ODJ: living now for eternity

July 15, 2015 

READ: Matthew 25:14-30 

You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities (v.21).

The film Gladiator contains an inspiring scene set just before a battle. The Roman general Maximus exhorts his troops with these words: “Remember, what we do in life echoes in eternity!” He encouraged his men to conduct themselves with the kind of valour that would cause them to be remembered long after their death. But he also knew that their conduct in the present could affect their future.

In the parable of the talents, it’s easy to overlook this line: “You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities” (Matthew 25:21,23). Because of the servants’ past obedience and loyalty to their master, they were rewarded with more responsibility over much more than the initial treasures they’d been given (v.15). Jesus used this story to show how things will function in the kingdom of heaven. As we follow Him and live out His instructions and plans today, it will affect the rewards and responsibilities we’ll enjoy in eternity! (v.14).

The writer of Hebrews described Moses as one who turned his back on the riches of Egypt because he was looking towards a future “great reward” (Hebrews 11:26). And Jesus Himself, as He spoke to a great crowd of people, urged them—and us—to rejoice in being persecuted for Him, for “a great reward awaits you in heaven” (Matthew 5:12).

Now, it’s not that we should look for hardship to try and earn points with God. Instead, we should serve Him simply out of love and obedience. And as we do so, Jesus revealed that we’ll be entrusted with even greater things when He returns. As “heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17 NIV), may we serve Him with hearts full of love today!

—Russell Fralick

365-day-plan: Matthew 10:16-42

Read Ephesians 2:8-10 and consider what you’ve received from God and the right reasons for doing good deeds for Him. 
What has God entrusted to you? How can you tap into the faith that He has provided for you to achieve its purposes?