in the context of our passage – Ten servants were given a mina each. So this is directly speaks of what one has and what may be given.

Do you have? You will be given.
Did anyone have a mina before it was given him? No.
And from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.’

Could the understanding of this proverb be as simple as using that gift you have been given to gain more for the kingdom?
How is one found in the Kingdom? He is granted eternal life in Christ Jesus his Lord; therefore the understanding is that you were given Christ.
You now are responsible to see some be given the same grace – Christ – and thereby bring souls into the kingdom.
And when the king returns – you give him the souls whom Christ gave you to begin with. (Psa. 29:2)

Of course this is a spiritual work, so analysis of this type is sure to be faulty at some point. Yet the basic premise is true.  The one who buried the mina, is the one who is called wicked. No matter how halting our presentation of the Gospel is – it is bound to produce fruit – just as seed spread poorly is bound to sprout up and some will come to fruition.

We do have a responsibility to seek and present the Gospel wherever we find ourselves. God will, at his pleasure, give the increase. (1 Cor. 3:6-8) And God is also the one to whom we answer. In the passage before us we read verses 24 and 25,

And he said to those who stood by, ‘Take the mina from him, and give it to him who has ten minas.’  25 (But they said to him, ‘Master, he has ten minas.’)

Those standing by the wrong in their judgement. They assumed that their master was like themselves. (Psa 50:21) God alone determines the amount and proper distribution of minas.

After all – was the increase of his minas from 1 to 10 the product of his effort? Not at all! Though he was responsible to trade and do business – the increase is of the Lord. So, should he give great or meager increase is completely without relevance to the equation. What is relevant is whether the servant went out and traded. Did he obey the command to do business? The man who had only the one mina clearly did not. By his own testimony he wrapped it up and hid it. (I will not get into the fatalism of this servant here – I have addressed that in many posts over the years, http://mysoapbox2.blogspot.com/2013/07/a-fatal-choice.html and http://mysoapbox2.blogspot.com/2013/05/did-you-think-to-pray.html )

Verse 27, ‘But bring here those enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, and slay them before me.’

Such a statement is bold and may seem over-the-top in our day. Yet, just as the unprofitable servant was a liar lost even what he thought he had, so these men – who openly declared their spite for the king – are deserving of this end.

It is the nature of a kingdom, that all who live within the realm swear faithfulness (fealty) to the king. The kingdom of God is not all that different except that our King is wholly righteous, perfect, powerful, and good, so swearing faithfulness is really a no-brainer!

May the Lord grant us to see the work is for us, and the increase is to Him!

And he said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job 1:21)


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