In Matthew and Luke, we find parables in which a master affirms his servants for faithful productivity. The parables present the scenario of servants entrusted by their master with various sums of money. The master expected the servants to manage the funds, generating a positive return on investment. Those who did, heard the master say, “Well done, my good servant.” Those who didn’t heard the words, “You wicked, lazy servant.”
The words “Well done” are spoken in the Bible only in these parables. In each, the servants are expected to faithfully fulfill the instructions of their masters. The parables clearly teach that we, as servants of the Master, are expected to fulfill his commands.
What was the Specific Act?
Over thirty years of ministry I have officiated hundreds of funerals. Often people have said something to the effect of, “He/she is now hearing the Lord say, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant.’”
I have often wanted to ask what specific act did the deceased perform that left the family convinced he or she heard the Lord’s affirmation? I’ve never asked, as I certainly would never want to add to their grief, but we are sadly mistaken if we think the Lord speaks those words over every person who passes out of this world and into his presence.
What’s My S.P.E.C.K.
We are entrusted with building the Kingdom of God. As servants of Jesus, to whom “all authority in heaven and on earth has been given,” we are expected to “obey everything he has commanded (Matthew 28:18-19).”
As we continue to read through the four Gospels we will be challenged by the example and commands of Jesus. We must each answer the question, “What will I do in response to the S.P.E.C.K. I have encountered?”
- S – Is there a Sin to confess or avoid?
- P – Is there a Promise to believe or trust?
- E – Is there an Example to follow?
- C – Is there a Command to obey?
- K – How will I respond to the Knowledge gained about God or myself?
Repent & Renew
Journaling your thoughts and decisions can be a helpful discipline. Write down your specific response to each passage. Periodically look back over your journal and evaluate how faithfully you have fulfilled your commitments. If you feel you have been negligent or inconsistent in honoring your commitment, repent and renew your determination to do what Jesus commands. Our Lord is loving, patient, and forgiving, but he does expect our follow-through on the decisions we make in response to the challenges encountered.
This shared journey through the four gospels will be transformative to our individual lives and to our overall church ministry. I join you in asking how I must respond to the challenges encountered.
May we be found faithful and hear the words, “Well done, my good servant.”