By: Brandon T. Ward
As children we went to school each and every day to learn about life and the ways of the world. We spent hours in class after class only to come home and spend hours more doing homework. The knowledge we obtained led us where we are today, good or bad. Seeking a brighter future, some of us learned a trade, some of us started our own businesses, while others went off to college. We studied day in and day out, night and day we studied to ensure we possessed the knowledge required in order to pass the big test, to make the grade and succeed in this world.
Finally, graduation day arrives and with that degree we obtained wonderful jobs which provided us with the things we sought after in life. Our education did not stop there, we had to invest more time and energy into that new job in order to learn the ins and outs of it which refined our skills and made us more valuable to our employers.
Looking back on life and thinking it through, we realize had we not put in all of that work, had we not invested our time and energy into our education and jobs we would not be where we are today…
With that thought now in our mind, let us ask ourselves. How much time have we invested in God?
If we think back to our school days we will recall all those uncountable hours we poured into our education. But how many hours have we poured into God’s Word, The Bible? Granted, many of us go to church on Sunday for an hour and learn a few verses from the Bible. But let me ask you. If you only read a few sentences of your textbook in school once a week, would you have passed your tests? Of course not, you would have failed miserably. So why have we taken this approach with our Father in Heaven?
You see, The Bible is the Textbook of Life. If we fail to study it, if we fail to read it with understanding then we will fail the test of life. There will be no teacher there to slap us on the hand. Rather, we will stand before our Father in Heaven face to face and He will ask… ‘Why did you fail to study the Textbook that I sent to you?‘ What will your answer be?
The Bible, life’s Textbook is an extremely beautiful letter. The Bible tells us how to obtain wisdom (Proverbs 2:6). How to handle our finances, advising us not to partake of usury as it makes us a debtor, a slave effectively placing ourselves into bondage (Leviticus 25:35-39). God’s Textbook explains what we should and should not put into our bodies for the good of our health and so much more (Leviticus 11:2-23).
We fail to act on these basic principles in the written Word because we do not know they exist or we have not invested the time to understand them. Then we wonder why we are burdened with debts and health problems. Some of us even blame God for the burdens we brought on ourselves or allowed others to commit. We should remember, God bestows blessings upon us, not burdens (Jeremiah 23:33-40).
As we have invested in our earthly educations, we must also invest in our spiritual education by studying God’s Word, reading it with understanding. If not, how can we expect to know what will soon take hold on the earth if we have not studied? We are the end times generation my friends and our test will ultimately be the Tribulation of Satan. We do not want to become a part of the sea and waves that are roaring.
How do we intend to pass that test when we only read a few sentences from God’s Word once a week? If we do not study, we are setting ourselves up for failure.
Some might say, how can I fail when I am saved by grace? It is true, we are saved by grace. If we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ we will be saved (John 3:16). But is that all we wish to accomplish in our spiritual life? The bare minimum?
There is so much more we can attain than the bare minimum, so much more than the introductory salvation message. For those who take the time to seek out the scriptures, those who take the time to study for the test of life our Father has promised, “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him,” (1 Corinthians 2:9). If we love our Father, than we should take an interest in Him and His Word. Think for a moment, how would we feel if our children only took interest in us once a week?
God should not be some distant thought in our life that we visit for an hour once a week. God should be a part of our daily life in some fashion. Maybe it is music, a simple prayer or opening the Bible to read a chapter. We must understand, Christianity is not a religion, it is reality. We need to make Him a part of our life or our reality is not Christ but a facade of Him instead.
If we are having difficulty finding the desire to seek after God then let us pray about it. Ask Him to give us that desire, that will to learn about Him and His Word. If we diligently and honestly seek Him in prayer He will answer that request.
In order to attain the promise we read of in 1 Corinthians 2:9 our Father requires us to put in work. “Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be,” (Revelation 22:12). God will reward us according to what? Did it say faith? No, by faith we are saved by our works we are rewarded. God demands work for a reward? Are you working for Him?
This does not mean we all must become preachers and teachers in the Word of God. But it does mean we need to focus on Him, it means we need to bring Him into our daily lives. Think for a moment, if we only went to our daily jobs once a week for an hour or two, how long do you think we would be employed? Not very long, your employer needs someone every day, someone who can get the job done. If we have this expectation from a mere man, why do we expect a different result from our Heavenly Father?
Let us listen to a parable from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
14 “For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.”
This parable is about a lord handing his goods over to his servants, he expects them to take care of his valuables while he travels into a country far away.
15 “And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.”
God knows our abilities in life, He never gives us more than what we can handle.
16 “Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.”
What did this servant do? He put in work to increase his lord’s profits and doubled his portion.
17 “And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.
Likewise this servant also doubled what he was given, he put in work for his lord.
18 “But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money.”
This was a huge mistake by this servant. We do not hide our light under a bushel, we should, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven,” (Matthew 5:16).
19 “After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.”
20 “And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.”
21 “His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”
His lord was pleased because his servant put in work and doubled the profits returning them back to him. Notice, in this parable by Christ. He said I gave you a few things and I will make you a ruler over many things. Why? Because the servant was faithful to his lord, he listened to his instruction.
22 “He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.”
23 “His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”
Even though his lord only gave him two talents this servant was still blessed with many rewards from his lord. Why? Because the servant tried, he put in that work that was required of him. His ability was known and in turn he created the profit that he was capable of.
Matthew 25:24 -27
24 “Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed:”
25 “And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.”
26 “His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:”
27 “Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.”
Christ explains, this servant could have at least deposited the money with the bankers and it would have received interest, but this servant did not have the time. He did not expand the kingdom of his lord.
28 “Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.”
Take from the servant who will not work and give to the servant who can produce.
29 “For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.”
30 “And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Are you a profitable servant for Christ like the servants with the five and two talents? Or are you an unprofitable servant for the Lord who will be cast into the darkness?
The truth is we can become profitable for the Lord and ourselves right now on earth and in the age to come. We must note, there is no sin in owning nice possessions as long as we have obtained them righteously. But even so, they ultimately mean nothing in the world that will come.
Let us listen to the Word’s of Christ.
19 “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:”
20 “But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:”
21 “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
While our earthly education provides us with earthly riches, our spiritual education will provide us with heavenly riches that will endure forever!
A part of that spiritual education is understanding who our adversary is. That is of course Satan who accuses us day and night before our Father in Heaven (Revelation 12:10). Satan has been plotting our demise for thousands of years and Christians expect to defeat him with what? A few verses that they learned on Sunday? They must be kidding themselves. We are flesh and bone while Satan and His angels are supernatural, how can we hope to defeat them if we have not sought out the scriptures that identify what their attack plan is and who they will appear as? How will we understand what God’s promises of protection are if we have not sought them out?
If we fail to invest in our spiritual education as we have invested in our earthly education we will ultimately fail our test of life. We will fail during the Tribulation becoming that wicked slothful servant who was unprofitable and cast into darkness with the five foolish virgins who ran out of oil, effectively being shut out of the Wedding of Christ.
As the scriptures proclaim, “there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth,” (Matthew 13:42).