August 25

Text: Matthew 24:45-51

 "Who then is the faithful and sensible slave whom his master put in charge of his household to give them their food at the proper time?  Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes.  Truly I say to you, that he will put him in charge of all his possessions.  But if that evil slave says in his heart, 'My master is not coming for a long time,í and shall begin to beat his fellow slaves and eat and drink with drunkards; the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour which he does not know, and shall cut him in pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites; weeping shall be there and the gnashing of teeth.Ē   (NASB)

Jesus concluded his Matthew 24 statement by declaring the importance of dependability.  He gave a parable that contrasted a dependable slave with a self-centered slaveóa good slave contrasted with an evil slave.  This devotional is devoted to the good slave.  This parable is not a statement on slavery, but an illustration based on a common reality the apostles understood.

First, note the emphasis (an emphasis occurring before and after this parable) is on being prepared.  The point is this: If one is prepared (serving as that person is responsible to serve) it matters not when the return occurs.  Being prepared in this parable is equated with doing what we should do and doing it continually.  The slave is busy with the tasks expected of him.  He is focused, so there is no time for procrastination that is fueled by speculation and irresponsible self-indulgence.

Second, note the question.  Who will the Master trust to take care of his family?  He certainly will entrust this precious task to someone who uses good judgment and is dependable.  Not just anyone can be trusted to care for the Masterís family!

Third, note that the slaveís behavior in the Masterís absence determined the level of trust the Master placed in the slave.  The Masterís choice was not based on an arbitrary decision, or any consideration that had little or nothing to do with the slaveís behavior.

Fourth, note that the Masterís decision was concerned with one thing: Who can I trust to take care of my family?  Motives produced behavior.  Behavior demonstrated responsibility.  Being continually responsible produced trust.  Trust produced increased opportunity.

In your life, observe this fact: the deeper you love, the more dependable you are.  The key for us in being dependable as we serve God is love for God.

Suggestion for reflection:  Can God depend on you?  (Read Luke 16:10-13.)

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