Saturday, November 5, 2011
November 13, 2011
Scriptures for November 13th – Judges 4:1-7; Psalm 123; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11; Matthew 25:14-30 – Theme: Using our talents for God; Song – I am going to live so God can use me – Faith We Sing – 2153 1 Thessalonians: Paul gave the message to the Christians of Thessalonica that there was not much time to waste. Christ was returning soon, so they needed to prepare themselves and their lives for eternity. There seemed to be an awful lot of people who were willing to hear that message, but there were also a lot more who were not. As a matter of fact, Paul also had a lot of enemies. He had to get comfortable in serving within that balance. Paul still had a message, not to get so caught up into the peace of the world, that you are not prepared the coming of Christ. Our dreams for the future are not for the night, it is for the day. We still have work to do. But our work is about who we are as a community. Therefore we have to encourage one another, particular those who are just becoming new Christians. Matthew: We hear about his parable a lot, it is the parable of the talents. But there is so much more to this story, then the commonly understood. As a matter of fact, Jesus intentional tells stories that leave a lot of room for interpretation. For instance, this is the third parable that Jesus tells about the distant landowner. He is preparing his disciples for the fact that he will not be with them, and they will need to be able to “keep the faith” in his absence. There are three servants who do what they can with what they have. When the master returns, he rewards his servants for their efforts. And yet he is also not afraid to pass judgment on the servant who is not doing enough. Many times we are that worthless servant – because we don’t give our own to God. In fairness we are afraid, and don’t want to lose what we have. God reminds us that what we have is never our own to keep. Questions: How does our faith help us to shape our priorities in life? When we judge others, who are we keeping out of the kingdom of heaven? In what ways are we too seeking the peace and security of the world? Where do we spend our energy- building our kingdom at home or God’s kingdom on earth? What has God entrusted us with? How do we give it to others?