Who likes waiting? Not me! But it is an important season. Let's learn why and what we can learn from waiting.
Hello, everybody. Welcome to the Dona Watson Show. I'm your host, Dona Watson. I'm just an average American Patriot who loves God, her family, her country. I try really hard to listen to God's voice. Sometimes I write stuff. Come with me, together let's explore this crazy experience we call life. Welcome to the show.:
Hello, hello, everybody. Welcome to podcast number 19: "Taking Care of Business While We Wait." Waiting. Ugh. Waiting has to be one of the toughest gigs around and how most of us hate it. We get so impatient waiting for things. In fact, as a culture, we hate waiting so much that we've focused so much of our society's developing technology on making things happen faster, and we've become so used to achieving instant gratification through tech, like instant messages, and guess what? It's only stoked our hatred of waiting even more.Speaker 1:
But today I want to suggest to you that waiting is not a waste of time. It is a valuable process that if used properly can enrich our lives and the lives of those around us. Now, disqualifier, I'm not a fan of waiting. No more than the next girl. But let's look at a couple of stories that Christ told and see how that applies. In Matthew 25, we find Christ telling his followers the parable of the talents followed by a frank discussion of the Second Coming. And today I'd like to consider these not as two separate stories, but as one. Starting in Matthew 25, verse 14, we find the story of a man who went on a journey. But before he left, he called his servants together and entrusted them with his possessions. The unit of measurement in the Bible story here is a talent. And that was worth about 6,000 days of wages. So to one servant, he gave him five talents and to another two talents. And to the third one talent. The servants who received five and two talents put the money to work. They doubled the investment through their efforts, but the man who received only one talent, dug a hole in the ground and hid the money. You might be familiar with the story, but just bear with me here. The Bible says that after a long time, the master returned and called his servants together to settle the accounts. Well, the master was really pleased with the first two and he congratulated them on their results. He told them both: "Well done, good and faithful servants! You were faithful over a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Share your master's joy." But the man who had received only one talent, dug it up. He brought it back, groveling, and says, "Master, I know you, you're a harsh man, reaping where you haven't sown and gathering where you haven't scattered seed. So I was afraid and I went off and I hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours." But all that this servant achieved was his master's anger. The master replied, "You evil, lazy servant! If you knew this about me, you should have deposited my money with the bankers, and I would have received it back with interest." So the master took the one talent. He gave it to the servant who had doubled the five talents, the guy who knew what to do with it. I've heard a lot of sermons and studies over the years based on this passage. And they , um , many of those would follow the, "use it or lose it" theme. You know, God has given us all talents. If we don't use them, we will eventually lose those abilities. Now, while I don't disagree with that, I'd like to examine this story in light of the passage that follows it. Going back, we look at verse 31, Jesus is talking about his return and it reads, "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. All of the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate them one from another, just as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on the left. And then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.'" Now here's the part that I don't want us to miss. Christ is speaking prophetically here about the end of time. Why is he talking about rewarding this group? What did they do to earn his pleasure? Let's pick up the reading again in verse 35, Matthew 25:35. Jesus says, "'For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink; I was a stranger and you took me in; I was naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you took care of me; I was in prison and you visited me.' Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and take you in, or without clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick, or in prison, and visit you?' And the King will answer them, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'":
What Christ is talking about here is how this group of faithful servants used the talents they were given. If you remember nothing else from today, please remember that. By sharing their resources of food, drink and clothing and by investing time, by visiting those who were sick or in prison, they were investing their talents into the kingdom.Speaker 1:
In the end of the account, verses 41 to 46, the story follows the plot of the parable of the talents. Those who sheltered in a safe place and kept to themselves while they awaited the Lord's return only earned his displeasure. Sure, maybe they thought they were keeping themselves pure, but in the Lord's eyes, he said, "I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat; I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink; I was a stranger and you didn't take me in; I was naked and you didn't clothe me, sick and in prison and you didn't take care of me." You see, here's the tragedy--in keeping to themselves, this second group totally missed the boat. They never saw the needs in front of them, staring them in their face. And what will it earn them in the end? Eternal punishment. That's what the scripture says. Remember, this is a prophetic account. It has not yet come to pass. We still have time to pick sides. This, right now, is our period of waiting. While we are waiting for our Lord's return, how are we using our time? Are we focused on just ourselves and how well we're managing our resources, investments and retirement accounts? Or are we using our talents wisely to touch others? In doing so we're reaching out to touch the hand of Christ. This is something very precious that I learned from some dear men of God. When my husband, Steve, was sick with cancer, we were visited from time to time by handful of Coptic Orthodox priests who take this passage very seriously. Not only did they visit the sick, but when they prayed for Steve and touched him, I could see the reverence. They were seeing the opportunity to minister to Christ. Their kindness impacted me deeply. And I will never forget it. So I ask you today, what talents, what resources do you have that need to be shared while we await our Lord's return? Let's make sure we're using our time wisely. That's all I have for today, you guys. Remember God loves you and I do too. Until next time, bye!