Faithful Dave

26 Jul

A good friend of mine called Dave has up until recently been on the fabric team at his church. He provides me with much amusement as he recounts how, he’s not very good at using power sanders, and causes the leaders of the team to pull their hair out in frustration, as Dave struggles to flex his DIY muscle. The church is in a period of restoration and I find myself laughing as Dave tells me the only responsibility he is allowed to have, is screwing in light bulbs.

Of course, the majority of the situation is jest. The church and the fabric team are glad he has been involved (if its for nothing more than his acute sense of humour). Dave will freely admit DIY isn’t his strong suit.

But there is something to learn from this dear old friend. You see, every time he goes through these DIY disaster moments, every time he has felt out of his depth or inept. Every time he finds himself doing the least glamorous jobs in the church, he always utters to himself “treasure in heaven Dave, treasure in heaven.” What a mindset to have!

Matthew 25:14-22

Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. So also, the one with the two talents gained two more. But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.’

His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

The man with the two talents also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.’

His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

Having a “kingdom mindset” will greatly help us in being faithful from day to day. A person with the kingdom mindset sees himself as God’s servant and is aware that he is under his authority at all times. Jesus illustrated the kingdom mindset in the parable of the talents. In the parable, the master entrusted his money to his three servants prior to a journey. Upon return, he rewarded the two servants who had invested the money. He rebuked the third who had not invested, gave his portion to the most profitable servant, and had him punished severely.

The kingdom mindset recognizes that we will give an account to God, just as the servants gave account to the master. God entrusts resources to us and expects us to put them to use for his interests. At the end of the age, we’ll have to give an account to God for how we lived and what we did with what he gave us.

Paul wrote:

So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. (2 Corinthians 5:9-10)

Whether we are caring for our elderly parent, filling in paperwork at the office, or driving the church van, we are to do it heartily as we would for the Lord Himself.

Our culture seduces us into a search for the big act, the big dividend and the big idea. Not content to trudge forward tenaciously and diligently, we spend our lives in a frenzied search for a magic pill that will bring us prosperity, popularity, potency and power. Even in our service to God, if we can’t find ways to make a big splash, then we grow weary of making any splash.

Isn’t it amazing that the righteous Jesus commends in this passage of Matthew 25 are surprised by His words of praise? It reminds us that many faithful followers of Christ, who never serve in foreign mission fields, who never conquer disease, who never lead a congregation, who never manage greatness on the world’s terms, will find their hours at the desk, their moments on their knees, their lunchtimes listening to troubled friends, to be the very things Christ points to when He speaks of their treasures laid up in heaven.

Only a few are called to step into visible or dramatic roles in a culture. Only a few are called to visible or dramatic roles in the Kingdom of God. But every one of us is called to faithfulness, and that in the end is the ultimate standard by which we should measure ourselves, and by which we will be measured.

I believe it’s those “I really don’t want to do this” things that makes God smile. We are most like Jesus when we are giving, knowing that we are getting nothing in return. No money, no warm fuzzies, no important people saying “you’re great”.

It’s important to keep a balanced diet of service. Sure, sometimes we will get the opportunity to do great things. Praise God for them! But let’s not give up serving the least with our gifts.

Oh and by the way, Dave is off to Bible college this summer, a future pastor perhaps??!!! And to think it all started with light bulbs!

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2 Responses to “Faithful Dave”

  1. Ki July 26, 2008 at 5:52 pm #

    Beautiful post. Just what I needed. Thank you.

  2. Jo August 18, 2008 at 7:15 pm #

    I second what Ki said

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