A Matter of Choice

A Matter of Choice

Part I

OUR TEXT

“His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”
Matthew 25:23

INTRODUCTION
The term “Hobson’s Choice” crept into the English language in the late seventeenth century. Thomas Hobson was then a liveryman in Cambridge, England. And, according to his established policy, every customer who came to his stables to rent a horse was required to take the horse that stood nearest the door. The customer had no option. It was the horse nearest the door or no horse at all.

The “Parable of the Talents” in today’s text gives us a “Hobson’s Choice.” If we want to experience the abundant life that the Lord Jesus Christ offers us and if we want to grow into the uniquely beautiful person God created us to be, we must accept the Cross the Lord Jesus Christ offers us.

It’s a “Hobson’s Choice” in that there is no alternative. If we want to enter into the joy of the Lord, we have no options. “And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:27).

In the matter of crosses, the Lord Jesus Christ deals with us individually. When you come to Him in search of the peace that the world cannot give (John 14:27) “that your joy may be full” (1 John 1:4), you will discover, “standing next to the door,” so to speak, the cross that has been fashioned for your life and no one else’s.

If you want to experience the abundant life that is available to you, then you must take up that cross. That means you must be willing to take your whole life–your individual and unique life–and invest it in the Lord’s service.

In today’s Lesson, the Lord Jesus Christ tells the story of a man who entrusts various sums of money to his servants before going on a journey. When he returns from his trip, he asks the servants to give an accounting of how they invested the money so that he can reward them according to their earnings.

The first servant invested all he had been given and so he was able to return double the amount of his master. The master says, “Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of the lord.”

Part II

DEVELOPING A SERVANT’S HEART IS A MATTER OF CHOICE
Matthew 25:23

If you are truly striving to serve God you must choose to develop a servant’s heart. I think, as a Christian, we all want to be faithful servants. Remember what our text says:
“Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of the lord.”

How do we develop a servant’s heart? In Joshua 24:15 it is written:
“And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

But, we will not concentrate on Joshua in today’s Lesson because I would like to share with you a comparatively unknown servant of the Lord. Let’s look at 2 Chronicles 17:16:
“And next him was Amasiah the son of Zichri, who willingly offered himself unto the Lord, and with him two hundred thousand mighty men of valor.”

Why is one’s service that which often “makes” his/her reputation? What is there about the way we serve that opens up our hearts and allows others to look inside of us? Is “service” REALLY an important litmus test of one’s Christianity?

In 2 Chronicles 17:16 we are introduced to a man whose work has “made” him beloved and known by all who study the Scriptures. The context of our study is in discussing the reign of king Jehoshaphat of Judah, who was very religious (2 Chronicles 17:3,4).

The blemish in Jehoshaphat’s tenure as king was his continued fellowship with those brethren who had forsaken God’s commands (cf. 1 Kings 22).

He instituted a system of public instruction of the Law so that all would know, understand, and obey God’s commands. The King established courts of justice throughout Judah. During Jehoshaphat’s reign a vast army was maintained to defend the nation.

In Jehoshaphat’s army there was a soldier who was distinctive; he stood out. His name was “Amasiah.” This is the only time in Scripture that he is mentioned. We know nothing further concerning him, his family, or his future.

However he leaves a lasting memory of one who was willing to offer himself to the Lord’s service. We do not know what he did to be remembered with such a striking epitaph, but what a marvelous compliment!

To be continued…

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