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In this Issue

PLANTED TO GROW


In Other News

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PLANTED TO GROW

Everything that God created and is born of the Spirit is always moving into new phases of maturation, and Adam was to be no different. Out of the garden flowed a river that divided into four and went out to water the entire earth. In olden times rivers were the main means of transportation and communication. People lived their lives around the river. By means of the rivers man was to be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth. In other words they were not placed in the garden to become static. No! God had a purpose for them as He has for everything. He had one for Israel, He had one for Adam, and He has one for you and me, His body. God is not motionless, and the man He created was not to be stationary. I cannot think of anything more self destructive or boring than a static Christian existence.

People say to us, "Don't you get sick of what you're doing, writing and moving here and there all the time?" and we tell them absolutely not, we love doing God's will. A body is always moving into new phases of maturation. script Ephesians 4:15 . "That we be no longer children but growing up into Him in all things." We all have areas we need to grow up in.

Genesis 2:5 "There was not a man to till, cultivate the land." Vs 15 "And the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden to dress it; and to keep it." Adam was to dress, cultivate, and develop the garden under God. When God puts you somewhere it's not to stand idly around. The man was not created to be inactive, but to be fruitfully creative, and multiply. Wherever you are put, dress it, seek to excel in it, and grow with it. It becomes a delightful discipline to cultivate and improve your garden, to watch it grow and become fruitful, so that when the Lord comes down in the cool of the evening you can have a chat about it. Wherever God has put you don't allow it to become overgrown with weeds, dress it, and improve upon it until you get your new posting.

Song of Songs 1:6b "They made me keeper of the vineyards." Every living thing on earth works. Jesus said my Father works and I work also, and then He said "Father I have finished the work you have given me to do." He has made all things to both operate and co-operate.

Genesis 2:15b. Adam was "To keep it." This immediately suggests that it could come under attack: But from what or whom? It proposes the possibility that it could be lost. That it could be taken from him. That it needed protecting. There's an overriding principle that says to us that everything we receive from God is given for us to dress and to protect, but if we fail and allow it to become overgrown and unproductive, we will loose it, He will take it from us. That goes for everything, your marriage, your ministry, and your children.

Isaiah 5:1-7 God said let me talk to you about my vineyard. I planted a goodly vineyard…and it brought forth-wild grapes. He did everything He could for Israel; given every opportunity to be fruitful they failed. Their journey for the last 2000 years is testimony to what happens to a disobedient people.

THE LAW OF TRADING

Many men and women have lost their garden because they would not dress what they had and didn't seek to excel in it. They were discontent with where God had put them; and so didn't bother to try and develop it, leaving themselves unprotected they were vulnerable, becoming easy pickings for the enemy.

Matthew 25:14. "For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants and delivered unto them his goods." In this parable the opportunity is given to each servant to be enterprising. The moral here is that we are all responsible for the Master's goods. We have nothing that we didn't receive; we are simply stewards of another man's goods. In this parable distribution was made according to the individual's ability. Ability is a question of fitness, while a talent is a measurement indicating quantity. In our usage of the word talent it would indicate the individual had special gifts and power, but that is not the meaning here. Note what is said, "Unto one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability." Ability is something entirely different from talents. In ability the question of amount doesn't enter in. It's a question of suitability, fitness to be able to do the required task. He gives to each man what he is capable of handling. This principle can be applied to all our service. For example the Lord doesn't call those to preach who do not have a natural ability to speak. He could do it, but he rarely does. Then he that received five went and traded with his talents and made another five. He was enterprising, industrious, and as such became fruitful. The key to his success was he traded. He was a man of fidelity, he knew he was in a position of trust and his master was depending on him.

Ephesians 5:15-16. "Look carefully to the way you walk! Live purposefully, worthily, and stay on course, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise sensible intelligent people. Make the very most of your time, buy up every opportunity, because the days are evil." We shall see as this story unfolds that fidelity is most essential in a servant. To the next servant he gave two talents, and to the third one. We do not all enter life with the same abilities or opportunities. Some are born brighter than others are, some stronger than others are, while others have inherent aptitudes and skills that seem natural to them that most of us haven't got. But it is not what you have to start with that matters, but what counts is how much you are prepared to risk? The one who received two talents traded and gained another two in the market place. But he that received one went and vs. 18 "digged in the earth and hid his lord's money." We see from this statement that the talent was a specific amount of money.

Matthew 25:19. "After a long time the lord of those servants returned and reckoned with them."

To each of the servants who traded and doubled the investment made in them the master said, Vs 21"well done thou good (God like) and faithful servant, you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things." Here is an expansion from few to many fields of opportunity. We cannot expect to hear the master say "well done" if we haven't done well; or "good and faithful servant" if we haven't been good and faithful. The unfaithful servant accused his master of being a hard man and reaping where he had not sown, which was a lie. Then he added "I was afraid and went and hid your talent in the earth, here take it." When called to give account his life was exposed for what it was, he was one of God's careful failures; Vs 25. He used fear as an excuse; he suffered from the paralysis of analysis. Vs 26. The real truth is he was just plain lazy, a wicked and malignant servant. In this case of the unfaithful servant, he was exposed for what he was, and his talent was taken back; finally he was cast out full of bitterness and remorse; his talent was taken and given to the faithful servant with ten talents. The consistent teaching of the Lord is that service to His household is the condition for increase and promotion. Mark 10:43-44.

Matthew 24:45-47. "Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, that he shall make him ruler over all his goods."

It's in the service of caring and feeding the absent Lord's household and nothing else that allows a servant "to be a ruler over His Lord's goods". This is not a picture of one in some official capacity exercising authority; it is the picture of a servant exercising the ministry of healing and love. There is a tremendous principle here. If you are gifted but do nothing with it, then God will take it from you. Socialism says take from him that has and give it to him who has nothing. But the Lord said "for every one that hath shall more be given, and he shall have in abundance; but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath." God wants a return on His investment in each one if us. The cut off point for growing in usefulness is always ours to choose, unless we are totally physically and mentally incapable. I am not saying we just go out and do the first thing that comes into our head; we need to count the cost. The price as always is faith. We need to see that we don't go beyond the measure that we have received. Romans 12:3. We are not to be conceited in our self-estimation, or think of ourselves more highly than we ought to; but to think soberly, according to the measure of faith God has dealt to us. "For God has given to every man the measure of faith." Know your measure and move out from there.

Trading is the key, it's from faith to faith and from glory to glory, and it should never stop. One hundred dollars doubled every year for fifteen years will become $3,276,800.00. We can trade actively in every area of life.

A charge has been given to each one of us as surely as God gave one to Paul; and Paul at the close of his life charged Timothy. The measure of responsibility may vary; whether it is one, two, or five. That charge made Paul say, "I am debtor," my absent master has committed something to me for which I will be held accountable.

In the last part of Matthew 24, and on into chapter 25, we have three parables that are dealing with the same thing. Our watchfulness in view of the absent but soon returning Lord; our diligence in the tasks He has entrusted to our stewardship over all His goods. In each case the Brides responsibility is defined by her relationship to her Lord. Being vigilant to see that I have enough oil to keep my lamp burning. Working with enterprise for the absent Lord to see that His goods are increased. Carrying out all service by love, ensuring that the hungry are fed, and ministering healing to the household.

A Metonymy is a figure of speech in which a thing or word is replaced by another associated with it e.g. the crown, for the king. "The man keeps a good table" when it is really referring to his food. One such word is found in the parable of the faithful servant in Luke 12:35 and Matthew 24:45. "Household" grk "therapeia" it is the word from which we derive our word therapeutic, which suggests to us healing of every sort. The other occasion is found in Revelation 22:2, where the "leaves of the tree were for the healing "therapeia" of the nations." What this suggests to us is that the ministry of the Master's house was to be a ministry of healing and loving care. We should see every sick person in our body as an opportunity for the glory of God to manifest itself using all the available means that He has given e.g. Laying on of hands, anointing with oil, prayer of faith, word of knowledge, gifts of healings.

Growth is related to responsibility, if you do not have anything to care for you will never grow. "Blessed is that servant whom when His Lord cometh so finds him doing. Verily I say unto you He shall make him ruler over all His goods." If you claim you have nothing to care for, then you're either mistaken, dead, or perhaps both?

 

 
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Shaun Kearney
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