Let’s Celebrate Together!

I’ve read the Parable of the Three Servants countless times, in several different translations over the years, but this morning I discovered something new.  In Matthew 25:23, Jesus is telling us – yes, this is Jesus telling the story (sometimes I forget that!) of the Master’s response to the second servant, who had received two bags of silver to invest and earned two more.

The master said, “Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!” NLT

If you back up to verse 21 – which I blazed by without noticing, the master gave the very same response to the first servant who was entrusted with five bags of silver and earned five more on that investment.  Let’s celebrate together?  Seriously?  I never saw those words before.  I imagine they have been overshadowed by the more familiar “shoot for the stars, you have arrived” spiritual quest in being graced with the words “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”  And then there is the underpinning of shame I feel at not having handled my personal finances responsibly over the years, and the fear that God will never entrust me with anything bigger.

The Message paraphrases Matthew 25:23 this way –

His master commended him: ‘Good work! You did your job well. From now on be my partner.’

Good work!  I love that!  It doesn’t have to be perfect work, I don’t have to master the job, prove myself completely responsible -whether we’re talking finances or career, ministry or personal relationships.  I just have to do it well, and that alone is cause for celebration with the one true Master.

And the best part of all?  God wants me to be His partner – He always has, always will.  He just wants me to do my part – my imperfect, sometimes irresponsible, miss-the-mark part, so that He can fill in the spaces and allow me to gain victory over even the smallest things in my life through Him.  That is great cause for celebration, and even in that our Master says “Let’s celebrate together!”

In what area of your life will you let the Master partner with you today, and then celebrate together?

All or Nothing

I’m an “all or nothing” kind of girl.  When I don’t have time to blog “right” – that is, a well-developed piece of writing sparked by a Spirit-led connection I make in my prayer time that includes my thoughts, a Scripture passage, maybe a personal story or a song, and always a question for my readers – a “sanity check” really to make sure I’m normal, & then a challenge for you and I to look deeper at what God has laid on my heart, …. well, you know what happens – all kinds of lengthy lapses in blog posts.

This bugs me, because the Holy Spirit still fires up those ideas daily, and sharing my thoughts with you when I blog deepens my growing relationship with God, so I’m missing out on all that God has for me.  I may even be cheating you in withholding the everyday challenges God brings to my attention during my quiet time in the green chair.  I’ve tried to get a little bit of that spiritual bounce going lately by posting a quote from my morning devotions as my Facebook status, but the occasional Like at sharing someone else’s words doesn’t really make me feel like a disciple of Christ.

Today’s daily devotion from The Word for You Today had a quote from Richard Wumbrand, who wrote Tortured For Christ – “What a person really believes is not what he says in his creeds, but what he’s willing to die for.”  The devotion goes on to say that the odds are that I will never be called upon to die for Jesus – right, so believing that’s true, this “all or nothing” God’s girl wouldn’t normally think much beyond that.  But here’s what hit me hard, the line that followed –

“But the question is, if you’re not willing to die for Him, what are the chances you’ll really live for Him?”

Whoa!  Now that gives me pause, seriously, because living for Him should definitely not be thrown out with the unlikelihood that I’ll ever have to face dying for Him.  My all or nothing thinking has to stop here!  I want it to stop here!  I want to live for Him every day.

I have gone through seasons of my life when exercise was an all or nothing venture.  If I didn’t have an hour to go to the gym or a personal trainer or even take a walk outside, I would do nothing at all.  But I began doing Leslie Sansone Walk at Home DVDs almost a year ago, and have been amazed at how easy it is to slim down and tone muscles with a 1 mile walk in just 15 minutes, right in my own living room.  There is a lot in between “all” and “nothing”.

How about you?  Do you have “all or nothing” operating in any areas of your life?  Are you really living for Him?