Read: Psalm 106:13 |
Simon Peter was one of the first followers of Jesus Christ. I believe that Peter compares favorably to the fivefold return servant of this parable found in verse 16. For instance, Jesus noted that Peter would be the rock. [Matthew 16:18] He was part of the inner circle with James and John. He also became a spokesperson for the Twelve Disciples.
Peter aligned himself with God and fulfilled God’s divine purpose after the ascension of Christ. He maintained a heavenly mindset and followed God’s plan to spread the Word and open the doors of the Church to the Jews, Samaritans and the Gentiles. [Acts 2; Acts 8, Acts 10]
Reflecting on the fivefold servant and using Peter as a prototype, I will outline three core concepts that allow a servant to give God a five-fold return: Mission, Mindset and Method.
First, let us examine the Mission of the servant who had a five-fold return. As we noted in a prior posting, Jesus used this parable as part of His instruction for what He wanted the disciples to do after He ascended into Heaven. When He ascended, He left us all with a mission in Matthew 28:19, 20 “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, ….” Peter and the other disciples witnessed Jesus making this statement and took the assignment seriously.
Even now, each of us share this common mission, however we each have a different role. Our challenge is to keep our primary mission at the top of our minds as we go about our day. A mission-minded saint is a fruitful servant.
The second thing that we notice about the fivefold return servant and Peter is their Mindset. The right Mindset requires that we:
- Align ourselves to His righteous spiritual position
- Maintain the right spiritual perspective
- Cultivate a persistent desire to follow God’s will
To be in the right position, we need to first hear God, accept what He says and then do what God says. [Romans 10:17] Subsequently, this process grows our faith and pleases God. [Hebrews 11:5] Our proper positioning puts us where God can clearly communicate with us and vice versa. When we are out of position, we miss His message or we are prone to misinterpret it.
The second part of Mindset is our perspective. This servant adopted the perspective to go “at once” and put his money to work. No delay, no dilly-dally, no deferral until the weekend – He went at once! An improper perspective my cause us to interpret a command as optional or lacking in urgency.
Our challenge is to maintain the right spiritual perspective so that we can see what God sees.
The final part of Mindset is Persistence. This servant did not doubt, disregard or dismiss his Mission. He adopted the mindset of Proverbs 10:4 “Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth.”
Our persistence develops our character and strengthens our hope, which makes us want to do more for God. [Romans 5:3-5; Titus 3:8]
The first servant must have also had a Method or approach for gaining a fivefold return. It is natural to wonder how, or what or where or when this servant managed to get the return he did. The parable however is silent on this point because as we see with the example of Peter, our abilities, skills, talents, personality and spiritual walk will shape the method or approach we use to carry out our Mission. [Philippians 1:6; Acts 4:13]
The trio of Mission, Mindset and Method work in concert to maximize our abilities to serve the Master. Because Phil.4:13 reminds us that, “we can do all thing through Christ who strengthens us,” we can be assured that we can fulfill any assignment God gives us.
1. Discover –
A. Mindset – The Rich Young Ruler and Nicodemus both sought to serve Jesus however the mindset of the Rich Young Ruler was not quite right and he left disappointed. How has your mindset adapted to trials and temptations since you became a Christian? Share your answer here.
B. Mission – How much of your day do you spend wondering if you are doing God’s will that day?
2. Develop –
A. If you knew that God was returning next week or next year, what things would you do more and what would you do less? Should this list change based upon a period of time? Share with your prayer partner.
B. Sometimes, we can allow Satan to convince us that we are ineffective, even when we are following God’s will. List some scriptures and approaches we can us to stay strong in the Lord.
3. Demonstrate –
A. What parts of your life align to giving God a fivefold return? Can you change anything so that more of your life yields the high return?
B. Would your prayer partner or spouse agree with your assessment above? Why or why not?