Righteous Risk…

Matthew 25:14-30 goes like this:

A Story About Three Servants

14 “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who was going to another place for a visit. Before he left, he called for his servants and told them to take care of his things while he was gone.15 He gave one servant five bags of gold, another servant two bags of gold, and a third servant one bag of gold, to each one as much as he could handle. Then he left.

16 The servant who got five bags went quickly to invest the money and earned five more bags. 17 In the same way, the servant who had two bags invested them and earned two more. 18 But the servant who got one bag went out and dug a hole in the ground and hid the master’s money.

19 “After a long time the master came home and asked the servants what they did with his money. 20 The servant who was given five bags of gold brought five more bags to the master and said, ‘Master, you trusted me to care for five bags of gold, so I used your five bags to earn five more.’21 The master answered, ‘You did well. You are a good and loyal servant. Because you were loyal with small things, I will let you care for much greater things. Come and share my joy with me.’

22 “Then the servant who had been given two bags of gold came to the master and said, ‘Master, you gave me two bags of gold to care for, so I used your two bags to earn two more.’23 The master answered, ‘You did well. You are a good and loyal servant. Because you were loyal with small things, I will let you care for much greater things. Come and share my joy with me.’

24 “Then the servant who had been given one bag of gold came to the master and said, ‘Master, I knew that you were a hard man. You harvest things you did not plant. You gather crops where you did not sow any seed. 25 So I was afraid and went and hid your money in the ground. Here is your bag of gold.’ 26 The master answered, ‘You are a wicked and lazy servant! You say you knew that I harvest things I did not plant and that I gather crops where I did not sow any seed. 27 So you should have put my gold in the bank. Then, when I came home, I would have received my gold back with interest.’

28 “So the master told his other servants, ‘Take the bag of gold from that servant and give it to the servant who has ten bags of gold. 29 Those who have much will get more, and they will have much more than they need. But those who do not have much will have everything taken away from them.’ 30 Then the master said, ‘Throw that useless servant outside, into the darkness where people will cry and grind their teeth with pain.’

(NCV)

For 47 years, since I was born, this passage of Scripture has been used, almost exclusively, about money. However, God has given me the ability to see past the words written on the actual pages of the 66 manuscripts which make up the Holy Bible. Although the direct words has important applications, I am going to attempt for you to see it as I see it.

Two out of the three servants doubled their possessions the man left them with, whereas the other was so afraid of losing the man’s “money” that the servant hid the “money” in the ground until the master came back. The difference is that the two servants had to risk the possession that the master had entrusted to them in order to come back with the report that they doubled the man’s money. Yet, the master did not say how long he would be gone. However, with the man being gone so long, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that they made some risky investments of this man’s possession. Maybe they lost a few items along the way; yet when the master finally came back, the servants were pleased to report that they doubled the man’s possessions.

I wish the third servant had learned to take the righteous risk that the other two did; however, he or she did not. See, they were so afraid of losing the man’s possession (the master’s money) they, instead, hid the possession. After studying this passage of Scripture I would say that possession is eternal life through Jesus Christ.

See, no mention of a bank was used in the Righteous Riskers story where they could deposit the money, and thus collect interest. No! They put their money to work, going outside the “traditional” method of collecting interest. It took great risk; however, these two servants had a high expectation of what was required of them, especially where they didn’t know what time the master was coming back. So they put the master’s money to good use.

The money, in this case, was used to serve a purpose. The money, itself, was used to get people’s attention (because all people care about money, even the True Life Christians), not as some investment strategy. Rather, True Life Christians are supposed to spread the eternal life message of Jesus Christ to the world (even though it might cost everything you have), starting with the ones closest to you no matter what the personal cost (and I wouldn’t think of cost in the traditional sense, as in terms of money).

I hope the reading of this gives you something to ponder and then act as James 2:14-26 so eloquently puts it:

14 My brothers and sisters, if people say they have faith, but do nothing, their faith is worth nothing. Can faith like that save them? 15 A brother or sister in Christ might need clothes or food. 16 If you say to that person, “God be with you! I hope you stay warm and get plenty to eat,” but you do not give what that person needs, your words are worth nothing. 17 In the same way, faith by itself—that does nothing—is dead.

18 Someone might say, “You have faith, but I have deeds.” Show me your faith without doing anything, and I will show you my faith by what I do.

19 You believe there is one God. Good! But the demons believe that, too, and they tremble with fear.

20 You foolish person! Must you be shown that faith that does nothing is worth nothing?

21 Abraham, our ancestor, was made right with God by what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar. 22 So you see that Abraham’s faith and the things he did worked together. His faith was made perfect by what he did. 23 This shows the full meaning of the Scripture that says: “Abraham believed God, and God accepted Abraham’s faith, and that faith made him right with God.” And Abraham was called God’s friend.

24 So you see that people are made right with God by what they do, not by faith only.

25 Another example is Rahab, a prostitute, who was made right with God by something she did. She welcomed the spies into her home and helped them escape by a different road.

26 Just as a person’s body that does not have a spirit is dead, so faith that does nothing is dead! (NCV)

——————————————————Here is a couple of YouTube music videos that demonstrate the kind of action that True Life Christians should be following:

“Love Is Action”-Tauren Wells

“Let’s Talk About It”-Branan Murphy

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