November 26, 2017. "Taking a Test." Matthew 25: 31-46.

What is your most vivid memory of taking a test?  For many, Christianity is often portrayed as preparation for a final exam.  In today's reading, it is final exam week for Jesus.  To the surprise of everyone, when Jesus returns, final exams will have already been completed.  The sheep pass the test.  The goats fail the test.  The world judges us in other ways.  In the eyes of the world, most of us will never score high.  This lesson is a call to life.  The church exists for the world, its welfare, and its transformation.  The Great Commission of Christ the King balances evangelical outreach with teaching ministry.  Teaching all Jesus has commanded includes this text.

November 19, 2017. "Use It or Lose It." Matthew 25: 14-30.

What is the greatest risk you have ever taken?  Matthew 25 is about taking risks.  The delay of the Second Coming made Christians lethargic.  Many Christians today behave as if Christ is not returning.  The Day of the Lord is approaching!  The issue is not so much irresponsibility or waste, but a failure to take risks.  Faithfulness is the willingness to risk what one has received from the Lord in service to those in need.  God takes risks with us.  We can take risks because our ultimate destinies are secure.  It does not matter how many gifts we have but if we use them.  What are we to do?  We are to use God's gifts for God's purposes and be prepared at any moment for Christ's return.  Preserving the dignity and piety of the past is inadequate. The servants of Christ are to add luster to Christ's name.  Those accepted will be at the heavenly banquet.  The kingdom of God is at hand.

November 12, 2017. "On Your Mark! Get Set!" Matthew 25: 1-13.

What makes you impatient?  Matthew's church was impatient.  Matthew recalls this parable of Jesus.  Some people are foolish.  Some people are wise.  The foolish expect the wise to compensate for their lack of preparation in families, churches, and individuals.  The wise live in readiness.  Readiness is not vigilance.  Readiness is to take seriously the coming reign of God. This life is full of tears, pain, separation, grief, and disappointment.  This life fades in comparison with the life to come.  We need to live in constant readiness as we carry out our Christian calling in the world.  We could be ushered into God's presence at any time.

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