First of all, let us get our bearings as to what we should be doing today as baptised members of the true Church of God and begotten members of the God Family.
In Matthew 20:20-21, the mother of James and John was asking for top positions for her two sons, and this upset the rest of the disciples, because they were probably desirous of those top positions themselves. Instead, they should have been looking at what they could do, not what position they would like to have had. In verses 25-28 we read: “But Jesus called them to Himself and said, ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.’”
Jesus Christ told the scribes and Pharisees that their approach was hypocritical (see Matthew 23), which was exactly the opposite approach that He expected His followers to adopt.
Jesus Christ showed just prior to the Passover (see John 13) that His humble attitude which was manifested by His actions was one which they then, and we today, are to follow. Washing the feet of others was an act of humility, not that of power and position that James and John had pursued, along with their mother. The actions of Jesus were in complete contrast to that which men, in their self-serving way, can see as important.
We are to have the attitude of love and service towards others. This attitude is shown in many Scriptures. Here are just a few of them.
“Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’” (Matthew 22:37-39).
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another” (John 13:34).
“This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12).
“Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (1 John 4:11).
“Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-4).
“And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works” (Hebrews 10:24).
This is the basis of true Christianity.
In Luke 19:11-27 we read the parable of the minas. In this parable, the nobleman called the first of his servants to see how much he had gained by his trading. The answer was 10 minas (verses 16-17), and he was given authority over 10 cities. The second servant had earned 5 minas (verses 18-19) and was given authority over 5 cities. “Another one came, saying, ‘Master, here is your mina, which I have kept put away in a handkerchief’” (verse 20). The Master asked why he did not put his money in the bank to gain interest (verse 23) and was told that he was a wicked servant. He had made no effort at all.
In Luke 8:9-10 we learn about the purpose of parables: “And He said, ‘To you it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is given in parables, that “Seeing they may not see, And hearing they may not understand.”’”
Then, and today, God’s people can understand the parables that Jesus gave, and in the one quoted above in Luke 19, it is clear that His people ARE to be about their Father’s business, doing whatever they can, whenever they can, not making excuses for inaction.
One online commentator made these observations: “The main idea is that the servant’s responsible use of the master’s mina will be rewarded with increased responsibility in the future kingdom. The servant has shown himself faithful in a little thing; he will thus be faithful in much, and so much is now given to him. While salvation is by grace alone (the master freely gave the mina to each servant, apart from anything they had done), rewards will be proportionate to our service. We also learn that the servants’ service here was a test and a preparation for their future service in the kingdom. The master tested them to see if they would be faithful in a little thing. Their performance of their duties in this little thing was preparing them to graduate from servants to rulers, yet still under the Master.”
Inaction constitutes working against that which is required of us and will lead to serious loss. The third servant had a negative view of his Master which suggests that a failure to appreciate the Son of God for who He is and what He has done for us, and expects of us, can lead to serious neglect.
In short, God expects a return, that is the growth of all of those who have been called to His service. Because we all will have to give an account of ourselves at the return of Christ, we must faithfully do business with what we have been given (talents and abilities) until He returns.
God’s servants who have been faithful to Him and endured to the end will be rewarded accordingly. Those who have not been involved in the Work of God as they should have been, either through complacency or neglect, will suffer the consequences.
We read in Isaiah 2:2-3: “Now it shall come to pass in the latter days That the mountain of the LORD’s house Shall be established on the top of the mountains, And shall be exalted above the hills; And all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say, ‘Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths.’ For out of Zion shall go forth the law, And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.”
As born-again Spirit-composed members of the God Family at that time, we will assist Jesus Christ to educate those who will have survived the terrible time of the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord which will have left the world in such a mess.
We will help to turn the world to God through education. Those who did not die during this terrible time will begin to listen to God’s instruction and to practice God’s Way of Life. And we, who have had the responsibility of being involved in announcing God’s message to the world at this time, will then be able to work with those people to show them how to fulfil God’s purpose for their lives.
How are we being prepared to become tomorrow’s teachers? There are teaching opportunities all around us. Parents are to teach their children. Employers instruct employees. We teach ourselves by developing our talents. And in a small way, we are all, even now, teaching the world around us about God’s Way by the examples we set.
We are not all called to be ministers or those with big responsibilities in the Church but we can use those talents that God has given us, however meagre we may think they are, in His service. Everyone has something to give; it may be to help and encourage the brethren each Sabbath when attending Church services; it may be to assist those who need help in many other ways, but we do have to be DOERS. Sitting back and not doing anything or making excuses as to why we shouldn’t do this, that or the other is the inaction of an unprofitable servant and the ending won’t be good.
We all have to do whatever we can, however small that may seem, and God will reward us according to our works. We must never forget that our abilities that we currently have will be multiplied many times over in the Kingdom of God and we will be up to the job that we are to accomplish in God’s Kingdom.
When God calls us, He knows all about us, and our capabilities, and as long as we do the best we can with the talents that we have been given in this life now, we will be profitable servants for eternity.
In his book “The Wonderful World Tomorrow – What it Will Be Like,” Mr Herbert Armstrong makes these observations about great men in the Bible, but the same principle applies to all of God’s people. He wrote:
“Take outstanding, superior men, having undergone a human lifetime of this attitude, this training in the ways of success and perfection! But now change these men by a resurrection into the perfection of immortality! And consider that immortality will multiply their aptitudes, abilities and powers perhaps a million times above what they achieved as humans, by infusing into them the power and GLORY of God!”
As members of the Family of God at the resurrection, we will be perfect and, therefore, able to deal with any and all situations, and training and leading unconverted people during the Millennium will be just one of the many jobs that we will have to do and will do perfectly, as we will be perfect at that time – and forever!
Lead Writer: Brian Gale (United Kingdom)