Living with the End in View involves
Appreciating our Master
And another came, saying “Master, here is your mina, which I have kept put away in a handkerchief. For I feared you, because you are an austere man. You collect what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.”
And he said to him, “Out of your own mouth I will judge you, you wicked servant. You knew that I was an austere man, … Why then did you not put my money in the bank, that at my coming I might have collected it with interest?” (Luke 19:20–23)
Here we see the peril of not acting upon what we know of Christ. This servant was entrusted with very little, just one mina. A servant of the same master did business with the same amount and returned ten-fold profit. Another servant with one mina returned five-fold. Both knew their master demanded a return from his investment, and worked according to their ability. The master praised the two equally for their returns, but rebuked the third who did nothing with his money.
What do we know of Christ? Some of us tend to take hold of a narrow slice of Christ and go no further. For instance, some take Jesus as “my buddy. He’s my friend.” In which case He’ll overlook every sin and let bygones by bygones. The believer does not fear the judgment, for there will be none. How could their buddy say anything unkind?
For others, Jesus simply forgives. “Not perfect; just forgiven” is their motto. The verses at top will be dismissed with, “Jesus will forgive our negligence and will not demand an accounting of what was entrusted to us.”
Others believe in a meek and mild Jesus, who only desires their comfort. They will not think of sin and accountability. They gloss over a Jesus who wielded a whip, who fearlessly disputed with murderous Pharisees, and who told the truth at His trial though it would lead to His crucifixion. In other words, sin and accountability indeed meant much to Jesus.
Still others believe God is a harsh master, and refrain from any dealings with Him. They see Him as unfair. However, would it not be eternally advantageous to serve Him in fear on His terms?
• hold us accountable (top verses)
• withdraw forgiveness to us if we withdraw it from others (Matt. 6:14–15, 18:34–35)
• know intimately those who do the will of God and reject others (Matt. 7:21–27)
• prefers people of faith for His kingdom (Matt. 8:10–12)
• place more responsibilities on those who know His words and works (Matt. 11:20–24, 12:28–42)
• reward us according to our works (Matt. 16:27)
• deal harshly with those who turn someone to sin (Matt. 18:6–9).
Read the above points again and ask yourself: “Does this portrayal fit my concept of Jesus?”
Knowing that He has entrusted life, time, and gifts to our care, what shall we do? A good beginning is to broaden any narrow views we have of the Son of God. Don’t let a concept of Christ take the place of Scripture’s leading. Allow certain verses to elicit love and adoration. Let other passages strike fear and reverence into our hearts. Still more Scriptures should call us to action or repentance.
Living with the end in view means to appreciate the many dimensions of our Savior and Lord.
Steps of faith:
Pick up a book on the names of God and read to broaden your understanding of who God is.
Prayerfully consider that if you were to die today, what account would you give? Write it out.