Take a moment a crack open your bible to Matthew 25. Read the three parables/stories and then come back to finish this blog post. That way we’ll be on the same page going forward!
When I wake up in the morning I really like to sit quietly for a few minutes and read my bible. I love to spend time being quiet before the King and letting His Holy Spirit speak to my heart. There are a many mornings where this doesn’t happen because I’m a part of the human race, but this is the common goal of every morning. Sometimes I find myself needing to read the last two chapters of Revelation because I just need the reminder that eventually there is a day coming where Jesus will return and God wins big. I need that reminder. I need that hope. He is coming back, He will right all wrongs, He will vanquish all evil, and He will win and rule forever. Hallelujah!
All the while, we wait down here. Wait is an interesting word to an American. I referenced earlier that I’m a part of the human race and I’m not sure if any other group of people race quite like Americans. We are a busy people! We’ve got a ton to do. every. single. day. So, overall, we don’t do waiting well. But, maybe it is our definition of waiting that really gets in the way. Dictionary.com defines to wait as, “to remain inactive or in a state of repose, as until something expected happens.” And that is the problem between our English language and the biblical idea of waiting.
Lets head back to Matthew 25. In Matthew 25 Jesus relates three parables/applicable stories to waiting for the kingdom of heaven–either waiting for Jesus’ second coming or being called home before that day. The first parable is about the 10 Virgins and the idea is simple–you need to wait wisely with expectations that things could take longer than planned because none of us know the time or hour that Jesus will return. This kind of cracks me up because at our house flexibility is so hard! But the idea is simple, I need to be moldable to God’s will and timing and I need to plan for His will to be different than my own. AND the waiting part is active not inactive. The five wise virgins planned and prepared and they weren’t left waiting out in the dark after the bridegroom came! They were prepared to be flexible. They looked ahead and thought it would be a good idea to bring more oil for their lamps than the situation appeared to need at first. So let’s take away the main lesson from these wise virgins–we need to wait actively with anticipation and wisdom, prepared to be flexible to God’s will and timing.
The second parable is The Parable of the Talents. Most of us in church life have read this story over and over again because it is important! The idea is to USE what God has given you for His glory and His kingdom! Again waiting is not passive! Waiting is active! While we are waiting for “kingdom come” we need to actively set about doing His will using the gifts He has given to each of us. Ephesians 2:10 sits on my mirror and it reminds me every morning, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (ESV) Everyday we each have good works to do; they are to be our way of life. Don’t squander your talents while the master is away–wait for His return with anticipation and wisdom, prepared to use the talents He has given you to further the Kingdom of God.
The third parable is about the goats and sheep. This parable brings the main points of the first two together with the third important piece–your relationship with Jesus. It is imperative to get this third piece correct because otherwise you will be locked out of the wedding feast like the five foolish virgins. The picture in this parable is of a multitude of people who thought they were working for the good of the kingdom of God–they were waiting actively, but they neglected the most important part–an actual relationship WITH Jesus. I get this picture of all of these people running around doing “important” things that made them look the part of a Christian–but they weren’t willing to do the little things that pleased the heart of the Father because they knew not the heart of the Father. Why in the world would you be willing to wait (in the active sense) upon Jesus if you didn’t even really believe that He was coming back?! That kind of double-mindedness is crazy to me–yet it is clear that there will be many who choose their own path instead of the King’s. Don’t be a goat. “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” (John 10:27 ESV emphasis my own.) Again, don’t be a goat, be a sheep who waits for His return with anticipation and wisdom, prepared with a heart that loves God deeply and follows His voice where ever He leads.
“He who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely I am coming soon.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!” Revelation 22:20 ESV
Oh Lord Jesus, thank You that You are coming again soon and we can count upon Your word to guide our steps in the mean time. Please help us to be wise stewards of the talents and time You have given us. Help us to walk in the good works You give us daily. Thank You, Lord, that You love and long for us to know You more and more every day. Help us, please, to strengthen our love for You! Amen