Read: Matthew 25:20-21 |
Three frogs were sitting on a log. Two decided to jump off the log. How many are left?
Three! Just because they decided to do something doesn’t mean that they actually did it!
In this series, we have been discussing and dissecting the parable found in Matthew 25 to mine the meaning and mimic the application in our daily lives. Now, we’ll focus on verse 20. Here we find one of the first two servants who “decided” to do something and then actually followed through – unlike the frogs in our illustration.
Upon the Masters return, the first servant shares his results. The Master gives him high praise calling him a “good and faithful” servant. Earlier in the series, we noted that the trio of Mission, Mindset and Method work in concert to maximize our abilities to serve the Master. It helps us move from the point of a decision to an action. In short, when we possess a holy ambition it can take us from “deciding to do His will” to actually “doing His will”.
Adopt a Holy Ambition
Chip Ingram, in a book entitled “Holy Ambition” by Chip Ingram notes that holy ambition means living with a purpose to yield our lives to God’s plans for our lives. He notes that:
“Holy ambition is deep and long. It affects every part of life for all of life. The depth and length of our holy ambition will be tested. Those who prove faithful will hear God say someday, “Well done, good and faithful servant!””
Adopting a holy ambition allows us to discover and experience the blessings and promises of God in our daily lives. It all starts after accepting Christ and deciding to follow him. To perpetuate our holy ambition, fuel it with prayer, fasting, bible study and fellowship. This holy fuel keeps us focused on trusting God and obeying His will.
His Reward is worth the effort!
After receiving the talents, the first servant purposed to maximize his stewardship by wisely investing his talents. He decided that the reward of pleasing his master would be worth the effort.
As believers, we also recognize the need to do things for God with the gifts and talents God has given us. We may choose to sing in the Church Choir for God, teach Sunday School for God and do any other number of things – “for God”.
We can be encouraged that God promises to bless and strengthen us as we follow His plan for our lives. He promises that through Christ we will “bear fruit for God” (Romans 7:4). We are urged to “live for him who . . . died and was raised” (2 Corinthians 5:15). And we are called to “work heartily, as for the Lord, and not for men” (Colossians 3:23). At the same time, we have to be careful to maintain pure motives as we do His will because, “Blessed are the pure in heart” (Matthew 5:8). [Steve Fuller, Desiring God, “Do it for the Reward”]
Day by day, as we pursue God’s will in our lives maintain a holy ambition to earn the title of a “good and faithful servant”. As we do God’s work, He blesses us with a joy in doing His work. In turn, we discover that obedience is not about us giving God something He needs, but about God giving us something we need — more joy in Him.
The joy of the Lord purifies our motives — because it takes our focus off of impressing others with our obedience, and refocuses us on seeking the joy of the Lord through our obedience.
Each day, our task is to first decide that we will do things God’s way and then follow-through. As we follow-through, we’ll receive the reward of the joy of the Lord. Then surely, one day we too will hear “well done, good and faithful servant”.
1. Discover –
A. What is your greatest roadblock to having a heart that is “completely His”?
B. Do you feel any of the “joy of the Lord” when you do things for God? After all, it is a fruit of the Spirit! (Galatians 5:22)
2. Develop –
A. What periods of your life do you find it most difficult to maintain your holy ambition to follow His will and live “all out” for Christ?
B. How do you reconcile wanting to be a “good and faithful servant” with living your life and exercising your free will? How do you determine who is on the throne, you or your desire to be good and faithful?
3. Demonstrate –
A. List three areas of your life that demonstrate your Holy Ambition to follow Christ.
B. In my book entitled “Stewardship – 3 Profiles of Faithfulness” [link], I highlight the sister parable to this one found in Luke 19. In the book, I outline a Faithfulness test that also applies here. Please take the excerpt of the test posted below.
You can grade yourself with a 5-Always, 4-Frequently, 3-Sometimes, 2-Not often or 1-Never.
1. Each day, how frequently do you pray and talk to God?
2. How often do you deny God when He prompts you to use your time, talent or treasure to aide someone?
3. How frequently do you make yourself available for God to do His work through you?
4. Is your schedule usually too full to help when asked to serve?
5. Do you routinely follow God’s will or God’s work even after running into opposition or obstacles?
6. How frequently do you overrule the Holy Spirit’s directions and take God off the throne to have your own way?
7. If you know what your spiritual gifts are, how often do you use them for his glory?
On the Faithfulness test, how many Sometimes, Not Often and Never’s did you have? Would your spouse or best friend describe you as “very faithful”, “faithful” or “not faifthful”? Is that different from your answer?