Luke 12:35-40 "Let your loins be girded and your lamps burning.
Be like men watching for their lord, when he returns from the marriage
feast; that, when he comes and knocks, they may immediately open to him.
Blessed are those servants, whom the lord will find watching when he comes.
Most assuredly I tell you, that he will dress himself, and make them recline,
and will come and serve them. They will be blessed if he comes in the second
or third watch, and finds them so. But know this, that if the master of
the house had known in what hour the thief was coming, he would have watched,
and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore be ready also, for
the Son of Man is coming in an hour that you donít expect him." (web)
Describe a situation in which you were caught unprepared?
What are reasons for why were are often unprepared for events we believe
If you were to die today, do you feel you would have fulfilled all
of your responsibilities?
Do you feel that you have perhaps taken on unncessary responsibilites
that have hindered you from fulfilling the really important things?
Would you have fulfilled your ministry God has called you to?
What can you do today to full these responsibilities?
Serving Christ is not optional in the Christian life. Not that salvation
is performance-based. We neither gain nor lose salvation based upon our
performance. But rather we reveal the quality of our faith by our behavior.
If we truly believe that Jesus is Lord, then we will treat him that way.
By faith we take on the role of servants, for that is what we are. The
role of servant today is better illustrated by a position in the military,
as opposed to simply being an employee. It's a 24 hour job and at any time
you may face judgement from your commanding officer. You may even be asked
to give up your own life.
Reward for Service
Employees expect to get paid for their work. But God is not obligated to
reward us for good service. For we are slaves to Christ, bought with the
price of his blood. We serve because that is our purpose given to us by
the Creator. Nonetheless, because He is gracious, he does indeed reward
us for our service. But it is not impersonal like paying a salary, but
rather out of genuine appreciation for our services. There are those who
have the mentality of "What do I get out of it?" They only serve if they
see something in it for them. Jesus does encourage such people to serve
by pointing out these rewards, but as one matures in Christ, service is
seen more as a priviledge rather than simply a means to personal gain.
The illustration of the thief may seem quite in contrast to the master
returning. But what he is trying to get at is the element of surprise.
It is not that Jesus comes to steal something. There are those who think
that Jesus tip-toes in through the window to secretly rapture believers
away. But this doens't fit the context. For then the believers would welcome
such a thief in to be raptured away. Thieves don't generally break in to
steal the owner of the house. And the servants are put in the role of the
owner by proxy. The thief in the night illustration is not necessarily
one of secretiveness, but one of surprise. Jesus' return is spoken
in the New Testament as a single dramatic event, which will not be in secret.
Be dressed and ready all the time, keep your lamps burning
Like men waiting for their master from the feast returning
So that when he comes you will open up the door
It will be good for such servants, yes forevermore.
For them the master will dress himself to serve
And will treat them kindly just as they deserve
When the master comes, in those servants he'll delight
Though he may have come in the middle of the night.
If you own a house and know when a thief will come
You'd surely be prepared or else you would be dumb.
You also must be ready. Yes, even all the time.
Or the Son of Man may come just when you commit a crime