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Faithful or Fearful

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Martin Luther on Faithfulness

Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations 1511 Epigram on Faithfulness

Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my little apple tree and pay my debts.

—Martin Luther

Matthew 25:13–14 ESV
Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour. “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property.
τὰ ὑπάρχοντα - the possessions.
Both of these parables call us to watchfulness. γρηγορέω is the verb that is translated in v 13 as “watch.” This message is not for those who have no intention of believing the Gospel, but for those who have been joined to Christ in His death and resurrection.

3 As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” 4 And Jesus answered them,

This entire passage, from to , is addressed to the disciples, not to the world. The Lord really has only one message for the World, the same message that Peter preached on the Day of Pentecost:
“Repent and believe the Gospel!”
Acts 2:36–39 ESV
Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.” Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”
After that, Everything else that God says to the Church can be distilled into one thought: Be faithful.
Everything that we do as Christians, in terms of “Witness - Mercy - Life Together” like a soloist’s jazz riff, plays off this simple theme. Our responsibilities might differ, our area and scope of ministry might as well, but the call is the same for each of us: be faithful.
This parable is all about faithfulness and fearfulness. The Master expected from his servants, not profitability, not fame, but faithfulness.
Our study of our confessions should have but one goal - encouragement to faithfulness.
The Lord is good to us, just like that master was good to his servants:
“to each according to his ability” (). God isn’t looking at you and saying, “You all need to be just like Jesus, or like Peter or Paul.”
Each of us, as believers, has been gifted with the Holy Spirit and faith through the power of the proclamation of the Gospel. God isn’t looking at our studiousness, our profitability, or our powerfulness. He’s looking at our faithfulness.
The devil is looking for something, too. He’s looking for our fearfulness!
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.He gave to eac
When God sends His Word to you, what is your response? Faith or Fear?
The 1st servant was faithful:
Matthew 25:16 ESV
He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more.
The 2nd servant was also faithful, even though his responsibilities were fewer.
Matthew 25:17 ESV
So also he who had the two talents made two talents more.
The last servant, failed to follow in the footsteps of the first. He was not faithful, although he expended a lot of energy.
Matthew 25:18 ESV
But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money.
It often takes more energy to walk in fearfulness than to walk in faithfulness. Fear will make you do a lot of crazy things....
But Pastor, doesn’t the Bible say that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom?” But that’s just it - it’s the BEGINNING - not the COMPLETION of it.
Matthew 25:24–25 ESV
He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’
A long time ago, some Lutherans were afraid - afraid of worshipping with strangers.
24 He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’
Today, along with that fear, we wrestle with other fears :
failure
rejection
More than we fear GOD!
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