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Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.
The Scriptorium

Kingdom Stewardship (1)

We have work to do. Luke 19.11-14

Luke 19 (2)

Pray Psalm 110.3, 4.
Your people shall be volunteers
In the day of Your power;
In the beauties of holiness, from the womb of the morning,
You have the dew of Your youth.
The LORD has sworn
And will not relent,
“You are a priest forever
According to the order of Melchizedek.”

Sing Psalm 110.3, 4.
(Aurelia: The Church’s One Foundation)
Filled with the Spirit’s power, In holy robes of love,
from early morning’s hour they serve their Lord above.
Christ reigns a priest forever, the King of Righteousness
and King of Peace who ever His chosen ones will bless.

Read Luke 19.1-14; meditate on verses 11-14.

1. What prompted Jesus to tell this parable?

2. What did the nobleman expect of his servants?

The motivating phrase of these verses is “because they thought the kingdom of God would appear immediately” (v. 11). It was knowing this that prompted Jesus to share this parable. The people expected Jesus to march into Jerusalem, overthrow the Romans, be crowned the proper King of Israel, and set them free from oppression.

Jesus sought to correct that thinking by telling a parable about how God’s Kingdom actually comes. The “nobleman” of course is Jesus. The “servants” are those who have devoted themselves to Him. Jesus was about to depart this life, to die, rise from the dead, and ascend to His throne at the right hand of God. There, He would receive the Kingdom of God, which He would bestow on His “servants” in the Person of the Holy Spirit (cf. Dan. 7.13-18).

Once the Kingdom comes, the work begins. Each of the Lord’s servants is entrusted with certain assets—talents, time, spiritual gifts, a calling, opportunities, relationships, roles, responsibilities—and is assigned a place—their Personal Mission Field—in which to maximize the use of these assets for the Lord. He will return one day, to be lavished in the glory that accrues to Him from the work of His faithful servants. Our duty is to “do business” with His assets until He comes (v. 13).

But we do so in a hostile environment (v. 14). The world spurns the grace of God—even that which He daily gives them—and refuses to submit to His rule. They won’t much like us, either. But this must not hinder our work nor cause us to neglect our stewardship. We must do business day by day with whatever the Lord gives us so that His glorious Kingdom will advance in and through us, coming increasingly on earth as it is in heaven (Matt. 6.10; Is. 9.6, 7).

One of my favorite book titles is Eugene Peterson’s A Long Obedience in the Same Direction. That’s how the Kingdom comes, and that’s what Kingdom stewardship is all about.

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
“Now as they heard these things…” (Lk. 19.11).
What things had they just heard?
First they heard the words of assurance that Jesus spoke to Zacchaeus: “Today salvation has come to this house…” (Lk. 19.9), and then they heard Jesus say: “for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Lk. 19.10). Zacchaeus being the most recent example.

These words must have conjured up memories of the three parables He had recently told them about the lost things: the sheep, the coin, and the son (Lk. 15.3-32). The finding of each which brought much joy: “Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!” (Lk. 15.6). “Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost!” (Lk. 15.9), and “for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found. And they began to make merry” (Lk. 15.24).

And now a new parable was emerging from the heart of Jesus about the coming of the Kingdom; the timing of which Jesus’ disciples, and other listeners, had misunderstood. They thought it was to arrive immediately, so Jesus was trying to correct their perception, and give them instructions on how to wait. “Do business till I come” (Lk. 19.13), or “Do business with this until I come back” (NASB). In other words, “You have work to do in your Personal Mission Field. Don’t squander the time. I will know what you have done, or not done, and will see it when I come back. Be diligent with the gifts from the Father.”

“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death,
upon them a light has shined” (Is. 9.2).
So, “Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving” (Col. 4.2).
And “Let brotherly love continue” (Heb. 13.1).
Because “we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works,
which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2.10).

Jesus wants us to be good stewards of our Kingdom calling. He wants us to work and wait. And to know that while we wait, we may have a little turmoil and trouble. But that He has gone to receive His Kingdom and prepare a place for us (Jn. 14.1-4); and when the time is right (Acts 1.7) He will return to collect us to live with Him forever. “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (Jn. 16.33).

Love Me, work the Family business, and productively wait.
“When everything is ready, then I will come and get you, so that you can always be with Me where I am.
If this weren’t so, I would tell you plainly” (Jn. 14.2, 3 TLB).

“We must do business day by day with whatever the Lord gives us so that His glorious Kingdom will advance in and through us, coming increasingly on earth as it is in heaven.”

For reflection
1. What does it mean for you to “work the family business”?

2. Over what things has the Lord made you a Kingdom steward?

3. Whom will you encourage today to exercise Kingdom stewardship in their daily life?

Those that are called to Christ, he furnishes with gifts needful for their business; and from those to whom he gives power, he expects service. The manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal, 1 Corinthians 12:7. And as every one has received the gift, so let him minister the same, 1 Peter 4:10.
Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on Luke 19.11-14

Pray Psalm 110.1-3, 5-7.
Rejoice in the fact that Christ’s Kingdom has come, and He has given it to us, that we should seek and advance it in everything we do. Commit this day to Kingdom stewardship.

Sing Psalm 110.1-3, 5-7.
(Aurelia: The Church’s One Foundation)
“Sit by Me at My right hand,” the LORD says to my Lord,
“until I make Your foot stand on all who hate Your Word.”
From in His Church the Savior rules all His enemies;
while those who know His favor go forth the Lord to please.

The Lord at Your right hand, LORD, in wrath shall shatter kings,
When judgment by His strong Word He to the nations brings.
Then, all His foes defeated, He takes His hard-won rest,
In glorious triumph seated with us, redeemed and blessed!

T. M. and Susie Moore

You can download all the studies in our Luke series by clicking here.

Have you mapped out your Personal Mission Field? Watch this brief video, then download the worksheet and get started. Two little books will help you on your way. Order your free copies of The Gospel of the Kingdom and Joy to Your World! by clicking here and here.

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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available free by clicking here.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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