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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Good Service

"Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. (Matthew 25:14-15 NIV)

There's a part of goodness that crosses over into an area of our walk together with God that gets challenging.  Up until now, God's Spirit-fruit gives us something that benefits us.  Love, joy, peace, and patience all give me "good feelings" when I experience them.  Kindness even feels good because when I am "nice" to somebody I get a good feeling inside.

The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money. (Matthew 25:16-18 NIV)

Patience can be a struggle because when I am self-centered, I don't want to be patient.  Kindness can also be a struggle, too, because some people make it difficult to be kind.  Goodness, though, takes things much further than just waiting for someone or being nice.  Goodness is tied to doing our part in God's Plan.  Goodness has to do with working and using our gifts for God's glory.  Goodness has to do with work.

"After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. 'Master,' he said, 'you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.' "His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!' (Matthew 25:19-21 NIV)

You see, goodness isn't about putting up with the shortcomings of other people.  Goodness has to do with living out our design.  It has to do with participating in God's plan.  It has to do with the specific, beautiful way we are designed, knit together, and held together.  God designed and created us to be good.  It's not about putting up with somebody else's sin.  It's about living our design so we won't sin.

"The man with two bags of gold also came. 'Master,' he said, 'you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.' "His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!' (Matthew 25:22-23 NIV)

When Jesus was baptized, for example, it wasn't for the forgiveness of his sins.  He had never sinned.  He was unique in this way.  When Jesus was baptized, it was to fulfill all righteousness.  In other words, he did it because it was the Father's will for Jesus' life.  To not get baptized that day, Jesus would have sinned.  That's because it was the specific will of God for Jesus that day.  For Jesus, that was good.

"Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. 'Master,' he said, 'I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.' "His master replied, 'You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest. (Matthew 25:24-27 NIV)

Goodness is the first place where we start to see "doing nothing" as potentially being rebellion against God.  We rebel against God wen we go against God's will for our lives.  When God calls us to do good and we don't, we are rebelling against God.  It is sin.  We need to do the good we are designed and called to do.

"'So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.' (Matthew 25:28-30 NIV)

So, how about you?  Do you do the good you are called to do?  Will God say to you, "Well done good and faithful servant?"  Do you do good?